Vintage Toronto Ads: York County Is a Good Place To Live
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Vintage Toronto Ads: York County Is a Good Place To Live

And made even better when you dial CJRH 1300 on your radio.

Source: the Telegram, April 29, 1958.

During the 1950s, York County would have seemed as big, fertile, and splendid to city dwellers as the ad above suggests. While suburbia was slowly making inroads, the area north of Steeles Avenue was still primarily rural, a gateway in the summer for those seeking recreation on Lake Simcoe. Little wonder that a program like The Farm and Home Show could claim thousands of listeners within CJRH’s broadcasting range.

Touting itself as the “Voice of York County,” CJRH debuted on July 1, 1957. Broadcasting from a former Masonic temple on Yonge Street in downtown Richmond Hill (represented by the “RH” in the station’s call letters), station manager John Graham promised a local flavour to its programming. “We have an unusual audience group of metropolitan, suburban, and rural listeners,” Graham told the Star. “Our signal will reach from lake to lake.”

The station took a while to find its footing: a frequency change in 1959 to 1310 AM, a call-letter change to CFGM (with the “GM” standing for “Greater Metro”) in 1961, and a format change from variety and ethnic programming to Canada’s first full-time country-music station in 1963. The country sounds lasted until 1990, when the station began a series of format and frequency changes leading to its current incarnation as Talk Radio AM 640.

Additional material from the June 29, 1957 edition of the Toronto Star.