Ham Radio & Canada: The History Part 1

The beginning of Amateur Radio dates back to the early 1900s. It was used to benefit Canada in many ways. Centuries later, Amateur Radio is still a big advantage to Canada.

1901: The Beginning

The history of communication via amateur radio began in Canada in 1901, when two small federal government installations began operating across the Strait of Belle Isle (which Is location on the Northern Tip of Newfoundland.)

Later that year, Guglielmo Marconi conducted his famous transatlantic experiments between Poldhu, Cornwall, and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Although the work of Marconi may have captured the imagination of many, the primary business of radio at this time was marine communication.

Creds to: History.com

The ability to communicate with ships at sea was of great importance. Marine communication was the most glaring gap in the systems built around the telegraph and telephone. The government tended to concentrate their attention on it.

Intense research and development took place between 1914 and 1918 in order to improve radio use in World War 1 which expanded capabilities allowing a whole new range of applications to become possible.

1920s: Connecting Remote Regions

Starting in the 1920s, radio communication was used to connect Canada’s remote regions and communities with the populated areas of the country. During the 1930s and on, a radio provided the only means of voice communications across the oceans. It was used more frequently to keep contact with moving aircrafts, motor vehicles, and people.

1940: More Research

Research about the war through 1939-1940 created important technological advances such as the microwave radar. These advanced the place of radio in the emerging national and international communications networks.


Babaian, S. A. (1992). Radio communication in Canada : A historical and technological survey. Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Science and Technology (Canada). doi:https://documents.techno-science.ca/documents/Transformation1RadioCommunicationinCanada1992.pdf