City of license Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast Greater Toronto Area, Central Ontario
Branding CBC Radio One
Frequency 99.1 MHz (FM)
First air date 1925 on AM
1999 on FM
Format public broadcasting
ERP 98 kW
Class B
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Great Lakes A
Sister stations(s) CBL-FM, CJBC-FM, CJBC, CBLFT & CBLT
Former callsigns CKGW (1925-1932)
CRCT (1932-1937)
CBL (1937-1999)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Webcast Listen Live to CBLA-FM 99.1
Website CBC Radio One (CBLA-FM)'s Website

CBLA-FM is a Canadian radio station. It's the flagship station of the CBC Radio One network, broadcasting @ 99.1 FM in Toronto, Ontario.

History Edit

The station originally aired in 1925 as AM 910 CKGW, a commercial station owned by Gooderham & Worts. Due to the instability of frequency allocations in North America @ the time, the station's frequency changed several times over the next number of years, to 960, 690 & finally clear channel 840. In 1932, the station was leased by the CBC's predecessor, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission. It used the call letters CRCT until 1937, when the station was purchased outright by the CBC & adopted the callsign CBL, moving to a new transmitter facility in rural Hornby. With NARBA in 1941, the station moved to 740 kHz; it's former channel, now 860, went to CFRB.

Between 1938 & 1943, CBL had a rebroadcaster, CBY, to supplement coverage in Toronto. CBY broadcast on 960, switching to 1420 in 1939 & then to 1010 in 1941. CBY is now CJBC 860, Toronto's Première Chaîne station.

In 1946, CBL-FM was launched, bringing the CBC's FM network (now known as CBC Radio Two) to Toronto. It originally broadcast on the same 99.1 frequency now used by CBLA, but moved to 94.1 in 1966. (The 99.1 frequency was vacant until 1977, when it was assigned to the CKO radio network. CKO ceased operations in 1989 & the frequency was again vacant until it was assigned to CBLA.)

The CBC's transmitter tower on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto, built in 1952, was for many years the tallest structure in Canada. The facility was used by CBL (studios only), CBL-FM, CBLT, CBLFT, CJRT & TVOntario. In 1976, almost all broadcast signals in Toronto moved to the CN Tower. Although the Jarvis St. transmitter was no longer in use, the CBC continued to use the studio facilities @ that site until moving to the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in 1992.

CBL established a large low-power relay transmitter (LPRT) network in Northern & Central Ontario during the 1950s & 60s. These transmitters, all on AM frequencies, mainly rebroadcast the CBL signal but also offered some separate regional programming directed towards the regions served by the LPRT network in place of some local Toronto programming. 1 example of this was the daily Northern Ontario Report, which aired in the late afternoon. Most of these LPRT network transmitters now rebroadcast CBCS in Sudbury or CBQT in Thunder Bay. Some of these transmitters have switched to FM as well, or have been shut down as FM transmitters covering areas served by multiple AM transmitters have signed on.

In 1997, CBL applied to the CRTC for conversion to FM, citing radio frequency interference that made the station nearly unlistenable in some parts of downtown Toronto. In a controversial decision, the CBC was awarded the 99.1 frequency over Milestone Radio, who had applied to open an urban music station, which would have been the 1st station operating under that format in Canada, to serve the city's large black community. Expanding the controversy, 99.1 was believed @ the time to be the last available FM frequency in the city.

On June 18 1999, the station completed it's move to FM, adopting the CBLA calls. CBL remained in operation for an additional day, broadcasting a recorded loop listing alternative FM frequencies for any remaining listeners. The final announcement ran thus:

"This is CBC Radio One, broadcasting from the Hornby transmitter @ 740 AM. In the Toronto area, we will now move to 99.1 FM, with additional frequencies throughout southern Ontario. This transmitter has served the community well since 1937 & has been @ 740 AM since 1941. This is the end of an era in Canadian broadcasting history. Now, signing off, from CBL, adieu."

