call_letters = CBLT
station_slogan = Canada's Own
station_branding = "CBC Television"
analog = 5 (VHF), cable 6
digital = 20 (UHF)
affiliations = CBC Television
founded = 1952
location = Toronto, Ontario
callsign_meaning = C B C
Great Lakes
former_channel_numbers = 9 (VHF) (1952-1956)
6 (VHF) (1956-1972)
owner = Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
former_callsigns =
former_affiliations =
effective_radiated_power = 100 kW (analog)
homepage = [http://www.cbc.ca/toronto CBC Toronto]

CBLT is the television call sign for the CBC's television station in Toronto, Ontario. It is the oldest television station in Toronto, and the second oldest in Canada after its SRC sister station CBFT in Montreal. It is also the flagship television station of the CBC Television Network, and houses the studios for most of CBC's programs, news, and shares studios with CBC Newsworld.


CBLT originally broadcast on Channel 9 from its launch date of September 8, 1952. In the late-1950s it moved to Channel 6 to accommodate CFTO.

Channel 6 had been used in the late 1940s and early 1950s by WHAM-TV in Rochester (no relation to the current station with those calls), disallowing the use of 6 in Toronto; indeed, pre-1952 newspaper listings show WHAM 6 listed for Toronto television users. WHAM-TV moved to channel 5 in the early 1950s. It later changed its callsign to WROC-TV and moved to Channel 8.

On January 19, 1953 a microwave link between Buffalo, New York and Toronto was activated. It allowed live airing of programs from the American television networks.

A few months later, on May 14, 1953 CBC Television stations in Montreal and Ottawa became the first connections within the Trans-Canada Microwave System.

Then in 1972, it switched to its current VHF channel, Channel 5 in order to allow two new stations (CKGN in Paris and a CJOH repeater in Deseronto) to use the frequency. It currently broadcasts from the CN Tower from studios at the CBC Broadcast Centre on Front Street. However, it originally broadcast from a series of smaller studios (which now house the National Ballet School) on Jarvis Street next to its transmitter.

The CN Tower opened in 1976, and CBLT moved its transmitter to the facility and started transmitting from it on May 31, 1976.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) licensed CBLT on January 30, 2004 to use UHF channel 20 for HDTV broadcasting, and CBLT's first HDTV broadcast occurred on March 5, 2005.

CBLT has used a variety of on-air brands since its inception. From 1957 to 1972, it was known as Channel 6. Following its move to Channel 5 in 1972, it became known as "CBLT Five", later shortened to "CBLT/5". In the late 1970s it was known as "Toronto/5". During the 1980s it was known mainly as CBLT-TV, although it used a "CBC 5" logo. Starting in late 1985 the station was identified in print ads as "CBC Television Toronto/5", but the CBLT name was used for its local programs including its supperhour newscast "CBLT Newshour". By the 1990s it was known simply as "CBC Toronto", although the CBLT calls were used from time to time in local programming, and on the CBC website. As with most Canadian television stations, the use of the analog channel placement was phased out of the station's logo and advertising, as most cable placements didn't match up with its VHF frequency.

Local news

CBLT newscasts have consistently faced very stiff competition in the Toronto market, consistently behind CTV affiliate CFTO since it surged to the Number One spot in 1970, and behind CITY-TV since 1982.

Between September 10, 1984 and April 4, 1986 CBLT had one of the only locally produced morning television shows in Canada, "CBLT Morning", and was broadcast from 7 to 9 a.m. weekdays. The program was co-hosted by Dale Goldhawk and Leslie Jones. At the time of the cancellation of the program it had 20,000 viewers, which was more than the Canadian viewers of ABC's "Good Morning America", but less than CTV's "Canada AM". [cite news |title= News, drama programs saved from knife |publisher= Globe and Mail |page= A18 |date= April 4, 1986] The news anchor was Kevin Marsh [cite news |first= Ross|last= McLean |title= New morning show off to shaky start |publisher= Globe and Mail |page= P13 |date= September 22, 1984]

As of Spring 1995, according to BBM Canada, CBLT's evening newscast "CBC Evening News" had 117,000 viewers in the Toronto-Hamilton market, putting it in fourth place behind "Global News" on CIII at 141,000, CITY's "CityPulse" at 229,000, and CFTO's "World Beat News" at 409,000. Only CHCH, the only other station based in the market with a 6 p.m. newscast, had fewer viewers throughout Toronto-Hamilton than CBLT, at 77,000 viewers.

