CKLN was licensed by the CRTC in 1983. Ryerson had surrendered its earlier radio station, CJRT-FM, due to financial constraints, although that station was revived by the government of Bill Davis as an independent public radio station.
CKLN is one of Toronto's most respected radio stations in any format, frequently being named as a listener favourite in magazine and newspaper polls.
Unlike most campus-situated radio stations in Canada, CKLN is not owned by the hosting institution. Although some of its funding is provided by the Students of Ryerson, it is an independent organization separate from Ryerson University.