The Grid, the revamped and repositioned successor to Torstar's Eye Weekly in Toronto, had a hip and splashy launch last night and the first issue is available free today from boxes dotted around Toronto. It is now a weekly city magazine, shorn of many of its listings (now mostly migrating to Toronto.com) and the sex ads that had been a feature for years. It is complemented by an attractive website.
In its opening editorial, the magazine is called "a fresh, accessible voice for Toronto" and that it will aim for "a nuanced, considered view".
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. We want every page of this magazine to give you an almost visceral sense of what it feels like to live here—and in a way that reflects the experience you and most other people have of life in Toronto. Let’s face it: We can’t all afford to live in Rosedale, buy our food at Pusateri’s and clothe ourselves at Holts. But we can, with a little forethought, live well. Very well.
It's not much of a leap to see the magazine's reference to "glossy, doggedly aspirational vision" as being a sly dig at Toronto Life. The cover story in the first issue of The Grid is a 16-page survey of 97 Toronto chefs go when they want cheap eats. Not exactly groundbreaking in concept and something that could just as easily have been found in...Toronto Life.It will be interesting to see if the style and substance of the new magazine will attract new categories and volumes of local, regional and national advertising because, for better or worse, that's what Torstar management will be watching to justify the investment they are making in this venture.
The Grid's press release about its launch.