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Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Redesigned Torontoist

You might notice we look a little different today.

Before and after.

Redesigning a website is a tricky, delicate, neverending thing. There are aesthetic and functional and technological matters to wrestle with, few of which yield to ready answers. More difficult—perhaps most difficult—is that at some point you need to decide to let go: to call an end to the revisions and adjustments and additions, even though you’re not quite done (you’re never quite done), and send what you’ve built out into the world.

Redesigning a site like Torontoist is more tricky than that, even—because it isn’t just ours.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the best community any publication could hope for: the sanest and most informed commenters of any site in the city, photographers who share amazing images with us every day, readers who send in everything from City Hall scoop to new graffiti tip-offs. Torontoist is made by the contributors listed on our masthead, but it’s also made by you.

And so when we sat down to start planning this relaunch process in earnest, it was with two very clear goals in mind. One was to take advantage of several years’ worth of developments in web design: to create a site that was nicer to look at, more comfortable to read, easier to navigate, and showed images off to better effect. The second was to create a site that still felt like us. We’re not looking to reinvent ourselves, to change the stories that we tell or the way we tell them. But for a long time it’s felt like our writing and photography and illustration were far stronger than the layout in which they were published; with this new layout, our design has caught up with our content.

Marc Lostracco was co–editor in chief of Torontoist twice: once during 2007, and again for most of 2009. Somehow, after just one conversation early this summer, Marc was able to take the ideas that had been percolating and developing over several months about what a redesigned Torontoist might look like and distill them in some initial mock-ups that looked almost exactly like the site you’re on right now—he got it in one shot. (You can read his thoughts on the redesign here.) Lines on paper aren’t enough though: you need to build coding and infrastructure underneath it. Ken Hunt, Michelle Darwin, and Jason Cyprian worked long hours to turn Marc’s design into a real-life site—one that runs much more smoothly than before. We are very lucky to have their support. (To fully appreciate just how far we’ve come, you can head back over to the old version of the site for a little while longer and do a little compare-and-contrast.)

Welcome! We hope you have fun exploring the new Torontoist. If you want to share your reactions to the new site (or discover any bugs we should know about), we’d love to hear from you. Email us with your thoughts, or post them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Hamutal Dotan
Editor in Chief

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