Current CBLT staff

* Nick Czernkovich, "CBC News at Six" meteorologist
* Steven DeSousa, "CBC News at Six" reporter
* Natasha Ramsahai, "CBC News at Six" meteorologist
* Beatrice Stucki, "CBC News at Six" reporter
* Diana Swain, news anchor "CBC News at Six"
* Mike Wise, "CBC News at Six" reporter

Former CBLT staff

* Ona Fletcher, former news anchor, "CBC News at Six"
* Dale Goldhawk, former co-host "CBLT Morning" (1984–1986)
* Leslie Jones, former co-host "CBLT Morning" (1984–1986)
* Percy Saltzman, CBLT's first weather person (1952–1972)
* Brian Slemming, former Executive Producer of "CBLT Morning" (1984–1986)


CBLT serves much of Ontario through a network of rebroadcast transmitters, including all of Northeastern Ontario and most of Western Ontario with the exception of Windsor. The station only served Southern Ontario and a few rural Northern Ontario communities until 2002, when it took over the CBC affiliates of the MCTV twinstick. CBLGT in Geraldton and the CBLAT transmitters have operated since the early 1970s, while others have been added as other CBC affiliates have disaffiliated from the network or have been bought by CBC.

Northwest Ontario

outh/Central Ontario

1 -- Replacement following CKVR-TV flipping to NewNet.
2 -- Replacement following CFPL-TV and CKNX-TV flipping to independent.
3 -- Originally a repeater for CBLFT; Radio-Canada moved to channel 53 to make ch.40 available for CBC.


The station's signal from the CN Tower adequately covers the immediate Greater Toronto Area, from Oshawa, Ontario in the east, out to Halton Hills/Georgetown in the west, and from Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario in the south, to roughly Bradford, Ontario. The station is also carried on cable in several American communities, similar to CBET and CBMT.

In the Caribbean, CBLT is carried on cable systems in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica.


*CBLT's first broadcast on September 8, 1952, was prefaced by the inadvertent incorrect display of the CBC's national network logo, seen here at right. Conflicting accounts say it was either upside-down or backwards, due to incorrect insertion of the slide. No such error was made two days earlier with CBFT in Montreal. [ [http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/television/histories.php?id=1&historyID=1 Canadian Communications Foundation - Fondation Des Communications Canadiennes ] ]
*Built into the foundation are rubber pads that lessen vibration on the building, thus preventing noise in the studios during broadcasting. Although this might not be entirely true.


DateCallChCity of
NetworkERP (W)AltitudeRCAGLTx Latitude/LongitudeOwner
08 Sep 1952CBLT9TorontoTorontoCBC25650101 m135 mcoord|43|39|48|N|79|22|41|W|type:landmark_scale:2000Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
27 Aug 1956CBLT6TorontoTorontoCBC100000101 m135 mcoord|43|39|48|N|79|22|41|W|type:landmark_scale:2000Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
1972CBLT5TorontoTorontoCBC77000101 m135 mcoord|43|39|48|N|79|22|41|W|type:landmark_scale:2000Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
31 May 1976CBLT5TorontoTorontoCBC8400082 m488 mcoord|43|38|33|N|79|23|14|W|type:landmark_scale:2000Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

See also CBLFT, CBLA, List of CBC television stations.


External links

* [http://www.cbc.ca/toronto CBC Toronto]
* [http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/television/histories.php?id=1&historyID=1 Canadian Communications Foundation - CBLT History]

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