CTV Two logo 2011-present
City of license Barrie, Ontario
Branding CTV Two Barrie (general)
CTV News Barrie (local news)
Slogan Closer To Home
Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 3.1 (PSIP)
Translators 12 CKVR-TV-1 Parry Sound
Affiliations CTV Two
Owner Bell Media
First air date September 28, 1955
Call letters' meaning CK Valerie and Ralph Snelgrove
Sister station(s) TV: CFTO-DT, CP24
Radio: CHUM (AM), CHUM-FM, CFXJ-FM (Toronto)
Former callsigns CKVR-TV (1955-2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 3 (1955-2011)
Former affiliations CBC (1955-1995)
Transmitter power 11 kW
Height 332.3 m
Transmitter coordinates 44°21′0″N 79°41′50″W / 44.35°N 79.69722°W / 44.35; -79.69722
Website CTV Two Barrie

CKVR-DT, (known on-air as CTV Two Barrie) is a television station in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, owned by Bell Media, it serves as the flagship station of Bell Media's secondary television service, CTV Two, with facilities located at 33 Beacon Road in Barrie. Its signal has long been available on cable across the Toronto area and most of Southern Ontario.

CKVR has a camera overlooking the city of Barrie, Lake Simcoe, and its environs (a live feed from this camera is available on the station's website). The camera is situated on the station's broadcast tower. In addition to CKVR-TV's news centre in Barrie, CKVR-TV also has news bureaus in Collingwood and Muskoka.



CKVR logo from the 1980s and 1990s. Final logo as a CBC affiliate.

The station was founded by Ralph Snelgrove, whose first initial and that of his wife, Valerie, form part of the station's callsign. It had been a longtime privately owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) affiliate since its inception in 1955. In 1969, the station was bought by CHUM Limited, making it one of CHUM's first TV stations.

On September 7, 1977, a private aircraft dropped altitude to 500 feet (150 m) in dense fog, struck the 1,000-foot (300 m) CKVR-TV tower, killing all five on the plane and destroying the tower and antenna. The station's 225-foot (69 m) auxiliary tower was also destroyed and there was some damage to the main studio. The tower also supported the CHAY-FM antenna, CKBB-AM's STL, CBLFT-TV's channel 55 antenna, as well as paging and other communications systems. The CKVR antenna was a six-bay RCA turnstile. On the following morning, the use of a 400-foot tower was secured from the CBC. The first sections of the new temporary tower were lifted into place on September 10. On fall launch day — September 19 - CKVR's antenna was hoisted into place along with those for CBLFT and CHAY-FM. The transmission line was also put in place. Work on the tower was done and tests were made. At 8:35 p.m. on the 19th, the transmitter was fired up and a colour bar test pattern was run. At 8:55 p.m., CKVR vice president and general manager Jack Mattenley went on the air with a message of sympathy and words of gratitude. CKVR was back on the air using a temporary 400' tower and reduced power of 40,000 watts until a new 1,000-foot (300 m) tower was rebuilt in 1978.

On May 31, 1985, an F4 tornado, one of most powerful and devastating tornadoes in Ontario's history, struck Barrie, just a short distance from CKVR's studio and tower during the massive 1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak (that affected parts of Eastern Canada and the United States and spawned several other tornadoes), killing 12 people, injuring 600 people and destroying many homes and businesses in Barrie. For several days CKVR broadcast extensive coverage of the storm's aftermath, and spent that summer helping the people of Barrie recover and rebuild. The station also held a day-long telethon in June in the same year to raise funds for the victims of the tornado outbreak.

Once the CN Tower in Toronto had been completed, atop which CBC flagship CBLT transmits from, the signal areas of CKVR and CBLT overlapped considerably. CKVR management began to consider a different course for their station.

Disaffiliation from CBC, The New VR

Logo used while as The New VR, used from 1995-2005.

On September 1, 1995, CKVR ended its affiliation with the CBC and was re-launched as The New VR, and began aiming its programming at younger viewers. As part of the re-launch, newscasts were overhauled to be similar to sister station CITY-TV, classic shows were dropped in favor of newer programs, and the station became an official broadcaster of the Toronto Raptors.

The new direction was successful — as CHUM began replicating CKVR's format on other stations, including a series of stations acquired from Baton Broadcasting in 1997 (which included CHWI-TV, CFPL-TV, CHRO-TV. and CKNX-TV), which formed the basis for a television system formally known as NewNet.

