The peculiar comforts of radio stations in cottage country…

Four Muskoka chairs on a wooden dock facing a lake. Across the calm water there are cottages nestled between green trees.


July 5, 2021

After months of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and working from home, it’s time for a much-needed change of scenery. So begins the annual migration to the campgrounds, lodges, and cottages of the Canadian wilderness.

Most such places aren’t as isolated as they once were as WiFi, satellite TV, and cellular service are widely available. But there are places off the grid enough so that the only connection to the outside world are the radio stations that serve the towns and villages of cottage country. These outlets, often independently owned and operated, offer a special type of broadcasting: small market radio with all its quirks and eccentricities.

READ MORE: Alan Cross found part of his old cassette collection. The discovery unwound some thoughts

I speak from experience, too, because my first full-time radio gig was at one such station: the now-defunct 1220 CJRL in Kenora, Ont.

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