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SPACING: announcing the Winter-Spring 2007 issue


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SPACING: announcing the Winter-Spring 2007 issue

Wednesday, February 21

Thursday, February 22nd
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
8pm, $10 (includes mag), DJ Chris Thinn

The eighth issue of Spacing is about to hit the streets. On Wednesday, Feb. 21st, the new issue will go on sale at the newsstands, followed by our release party the next day (Thursday, Feb. 22nd) at the Gladstone Hotel. Subscribers should have already started to receive the issue.

The cover section of the winter-spring 2007 issue takes a close-up look at our intersections and what our crossroads reveal about our city — Markham & Lawrence, Gerrard & Coxwell, Allen & Eglinton, Albion & Finch, Richmond & Sherbourne, among others. Spacing contributors explore how some communities are experiencing gentrification and rehabilitation, and how other neighbourhoods were planning disasters from the start.

The issue also features:
• the introduction of John Lorinc‘s City Hall column
• the organized chaos of our traffic lights
• the colour-combinations of subway station platforms on the Bloor-Danforth line are explained
• what happens when you send a letter to a park
• rankings of the best toboggan hills in the city
• Shawn Micallef’s Toronto Flaneur column

Contributors include: Ed Keenan (Eye Weekly), Sarah Hood (co-author of The Unknown City), Liz Clayton, Amy Lavender Harris, Todd Irvine, Joe Wilson, Dan Yashinsky, Steve Brearton, plus articles by Spacing editors Dale Duncan, Dylan Reid, Anna Bowness, and Lindsay Gibb. The pages come to life with the work of Sam Javanrouh (Daily Dose of Imagery), Rannie Turingan (, Adam Krawesky (, Bouke Salverda (, Payam Rajabi (, Tanja Tiziana Burdi (, Jerrold Litwinenko (, illustrators Todd Julie, Matt Daley, Marlena Zuber, and Joe Ollmann.

The cover illustration was done by Matt Borrett. You can see it bigger by clicking here.

You can pick up the issue in these stores across Canada. You may also want to buy a copy or a subscription by clicking here.



  1. Where is Spacing being sold around Kensington? I was talking to a few hip cats in market yesterday and Spacing came up. They said they would love to get their hands on a copy but didn’t know where to purchase it.

  2. Is that Yonge & Eglinton on the cover? Can’t put my finger on it.

  3. My first thought was College & Bay but the subway, food vendor and that distinct, blocky pillar meant it was Eglinton for sure.

    Yay new issue! Sadly we will be in New York, but we’ll be at the launch in spirit 🙂

  4. I’m thinking of subscribing. If I start a new subscription, does it start with this issue, or the next issue?

  5. Brent > we communicate with each new subscriber to find out when they wish to start a subcription. If you subscribed today, you could receive the new issue when the next batch of mailings go out (usually at the start of the upcoming month).

    Easiest thing to do is buy a copy on newsstands and then subscribe. If you purchase a sub thru PayPal you can add a message to your order where you can tell us which issue you wish to start with.

  6. Good to hear that subscribers are getting their copies around launch time. I use to go crazy waiting 2 weeks or more without it arriving. 🙂

  7. The Gladstone is nice and all, and I imagine you get the space at little or no cost, but it’d neat if you could switch up the locations like you used to. It would have been awesome to hold this launch event near one of the intersections featured in the magazine (presuming that Queen and Gladstone’s not one of the featured intersections). I love the Yonge and Eglinton cover, and I love excuses to drag hipster crowds north of Dupont…

    Yonge and Eglinton used to be the centre of the megacity, back when people would capitalize “Megacity.” It was the intersection of the longest street in the world and the only street that travelled through all six former municipalities. The opening night festivities of the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival used to be held there, in the years prior to Dundas Square, when the street festival was actually kinda cool, at least to my fifteen-year-old self.

    I like how the only logo intact in the illustration is that of the TTC. Very nice touch. Some other commendable details:
    – the omission of the bus shelter
    – the addition of the hot dog cart to the northwest corner
    – the inclusion of the crane putting up the Minto Midtown
    – the inclusion of the Hummer

  8. Huh, Joanthan. I wonder how the editors feel about someone you telling *them* where to host *their* release parties. It would be like them telling you, “I like those pants and shirt you’re wearing, but why don’t you try on something else?”

