March 5, 2024


Radio and TV news

Lite 88.5 GTA becomes Hot Country

2 min read
The GTA has a new country station. Lite 88.5 has flipped to New Country 88.5 Details inside

Newmarket, Ontario, November 17, 2023 – Hot Country 88.5, an all-new country radio station serving the Greater Toronto Area, will begin broadcasting Friday, November 17th at 9:00 am.

Hot Country 88.5 will have a fresh, current upbeat country sound and will feature the best artists in country music such as Blake Shelton, Lainey Wilson, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dallas Smith, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown, Dean Brody and Thomas Rhett, to name just a few. The station will also provide local news, weather and traffic which makes it the ultimate local station fit for GTA country music lovers.

Tracy Lynn will host Hot Country Mornings. Tracy Lynn is a proven veteran of the country format and has spent most of her career as an announcer on country radio. Katie & Company will be hosting mid-days, while Casey Clarke does his weekend Countdown Show. The Rob and Holly Show featuring special guests from the country music world will be heard weekday evenings.

Once more popular in suburban settings, country music is exploding, growing in popularity, and putting homegrown artists in the spotlight. Live Nation and other industry leaders are booking more country acts than ever. Many new, young, people are taking an interest in the genre, to the point where Country Music is now Pop too.

“After assessing the market and its various needs we determined that there was a large unfulfilled demand for a local country music station in this part of the GTA,” said Paul Evanov, President and CEO of Evanov Communications that operates three other country music stations in Ontario. “We believe the time is right to provide GTA country music listeners and advertisers with a much-needed country station and Hot Country 88.5 will do just that.”

Evanov Communications is an independent Canadian broadcasting company that operates 14 radio stations across the country. A list of stations and locations can be found at

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Barry Stewart

Corporate Program Manager /416-213-1035 x 117

Information from MilkmanUnlimited

See post here

13 thoughts on “Lite 88.5 GTA becomes Hot Country

  1. Dear Barry,
    We are so disappointed in your decision to go “Country”
    We will miss your personable and excellent radio hosts and selection of music…It was your special hosts that made your station! They became part of our family, over the years…Their connective voices to our lives are now silenced..
    Thank you for the many years of listening to your station.

  2. I agree with the post above. Already have so many country stations playing country music. On loop might i add. Same songs constantly. Lite 88.5 had literaly everything, that no other stations play. Very sad that it has chsnged. I already had a country stAtion save. 2 actually. No need to have made that change. Now all three play the same country songs. No more classics and pop and great music.

    1. Agree!!!! Soooo disappointed. Listened to this station 24/7 until it switched…with no warning! Very upset about it!

  3. So very dissapointed with your choice to dismantle one of the only soft contemporary music stations. You have lost a 35+year listener.

  4. Very disappointed with your choice to dismantle one of the only soft contemporary music stations. Another lost listener as well as three of my friends.

  5. I thought there was something wrong with my radio . Every day I listen to 88.5 and all of a sudden there were country songs playing. At first I thought ok one song then 2 ,3 . In the car there is no lite music station. At home well I will just have to listen to something else that plays lite music. Very Very disappointed.

    1. Same! I kept thinking I had the wrong station suddenly! I also thought, must just be a song or some new country hour or something. I was so disappointed! Went on about it at home for days LOL. Other stations for now, looking for a great one!

  6. This was my fav station, I’ve been listening with my parents and into my adult years. We don’t need more pop/country music. So disappointed

  7. I miss it too! It was easy listening when there’s nothing else that compares. How about Light 88.5 from 7-4pm and Country from 4-6am?

  8. Very disappointed to know that the station changed it’s format to Country without making a public announcement prior to changing. Does anyone remember the names of all the on air announcers?

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