I say with complete honesty that I there are times that I feel genuine pity for those of you who don’t live in Toronto. I mean, sure, there’s the fact that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, is home of the 3rd highest tower in the world [underneath which is brewed some pretty decent beer], and is the setting for pretty much the entirety of the Scott Pilgrim series-
No, the reason for that, dear readers, is The Grid. A weekly publication, this newspaper describes itself on its website as:
…a weekly city magazine and daily website providing a fresh, accessible voice for Toronto. Our goal is to capture the vibe and energy of a city in ascendance, largely by rejecting the glossy, doggedly aspirational vision of it you see in so many other publications.
As far as something that you can actually lay your eyes on, The Gird has also been named the world’s best designed newspaper. Twice. Gawk at a few of their covers-
But don’t judge a book by its cover [as the Society for News Design has], what’s inside is just as good as what’s outside. Clicking on any of the images above will lead you to an issue that is all about Toronto, but covers far more than say The Star or The Sun.
One thing this paper does right is food, which I am a interested in a great deal, if you didn’t know. This week’s issue dedicated a full two-page spread to the matter, with one page discussing five fantastic dishes using tongue and the other reporting on a sub shop opening up downtown. Below is the image accompanying the first article I mentioned, in case you weren’t sure I was serious about them caring about food:
Following that was an article on Toronto’s roving breweries which, believe me, is much less space than they normally devote to talk of alcoholic beverages.
Now I could go on all day about this publication, so let me try to list three final things [yes, I am starting the list portion of this post much later than I should have].
One. This truly is a newspaper for the city itself. Each issue’s table of contents features a map of Toronto with tabs with page numbers above the areas where the stories take place. On their website you can find the following:
Two. They write about topics I didn’t even know I wanted to read about. In the article “The art of compromise” is all about Grayson Matthews, a Toronto audio-design firm that essentially counts choosing music for commercials and the like as one of their primary services. It was really good and you should read it and there is more where that came from.
Three. Speaking of ads, this is a periodical that has almost none. Unlike such publications as Vogue, which has an upcoming September issues with 665 pages of ads, by my count [and adding the space together] this week’s issue has about 13-14 pages in the 38 pages of real-estate [not counting the inside covers. None of these are obtrusive, and it’s also a far cry from such Toronto newspapers as NOW and The Sun.
Four. Yes, there are four points, because I didn’t think through organizing this post very well. The last page of every issue is the one I look forward to most, because it contains “Dating Diaries” and “The Hook-Up.” Categorized as “Timewasters” on the site, the former features someone recounting a date they and rating it 1-10, and the latter is The Grid setting up two readers to go on a blind date. They are always, always entertaining. One time two readers were sent out axe-throwing.
Anyway, I think I’ve said my piece for this Fame Day. The Grid is the sort of publication that I wish every city [large or small] had. It reports on current events, the changes within specific neighbourhoods, very thorough reviews of plays being put on here and there. It’s a celebration of Toronto and everything that makes it the city that it is, and that is great.