    You also make it sound like Spacing hasn’t done anything outside the Gladstone. Did you got to the mayors debate at Revival? Or Toronto the Good at Fort York and the Distillery? Or that Spadina expressway shindig at the Spadina Museum? Or the gallery shows at Toronto Free?

    Just wondering.

  9. I don’t get it. You’re reading some kind of pushiness into my comment, which was clearly marked as an expression of a personal opinion, and one deliberately written in a passive voice, too. How was I telling them where to hold their parties? (And, I know it’s beside the point, but I would gladly accept tips on how to dress from Matt and Co.)

    And, yes, I’ve been to all four of the non-Gladstone events you mentioned. I am aware that they hold various shindigs around the city; my point, I suppose, was that it would be cool if they similarly used the launches to draw people to locations they might not otherwise go.

  10. We do let any sort of pants or pantaloons into our release parties, for the record. As long as people are covered up and decent.
    As for the venue — we like to do things in other locations, and we have, as McMick mentions (and we’d like to to more out of the core) but the thing is, as you mentioned initially Jonathan, the Gladstone space requires very little resources on our end — but more importantly, our release parties are a major source of income for each issue. They let us pay a big chunk of the printing costs. So it’s risky using the launch as the thing we get people to go to, say, Yonge and Eg. Because if they don’t follow us there, the financial consequences are things we have to worry about.

    Anyway, the next issue, our Water issue, will likely be at a watery venue.

  11. We were thinking of The Docks. We’ve been behind the curve on celebrating with wet tshirt contests.

  12. Just be sure not to anger Island residents.

  13. The Docks? You mean that overrated nightclub with the lousy transit access? Too good for Captain John’s?

  14. How about a harbour cruise that stops back at a particular dock every hour on the hour to pick up folks who show up late?

  15. I’ll be there, and be square as well. (I’ve learned you can be both, there is no contradiction)

  16. At first I was really interested in Spacing. I have all the issues and would show everyone the magazine…but I’ve started to wonder what the goal of the mag actually is. There seems to be a lot of talk about underground streams and other stuff that was so insignificant that I’ve forgotten it all so I can’t give an example. The streams are buried, there are still things that can be done right now that you guys haven’t reported on.
    The only really cool idea (that I can remember) the magazine communicating was a story about how the TTC could be more culturally connected.
    Maybe it’s because I’m an activist, but I don’t see a lot of relevant and important issues being discussed in depth. I hope in the future that more about squatting, condo development, different city groups, historical sites being lost, the portlands area being reorganized to block “self organizing” community events like free techno, how star architects make the whole world look the same by flopping the same style from Asia to South America etc. start to be included. There hasn’t been any mention in Spacing or the Public Space Committee about how the ROM has turned the most beautiful part of the whole building into a fancy cafe, or how so many streets are being turned into Yorkvilles.
    Get rid of the academic writers and start having some passion and relevance.

  17. Eri in reading this magazine, and the new issue, I’d say much of the things you’d like talked about are indeed talked about, but it doesn’t beat anybody over the head with it, or lecture — it, like good magazines do, opens a discussion. I doubt I’d want to read an activist magazine, from say, your perspective. I’d get an extremely narrow view of the world, which makes the activists involved happy, but doesn’t relate to huge parts of the population. Like, what does squatting have to do with public space?

    Anyway, all I see in this magazine is passion from the writers, just not your kind of passion I suppose. And I think your narrow view is muddling the point you’re trying to make — you find talk of underground streams blase, but lament historic sites. Why care about historic sites? Why care about streams? Why does one seem trivial to you, the other important, though both arguably aren’t too “relevant” today?

  18. Eri: There is a magazine out there that talks about all the issues you mention. It’s called Now, and it’s not a great read. Spacing does things right.

  19. I would like to expand the issues in the magazine as opposed to narrow them, Julia. You don’t give any examples of how my suggestions are narrowing, you also don’t give any examples of how they’ve talked about the topics I mentioned. In terms of passion- what you describe isn’t passion, it’s monotone. With passion, people do -really- believe in what they’re doing and get a little emotional. Makes for more interesting reading. The monotone academic way of reporting doesn’t point the way to the truth- take the news, for example.

