Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

StationYearChannelNetwork AffiliateOwner/Info
CBOT-DT20114.1 (4)CBCCanadian Broadcasting Corp.
CBOT-TV19544CBCCanadian Broadcasting Corp.


By the end of the year the CBC had chosen five sites for television stations and the CNR and CPR were working on a microwave relay system. The corporation had proposed two stations for Montreal and one each for Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton. TV programs from the U.S. would be piped into Canada via the Hamilton station. The first station would likely be in Montreal and there would be two outlets in that city because of the two distinct languages – English and French. One difficulty for the establishment of a Toronto outlet would be the use of 25 cycle power service which presented several technical issues. Ontario Hydro had plans for conversion to 60 cycles current to be implemented within a “few years”.


The CBC had opened the country’s first television stations last September – CBFT Montreal and CBLT Toronto – and now had plans for stations in Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg.

The Department of Transport came out with a national assignment of television channels for Canada. The CBC’s Ottawa station would operate on channel 4 and could have a maximum video power of 15,000 watts. It was expected the Ottawa transmitter would develop an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts.

The Ottawa Board of Trade approved the 2-acre Island Park Drive site west of the city for the CBC’s TV station. A 5,000 watt Marconi transmitter had been chosen by CBC engineers for the Ottawa outlet. It was also announced that for about nine months, starting around June, the Ottawa transmitter would be used only as a repeater point for programs coming from Toronto and Montreal. Productions originating from Ottawa would likely not be seen before the spring of 1954.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation opened CBOT-TV on June 2. It had been testing on the air since late May. CBOT broadcast on channel 4. Its transmitter was located at Camp Fortune, Quebec. Studios and offices were on Lanark Avenue in Ottawa. CBOT offered programming in both English and French. The CBC also operated English-language radio stations CBO-AM and FM in Ottawa.

From the start, CBOT was linked by a 340-mile microwave relay system that connected it with CBFT (Montreal) and CBLT (Toronto). The link was first made on May 14 at 7:30 p.m.

In Ottawa & Eastern Ontario, 12,548 television sets were sold in the first eight months of the year.

The most popular programs on CBOT according to a September audience survey: Holiday Ranch (Canadian), Ladies Champion Baseball, Les Jeunes Annees (Canadian) and Playbill. All programs on CBOT originated with CBLT Toronto or CBMT Montreal.

Importation of more American network programs improved audiences of Canadian television stations where there was competition from U.S. border stations. A November ratings report showed sets-in-use figures were down slightly in the Toronto area but up slightly in Montreal and Ottawa. The most popular programs from CBOT were Toast of the Town, Boxing, Showtime (Canadian), CBC TV Theatre (Canadian) and Hit Parade (Canadian). The latest estimate for television receivers in Canada was 445,000 sets. The Ottawa area (served by CBOT) had 10,100 sets.

Plans for the development of a national TV network composed of privately-owned and CBC stations were tentatively agreed to in June. Present licensees agreed to carry a minimum of 10 1/2 hours of CBC-produced programs weekly.

The Bell Telephone Company’s Adelaide Street office in Toronto was the terminal point in the new 407 mile microwave relay system – the recently inaugurated heart of Canada’s three station TV network. Rising 392 feet above the street (compared with the Bank of Commerce’s 400 feet and the tower of CBLT at 500 feet), this was one of 15 such units constructed by Bell to carry television programs and telephone conversations from Buffalo to Montreal via Toronto and Ottawa or any points in between. Engineering plans for a Montreal-Quebec City expansion were already prepared and others were being worked out to reach London. The Buffalo-Toronto hop needed only one relay site – at Fonthill, near Welland. The Toronto-Ottawa section had 8 stations (Uxbridge, Bethany, Hastings, Stirling, Enterprise, Westport, Smiths Falls and Stanley Corners). Three stations connect with Montreal – at Leonard, Maxville and Rigaud. The Ottawa installation is also on top of the Bell building there. Mount Royal was chosen for the Montreal station.

