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news

New Year’s Resolutions

20081212_7.jpg
In Torontoist’s first article, on October 26, 2004, co-founder Sarah Lazarovic promised to readers that “Never again will you blindly wonder what’s going on in the city….Torontoist will provide you with everything you’ve ever needed, 416-wise.” Populated by a “collective of persons, all wryly knowledgeable in the arenas they will be posting on,” Torontoist would, even if its contributors didn’t always collectively agree, be using the collective voice—the editorial we—that characterized the other city sites owned and published by Gothamist. One year after that first article, NOW named Torontoist the best blog in the city, describing its scope as “the landscape of Toronto and all the weird and wonderful things that take place therein,” and summing it up as “a pleasurable browse that doesn’t feel like a news site.”
A lot has changed since then, and a lot hasn’t. I’ve been the editor of Torontoist for two and a half of the site’s four years, first with Ron Nurwisah (until December 2006), and then with Marc Lostracco (from January to December 2007). During my time here—which has spanned seven thousand articles, thirty-six thousand comments, and ten million hits—I’ve seen Torontoist grow dramatically in number and breadth of readers and contributors. I’ve seen it take a spot in the margins of Toronto’s media, and prove that the relationship between vast media empires and small internet publications need not be a parasitic one where the latter feeds off the former but a symbiotic one where both use—and complement, and need—one another. I’ve seen it twist the “city blog” format into something greater than that, something that saw the quality of content, not its quantity or profitability, as the ultimate end. I’ve seen it lauded, slammed, copied, envied, loved, and overlooked. But most of all, I’ve seen the city and Torontoist change together, day after day, article after article. I am intensely proud of what Torontoist has done and what it has become, and I’m very hopeful for the future of the city that has always been its focus. But in 2009, as Toronto continues to move forward, I’m very sorry to announce that Torontoist will no longer be there to bear witness.
At the end of this month, I will be stepping down as Torontoist’s Editor-in-Chief. I’ve loved everything about this job since I started it, and my decision to leave was not an easy one to make, but it is, ultimately, the right one at the right time for the right reasons. Gothamist has decided, as a result of both my resignation and the recession, to close Torontoist on January 1, 2009 and concentrate on their more lucrative American sites. That decision is the right one, too: as it exists now, Torontoist can barely be sustained, let alone developed, and it has survived and thrived as long as it has, in spite of modest means, largely because of the ceaseless hard work of that aforementioned collective. Torontoist may return at some later date, if conditions are different; until then, it will remain in suspended animation, its content still public and searchable.
A month and a half ago, a few days after our fourth birthday, NOW named Torontoist this city’s best website one more time, and their readers chose us as this city’s best blog. The magazine ended their mostly-curmudgeonly (and pretty self-oblivious) endorsement with unfeigned applause and a call to arms, concluding that “overall, there is no other blog that cares so much about the city. For that, Torontoist should be saluted—and the rest of the local blogosphere should try harder.” It’s not just the “blogosphere”: Torontonians need to be shown more often that their city is not ugly, banal, mean, or dangerous, but also reminded that it is not perfect or unimpeachable. Toronto warrants honest praise, honest criticism, a bit of heart, and a half-decent sense of humour. Torontoist has tried to provide all of those things, and it owes its success and whatever legacy it has to the editors, contributors, and readers, past and present, who have understood that great cities are not born but made and endlessly remade, and that they are ours to make better.
Thanks for reading, and stay with us: we’ve still got plenty left before the end of the year, and maybe a surprise or two to top it all off.
David Topping
Editor-in-Chief, Torontoist
Photo by Miles Storey.

Comments

  • andrew

    ah fuck. so long, and thanks…

  • matthewblackett

    sorry to see ya go

  • Bias

    but now where will pickle toes go to cry about what the kids on his lawn are doing?
    Seriously though ill miss this blog

  • Robsonian

    aww dammit.

  • Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

    Phillyist will truly miss our Canadian sister site. Best of luck to you!