In February 2005, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the master control departments for CKVR, CFPL, CHRO, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto, and to consolidae the traffic and programming departments at CFPL in London, resulting in the loss of approximately nine staff members from CKVR. The switch occurred on June 3, 2005.

A-Channel Barrie

After CHUM's acquisition of Craig Media, its A-Channel stations in Western Canada were converted to Citytv on August 2, 2005. On the same day, the previous brand was transferred to the NewNet stations, resulting in CKVR being known as A-Channel.

Sale to CTV, economic issues

On July 12, 2006, CTV owner CTVglobemedia announced plans to purchase CHUM for $C1.7 Billion, with plans to divest itself of the A-Channel and Access Alberta stations.[1] However, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said it would only approve CTVglobemedia's purchase of CHUM if it sold off CHUM's Citytv stations instead, while being permitted to keep the A-Channel stations (including CKVR).[2] CTVglobemedia took control of the A-Channel stations and the rest of CHUM Limited's assets (excluding Citytv) on June 22, 2007. Richard Gray was named head of news for the A-Channel stations and CKX-TV (another station in the CHUM acquisition). Gray reports directly to the CTVgm corporate group instead of CTV News to preserve independent news presentation and management. Gray now oversees CKVR and the other news departments; CHRO, CFPL, CKNX, CHWI, CIVI and CKX-TV.[3] On August 11, 2008, the A-Channel system (and the ASN, an independent cable channel in Atlantic Canada also acquired in the merger) were re-branded as "A".

For financial reasons, CTVglobemedia cancelled CKVR's morning show, A Morning, A News This Week and Ontario News This Week on March 4, 2009, laying off 24 Barrie employees as part of a larger series of cutbacks and massive layoffs which axed 118 jobs at the A stations across Canada. The morning show was replaced by re-runs of CKVR's 11 p.m. news.[4][5]

A News co-anchor, Lance Chilton resigned from the station on June 14, 2010, to work in the real estate industry.[6] In August 2010, Tony Grace, an anchor and national reporter for sister station A Ottawa, was named the new weekday senior news anchor for A News at 6 effective September 20, 2010.[7]

Sale to Bell

On September 10, 2010, Bell Canada announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia, a deal which was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011, and closed on April 1, 2011 with CTVglobemedia being replaced by Bell Media.[8]

CTV Two Barrie

Later on May 30, 2011, Bell Media announced that the A network would be re-launched as CTV Two as of August 29, 2011.[9] Alongside the re-launch came the re-branding of CKVR's newscasts as CTV News, and the establishment of a news anchor desk as well as an high-definition feed on its new digital signal.[10][11][12]

Newscasts and other local programming

The stations newscasts are branded CTV News in line with other CTV and CTV Two owned and operated stations which are also branded CTV News, presently the station's locally produced programs include:

  • CTV News at 6 (weekdays) - anchored by Tony Grace and Jayne Pritchard (Mark Roe on sports, Bob McIntyre on weather)
  • CTV News at 11 (weekdays) - anchored by Jayne Pritchard (Mark Roe on sports, Bob McIntyre on weather)
  • CTV News Weekend Edition - (Saturday & Sunday, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.) - anchored by Chris Lesage (Mike Arsalides on Sports, K.C. Colby on weather)

Past local programming

  • A Morning (2008–2009) - anchored by K.C. Colby and Jennifer Buchanan
  • A News This Week (1990s-2009) - a pre-recorded wrap of the week's top stories
  • Ontario News This Week (2008–2009) - a pre-recorded wrap of the week's top provincial-related top stories
  • At various times in the late 1990s and early 2000s, CKVR broadcast midweek games of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. These games were seen on all of the "New Net" Ontario stations with the exception of CHRO-TV, which did not carry Maple Leafs games because CHRO is in the home market of the Ottawa Senators.
  • During the latter years of CHUM ownership, CKVR carried Breakfast Television from CITY-DT Toronto, but carried local news inserts covering stories in the Barrie area.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Total News (1970s–1995)[13]
  • VR-Land News (1995–2000)
  • VR News (2000–2005)
  • A-Channel News (2005–2008)
  • A News (2008–2011)[14]
  • CTV News (Barrie) (2011–present)

Station slogans

  • "Television On Target" (mid 1970s–early 1980s)
  • "We Are The New VR" (1995–2005)
  • "A-Channel News, Just Above Toronto" (2005–2007)
  • "Come Home To A-Channel News" (2007–2008)
  • "Closer to Home" (2008–present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