The top programs on CBOT in the summer: Cue for Music, French Film, Floor Show, Cafe des Artistes and TV Playhouse.

Harry Boyle was named director of programs for CBC Ontario – radio and television. He had been program director of the Trans-Canada network for eight years.


CBC now planned to have only one TV station in any given area, so CBOT would have to continue its policy of about 30% French-language programming for now.

The federal government amended its policy which would now allow CBC to have a second TV station in Ottawa…this one would be French-only. The transmitter for the new station would likely be housed in the same building as CBOT’s. Programs would be micro-waved from Montreal or carried by film, since live production facilities were not yet completed in Ottawa. At present, CBOT carried about 25% French-language programming.


H.G. Walker was appointed CBC assistant director for Ontario by the province’s director, Ira Dilworth.

The CBC marked the opening of CBOFT, power increase for CBOT and the start of separate language transmissions on a regular basis with a special inaugural program on June 24. The program was seen in Quebec City, Montreal and on both Ottawa stations. It included a short address in both languages by the Hon. James J. McCann, Minister of National Revenue; A.D. Dunton, CBC chairman, and Alphonse Quimet, CBC general manager.

Walter J. Blackburn (CFPL-TV) announced the formation of a co-operative organized to exchange TV news film among CBC and private stations. Founding members of the Canadian Television News Film Co-operative were CFPL-TV, CFQC-TV, CKCW-TV and the CBC. Membership was open to all stations.

Canadian Professional Football games, including the Grey Cup final, would be seen live from Vancouver on inter-connected Eastern stations. Delayed telecasts would be seen on all other stations on either the Sunday or Monday following the game. The 10 connected stations in the East were: CBLT, CBOT, CBMT, CHCH, CFPL, CKCO, CKLW, CKWS, CHEX, and CKVR. These stations would carry 20-26 games. Fourteen games would be seen on CKSO, CJIC and CFPA…stations not connected to the microwave. In the West, seven stations would carry kinescopes of the games to be played in Western Interprovincial Football: CBWT, CKX, CKCK, CFQC, CHCT, CFRN and CBUT.


CBOT had an effective radiated power of 50,100 watts video and 26,700 watts audio.


For the first time, a nation wide audience would be able to watch the CBC’s federal election coverage. CBC-TV was now connected to Calgary and Edmonton in the west and the four Maritime Provinces in the east. U.S. facilities would complete extension to British Columbia.

According to Elliott-Haynes CBOT reached a total of 353,838 adult viewers every day (407,142 later in the year). 139 microwave units across Canada went into operation on July 1, carrying TV signals 3,900 miles over the longest microwave network in the world. The CBC’s Dominion Day program “Memo to Champlain” inaugurated the system. The network linked together Canada’s 40 privately owned TV stations and 8 CBC stations, providing live TV to 80% of the Canadian population between Victoria, B.C. and Sydney, N.S. Newfoundland was expected to be on the network in 1959. The CBC, in cooperation with CFRN-TV Edmonton, CKCK-TV Regina, CKLW-TV Windsor and CHSJ-TV Saint John, used the inaugural program as an electronic travelogue to visit 15 Canadian cities. The microwave network was called the Trans-Canada Skyway.

H.G. Walker was named director for Ontario and for English networks, succeeding Ira Dilworth who became director of program evaluation.


The CBC applied for a rebroadcaster of CBOT at Pembroke. If approved, it would serve 63,000 people living outside the “B” contour of CBOT. It would operate on channel 5, using a 300 foot tower near Highway 62, on the outskirts of Pembroke. There would be microwave facilities at Renfrew. The CBC application was denied but a licence for a new television station at Pembroke was awarded to CHOV Radio.

Spencer Moore, director of programs for CBC Ottawa region since 1959, was appointed London CBC representative as of August 1.


Effective radiated power was unchanged from 1957.


At this time, CBOT is airing local news and weather from 6:30 to 7:00 weeknights, followed by a 25-minute sportscast known as Sports Huddle.


Effective radiated power increased to 100,000 watts (video).