  • ellen1000

    You’ve been the best homepage a girl could ever have. Seriously, this is a great site, and you will be missed. Come back soon.

  • Patrick Metzger

    That’s a real shame. I liked writing for it, and I liked reading it. I blame the Obama administration and the current Parliamentary crisis.

  • Brad Ross

    What a shame. You’ll be missed.

  • Skippy the Magical Racegoat

    That’s too bad! Torontoist was a daily ritual for me. I guess I’ll have to go troll BlogTO now.
    Best of luck and success to David and the Torontoist crew. We’ll be keeping an eye out for you.

  • Marcus Gilmer

    A hearty salute from your Windy City Brethren over here at Chicagoist. We will miss you!

  • the2scoops

    Awww helldamndfart. Thanks David, Marc and all the folks at Torontoist, and I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of any of you.

  • FLIPster

    How am I supposed to know what to do without the Urban Planner?!?
    Sorry to hear this, truly.

  • FLIPster

    Truly sorry to hear this.

  • nib

    man, this sucks! torontoist is the first RSS feed i read every day, and sadly, unless another city blog really steps it up a lot, it will be irreplaceable.
    through everything, good or bad, that has gone on this site, you’ve always been the calm moderator, the most eloquent writer, and i’d wager the most likely of everyone to go really far in journalism, or wherever your endeavors take you.
    thanks and good luck, david, and everyone else on the torontoist team. it’s been good!

  • Jonathan Goldsbie

    I’ve started a Facebook group for the purpose of gauging interest in a possible resurrection in one form or another: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54437650791

  • sodapop

    this is a sad sad day! as an expat of Toronto, living in NY, i’m very sad to see Torontoist go. it was my one stop real-time blog for updates about home and all its hip happenings. please return soon. you’ll be missed.

  • Paul Kishimoto

    Howls of anguish :(
    Can anyone say “Canadian owner”? Let’s find one!

  • denmar

    That makes me really sad, in a way this site shifted the way I viewed this city, and I’ve been here almost my entire life. Good luck to everyone, and I wish all the best.

  • elizzio

    Worst news :(
    Thanks for being there for me over the past couple of years.

  • michaelocc

    This is truly sad news. You’ll be missed, and the site will even more so. I’ve loved getting my daily Torontoist fix these past couple of years.
    Thanks so much for everything you’ve contributed to the conversation in and around this fine city.

  • detritus

    That’s kind of horrible news. Toronto doesn’t have nearly enough voices like this. Hopefully some of the torontoist crew can figure out a way to continue to publish under some other banner.

  • jw03

    :(

  • SharonHarris

    Whoa.
    David, you and the crew will be greatly missed. But I can’t wait to see what y’all get up to next.
    I must say that David is one of the finest editors with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Best of luck with future projects.
    Love,
    Sharon

  • LukeC

    A true shame indeed. I’ll miss you!

  • rocketeer

    Whatever Torontoist’s shortfalls were I’ve been coming back virtually every day (often multiple times) since I stumbled upon it. A sad day for my internet browser, indeed.

  • elliot

    wow, this is really surprising. after all the hype about web 2.0 and blogs taking on mainstream media, i never would have expected something like this. i guess in the end, you can’t beat the man.
    maybe rogers communication or someone will buy out torontoist.

  • Machinations

    Ditto on everything above, about enjoying Torontoist. I add my voice to the collective lamenting.

  • mister j

    crap! super-crap!!

  • ked

    gutted

  • three

    it’s always sad to see a sister site go… farewell from chicagoist.

  • rek

    Awwwwwwww maaaaaaaaaann.

  • Lands Down

    sad news

  • Brock Keeling

    You will be missed,T.

  • bigdaddyhame

    I guess Rosie DiManno won this round, eh?
    RIP, Torontoist.

  • xtremesniper

    Duuude…. This sucks.
    Sorry to see the site go.