    The difference between heritage sites that still exist and these underground streams that have been repeatedly talked about, is that the buildings are still here and the streams have been buried. Sure, talk about the streams, but if you have to leave more pressing issues out in order to do that, no.

    History is relevant today- aside from all the aesthetic aspects, there are psychological ones. Places tied to many stories make a more interesting and fulfilling city then one with no connections to the collective psyche.

    In regard to squatting, I suppose it isn’t a public space issue. It is a mandate to talk about Toronto spaces in general, but you’re right, every topic doesn’t necessarily fit.

    So, does another magazine about Toronto Spaces, public or not, need to be created? or can this one include things about how we interact and are affected by city spaces in general?

  20. richard- Now talks about a certain kind of politics usually unrelated to the spaces in Toronto. The other main topics are music and movies. When they do talk abou architecture or public space, it’s an afterthought. So, Now is not the paper for the issues I describe. Spacing is probably doing a lot that’s “right”…but you don’t mention anything.

  21. Obviously Eri N hasn’t read Spacing with much detail since everything she complains about is in the magazine. Or she wants a more anarchistic/NOW point of view.

    She obviously doesn’t read NOW either sincer she claims it is only about music and movies. Last time I checked the first 25 pages were about Toronto and international news. Ands they talk about squatting and other types of spaces.

    This is not to say Spacing is without fault, but whatever Eri N is looking for already seems to exist so I’d suggest ignoring her because her research and/or opinion is weak at best.

  22. McMike>
    If you would add examples of what is in Spacing as opposed to just saying that “everything I’ve said is in there already” then your argument would be valid.

    Now isn’t anarchist, and I already stated the extent of Now’s coverage of Toronto. When debating, at least integrate what has actually been said.

  23. EriN > Read the new issue, the last issue on the election, the issue before that. They are all relevant.

    You originally wrote: I don’t see a lot of relevant and important issues being discussed in depth.

    The last freaking issue (fall 06) was ALL issue based: smog, urban forest, transit, cycling infrastructure, pedestrian infrastructure, develolment issues/pressure, homeless.

    That’s why when you say there’s nothing “relevant andimportant being discussed” you look like an idiot.

    Almost EVERYONE who reads Spacing says it highlights the issues of Toronto’s public spaces better than any other media outlet in the city. Thjat’s why they won that mag award last year beating out big boys. If you don’t think those issue are important, than you’re living in a some kind of bubble becuase these issues are important to everyone in the city.

    Please, before you complain do the research and YOU be the one to provide the proper info to back up your debate.

  24. Mc> I don’t need to call you an idiot to disagree with you. But if that’s all you can do to really counter my points, I guess you gotta do something. I have every issue except the most recent one.

    Some of the things you mentioned I had said that I wanted more of and others I did not mention because, despite their importance, because they are talked about all the time by absolutely everybody. Somehow nobody really says anything that is insightful about these things, or they just say “this is a problem” and that’s it.
    smog, urban forest, transit, cycling infrastructure, pedestrian infrastructure, I didn’t mention because of their saturation in the media and in politics- spend a little time in City Hall and you can see what I mean.
    Condo development is talked about a little here and there in the mag but not in depth, and homelessness is definitly not delved into much. Since spacing is focused on space, they have the opportunity to look at all those other things I mentioned that no one else is talking about or will talk about.
    Spacing is a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s missing a big part of what’s happening with Toronto spaces

  25. I think you’ve proven my point Eri — you’re coming at this from a radical activist point of view, so anything a magazine with popular appeal does will never, ever be enough for you. And that’s why you’re missing, or not seeing, that there’s a big part of Toronto that doesn’t want to read via your activist lens.

    Looking through my issues here, I see there was a long article on homelessness in the last election issue, and now one on drug use/homelessness in the current issue.

    Activism is a good thing and there are many movements that do very specific work — but before Spacing, and the Tor public space committee, there was nobody bringing the issue up in a big, public way. If the magazine gets too radical, you’d lose the popular appeal, and then nobody would be talking about this stuff again (sorry, my gig is demographic research, so I think about these things all the time). I”d argue that Spacing probably has moved popular opinion more than any one activist movement could.