At this time, CBOT is airing 1 hour 20 minutes of local news each weekday, including This Day from 6:30-7:30, and CBOT Tonight following The National until 11:50.


CBOT, known as “CBC 4 Ottawa”, airs two local newscasts per day: The Evening News, anchored by Ab Douglas weeknights from 6-7 p.m., and The Local with Joe Spence weeknights at 11:27. CBOT also has a weekly current affairs program, The Informer, hosted by Peter Reynolds Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.


Rebroadcast transmitters CBOT-1 Foymount, CBOT-2 Barry’s Bay, CBOT-3 Whitney, CBOT-4 Maynooth and CBOT-5 McArthur’s Mills began broadcasting on December 1.


An application by the CBC for a rebroadcaster at Deep River was denied. It was contingent on approval of Mid-Canada’s application for a new Ottawa TV station. That licence was awarded to Baton Broadcasting Inc. If Mid-Canada had been granted the Ottawa licence, it would have disaffiliated CHRO-TV Pembroke from the CBC network and the CBC would have needed to fill the gap.


Pete McNelly was appointed executive producer of CBOT’s supper-hour news.

Nancy Cooper and Peter Van Dusen were named co-anchors of the supperhour news show Newsday.


On October 22, the CRTC approved, subject to the submission and acceptance of revised technical parameters, the application by the CBC to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Deep River. The CBC proposed to operate the transmitter on channel 3 with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts at an antenna height of 96 metres. Because the transmitter would be located at Deep River, some 45 kilometres northwest of Pembroke, the CRTC had concerns as to whether it would provide Pembroke viewers with an adequate signal (such as they now get from CHRO). The CBC was advised to apply for approval of revised technical parameters that would more adequately address the Commission’s concern regarding the signal quality of the CBC service at Pembroke…optimize the use of channel 3 which may involve the selection of a new site as well as revised technical parameters which would effectively enable the CBC to better serve the target area in the Upper Ottawa Valley as well as an area south of Golden Lake, and provide a television signal not appreciably inferior to that currently provided by CHRO-TV. It should be noted that on this same date, CHRO-TV Pembroke, received authority to change its network affiliation from CBC to CTV.


On August 26, CBOT received approval to operate its new Deep River/Pembroke rebroadcast transmitter with an effective radiated power of 17,430 watts on channel 3. It would broadcast from a transmitter site located near Pembroke. This transmitter was approved in 1990 but not with the proposed ERP of 3,000 watts with antenna height of 96 metres.

On the same date, approval was granted for CBOT-1 Foymount to increase power from a transmitter power of 10 watts to an effective radiated power of 29,000 watts and change the channel from 28 to 59.


On February 17, CBOT-6 began operations from Pembroke.


As of this year, CBOT operated the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBOT-TV-1 Foymount, CBOT-TV-2 Barry’s Bay, CBOT-TV-3 Whitney, CBOT-TV-4 Maynooth, CBOT-TV-5 McArthur’s Mills and CBOT-TV-6 Pembroke.


News anchor Peter Van Dusen left CBOT for the CPAC specialty cable channel.


On September 13, CBC/SRC Ottawa began broadcasting from new studios and offices at 181 Queen Street. Facilities had been scattered around the city. Radio had been in the Chateau Laurier and Television had operated from Lanark Street.


On October 21, CBOT was given approval to operate a transitional digital television undertaking at Ottawa, operating from Camp Fortune, Quebec, on channel 25VL with an average effective radiated power of 90,700 watts.


CBOT-DT commenced broadcasting on September 1.


On May 12 the CRTC renewed CBOT’s licence, including the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBOT-DT Ottawa, CBOT-1 Foymount (CFB), CBOT-2 Barry’s Bay, CBOT-3 Whitney, CBOT-4 Maynooth, CBOT-5 McArthur’s Mills and CBOT-6 Deep River.


On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBOT-DT and CBOT (and its transmitters) to March 31, 2011.

