Editors’ Letter: Keeping Print Alive In Toronto

The busy summer season is here, and so is the fifth issue of The Grind. In the following pages, you’ll find coverage of the mayoral election (pages 6 – 9), arts and culture features (14 – 19), event listings (20), and lots more.

First, we want to give an update on how things are going at The Grind — and ask for your help.

[Click here to donate to The Grind]

When we launched, we weren’t sure if there was an appetite in Toronto for an unabashedly political free print paper that also
showcases the arts scene that exists outside the commercial mainstream.

So, we were blown away when readers like you helped us raise over $30,000 last fall, encouraging us to continue.

In the 2020s, a paper like The Grind can’t rely only on advertisers, and we don’t have a big-money investor pumping in cash, looking for a payout.

As many publications have realized, reader support is essential. It’s the best path toward true independence.

Since our October 2022 launch, with your help, we have distributed tens of thousands of copies of each issue into TTC subway stations and to over 250 locations across the city. We have featured the work of over 50 writers, artists, and photographers while paying them industry-standard rates for their work.

From the historic education workers strike, to the worsening TTC service and inadequate responses from governments, we’ve been there with you.

And while much of what you read is written for The Grind, we’ve also partnered with eight other media organizations, including The HoserNew Feeling, and PressProgress, to put their excellent articles into print. This has included stories about the lack of Black doctors in Ontariopeople resisting wage theft in Bramptonhealth care privatization, punk rock, and more.

Next, we want to take on in-depth investigations, and bring new writers in from across the city to do so. We also want to hire a web developer and social media manager to bridge the divide between The Grind’s print and online presences.

We also need to hire staff. The publication so far has been put together through short-term contract work and volunteer labour. To really thrive, permanent staff positions are essential.

To achieve these many ambitious goals, we need to raise $25,000 by the end of July.

You can support us by making a one-time donation through PayPal or by etransfer to info@thegrindmag.ca, or become a monthly supporter on Patreon or PayPal. Visit our “How to Support The Grind” page for more info.

We’re also launching a monthly email newsletter which will announce when the print issues are out, and will feature recent articles. You’ll get a rundown of major political stories and learn about what’s happening in Toronto’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

Thank you for an amazing first year. With your further support, we can make year two even better!

— Fernando Arce, David Gray-Donald, Phillip Dwight Morgan

This article appeared in the 2023 Summer issue.