Information courtesy CBC archives.

1901 Marconi's transatlantic wireless signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland.
1902 Marconi set up a wireless telegraphy station at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, licenced by the Canadian government.
1905 Canada's first Wireless Telegraph Act.
1913 Radio Telegraph Act. Included radiotelephony - transmission of voices.
1919 September: First broadcasting licence issued in Canada - to Marconi station XWA, Montreal. Station is now CFCF.
1922 First Canadian licensing of commercial broadcasting stations, including CKAC Montreal, first French-language radio station in North America Canadian National Railways began radio experiments.
1923 CNR opened a radio department in Montreal, began radio service to trains (discontinued 1931). December 30: Canada's first network broadcast, arranged by CNR, linking stations CHYC Montreal and "COA" Ottawa.
1924 CN Radio began to open stations of its own and to lease others.
1927 First regularly-scheduled network service in Canada, linking CN stations in Montreal and Ottawa. By 1932, CN regional and national network service involved 20 stations.
  • July 1: Special coast-to-coast broadcast on the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. Originated from the CN station in Ottawa, carried by a network of 23 stations and also transmitted overseas by shortwave.
1928 Royal Commission on Broadcasting appointed (Aird Commission). Reported in 1929.
1930 Canadian Radio League organized.
1930-31 First Canadian television experiments: Montreal.
1932 First Parliamentary Committee on Broadcasting. (Others in 1934, 36, 38, 39, 42. 43, 44, 46, 47, 50, 51, 53, 55, 59, 60, 61, 66.) Standing Committee appointed 1966.
  • May 26: Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act passed, providing for establishment of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission.
  • December 25: First Empire Christmas Broadcast, with address by King George V. included contributions from Canada, and was distributed to all Canadian stations
1933 CRBC acquired CN Radio facilities.
  • May:First daily national broadcasting.
  • December:First Northern Messenger broadcasts
1935 CRBC shortwave receiving station opened at Britannia Heights, Ottawa, to obtain overseas programs for Canadian relay.
1936 November 2: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation established. Took over CRBC facilities.
1937 Inter-American Wavelength Conference, Havana.
  • Opening of CBF Montreal.
  • Opening of CBC, Toronto.
1938 Farm broadcasts started on French network.
CBC provincial school broadcasts started in British Columbia
1939 Royal visit to Canada. Full French and English coverage over a period of six weeks.

Farm broadcasts started in English. Also regional farm family series beginning with The Craigs in Ontario.

CBC Publications Branch formed.

Declaration of war, A CBC broadcasting unit sailed for Britain with the First Canadian Division.

1940 CBC school broadcasts started in Nova Scotia.

    October:First CBC low power relay transmitter in operation, at Revelstoke, B.C.

1941 January 1: Formal opening of CBC News Service.

North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (Havana Treaty) came into effect.

CBC national network broadcast of Churchill's address to the Canadian Parliament.

Farm Forum programs were started on CBC English radio and Radio-College in the French service.

1942 First experimental national school broadcasts.
1943 Opening of Radio-Carabin, a French network variety series.
1944 Opening of Dominion Network.

Stage series started

1945 February 25: Official opening of CBC International Service

First Commonwealth Broadcasting Conference, London

1946 First CBC FM stations opened, Montreal and Toronto.
1949 First CBC Wednesday Night

CBC completed a detailed plan for development of TV in Canada.

CBC International Service began its library of Canadian music recordings

1948 First publication of program guide CBC Times.
1949 Government announced interim plan for development of Canadian TV.
  • April 1: Newfoundland joined Confederation. Stations and staff of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland became part of CBC.
  • Massey Commission appointed (Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences). Reported 1951.
1950 First publication of program guide La Semaine for Radio-Canada.
1951 CBC radio coverage of 4-week Canadian tour by Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.
1952 February: CBC representatives participated in the BBC broadcast from London and Windsor of the funeral of King George Vi. The broadcast was carried by nearly every Canadian station.

Opening of Canadian television service: CBFT Montreal

  • September 6, CBLT Toronto
  • September 8. CBC Symphony Orchestra formed. (Disbanded 1964-5).
1953 CBC was the first broadcasting system in North America to show complete film of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on television - within four hours of the end of the ceremony in London.

CKSO-TV Sudbury first private television station to go on the air in Canada (October 20).

1954 First CBC experimental school telecasts.

Opening of television series LHeure du concert.

CBC Bureau of Audience Research established.

CBC Armed Forces Service established.

1955 First CBC telecast of the Opening of Parliament.

Royal Commission on Broadcasting appointed (Fowler Commission). Reported 1957.

1956 Department of National Defence opened Radio CAE for Canadian forces in Germany. Managed by CBC staff on loan.

CBC Export Sales unit established

1957 CBC radio and TV coverage of Queen Elizabeth, s address to the nation from Ottawa, October 13, and of the first opening of the Canadian Parliament by a reigning monarch, October 14.
1958 June: Opening of CBC Calgary Delay Centre, with videotape recording facilities to delay network programs for western time zones.
1958 July 1:
Memo to Champlain, special program marking completion of microwave facilities from Victoria to Sydney - the longest TV network in the world.

New Broadcasting Act passed, creating the Board of Broadcast Governors, to regulate all Canadian broadcasting.

CBC Northern Service opened, acquired community radio stations at Whitehorse, Dawson City and Yellowknofe.

1959 Microwave network extended to Newfoundland.
1960 CBC experimental FM network opened, Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal. (Operation suspended temporarily in 1952.)

CBC Northern Service started shortwave broadcasting to the High Arctic.

Second TV stations licensed for Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver.

Please contact the Museum if you have any photos depicting early stations that you wish to share or donate? 

Nori Irwin, Curator

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Last updated February 10, 2004

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