New Toronto online mag focuses on positive news

A new Toronto-focused online magazine aims to focus on positive news in Canada’s biggest city.

Yonge Street, a weekly online mag, is the first Canadian publication from a Detroit-based company called Issue Media Group (IMG).

IMG was started in 2005 by three entrepreneurs who felt the media coverage in Detroit was too negative. The company now has 12 publications in U.S. cities, plus the newly launched Toronto site.

According to the Yonge Street website, the publication aims to “to see the future in what is working well in the Toronto region today. We will focus on the talent, innovation, diversity and quality of life stories in the region – all the things that create incredible demand for this place and keep it growing.”

Shawn Micallef, co-owner and senior editor at Spacing magazine is Yonge Street‘s founding editor. Also on board on the editorial side are Toronto Life real estate writer Bert Archer, Eye Weekly senior editor Edward Keenan, former blogTO managing editor Tanja-Tiziana Burdi and University of Toronto student Katia Snukal.

According to a post on the National Post Toronto blog, “what makes Issue Media unique is its business model, which relies on sponsors to underwrite the kind of journalism they want to see published, rather than count on the outlet to build the largest audience possible…Sponsors of the magazine so far include the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, the Royal Bank of Canada and Ryerson University.”

Yonge Street’s (group) publisher Paul Schutt told the Post:

“There’s a very bright line between the editorial and publishing.we make sure the journalists are well-named journalists people trust; people like Shawn.” Schutt went on to say that once in a market, questions about conflicts of interest tend to disappear in four to six weeks.

Micallef told the Torontoist blog:

“It’s not gonna be a Pollyanna positivity, but I think it’ll focus on stories that have been overlooked so far…If there’s a problem in the city it’ll look for the story about a solution to that problem.”