New free daily set to launch in Toronto

A new free daily, called t.o night, is set to launch in Toronto on Sept. 8 to compete with commuter dailies Metro and 24 Hours.

The paper will be published five times a week and will be distributed downtown between 3:30 and 5:30 on weekdays. The initial circulation is said to be 100,000 copies.

Toronto’s blogTO has teamed up with t.o. night and will be providing “a full page of local content.”

According to a report from blogTO publisher Tim Shore:

“Unlike competitors 24 Hours and Metro, the commuter-targeted t.o.night will be filled with news, stories and sports scores that afternoon subway riders won’t find in the boxes crowding busy downtown intersections…As far as local content, t.o.night will put more emphasis on event information, restaurant reviews and other happenings that will allow readers to plan their evenings as they look to unwind after a long day at the office.”

David Topping from the Torontoist blog, which is not involved with the new venture, has posted portions of the t.o. night media kit and spoke with the new paper’s managing director John Cameron. Topping is decidedly skeptical of the new venture’s likelihood of success.

Some major points from Torontoist:

  • St. Joseph’s print division is is both an investor and the printers of the daily, but St. Joseph’s media division is not involved
  • Richard White, owner of Blackburn Radio is an investor
  • The paper will be 50/50 ads to editorial and will range from 20-28 pages
  • t.o. night would love to have Perez Hilton and Spacing involved, but so far neither are involved withe the venture
  • blogTO is involved and the goal is to have other blogs supplement wire stories from the Canadian Press
  • The paper will be handed out by high school students dressed as 1930s “paper boys” shouting “Extra Extra”