The Torontoist may have loved its namesake city like no other blog, but its U.S. parent has decided to retrench and shut the site down on Jan. 1, says editor-in-chief David Topping.
At the end of this month, I will be stepping down as Torontoist’s Editor-in-Chief. I’ve loved everything about this job since I started it, and my decision to leave was not an easy one to make, but it is, ultimately, the right one at the right time for the right reasons. Gothamist has decided, as a result of both my resignation and the recession, to close Torontoist on January 1, 2009 and concentrate on their more lucrative American sites. That decision is the right one, too: as it exists now, Torontoist can barely be sustained, let alone developed, and it has survived and thrived as long as it has, in spite of modest means, largely because of the ceaseless hard work of that aforementioned collective. Torontoist may return at some later date, if conditions are different; until then, it will remain in suspended animation, its content still public and searchable.
A month and a half ago, a few days after our fourth birthday, NOW named Torontoist this city’s best website one more time, and their readers chose us as this city’s best blog. The magazine ended their mostly-curmudgeonly (and pretty self-oblivious) endorsement with unfeigned applause and a call to arms, concluding that “overall, there is no other blog that cares so much about the city. For that, Torontoist should be saluted—and the rest of the local blogosphere should try harder.” It’s not just the “blogosphere”: Torontonians need to be shown more often that their city is not ugly, banal, mean, or dangerous, but also reminded that it is not perfect or unimpeachable. Toronto warrants honest praise, honest criticism, a bit of heart, and a half-decent sense of humour. Torontoist has tried to provide all of those things, and it owes its success and whatever legacy it has to the editors, contributors, and readers, past and present, who have understood that great cities are not born but made and endlessly remade, and that they are ours to make better.