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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing History + FAQ

Spacing editors are often asked about the history of the magazine, so we decided to compile the little tidbits of info into one space.

When was Spacing started?

In 2002, a handful of writers, artists, and public space advocates gathered in Grange Park behind the Art Gallery of Ontario to first discuss the possibility of starting a publication about Toronto’s public spaces. A variety of options were considered – writing reports, creating a web-only publication – but a print magazine was deemed the most worthwhile. It took a year of planning to launch Spacing, which happened in Decemeber 2003.

Who started Spacing?

The people who were the editors of the first issue are: Matthew Blackett, Dale Duncan, Todd Harrison, Dylan Reid, Todd Irvine, and Lindsay Gibb. They were supported on occasion by Dave Meslin and Michelene Lewis during the magazine’s planning stages. Anna Bowness and Shawn Micallef joined the magazine just after the first issue was released.

Who are the editors now?

Matthew Blackett (publisher & creative director) and Dylan Reid (Executive Editor) run Spacing day-to-day, while editors John Lorinc, Shawn Micallef, Todd Harrison, Dale Duncan, Sarah Hood, and Josh Sherman work on the magazine issue-to-issue.

Who owns Spacing?

Spacing is an independently owned and operated company (Spacing Media Inc.) by the editors of the magazine.

How does Spacing survive?

We operate on a combination of newsstand sales, advertising, subscriptions, proceeds from events, sales of merchandise at our store and events, and grants (Ontario Arts Council, Government of Canada, and Ontario Media Development Corporation).

Do you have a party each time you release an issue?

Yes. Since our first issue, Spacing has hosted a release party where we gather our editors, contributors, and readers for a fun time. We have games, DJs, bands, contests, etc. We host these parties to bring people together to discuss the topics in the new issue.

How many times a year does Spacing come out?

From 2003-2005, Spacing appeared on newsstands only twice a year. FROM 2006-2010 the magazine comes out three times a year. In 2011, Spacing began publishing four editions a year including a national edition. In 2020, Spacing reverted to publishing only Toronto-centric issues.

Why do people buy subway buttons?

When people started buying the subway buttons in 2004, the items were bought mainly as a way to express some kind of hyper-local boosterism. Since then, we’ve heard numerous reasons why people have purchased the one-inch buttons: to remind a young child of their subway stop; a homage to all the places a person has lived; the buttons have even been used in weddings with each table representing a station.