August 2014: Grimsby Mountain is a radio site on the Niagara Peninsula in southern Ontario. The site is in direct view of the Toronto skyline 32 miles across the water to the north and is part of the Golden Horseshoe megalopolis of 8 million residents (21% of the nation’s population) and adjacent to the extended Greater Toronto (GTA) metro area. The city of Grimsby lies between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, a long raised landform stretching from Rochester in western New York, spanning the Niagara Peninsula, heading north to Collingwood and Tobermory and circling around to the west shore of Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. The escarpment is an abrupt drop in elevation from inland Ontario to the Lake Ontario watershed and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve with the oldest forest ecosystem in eastern North America. If Canada’s largest city weren’t right beside it, the escarpment here would be a fantastic radio site.
May 2008: The Kettleby / Newmarket site is a rural radio site atop the Oak Ridges Moraine between Toronto and Barrie, Ontario and immediately outside the far north suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The moraine, which spans from Peterborough in the east to the Niagara Escarpment in the west, includes land upwards of 1,000 feet above Lake Ontario. At 27 miles (43 km.) north of downtown Toronto, the north slopes of the moraine can be used to weaken otherwise strong Toronto locals.
August 2018: Oswego, New York is home to Breitbeck Park. With a view of the West Pierhead Lighthouse, it is the primary radio site on the southeast shore of Lake Ontario. Oswego is an equal 50 miles from both Rochester and Kingston, close enough that signals from both are audible yet not overwhelming. In addition, it is 30 miles from inland Syracuse, where the few dozen stations and numerous translators scattered throughout Central New York put a dent in the hopes of carefree listening. Ottawa and Montréal are regulars here, as they are along most of these shores, and with daytime conditions, Toronto is a relatively easy catch.
August 2018: Webster Park is just 10 miles (a 25-minute drive) outside downtown Rochester, New York’s third largest city. The park is a fantastic location that combines both low and high listening options, is somewhat roughly in the center of Lake Ontario’s southern shore, and is close to only one major metro area: itself. Because of its location, everything from Buffalo and Toronto east to Kingston, Montréal, Ottawa, and Syracuse can be heard here. However, Rochester has nearly 40 local stations to sift through, a great number of them being translators.
August 2016 – August 2018: Sackets Harbor is a radio site on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, 15 minutes west of Watertown. The town is home to Sackets Harbor Battlefield, an historic site that was once a major naval and military station and battlefield during the War of 1812. The site is part of the Watertown and Kingston radio markets, with Kingston 25 miles away, and with strong semi-local signals from nearby Syracuse, 60 miles to the south, and Ottawa, 100 miles to the north. Stations from Toronto and Buffalo in the west to Montréal in the east are common both day and night here.
August 2018: Thirty Mile Point is a radio site within Golden Hill State Park along New York’s south central shore of Lake Ontario. The name Thirty Mile Point refers to the fact that the point, home to a lighthouse built in the 1870s, lies thirty miles east of the mouth of the Niagara River, while the origin of the name Golden Hill differs depending on whether one relies on the accounts of locals or early French maps of the area. The site lies 30 miles northeast of Buffalo, and 45 miles from both Toronto and Rochester, yet the strongest local signals originate primarily out of Toronto, most of which broadcast from the CN Tower and First Canadian Place just across the open water.
Future bandscans planned for this lake: Oshawa (Darlington Provincial Park) and Prince Edward (both North Beach Provincial Park and Prince Edward Point) are the final Lake Ontario bandscans, planned for the summer of 2019.