When it launched in April of 2003 by real estate developer Christopher Bratty, Toronto-based men’s magazine Toro was a critical darling. The glossy won two Folio Awards for design almost immediately, followed with four National Magazine Awards in 2004 (48 NMA nominations in total), then accolades for investigative journalism and fashion photography.
Today, news arrives that Toro will immediately suspend publication, with the March 2007 issue scheduled for release on February 20 remaining undistributed. Publisher Dinah Quattrin blames a limited advertising pool and lack of government funding for the magazine’s downfall.
While noting its steady growth over nearly four years, Quattrin alludes to the high operating costs associated with production. “It’s become clear that the advertising revenue available in Canada for a general-interest men’s magazine is such that even a high-quality book like Toro can, at best, manage to sustain itself,” she said in a statement.
Toro‘s 25 staffers were notified this afternoon that the magazine would be shuttered.
Editor Derek Finkle was a former features editor at Saturday Night and wrote No Claim To Mercy, a book on the famous Robert Baltovich case which was chosen in 1998 as a Globe and Mail‘s Book Of The Year.
Published eight times a year, Toro also placed a strong emphasis on design, photography and illustration. Recently departed Creative Director Cameron Williamson previously helmed the National Post‘s Saturday fashion supplements, was the fashion editor at Saturday Night magazine and is now the Art Director at Chatelaine.
The highbrow glossy was aimed toward “sophisticated males” across Canada and had been oft-compared to American pubs like Esquire and British lad mags like FHM. Stories ranged from an exposé on the death of a retired RCMP officer in Haiti to profiles on celebrities like Ryan Reynolds and Elisha Cuthbert. Headquartered at Spadina and Adelaide, Toro was also distributed free to subscribers of The Globe and Mail.