  • Marc Lostracco

    Hmm, maybe I should resurrect the idea of making those transit tees for real in remembrance.
    One group that I think really is gonna suffer from Torontoist not being around anymore are Toronto’s photographers who have been contributing so incredibly to the Torontoist Flickr Pool. The article images and Daily Photoist were great showcases for them, as well as for anyone who came across the bizarre or charming or disturbing moments around out city and snapped a photo.

  • jjbuelvas

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…..

  • ReluctantTorontonian

    I’m sad to see you go. You were one of the only consistently readable outlets like this online. You really held yourselves to a higher standard than your peers.

  • DanL

    That is such weak news!
    Especially considering I just discovered you guys a couple months back.

  • PickleToes

    I am super ultra sad. Truly.
    I’ve had my disagreements with some of the articles, but I’ve enjoyed reading and commenting on the things I’ve read here. Heck, I’ll even miss rek!
    I’m sorry to see this site go, and I hope David gets a gig at the Star, or maybe one of the newspapers I actually read like the Post. So I guess I’ll have to go to rabble now, but I’m not sure how long they’ll let a person with my views stay.
    In any case, thank you to all Torontoist contributors. This was a great site.
    :(

  • erlogan

    This is truly disappointing. There’s none that can compare to Torontoist!
    Bummer of a way to end a day that had otherwise been awesome. You will be missed.

  • robducey

    I am sad.

  • Michael Chrisman

    You will be missed.

  • Leah Sandals

    I’m sorry to hear about this, David. I’ve really enjoyed Torontoist posts and comments over the years, and I fear that the niche this blog has filled so nicely will not be met again. I hope Jonathan Goldsbie (and other supporters) can pull something together to keep this going in one shape or another. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • veektah

    Best of luck to the Torontoist team! Sad to see this go.

  • ked

    y’know this wouldn’t have happened if you were a bit more like Gawker (trying to smile through the tears).

  • ambrose

    Wow. That’s too bad, I’m going to miss this blog. But thanks to everyone involved with the site for always making it an interesting, informative, and amazing read!

  • jnicholl

    Shocked.
    Torontoist is the first entry on my bookmarks bar, a daily or multiple times per day ritual or more like addiction. Learned a lot. I thank all involved.

  • Rachel Lissner

    I’m devastated! You helped me love Toronto and helped me help others as well. You’ll be missed, Torontoist.
    Thanks for all that you’ve done.

  • Svend

    I don’t see why you need the parent company, you don’t use them or the brothers and sisters for content. torontoist stands well on its own, it’s much better than the competition in this city.

  • reetdoontoon

    RATS….well, bye, good luck…..read you eveyday….damnit.

  • John Duncan

    Damnit. This is just a really, really, really early April fool’s joke right?
    Torontoist has been the most readable city blog for a long time and a part of my everyday routine for the last several years. Hope there’s a miracle sometime in the next few weeks, and if not, that everyone lands the work they deserve.

  • jeeves

    why why WHY?!!! I guess other than quitting while you’re ahead I thought Torontoist was the freshest form of media that allowed issues that wasn’t covered in the regular/mainstream media. all the best and I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with before you finally and officially “stop the presses”.

  • SpupEh

    oh noes >_

  • andrewryanfox

    I’m so glad someone sent this to me.
    I am mentally dancing on your grave.
    I am cheering the universe as in its infinite wisdom it has doled out karma in the correct portion once again this year. First OJ, now this.
    Good riddance.
    Andrew Ryan Fox
    P.S. Topping I hope you banged an intern and caught the herp. You keep that shit forever, as Eddie Murphy would say, like luggage.

  • user8909

    This is devastating. Torontoist should live on its own. Don’t let gothamist destroy the dream of this blog’s founder.