On-air staff

Various staff of CKVR at a 2010 open house. Front row from left: Mike Arsalides (holding paper), Tony Grace, station manager Peggy Hebden, Rob Cooper, Jayne Pritchard
  • Tony Grace - senior anchor; weeknights at 6 p.m.
  • Chris Lesage - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Jayne Pritchard - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Bob McIntyre - lead weather anchor; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • K.C. Colby - weather specialist; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also reporter
  • Mark Roe - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Mike Arsalides - sports anchor; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Julia Burke - general assignment reporter
  • Rob Cooper - general assignment reporter
  • Jackie Crandles - general assignment reporter
  • Roger Klein - general assignment reporter
  • Trina Maus - general assignment reporter
  • Mike Walker - general assignment reporter


The CKVR Television Tower is a landmark visible throughout much of the city of Barrie.

The current CKVR Television Tower is a 304.8-metre (1,000 ft) high guyed mast for FM and TV transmission located at 44°21′00″N 79°41′50″W / 44.35°N 79.69722°W / 44.35; -79.69722 in Barrie. It was built in 1978, after a light plane crashed into the smaller incarnation of the tower the previous year.

CKVR logo from the 1960s and 1970s.

CKVR previously operated low-power rebroadcast transmitters in the communities of Parry Sound, Huntsville, and Haliburton, on Channels 11, 8, and 5, respectively. The Parry Sound transmitter switched to Channel 12 in the mid-1970s before CKCO-TV opened a rebroadcast transmitter in Huntsville on Channel 11. The Haliburton transmitter was located very close to another CBC affiliate transmitter, CHEX-TV Peterborough, located at Minden and broadcasting on Channel 7. The channel 5 transmitter was shut down when Toronto's CBLT switched from channel 6 to channel 5, and became largely redundant as a result of CKVR's increased transmission tower height in the early 70's. The Huntsville transmitter increased to full power in 1991 to better cover much of Muskoka and Haliburton County, but it was bought by the CBC in 1995 as part of the disaffiliation of CKVR from the CBC, and now rebroadcasts CBLT from Toronto. CKVR kept its Parry Sound transmitter, and CBC established CBLT transmitters in Barrie and Parry Sound at that time, on Channels 16 and 18, respectively.

On May 30, 2011, alongside the first reveal of CTV Two, Bell also announced plans to add a rebroadcast transmitter in southern Ontario in 2012, extending the reach of CKVR's current transmitter that would create a larger simulcast opportunity for advertisers in the Toronto/Hamilton extended market, subject to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approval. As part of its re-branding as CTV Two Barrie, an application was filed with the CRTC and Industry Canada on June 17, 2011, to allow for a digital repeater on UHF 42 in Fonthill, serving Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and St. Catharines,[15] and a repeater on UHF 35 on CHCH-DT's Tower, serving Hamilton, Oakville, Haldimand County, Caledonia, Brantford, Milton, and Cambridge.[16]

Digital television and high definition

As part of Canada's transition to digital television, CKVR flash-cut to digital on August 31, 2011,[17] broadcasting on channel 10. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display CKVR-DT's virtual channel as 3.1.

As part of its re-launch as CTV Two, CKVR began to offer programming in high-definition television. Its HD signal was added to the Bell TV channel lineup via channel 1054 on September 12, 2011.


  1. ^ "Bell Globemedia makes $1.7B bid for CHUM". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2006-07-12. 
  2. ^ "CRTC tells CTVglobemedia to sell 5 Citytv stations". via Yahoo! Canada News. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-08. [dead link]
  3. ^ CTVglobemedia
  4. ^ CTV press release, March 3, 2009
  5. ^ Barrie A-Channel station in survival mode, Orillia Packet and Times, March 4, 2009
  6. ^ /A\ News Anchor Lance Chilton Steps out of the Spotlight After 12 Years, CTVglobemedia press release, June 14, 2010
  7. ^ Tony Grace Named Senior Anchor of /A\ News Barrie CTVglobemedia press release August 23, 2010
  8. ^ Canadian Press (2011-03-07). "CRTC approves BCE's purchase of CTVglobemedia". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  9. ^ Bell Media’s /A\ Network to Become “CTV Two” This Fall
  10. ^ Bell Media Press Release: "Bell Media’s /A\ Network to Become “CTV Two” This Fall", May 30, 2011.
  11. ^ The Hollywood Reporter: "Bell Media Unveils CTV Two For Fall TV Season", May 30, 2011.
  12. ^ CTV Two Launches August 29
  13. ^ CKVR Barrie Total News promo 1988
  14. ^ CKVR- Last Ever /A\ News at 6 Open
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links

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