    That said, my SUV driving friend Jason calls Spacing a communist endeavor — which is rediculous, but shows that when you see the world through a narrow lense, something like this magazine can look very different.

  26. I think Eri raises some very valuable points about Spacing, and about critical journalism in general. When I started contributing articles to Spacing a couple of issues ago, I did so not only because I liked the magazine but because I thought I had something useful to add, something I wasn’t sure was being represented in Spacing’s pages. I have found that the magazine shifts a little from issue to issue depending on the theme, the editors’ sense(s) of direction, and the works contributors submit. And this is indicative of a living, growing publication.

    I, too, would like to see more longer, investigative pieces, like Dylan Reid and Matthew Blackett’s great “Hope Rides High” piece in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue. But at the same time, I really love the shorter commentaries and revelations about the city’s corners and cultures. While writing this comment I hauled out the issues I have (all but two) and just reveled in the nuances of this city that Spacing helps bring to light.

    I’d like to see more of this, not less (heck, I’d like to see a Spacing Reader published as an anthology, with some of the more timeless pieces collected together.

    And if Eri or anyone else would like to see more activist-focused work in Spacing, particularly if you’ve got an article in mind, I’d bet the editors would be more than open to receiving a proposal from you.

  27. Julia> I don’t think I need to say much about why something that has the broadest appeal often hasn’t much to offer society in terms of beauty, insight or uniqueness. Think of the most popular bands, fast food restaurants, architecture styles, clothing…

    I’ll mention these two things again> The old ROM lobby has been turned into a fancy cafe. Spacing has said nothing in regard to this.

    The Portlands are being developed, and perhaps they need to be. However, a lot of the motivations behind it have been against creativity, against the environment and against beauty. People made wonderful street furniture that the authorities dismantled, and the list goes on. There were free techno parties on the beach at night- you might think “Ohhh, unruly kids” but these kind of things make the city interesting. People gathering because they wanted to, and they didn’t have to ask anybody.

    Amy: You’re right. I, and anyone else who wants to see something in Spacing could make it happen by proposing an article…but some people don’t have journalistic training. I have bit, but I also don’t have time to take interviews and do searches for info. Wish I did.

  28. The ROM is not public space, nor is its lobby so Spacing wouldn’t cover that. The ROM is private space. The design of the building has something to do with the public realm which is where Spacing fits into your equation.

    The Port Lands are nto aginast creativity and the environment. Anyone who has spent time pouring over the renderings and plans knows that your comments are not accurate.

    As for the rqaves — they will still happen, just maybe not at Cherry Beach. The city is huge and other places will become the hot spot for these types of things.

    And if you want advocacy, there’s always the Toronto Public Space COmmittee, which is what Spacing was born from.

    Lastly, your argument that the mainstream media covers the same things as Spacing — Spacing is probably the reason the MSM is covering cycling and the urban forest, not the other way around. Spacing has helped make public space and city building a sexy thing in this city, which is great. Why make a magazine that preaches to the coverted when it can help bring in the periphery. I think this is what Julia was referring to when she talks about “broad appeal”. Spacing is certainly not comparable to fast food. And so what if a band is popular? that should never stop you from liking them. If they’re good, they’re good no matter who likes them (tho, it is nice to love a band — or a magazine — that not many other people know about).

  29. I hesitate to enter so heated a discussion, but I can add something on one point. I can say with some confidence that the reason the mainstream media is covering a lot of the same issues as Spacing is because of Spacing. People at the Star and the Globe read it, as well as spacing wire; it’s one of the places we go for story ideas. People like Matthew Blackett and Shawn Micallef and David Meslin and Gabe Sawhney have been extraordinarily successful at making people not initially interested in their issues take notice. And, as anyone who’s paid attention to Mr. Meslin’s history can tell you, things have been accomplished as a result. The work of TPSC and Spacing is one of the signal special-interest triumphs of the last decade. They do what they do very well.

