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Toronto Says Goodbye to Beloved Weekly The Grid

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The Grid, a popular free Toronto weekly print newspaper-magazine and website, has announced it is folding.

The closure took many Torontonians by surprise. “After 162 issues, this Thursday’s issue of @TheGridTO will be our last. We are shutting down immediately,” read the announcement from The Grid's Twitter account on the afternoon of July 2nd. 22 jobs will be lost.

Despite the publication's popularity and the multiple awards it won through its three-year tenure (including numerous National Magazine Awards), it was unable to remain solvent amidst a weak advertising market in print media. The Grid's circulation had reached 70,000 copies per week, with over 400,000 monthly website hits by the time of the closure announcement.

Star Media Group, which owns The Grid, released a statement from President John Cruickshank, who expressed his "considerable regret" over the paper's demise.

Star Media Group is under the TorStar Corporation banner, which in May 2014 sold Harlequin Enterprises, publishers of the popular romance novels, to billionaire Rupert Murdoch's New Corp in an all-cash deal.

The Grid began publishing in May 2011, after the Star Media Group discontinued their previous urban paper, EYE Weekly. When the change occurred, editor-in-chief Laas Turnbull noted the significance of the new name, saying "[We're] looking at the city from a street level and a neighbourhood level". Rather than a downtown alternative paper, as EYE had been, The Grid aimed for more in-depth city news coverage and what Turnbull called "a younger, hipper, more provocative version of Toronto Life in a weekly guise". The publication had certainly achieved its goal, from award-winning journalist and Senior Editor Edward Keenan's The Keenan Wire political column to the light-hearted and religiously-followed Dating Diaries feature. Keenan said of The Grid, “I really feel that we captured an element of the city and gave it voice".

The Open Book staff would like to express our regret at The Grid's closure.

Today, Thursday, July 3, will mark The Grid's final publication.

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