  • rapi

    torontoist is my morning first read with strong coffee…occasionally, i have commented on stories that move me…i like the sense of humour and the writing….AND I DON”T WANT IT TO GO!!!!!…is there ANY way we, your readers, can help??? can we DO something, rather than sit back and extend condoleances??? can we open a fund for you or start a petition….anybody out there….please heeeeeeeeeeeeelp

  • David Toronto

    This is very sad news. I so looked forward to reading and occasionally contributing.
    Somehow, I can’t believe that you’ll be gone. I rather believe that some or most of you will re-form to become something else–a corpus ressurectus, if you will.
    That’s happened before. The Toronto Telegram ceased to be and the Toronto Sun began with mainly ex-Tely employees.
    Not that I’m likening you to the Sun as much as expressing the thought that like-minded persons find a way around a roadblock and continue on in a slightly different form.
    Good luck to all of you, separately and collectively, and may you find yourselves challenging and fulfilling future endeavours.
    David Elliott

  • Moonmoth

    Nooooooo! WHY? Come on – really, WHY? Can’t some philanthopist cough up the meagre funds it costs to run this blog?? Or maybe the City of Toronto??? Noooooo! No more Torontoist? How is anyone going to know what’s going on anymore???

  • naddie

    Um, something in me just died. Holy Fuck.
    Does anyone have any alternative homepage suggestions? Because really, I can’t think of another blog worthy enough. Seriously.
    Also [about David]:

    through everything, good or bad, that has gone on this site, you’ve always been the calm moderator, the most eloquent writer, and i’d wager the most likely of everyone to go really far in journalism, or wherever your endeavors take you.

    Agreed.
    I will cherish each day until the end.

  • Karen Whaley

    I will miss you Torontoist. You were a joy to write for, as well as to read.
    Adieu, old friend…

  • Kevin McBride

    Sad news indeed. Thanks for all of the great stories.

  • mister j

    and The Star picked up the story:
    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/553260

  • BlueFairlane

    Wow, it’s sad to see an -ist go, even if it isn’t my -ist. Of course, I never bought the hype of the blog replacing big media, as there’s no real money in blogging. Like so many good things, these sites are mostly a volunteer effort, a huge personal commitment, and a labor of love. I wish my Canadian neighbors well, though, and hope that some subset of you finds a way to push forward with something outside the -ist umbrella. I often don’t agree with my own -ist, but I see the discussion as valuable to my community. We all need places like these.
    Chicago wishes you well.

  • Adam Sobolak

    Any word on archiving?

  • woowah

    This is sad news for Toronto :(
    I hope this site lives on in some form, it has the best content of any toronto focused blog!

  • Greg Smith

    Boo!
    Torontoist is by far my favourite source for the kind of local news that’s relevant to me but never seems to make it into the papers (or at least not for days afer the fact). Where will I turn for that, now? Spacing’s awesome, but it’s more about what Toronto is — or could be — than what’s going on in Toronto…. and BlogTO feels too much like an indie Toronto Life for my taste (but then again I really just don’t care that much about restaurants, so I suppose that makes sense).
    Hopefully your writers will find good homes elsewhere… especially regular features like Historicist, Vandalist, etc. Best of luck to all of you in the future.

  • Popped Culture

    Torontoist often reminded me of what an interesting place this is. It will be missed.

  • valerieintoronto

    Had technical trouble commenting yesterday, but anyway…
    This absoluely SUCKS. Torontoist was my #1 go-to for stuff about the city, and I’ve linked to it often in my own blog. Nothing is the same. But you guys did your best, and I really appreciate it.
    Anyone who was whining about Zune ads on a certain other blog should take note of what’s happened here. Like it or not, I’m afraid bills gots to be paid.

  • Kevin Bracken

    David,
    You were a stellar editor when I was a Torontoist contributor, and you will be a stellar whatever you try next.
    Thanks and farewell,
    Kevin.

  • sniderscion

    This is really sad. Torontoist was a daily stop for me and certain features such as Historicist were unique and irreplaceable. Miles Storey’s photography was always brilliant. I also appreciated the exposure whenever one of my images was used. I wish everyone well and hope that we will continue to see your output in some other format.

  • Freddie

    will. be. missed.

  • bibliogrrl

    another voice from Chicago chiming in – sorry to see you go! So sad to see an -ist leave.

