CHIN Radio.png
City Toronto, Ontario
Frequency 1540 kHz (AM)
Branding CHIN Radio
Slogan International Radio
Format multilingual
Owner CHIN Radio/TV International
(Radio 1540 Limited)
First air date
Call sign meaning
Canada Happiness INternational[1]
Technical information
Class B
Power 50,000 watts daytime
30,000 watts nighttime
Translator(s) CHIN-1-FM 91.9 MHz (FM)
Webcast Listen Live

CHIN is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts multilingual programming at 1540 AM in Toronto, Ontario. It is a Class B station broadcasting on a frequency shared by clear-channel stations in the U.S. and The Bahamas. It is owned by CHIN Radio/TV International, and also has an FM rebroadcaster at 91.9 FM to fill in reception gaps in parts of the Toronto area. This should not be confused with CHIN-FM, which offers a distinct programme schedule. CHIN's studios are located on College Street in the Palmerston-Little Italy neighbourhood of Toronto, while its AM transmitters are located on Lakeshore Avenue on the Toronto Islands, and the FM rebroadcaster is located atop an apartment tower complex near Bathurst and Sheppard in Toronto's Clanton Park neighbourhood.


The station, one of Canada's first multilingual broadcast outlets along with Montreal's CFMB, was launched in 1966 by Toronto broadcaster Johnny Lombardi and lawyer James Service.[2] The 1540 AM frequency had originally been used by CHFI-FM to simulcast on the AM band, but owner Ted Rogers was dissatisfied with the frequency as, at the time, it was only licensed as a daytimer and not allowed to broadcast at night in order to protect US and Bahamian clear-channel stations that were also broadcasting on the frequency. Lombardi and Service bought Radio 1540 Limited, and rights for the accompanying frequency, from Rogers in 1965 and used the frequency to launch CHIN-AM the next year, while Rogers shifted CHFI-FM to 680 AM, where it would become CFTR-AM.[2] A sister station, CHIN-FM was launched in 1967.[3]

Loss and recovery of license

Lombardi was summoned to appear before the CRTC in 1970 after a Serbian-language programme aired on CHIN called for the assassination of Yugoslavia's consul in Toronto.[4] Due to this incident, and other issues, the CRTC refused to renew CHIN's license and ordered the station off the air by the end of the year.[5] Lombardi was also in conflict with Service and another minority shareholder, James Longo, who had appealed for the license to be transferred from Lombardi to themselves.,[6] Subsequently, Lombardi bought out Service's share of the company (Longo was not recognized as a shareholder by the CRTC)[7] and Lombardi was able to regain the license after a new hearing in which Service and two other bidders failed to convince the CRTC to award the license to one of them, over Lombardi.[8][9]

24-hour broadcasting

CHIN had attempted to gain the ability to broadcast at night by securing a second frequency at 1600 AM, but its application was denied by the CRTC in 1973. In 1984, after an agreement was reached with clear-channel station KXEL in Iowa, which also broadcast on 1540, the CRTC authorized CHIN-AM to broadcast 24 hours a day from its new transmitter. The next year, CHIN acquired a competitor when Brampton station CKMW (now CHLO), switched to a multilingual format after being acquired from former CHIN sales representative Bill Evanov.[10][11]

FM rebroadcaster

A second FM signal acting as the AM station's FM rebroadcaster was added in 1997 (at 101.3 MHz) with the call letters CHIN-1-FM. On April 17, 2003, Radio 1540 Ltd. was given approval to change the frequency of CHIN-1-FM Toronto from 101.3 MHz to 91.9 MHz and to increase the effective radiated power from 22 to 35 watts.[12][13]

On November 28, 2016, Radio 1540 Limited applied to operate a separate originating FM station under CHIN-1-FM's current technical parameters, specifically, at frequency 91.9 MHz with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,850 watts (maximum ERP of 5,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 86 metres).[14] The CRTC approved Radio 1540 Ltd. application on May 5, 2017.[15]


CHIN's lineup consists primarily of Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin) and Italian programming in the mornings and Tamil programming in the evenings and overnight. It also airs Albanian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Irish, Jewish, Russian, Somali and Ukrainian programming on Saturdays and Sundays.

On January 14, 2011, CHIN received approval to increase the effective radiated power for the CHIN-FM-1 91.9 FM transmitter from 161 to 1,850 watts (maximum ERP from 350 to 5,000 watts with an antenna height above average terrain of 86 metres).[16]

On February 10, 2016, CHIN dropped the simulcast of China Radio International in the evening and overnight hours and replaced it with dance music-formatted programming originating from internet broadcaster "DJFM Toronto".


  1. ^ Maglio, Antonio (19 January 2003). "23 - Respect through much hard work". Spotlight. Tandem (Corriere Canadese), Multimedia Nova Corporation. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  2. ^ a b "In 1540 Slot: Lombardi Approved In Radio Proposal", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 June 1965: 15.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Radio program called incitement to assassinate", BLAIK KIRBY. The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]12 Feb 1970: 11
  5. ^ "'Generally poor service' cited: CRIC orders CHIN and two other radio stations to go off the air", BLAIK KIRBY. The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]01 Apr 1970: 1.
  6. ^ "CRTC stays out of owners' feud, warns CHIN improve performance", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]12 Feb 1970: 11.
  7. ^ "Lombardi buys out Service", Staff. The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]18 June 1970: 10.
  8. ^ "Four-way contest for CHIN frequency at CRTC hearing", BLAIR KIRBY Globe and Mail Reporter., The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Oct 1970:
  9. ^ "Lombardi keeps CHIN frequency", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Nov 1970: 29
  10. ^
  11. ^ "CHIN challenged by Brampton station", Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]23 Jan 1984: D3.
  12. ^ Decision CRTC 97-539
  13. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-119, CHIN Toronto – Technical Changes, CRTC, April 17, 2003
  14. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-465, CRTC, November 28, 2016
  15. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-136, Ethnic FM radio station in Toronto and licence amendment for CHIN Toronto, CRTC, May 5, 2017
  16. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011–30, CHIN and its transmitter CHIN-FM-1 Toronto – Technical change, CRTC, January 14, 2011

External links

Coordinates: 43°38′33.00″N 79°23′13.92″W / 43.6425000°N 79.3872000°W / 43.6425000; -79.3872000

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