2014 Hero: The Grid


2014 Hero: The Grid

Nominated for: being the fallen hero of inspired local journalism.

Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains—the people, places, things, and ideas that have had the most positive and negative impacts on the city over the past 12 months. Cast your ballot until 5 p.m. on December 30. At noon on December 31, we’ll reveal your choices for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year.


In those wacky pre-internet days of the 1990s, Now and Eye Weekly stood side by side as complementary free weeklies, irreverent and hip, persistently classed together despite numerous attempts to differentiate themselves from one another. In May 2011, Eye was reborn as the Grid, which then attempted to carve out a unique identity for itself as the “younger, hipper, more provocative version of Toronto Life in a weekly guise,” according to editor-in-chief Laas Turnbull. But by then, the media landscape had become considerably more crowded, and ad revenue more difficult to come by.

Despite the fact that it had won numerous national and international awards for its savvy print design and beautiful infographics, showcased the work of some of the city’s most talented journalists, and offered a paid platform for up-and-comers, the free newsmagazine closed its doors this past July, because it just wasn’t making any money. That the move was not entirely surprising didn’t make it any less depressing.

Though its writers and editors have, by and large, successfully moved on, the Grid deserves a noted place in Toronto’s history for having helped forge a distinctly Gen-Y identity. It did right by the idea of journalism as investigative, critical, and fair. As a fallen hero, it deserves to have its famous last words echo throughout the hall: #cronutburgersforever.