  • wardnikoff

    jebuz…wtf. Very sad – I (we all) appreciate all that the team has done over the years – ya made the city better in some ways…
    However – fuck this. This isnt just sad – it’s lame. I suppose I have no idea of what goes on corporatly in the “-ist” boardrooms but..close the site? Thats a hellova option they chose.
    Apparently I am in the anger stage….
    I wonder if Rogers would pick it up…..hmmmmm

  • matt1256

    Dang man. Thanks for keeping everyone informed on T.O. The TO-ist kept me in to a city that I was just arrived in and started learning about last September and come to love it! It will be missed.

  • spacejack

    Wow, this is sad news. I’ll miss this place.
    Thank you for all the work you and all Torontoist contributers have done over the past 4 years.
    Friends, enemies and frenemies in the comments – I’ll miss you too.

  • jennyfish

    tear…
    What am I going to read now…BlogTO? I guess I’ll have to…
    It will be so weird not doing my daily Torontoist check-in.
    another tear…

  • Joe Carter

    This sucks.
    I don’t see why they don’t get rid of one of the crappy ones like Phillyist. They hardly have any content and it is a joke. Torontoist, on the other hand is content rich and damn good. Someone is making a mistake there.

  • surgical

    I’m not surprised that David Topping’s resignation signals the end of Torontoist.

  • jaaaaaat

    gothamist should shut down the phillyist. theres no activity on that site, and the posts are so lame.
    theres no insight, no thought, and no content.
    i think it gets 4 comments/week.
    I live in philly, yet i go to the Torontoist because it is better.
    should i blame gothamist?

  • 32teeth

    hey, you know the ironic thing about this all… …it’s pretty typical toronto.
    we wish you luck in your future endeavors
    should of stayed a habs fan :(

  • ghanima

    Best of luck to you all in your future endeavors. Thanks so much for providing truly quality content in what was formerly a vacuum. You will be sorely missed.

  • AR

    Torontoist should continue outside of Gothamist. Use a different blogging software if necessary. They can’t possibly hold anything on the suffix -ist.

  • dcooper

    Truly heartbreaking. There are already so few worthwhile Toronto e-resources, and I feel that the gaping hole left in Torontoist’s wake will not be soon filled. There will always a place for you in our hearts (and in our Firefox bookmarks) if you feel like coming back, ya hear?

  • DavidC

    Though I can only imagine the amount of work and time (and $$) involved in keeping this site up and running, it is VERY sad you are going ‘out of business’. Looking at Torontoist is one of my daily rituals and I will certainly miss you all! Thanks for a great site and let’as hope that most of you resurface elsewhere on the web.

  • Brian Gilham

    During my brief time as a contributor to Torontoist, David was a great editor and as great guy to hang out with. It will be sad to see Torontoist gone, but it will be exciting to see what the current team does in the future.

  • lmds

    So sad!! Sorry to see you go, this is my favourite blog, I don’t know what I’ll read in the mornings, but thanks for all your delightful posts!

  • Tyson Che

    It’s a shame Torontoist.com is closing, but in all honesty, the site has always been a mixed bag of great information (city hall and TTC, for example), and inane rubbish (a regular feature on graffiti as “art”). Now where will the usual pissers and moaners go to post their comments about nothing of particular importance?
    Good luck, David.

  • Bethesdaist

    Sorry to hear of an -ist going away. Best wishes from DCist.
    (Be sure to send us that Andrew Ryan Fox commenter, he sounds like a real bucket of fun!)

  • Astin

    This fucking sucks.

  • tomms

    you will be missed, it was one of the first pages i visited in the morning, what am i going to do without my urban planner??
    thanks for having so many of my photos as daily photoist…
    and good luck in whatever’s next

  • Gauldar

    Its unfortunate news to hear, but David I commend you on your work in making a “true voice” of Toronto. Bringing all cultures and opinions to the comment board of the people living in TO every weekday made my day.
    Dammnit, now all there is for me to do in the New Year is to troll the Globe & Mail comment boards, which pale in comparison to these ones. I will miss the variety of perspectives I get from this blog then I have to any other news source in Toronto, who’s view points are very streamlined and rhetorical.

