“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”—Margaret Mead (attributed)
That quote, with the questionable attribution, is always what I think about when I think about all the people who work on Torontoist every day to make it great. They are people who love their city and who dedicate their time, energy, and brains to exploring it, writing about it, and making it a better place.
Last night, I had the happy task of letting that group of people know that after a long and fateful journey, Torontoist finally has a safe and permanent new home at St. Joseph Media, the publishers of great Canadian magazines including Toronto Life, Quill & Quire, Canadian Family, Fashion, and more.
Just over two years ago, it really looked like Torontoist would be shut down. The economy was coming apart at the seams and it simply didn’t look like there was any way that Torontoist could survive. A post went up on the site that told everyone that the site would close for good at the end of 2008.
As a dedicated reader and former contributor, I couldn’t bear the thought of Torontoist shutting down. I loved it, and I knew a lot of other people did as well. My partners (Rob Silver and Amanda Alvaro) and I set up a company called Ink Truck Media Corp. to establish a franchise agreement with Gothamist, the great network of city blogs of which Torontoist has always been a part. We officially took over the publication of Torontoist on April 1, 2009.
The last two years have been an amazing time that has seen Torontoist grow ever more ambitious in its editorial vision. Our team did an amazing job of covering the Tamil protests in 2009, coverage that would lead to Torontoist becoming the first digital-only publication to win a National Magazine Award. Our coverage of last summer’s G20 was groundbreaking for a publication like ours, and our municipal politics hub and election coverage was amazingly popular, and one of the most important things we have ever done.
The first thing that I told all of our contributors last night, and that I am telling our readers now, is that St. Joseph Media loves Torontoist. Like my partners and myself at Ink Truck, they are not investing in something so that they can change it, they are investing in it so that it can continue to grow stronger and become more ambitious. The publication we all know and love is not changing in any fundamental way. We remain a Gothamist franchise. We remain independent from the other titles within St. Joseph Media, our editorial team remains unchanged, and I remain in my leadership role, helping to guide us forward. Hamutal Dotan, our editor-in-chief, is as excited about this opportunity as I am, and her passion and dedication will continue to shape how we grow as well.
There is an incredible team at St. Joseph Media, and Torontoist now has a great infrastructure behind us. The scale and seriousness of the projects we will now be able to take on are truly exciting.
On a personal note, I got my start in publishing at St. Joseph Media, where I interned at Toronto Life magazine, several years ago. I know what a great place it is, and I’ve always thought it would make a perfect home for Torontoist. It is a place where we will be able to maintain the independent streak that makes us unique, while having the support we need to grow. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.