  30. Transportation Manager Wants Yonge Street Traffic Reduced One Lane
    Mar, 08 2007 – 5:50 AM

    TORONTO – There’s another push to increase pedestrian traffic downtown. The city’s general manager of transportation thinks closing off one of the lanes on Yonge Street southbound between Bloor and the Lakeshore could help persuade people to ditch their cars.
    Gary Welsh believes big, wide sidewalks would get more people walking. But he admits, it’ll be years before it could be done. He says a lot of study’s required to find out how three lanes could work.

    Closing off entire streets has been done in Ottawa and Montreal, but Welsh says, he’s not interested in doing that in Toronto. He says it would hurt business too much.

  31. Jen, your last point about bands seems kinda tangent-like and the only thing I need to say in response is: JoJo.

    Anyway, if you think the Portlands is so very creative, then why would they be so institutional and heirarchical? I know an elderly lady who used to like to walk along the beach and now no one is allowed. Also, do I have to say how they tore down the gathering place (artist-made benches and such) just because the city didn’t commission it. Plus, why does there need to be all those various sports fields built upon the natural spaces of the area? Who even lives around there, to travel that far when they could go somewhere closer. It’s just because of the city’s fears about cruising and youth gatherings.

    The Royal Ontario Museum is owned by the people of Ontario. It’s not privately owned. The interior is a part of the heritage of Toronto, and sectioning off that heritage for wealthy people who want to hang out in a fancy space while eating their fancy food is sectioning it off from a large population of the city.

    How are you “bringing in the periphery”? Anyone who’s not interested in toronto spaces will still not be interested just because Spacing starts reporting about stuff that everyone is dealing with. The situation seems more like, if Spacing were to just report on popular issues, then the “converted” might start to wonder why they should bother with the mag when they could get the same info from other sources?

  32. In regard to what you said, Jen:

    “The city is huge and other places will become the hot spot for these types of things.”

    That kind of attitude doesn’t make much sense. Would you say the same thing to what’s going on with West Queen West? You might, but actually, once something is gone in the city it’s most likely not going to be replicated. Especially not if its elements are unique.

    Yorkville used to be quite different from what it is now. It was a haven for music and activism. There is no place like that in Toronto any more. There are only places with aspects of it.

  33. Eri N >>

    Jen is right that we wouldn’t cover the inside of the ROM. It is not public space which is the mandate of our mag. Its the same for our hospitals and schools — we talk about their effect on the public realm, but not what goes on inside. We feel that discussion happens enough already, but little discussion happens about the space surrounding these places.

    As a magazine, you need to have focus. if we cast our net too far we lose the niche we occupy.

    Re: your other pointsL I’d say that as the city grows new places sprout up as the hot spot — I think Queen West is/was the old Yorkville. Other places like Little Italy, the Junction, Leslieville, downtown north york have popped up to support different types of lifestyles. Kensington used to be full of Jewish immigrants. Now its home to the new Yorkville — full of activists and radical lifestyles. And since this is not the 60s, the population has different interests and needs. I don’t see you fighting to return Kensington to its original state. Just becuz ytou like one incarnation of a plce does not mean it should stay the same forever.

    This is not to say that I want gentrification to happen, or that I wish Yorkville wasn’t like it was back in it hey day (don’t forget it had a different life before the hippies descended on the area). I think Jen’s point is reasonable that the city ebbs and flows. Promise may find another area of the lake to have their events in — I hope so, at least. Its a shame that the TWRC is pushing out these type of events, but its not as if they are pushing them out to be replaced by nothing — its to build stuff that will attract others to the area.

    I guess I’m suggesting that you have to accept that the city WILL change ove time, like it or not. But a city is organic and there are a lot of places to do interesting things and for a lot of different types of people.

    You seem to want a certain type of magazine. I disagree that we cover the same stuff as popular media, as we try to be as original, yet accessible, as we can. If our coverage has popular appeal (but didn’t before we started covering the issue) than we’ve done our job.

    I don’t want to sound conceited, but we hear from hundreds of people each issue that they love the magazine becuz we are original and take a unique look at building Toronto. From the way our newsstand and subscription sales are going that people are turning to us becuz we offer a unique take on Toronto, and not becuz we’re following the mainstream.

    I appreciate your input and comments, but I think the magazine you want Spacing to become is actually behind us on the newsstand, or down below, hidden behind the photocopied chap books by Marxists.