    - Philip Savage, CBC Communications department

The CBC subsequently surrendered 2 relay transmitters outside the city which overlapped with the CBLA signal. In 2000, the CRTC awarded 1 of the new frequencies to Milestone, who launched CFXJ in 2001 & the other to Aboriginal Voices, who launched CFIE in 2002. The Hornby transmitter was leased to the new occupant of 740, CHWO, in 2001.

The Jarvis Street transmitter site was demolished in 2002 to make way for the RadioCity condominium development.

Local programming Edit

The station's local morning program is Metro Morning, hosted since 1994 by Andy Barrie & Toronto's most popular radio show in the ratings since 2004. Here and Now, hosted by Matt Galloway, airs in the afternoon slot. On weekend mornings the station produces Fresh Air, heard throughout Ontario except in the Ottawa region. Saturday afternoons the station broadcasts an arts & culture magazine, Big City, Small World, hosted by Garvia Bailey.

The station also produces a 2nd morning program, Ontario Morning, which airs on most of the network's transmitters in Southern Ontario outside of the Toronto, Ottawa & Windsor metropolitan areas. Ontario Morning is currently hosted by Wei Chen. Metro Morning is heard on CBC rebroadcasters in Crystal Beach & Paris, Ontario.

As of October 2005, Here and Now begins @ 3 PM on CBLA's main station in Toronto, unlike most CBC Radio One stations whose local afternoon programs begin @ 4 PM However, the station's rebroadcast transmitters outside of Toronto air regular CBC network programming for the 1st hour & join Here and Now in progress @ 4.

Rebroadcasters Edit

CBLA-FM has the following rebroadcasters.

  • Rebroadcasters of CBLA-FM:
  • City of license: Bancroft1, Identifier: CBLV, Frequency: 600 AM, Power: 40 watts, Class: LP, CRTC Decision:
  • City of license: Crystal Beach, Identifier: CBLA-FM-1, Frequency: 90.5, Power: 319 watts, Class: A, CRTC Decision: 98-428
  • City of license: Hailburton, Identifier: CBLY-FM, Frequency: 92.3, Power: 50 watts, Class: LP, CRTC Decision: 89-765
  • City of license: Huntsville, Identifier: CBLU-FM, Frequency: 94.3, Power: 70,000 watts; Class: C1, CRTC Decision:
  • City of license: Maynooth, Identifier: CBOD-FM, Frequency: 89.3, Power: 110 watts, Class: A1, CRTC Decision: 89-612
  • City of license: Orillia, Identifier: CBCO-FM, Frequency: 91.5, Power: 5,200 watts; Class: B, CRTC Decision: 88-487
  • City of license: Owen Sound, Identifier: CBCB-FM, Frequency: 98.7, Power: 100,000 watts; Class: C1, CRTC Decision:
  • City of license: Paris, Identifier: CBLA-FM-2, Frequency: 89.1, Power: 5,000 watts; Class: B, CRTC Decision:
  • City of license: Parry Sound, Identifier: CBLR-FM, Frequency: 89.9, Power: 180 watts, Class: A1, CRTC Decision: 92-783
  • City of license: Penetanguishene, Identifier: CBCM-FM, Frequency: 89.7, Power: 2,800 watts; Class: A, CRTC Decision: 98-27
  • City of license: Peterborough, Identifier: CBCP-FM, Frequency: 98.7, Power: 10,170 watts; Class: B, CRTC Decision: 98-516
  • City of license: Shelburne, Identifier: CBLA-FM-4, Frequency: 102.5, Power: 2,600 watts; Class: A, CRTC Decision: 2001-157
  • City of license: Wingham, Identifier: CBLA-FM-3, Frequency: 100.9, Power: 11,800 watts; Class: B, CRTC Decision: 99-192


1 CBLV in Bancroft, Ontario is 1 of the last remaining AM rebroadcasters of CBLA-FM. There are possibilities that this repeater may switch to the FM band in the future.

External links Edit

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