On November 17, the CRTC approved the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence for CBOT-TV to add a post-transition digital transmitter in order to serve the population of Ottawa. The post-transition digital transmitter would continue to operate under the same technical parameters as the previously licensed DTV undertaking – channel 25 with an average effective radiated power of 90,700 watts (maximum ERP of 165,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 332.9 metres). Given the approval of this application, and at the licensee’s request, the Commission revoked the broadcasting licence for the transitional DTV undertaking CBOT-DT Ottawa, which was granted pursuant to Broadcasting Decision 2005-526.


On March 29, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBOT-TV until August 31, 2012. The Commission noted that it did not intend to renew authorizations for full-power analog transmitters operating in the mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets beyond August 31, 2011. By that time, the Commission expected licensees to have the necessary authority to broadcast in digital. In addition, the Commission imposed the following condition of licence on stations that operated in mandatory markets or on channels 52 to 69 outside the mandatory markets: Unless otherwise authorized by the Commission, the licensee shall not transmit analog television signals after 31 August 2011 in mandatory markets designated as such by the Commission in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2011-184 or transmit television signals on channels 52 to 69. The CRTC also noted that pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-69, it did not intend to renew authorizations to operate transitional digital transmitters included in these licences, beyond August 31, 2011.

On August 16, the CRTC approved applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation related to change the technical parameters of transmitter CBOT-1 Foymont. The transmitter channel would move from 59 to 14 and the authorized contours would change due to a reduction of the average effective radiated power from 29,000 to 22,140 watts and a reduction of the maximum ERP from 66,700 to 42,300 watts. The antenna’s effective height above average terrain of 229.2 metres remained unchanged. In Analog transmitters mandated for digital conversion, or operating on channels 52 to 69 in non-mandatory markets, the Commission indicated that it did not intend to renew beyond August 31, 2011 authorizations for full-power analog transmitters on channels 52 to 69 outside the markets where conversion was mandatory. The applicant therefore submitted the applications that were the subject of this decision in order to vacate the channel used by its Foymont transmitter.

The deadline for conversion from analog to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CBOT-DT had been operating on transitional digital channel 25. On August 31, analog channel 4 was shut down and digital operations continued on channel 25 (virtual channel 4.1). CBOT-TV-1 Foymont moved from analog channel 59 to 14, having received earlier approval to continue analog operations until August 31, 2012.

Marc Riddell, formerly of CBC Ottawa, was the new Managing Editor at CBC St. John’s. He succeeded Janice Stein who moved to CBC Yellowknife. Riddell was the developer and Executive Producer of Power & Politics.


On July 17, the CRTC announced that effective 1 August 2012, it would revoke the broadcasting licences for CBIT Sydney and CBKST Saskatoon and their transmitters. The Commission also approved the request to amend the licences for 23 English- and French-language television stations operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in order that reference to all analog transmitters be deleted. The CBC planned to cease operation of all these transmitters on 31 July 2012. The licences for the following transmitters were removed from the CBOT-DT licence: CBOT-2 Barry’s Bay, CBOT-1 Foymount, CBOT-4 Maynooth, CBOT-5, McArthur Mills, CBOT-6 Pembroke, and CBOT-3 Whitney.

On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBOT-DT until August 31, 2013.

On November 2, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to change the authorized contours of CBOT-DT by increasing the average effective radiated power from 90,700 to 214,800 watts (maximum ERP from 165,000 to 365,600 watts) and the antenna’s effective height above average terrain from 332.9 to 426.4 metres. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The CBC indicated that it wished to expand its coverage in Ottawa and its surrounding areas.


On May 28, the CRTC renewed CBOT-DT’s licence for a five year term, to August 31, 2018.


In the fall, Roger Dubois, regarded as CBC Ottawa’s first video journalist, retired after 40 years with the corporation.

Sarah LaLumiere (60) died December 14. She was an editor on the series, On The Road Again, hosted by Wayne Rostad. Her editing work on CBC Ottawa’s 2013 series Fetanyl: Fatal Addiction, earned her an award from the Canadian Medical Association.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

Contact this station