The 5 Most Promising Radio Stations in Toronto
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The 5 Most Promising Radio Stations in Toronto

Radio is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. Back when there were no streaming platforms or music applications, people would tune in to the radio to listen to songs and news. 

The platform has evolved to keep up with the times, so there are still plenty of radio stations around. Here is our list of the most promising radio stations in Toronto, along with their own pros and cons. 

How much do radio stations cost in Toronto? 

Running a radio station requires a huge amount of work and an enough amount of money. Here is a sample price table to let you know how much an entire radio station operation costs. 

Radio StationAverage Cost
Getting on airCAD 19,350
Monthly stay on airCAD 1,290

The Most Promising Radio Stations in Toronto

We used the following criteria to find the most promising radio stations in Toronto: 

Genre of songs –  It is important for a radio station to have a great selection of songs that many people usually listen to and actually like. We also gave plus points to those who are dedicated to and well-rounded about their chosen genre. 
Expertise –  We looked at radio stations that have relevant experience and those who know their way around radio equipment. 
Audience engagement –  We chose those who engage their audiences through various programmes and activities. 
Reputation –  Maintaining a good reputation among audiences always counts. We selected radio stations that are loved and supported by many. 

 1. CJRT-FM/JAZZ.FM91

CJRT-FM JAZZ.FM91 Homepage
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://jazz.fm/
ADDRESS4 Pardee Avenue, Suite 100, Toronto, Ontario
CONTACT INFORMATION+1 416-595-0404

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURS Plays 24 hours
GENRE OF SONGS★★★★☆
EXPERTISE★★★★★
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT★★★★★
REPUTATION★★★★☆

Being Canada’s only 24/7 jazz radio broadcaster and listener-supported charitable organization, JAZZ.FM91 has gained popularity since its first air in 1949. It is owned by CJRT-FM Inc. and has a frequency of 91.1 MHz. 

What we like most about this station is how it champions jazz as a genre and how it aims to make jazz accessible to everyone. Jazz has this nature of being an acquired taste, so the goal of this station to make it for all is impressive. 

They exclusively play jazz 24/7, but they have specialty shows during the evening and on weekends. These specialty shows include jazz-influenced R&B, blues, big band,  and Latin jazz.

We especially find this station commendable because of how people love it enough to actually finance it. Listeners basically send money or cheques to the station’s address and there are around 90 volunteers who assist in the radio station. 

This charity also has youth programmes, workshops, internships and scholarships in partnership with educational institutions and other arts organisations, which is impressive.

Honestly, there isn’t anything alarming about this station. We do note that listening to this station can only be done online. 

Simulcasts also air on certain television channels. 

JAZZ.FM91 is the perfect place for those who wish to learn more about jazz. It is also a great way to support the music industry and be involved in jazz and music-related activities. 

Pros

  • More than 40 years in the industry
  • Very inclusive – has programme, workshops, and scholarships
  • Plays jazz music 24/7
  • Has special shows during the evening and weekends for jazz-influenced music

Cons

  • Can only be streamed online or via selected television simulcasts
  • No option for online donations

Customer Reviews

Highly recommend Saturday night blues

“Very mature and high quality Jazz/Blues music. Highly recommend Saturday night Blues starting 8:00 PM each Saturday.” — David M, via Yelp

I find the announcers very informative, and the music blissful

“I have this station at home almost all the time. I find the announcers very informative, and the music blissful.  As someone who is just getting into jazz, this is perfect.  I get to hear classics from Frank, and new stuff from Cassandra Wilson.

When I am driving and feeling tense, I just put this station on, and literally a wave of serenity washes over me.  

Check it out.” — Shari M, via Yelp 

 2. CHBM-FM/Boom 97.3

CHBM-FM Boom 97.3 Homepage
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://www.boom973.com/
ADDRESS2 St Clair Ave W #2000 Toronto, Ontario
CONTACT INFORMATION+1 416-872-0973

Contact Form

OPERATING HOURS Various shows daily
GENRE OF SONGS★★★★☆
EXPERTISE★★★★★
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT★★★★★
REPUTATION★★★★☆

Boom 97.3 is owned by Stingray Group and has been operating since 1987. It broadcasts around the entire Greater Toronto Area and plays hits from the 70s to the 90s. 

While this station may be regarded as space for the oldies given their selection of songs, we like how versatile enough it is that various group ages listen to the station given their classic reputation. 

In our opinion, their selection of songs has both good and bad sides. We do note that we see more good things brought by their selection as this helps in attracting more audiences. 

We like how this station has a payroll payout, wherein they give away cash prizes to lucky listeners. This is a great way to engage more audiences and give back to their listeners for all the support they receive. 

They also host ticket giveaways, where a winner can have a pass to an anticipated concert of anyone from the 70s to the 90s. 

We do note that some of their content and offers are only available to registered members, so you may have to sign up if you’re particularly interested in something. 

We recommend Boom 97.3 for those who love classic songs and those who want to be part of a community and win amazing prizes. Just make sure to check out their schedules to stay updated. 

Pros

  • 35 years experience
  • Plays songs from the 70s to the 90s
  • Has exciting games with huge cash prizes

Cons

  • Some offers exclusively for registered members
  • Streaming schedule varies during weekdays and weekends

Customer Reviews

Love the music choices

“We listen to Boom 97.3 every morning and whenever we are driving into the GTA. We love the music choices and listen for the trivia quizzes.” — John William Howard, via Facebook

Great hosts

“Great hosts and great music from the 70’s,80’s and 90’s.” — Bruce Mofford, via Facebook

 3. CIUT-FM/89.5 FM 

CIUT-FM 89.5 FM Homepage
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://ciut.fm3/
ADDRESS89.5 Tower Road, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario
CONTACT INFORMATION+1 416-946-7000
OPERATING HOURSPlays 24 hours
GENRE OF SONGS★★★★★
EXPERTISE★★★★★
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT★★★★☆
REPUTATION★★★★☆

Owned and operated by the University of Toronto, CIUT 89.5 FM is a student-supported radio station established in 1987. They create and deliver campus and community programming with respect to the city of Toronto. 

