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Best of OttawaBEST OF OTTAWA: Radio Stations

BEST OF OTTAWA: Radio Stations

BEST OF OTTAWA: Radio Stations


With 20-years writing about Ottawa life we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this new weekly summer series we’ll share it with you.
From our top picks of hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more, check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every Monday!


Majic 100 (100.3 FM)

Ottawa’s best variety radio station also gives you one of the best morning alarming clocks. The duo of Stuntman Stu and Angie Poirier are the perfect pair to kick your day off in the right direction with Nancy Slater ready to take you through your drive back home.

LiVE 88.5 (FM)

The city’s alternative rock station is the country’s first (and so far only) carbon neutral radio station. Eco-rock on! They also sponsor the yearly Big Money Shot, a contest helping to promote local musicians with past winners including OLM Best alumni Hollerado, Amanda Rheume and Amos the Transparent.

Hot 89.9

You want hits? They got ‘em with a station cranking out the biggest top tunes all day long. Their morning Hot Tub with hosts Mauler, Rush, Jennie and Josie remains the #1 rated morning show in town. Other shows include The Non-stop 5 O’clock Traffic Jam and The Saturday Night HOT Mix but the station’s pride may just be the nationally syndicated Canadian Hit 30 Countdown.

CKCU-FM (93.1)

Broadcasting from Carleton U, and one of the country’s oldest community-based campus radio stations, CKCU first took the airwaves in November of 1975. With over 100 different shows a week, it remains one of the most prolific stations in the city. The Mighty 93 continues to bring on volunteer hosts and fosters creative input from the community on what goes into their programming.

580 CFRA

Founded by Frank Ryan back in 1947, CFRA used to be the place to turn the dial to if you wanted to hear pop and Top-40 hits. Nowadays it is the city’s conservative news talk radio station. Popular shows include The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll, Ottawa Now with Evan Solomon and Beyond the News with Brian Lilley.

CHIN Ottawa (97.9 FM)

Coming at you daily from their ByWard Market studios, CHIN 97.9 FM is your multilingual (and multicultural) stop with programming in over 20 different languages. The first third language radio service in the Capital began broadcasting in 2003 and quickly became the place to hear music from all over the planet be it Celtic, Asian, Caribbean and more!

JUMP! FM

106.9 has gone through many changes over the years. Once 54 Lite Rock, they dropping the light, then dropping the rock for The Bear and kicking the bear back to the woods in place of Virgin Radio, the station was again rebranded in 2014 as a Top 40 hits station. Station hosts Mr. D, Dayna B and Tony Stark keep the grooves going all day long.

The Jewel 98.5

Playing today’s lite hits and yesterday’s favorites, The Jewel is the place where you can find Celine Dion mingling with Rod Stewart while Michael Bublé and Diana Krall crone in the corner. Codi and Nida bring you Ottawa’s first all girl morning show while Brian Sylvester keeps you up to date on the day’s top news stories.

Country 101.1

No doubt, Ottawa is a country music town and Country 101.1 keeps the masses satiated with just the right mix of daily twang. Blending the old and the new, shows include Country Classics with Nan, the Canadian Country Countdown and The Wake Up Call with Wendy Boomer and Matt Dips. Yee ha!

Chez 106.1

Ottawa’s beloved  award-winning music promoter Harvey Glatt brought Chez to the air in 1977 when those who tuned in heard Stevie Wonder singing “Isn’t She Lovely”. It took ten years but it became the number one station in town besting rival CFRA in 1987. Celebrating 40 years on the air this year, Chez remains Ottawa’s world class rock station!

Comments (108)

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Tracy T. November 13, 2017 1:11 pm

Corporate stations are NOT the only choice for exceptional "radio" in the Ottawa area! Not only that, there is a choice for those of us who may be traveling out of the Ottawa area from time to time, but still want to hear the very best music, up-to-date information about the city, and lots of local LOCAL local coverage! I tune into Blast The Radio (blasttheradio.com), and listen to John Mielke ("Milky") at every opportunity. I've also turned friends in the United States, other parts of Canada and even Scotland & England into dedicated Blast the Radio listeners. "Milky" promotes local bands and artists and local businesses, does amazing charitable work and promotes positive attitudes about mental health issues. He interacts faithfully with his listeners, and plays what the listeners want to hear! Now that's what I call GREAT radio!

Kathy C October 24, 2017 11:18 am

Blast the Radio is a station in tune into wherever I am. I'm now based in Calgary, but I was a dedicated listener of Milky's from his BOB days when he always did everything to play the music that his listeners asked for. It now opens as soon as I log into my computer at work and I'm there every day. From the care Milky takes to bring you something new every day, to making sure his listeners are #1 when it comes to his programming - we do it together.... And then there's the incredible positive messaging he brings to his listeners everyday about mental and personal health. BTR is a precious resource no matter what city you're based in. When I'm back in Ottawa, I will never listen to any of the commercial stations ever again.

Ken Wilcox October 18, 2017 10:38 am

I am a classic/alternative/80s type rock listener, but have been listening to 101.7 quite a lot....not all my taste, but I feel like I am going to hear real music with real musicians more here than anywhere. It is refreshing and actually let's me back into a market I have been out of for so long...new music..... I can't handle the overly contoured and over formulated, auto-tune brand of "Music" which seems to saturate the airwaves like some never ending elevator ride with a really bad soundtrack. Thanks for your time. Ken

Matthew ecker October 17, 2017 1:49 pm

Rebel 101.7 deserves to be on this list just as much if not more than some of these stations on this list! Please add them to the nominees!

Rebecca Darling October 17, 2017 9:28 am

101.7 my friend... it's so nice to have rock on the air again!