  • Apricot

    Dammit! This is so disappointing!!!
    What can I say but that I wish all the best to the staff and thank you for the years of good articles.

  • Loozrboy

    Boo. Well on the upside, that’s an extra 30-40 minutes of my average work day I can spend actually working (in theory).
    I hope some of the great contributors can find another venue to keep sharing their Toronto stories!

  • ophmarketing

    More well-wishes (and sorry-to-see-you-go’s) from Chicago.

  • David Newland

    Damn it, this is a real loss to the online community in this city.
    Torontoist has done a lot of good, and I sincerely hope someone finds a way to keep that happening.
    I’m sure it’s small consolation, but watching Torontoist inspired and sometimes influenced what we’ve done with the Canoe Dossier at canoe.ca
    Here’s hoping your absence is as fleeting as your influence is lasting.

  • prosperegal

    We at Prospere Magazine are very sorry to hear about Torontoist’s impending shutdown. Best of luck to you all.

  • GreenGTA

    Oh no! We’ll miss you!

  • warmflash

    I’m going to miss Torontoist.
    It was so great when it began. Well written. Interesting.
    But over the past year and a half, it started to read — and posture — like NOW Magazine, which is to say, an endless and blind recycling of anything left wing, no matter how misinformed or naive.
    Which is unfortunate.
    It’s no surprise it’s going down in flames. It became increasingly uninteresting to read. And that must have chased away scores of would-be readers.
    We wanted interesting stuff — a subjective term I know — but what we got was the same boring swill you get in NOW or the STAR or EYE Magazine.
    Still I enjoyed the experience. And learned a lot. And I’m sorry to see you go. Because, at least for the first couple of years, Torontoist was truly great fun.
    Best of luck to all.
    Ironically, the demise of Torontoist is the most Toronto thing about it.

  • torontothegreat

    This is great news for the city and surrounding area(s)! It’s embarrassing to me that people in other cities think that Toronto is full of a bunch of screw faced, TPSC thugs with nothing positive to say unless it’s vandalizing somebody’s property!
    Good work!

  • Acadie

    It is too bad that it is closing down, and the assholes who run the Gothamist are just that assholes. As far as those who ran it and then agreed to allow it to close are no better. Some of us were willing to contribute at no cost to help it but time and again our offers were refused. So it failing is just because of the egotistical assholes who ran it, the greedy MOFO at Gothamist. Maybe it is good it is gone, maybe someone or a group who have some character and love for our city will start one that is better and not run but a bunch of f’n jerks.

  • friend68

    Sad to see you, and the site go.
    Got to be of an ego boost though, to be deemed irreplaceable. Good luck.

  • rfairley

    This is bad news. If there’s anything I can do to help, web-edity-mastery-sorta stuff, let me know.

  • james a

    Just wanted to add to the chorus of sad-to-see-you-go’s. This site’ll be missed for sure!
    And Marc L, seriously, doooooooooo it! I would LOVE to have one of those Ts.

  • minou

    This sucks.

  • chadnuttall

    This is sort of like when Arrested Development won a bunch of awards and then was canceled.
    If anything #200 on http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/ is going to be “Remembering Torontoist.”
    C
    http://www.chadnuttall.com

  • mr_fred

    WHAT?! :O
    NOoooooooooooOOOooOoo :’( I only got to find out about this website 3 months ago and it has been THE only website I check on a daily basis (literally)…
    This is so sad… I wish it were some sort of an April fool’s joke but it’s only December. I’m highly disappointed….. But who can I blame? :(

  • montauk

    I’m sad…I try the other Toronto blogs but they’re never as good…how am I supposed to know what to see at Fringe??!??!
    Well, thank you so much for sticking it out as long as you did and for doing a great job; I’ve learned a lot about this city through you guys, seen some beautiful photography, laughed a lot…
    We should have a big Torontoist goodbye party or something…

  • David Topping