The best thing about this station is how they curate their shows. The information they share is all about the city of Toronto’s culture, making them an optimal choice even for those who are not students of the university. 

We like how they speak of music, democracy, the environment, social rights, and more. They also have podcasts that are guaranteed to educate and update listeners about the current state of the world, which is totally commendable. 

They count their 12:00 AM show as their first, with all of their shows prepared by student volunteers. Each show usually has its own theme and title, making them easy to recall. 

Donations are welcome through online and other platforms such as e-transfer and cheques. We do note that only those amounting to at least CAD 32.25 will receive tax receipts. 

The only downside we can see so far is that this station still lacks a few activities to engage their audiences. There are question-and-answer segments every now and then, but we feel like they can do more to elevate discussion. 

All said, we find that CIUM 89.5 FM is a reputable radio station. The fact that it is operated by a school makes it a great space for learning while enjoying. 

Pros

  • Has been around since 1987
  • Plays 24/7
  • Themed and titled shows
  • Uses their platform to educate people about current issues and the city itself

Cons

  • Tax receipts are subjected to a minimum donation amount
  • Lacks audience engagement activities

Customer Reviews

Programmed by real people

“It’s real radio programmed by real people, a community of broadcasters reflecting a community of listeners.” — Brad Reed, via Facebook

Eclectic & diverse

“I highly recommend CIUT to anyone who is seriously into music. This station is eclectic & diverse. Great Canadian content as well as World beats 🙏” — Vanilla McLoughlin, via Facebook

 4. CFNY-FM/102.1 The Edge 

CFNY-FM 102.1 The Edge Homepage
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://edge.ca/
ADDRESS25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, Ontario
CONTACT INFORMATION+1 416-870-3343
OPERATING HOURS

Monday to Friday

Shows between 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM


Saturday

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Sunday

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

GENRE OF SONGS★★★★☆
EXPERTISE★★★★★
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT★★★★★
REPUTATION★★★★☆

Playing alternative rock music since its launch in 1977 is 102.1 The Edge. This station is still known through call letters CFNY and has maintained its reputation of being a station that is full of spirit. 

The Edge plays local independent music and features new and up-and-coming bands from the city or even from afar. We like this because they are able to provide a platform for those who need the publicity. 

They also engage their audience very well. They often offer a street level, public view of the on-air action, allowing fans to mingle with DJs and guest bands. 

Games where fans can win cash prizes are also available. They even have this segment where they invite a fan to form part of their jury, with the chosen fan having a chance to win CAD 6,450. 

What we find inconvenient about this station is that it only plays on selected schedules during the weekends, so their air time can still do a lot of improvements. Other than that, there isn’t really anything we find alarming. 

We do note that they can be a little hard to reach using a traditional radio box and are better streamed online. 

102.1 The Edge is the best station for those who love alternative rock, engaging activities, and discovering new bands in and out of Toronto. 

Pros

  • 45 years in the industry
  • Provides a platform for new artists and bands
  • Fans can form part of the jury and win cash prizes

Cons

  • Limited air time during weekends
  • Can be hard to reach if you have a traditional radio box

Customer Reviews

This station rocks! 

“This station rocks! I love the DJ’s and the promos plus great music enjoy listening everyday” — M.O, via Yelp

5. Indie88

Indie88 Homepage
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://indie88.com/
ADDRESSLiberty Village, 20 Hanna Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
CONTACT INFORMATION+1 416-5828-7595

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURS

Monday to Friday

Shows play between 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM


Saturday and Sunday

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

GENRE OF SONGS★★★★★
EXPERTISE★★★★☆
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT★★★★★
REPUTATION★★★★☆

Indie88 or CIND-FM is a relatively new radio station that premiered in 2013. This station is Toronto’s place for new, indie, and classic music. 

What Indie88 does is that they provide a platform for emerging artists while still paying homage to classic musicians who inspire the new artists. This is specifically interesting as they are able to cater to different audiences and showcase various genres. 

On top of music, they also have news, local lifestyle, and pop-culture content. They deliver this by curating engaging stories that listeners definitely appreciate. 

Live sessions occasionally happen and artists are given a chance to perform and make a name for themselves. We like this because they usually feature those within Toronto who have not had the pleasure of being seen by the public. 

Given that this station is new, we would say that their staff is still smaller than most. Their schedule is pretty easy to remember, with weekday shows running between 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM and weekend shows happening exclusively from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. 

We do note that Indie88 FM can only be streamed online. However, they do have a lot of things that they offer on their website, so it’s pretty much even. 

We recommend Indie88 for all things new about music and entertainment. They provide well-researched updates and will definitely help you discover more indie artists in Toronto. 

Pros

  • Provides a platform for emerging artists while paying homage to classic musicians
  • Offers news, local lifestyle, and pop-culture content
  • Live sessions available

Cons

  • Staff is quite small compared to other stations
  • Only half-day during weekends

Customer Reviews

My favourite radio station

“Indie 88 is my favourite radio station. I love that it plays all the great new alternative music but mixes in the great alternative artists that I grew up listening to too!” — Kevin Meixner, via Facebook

FAQs on radio stations in Toronto


And that ends our review of the most promising radio stations in Toronto. Share your favourite stations with us in the comments below! 

Meanwhile, for those who prefer TV entertainment, you may want to read our review of the best TV repairs in Toronto in case your unit breaks down after a watch party.