  34. I don’t think marxism has anything to do with what I’ve been saying.

    Cities do ebb and flow. That doesn’t mean the change is a good one. Shouldn’t we be concerned about what changes occur? It seemed that Spacing had some agendas to me, rather than just letting the city flow onto elevated highways, etc.

    There are cities once famous for their culture that now have nothing but money making schemes. The locals watch from the sidelines.

    I seem to remember an article about an interior that wasn’t even close to being as public as the ROM. A certain hospital…
    And might you talk about Doors Open? Or the interiors of the subway stations? If I were to open the old issues on my shelf then I could name more, but you being one of the honchos should be able to recall them all, shouldn’t you? Transportation issues don’t quite fit in to the term “public -space-”

    Making money is fine, but that doesn’t mean you have no strong purpose. Why bother if you don’t? It seemed that Spacing started out with one, if you,being the new honcho, feel its purpose should be money then why don’t you publish some porn?

    Ah well, if you don’t want to cover the interesting/important spaces in the city, what more do I need to say? I needn’t make any more arguments

  35. If you don’t like that we’re a business come out and say it. But that has nothing to do with what we cover.

    Transit is VERY VERY public space. It is very different than the ROM. I use the bus and subway everyday. But I go to the ROM once a year.

    Your arguments and points that you are making inthe above comment seem to be pulled out of nowhere so its not really worth responding to.

    Again, look behind us on the newsstand and you may find what you’re looking for. Good luck.

  36. Hey peeps,

    thought I throw in a few cents here.

    I think Erin has a point, but is being a little too hard on the spacing gang.

    spacing has become a little less edgier than when it started. The first issue (about the anti-postering bylaw) took a stand on a current issue and tried to effect the outcome of the debate that was happening at City Hall. The magazine was born as a tool of advocacy, and has grown into a tool of information, a hub for a growing community and a catalyst for further involvement.

    When we decided to separate spacing from the TPSC, one of the motivations was just that; to allow spacing to be a balanced informative voice, not just the mouthpiece of an advocacy group.

    I think at times, I have felt that spacing has leaned too close to the realm of being cheerleaders for Toronto, rather than critics pushing for change. For example, their events such as “Toronto the Good” seem to focus more on the things we love about the city rather than the things we can change. But this distinction is a dangerous one to make. Loving Toronto, and identifying the things we value, is the first step towards sparking change.

    Take the transit buttons for example. On the surface, they might seem to be fluff. Where’s the slogan demanding more money? Where’s the political cartoon about cars and iraq? But they buttons have done so much for transit in Toronto. They made transit pride cool. And transit pride is a political statement in itself. It’s a statement about class, about the environment, about access and about community.

    When it comes to issues of social justice, poverty and marginalisation spacing could probably do a better job, but to be honest I’ve been really impressed with the extent to which they have covered these issues. It’s a sad reality that those with a privileged background are the ones who have free time to make magazines, have access to media, have access to seed money to get large projects off the ground, etc. Spacing is a magazine run by white downtown hispters who could easily decide to just talk about rivers and billboards. But they don’t. They’ve made efforts to talk about issues that effect all communities in the city. Could they do a better job? Sure they could. And I’m sure they will.

    Do we need another magazine to fill the gaps that spacing leaves? Sure! We need lots. A city the size of Toronto should have a whole bunch of political magazines about the city. We need to here about specific issues, we need to here a diversity of voices and we need to create cultural hubs that allow communities to flourish and find their own voice. (Heck, I’d like to see a real left-wing daily paper in this city. baby steps….)

    Spacing is leading the way. They have created a template that others can follow. They are independant, sustainable, creative and smart. They have shown that politics can be delivered in a way that is interesting and engaging.

    Just to get back to Erin, I’ll say this: there is too much criticism between groups that are pushing for social change. if you don’t think spacing is perfect, that’s cool. But we’re better off with spacing, than without. In a society that encourages and rewards both consumerism and political apathy, we need to cheer for anyone and everyone who is dedicating their time towards making the world a better place.

    So three cheers for spacing! And Erin, if you start a new mag or zine, please sign me up as a subscriber. ; )