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History of Toronto and County of York in Ontario
Part IV: Toronto: The Press


The oldest daily newspaper in the city is the Toronto Globe, the first number of which appeared on Tuesday, the 5th of March, 1844. Its founder, the Hon. George Brown, who was at that time twenty-fiye years of age, had originally emigrated with his father from Scotland to New York, but in 1843 the family removed to Toronto. Here father and son commenced the publication of the Banner, a weekly journal of a semi-secular, semi-religious character, but wholly devoted to the interests of the Free Church party. At the time of the memorable struggle between Sir Charles Metcalfe and Messrs. Baldwin and Lafontavic, the Messrs. Brown* who had strong poli tical convictions, warmly espoused the cause of the latter, and to further that causc the Globe was brought into existence. At first it was a weekly sheet, but two years later it made its appearance twice a week. In 1849 a tri-weekly as well as a weekly edition was published, and in October, 1853, it became a daily, of four pages, six columns each. It gradually increased the size of its pages to ten columns, and then abandoned the " blanket " sheet style altogether and adopted its present form of eight pages, six columns each— just double the size of its first issues. It need scarcely be said that the Globe is the leading Reform organ in the country. It has always enjoyed a large advertising patronage; and, previous to the establishment of the Mail, was the only newspaper worth the name in the Province. Under the old regime the managing editor was the Hon. George Brown, who was shot in his own office on the 25th March, 1880, by an employe named George Bennett, and died six weeks later. Mr. Gordon Brown had superintended the editorial department, and on the death of his brother took the latter's place, which he held until December, 1882. Since that time Mr. John Cameron, founder of the London Advertiser, has been chief editor and manager. The Globe office is at 26 and 28 King Street East. The original building, consisting of the south half of the present structure, was paid for by subscriptions, furnished by the. Reform Party in Canada, and presented to the Hon. George Brown n recognition of his services to the party. The northern extension was added many years later when the premises were found to be too small for the business.

The Mail, the Liberal-Conservative organ, was started 'as a morning daily in 1872 by a joint-stock company with a paid-up capital of $100,000. It then occupied the three-story building on the north-west corner of King and Bay Streets, formerly known as the Metropolitan Hotel. Its manager, and subsequently proprietor, was Mr. T. C. Patteson, now Postmaster of Toronto. After a creditable display of enterprise and a brave struggle against adverse circumstances, the journal finally succumbed to its difficulties and came under the sheriff's hammer in 1877, when it was purchased by the late Mr. John Riordan, the well-known paper manufacturer of St. Cathaunes. Shortly afterwards the present Mail Printing Company was organized, with Mr. C. W. Bunting as managing editor; the old offices were pulled down, and the present imposing edifice erected. The Mail building has the name uf being the finest newspaper office on the continent outside of New-York City. On the 24th May, 1884, i' was considerably damaged by fire, but the damage was completely repaired before the end of the year, new additions and improvements being introduced. The special features of the Mail are extensive exclusive cable despatches, the literary critique. and its sporting intelligence.

The News is an off-shoot of the Mail, having been issued in May, 1881, from the same presses as its elder sister. In February, 1883, it severed its connection with the Mail, and in November of the same year removed to offices of its own on Yonge Street. Under the management of its present proprietor and editor, Mr. E. A. Sheppard, it has undergone a complete change of tone, and has become an advocate of Canadian independence and an exponent of democratic principles.

The first number of the Evening Telegram was issued on the 17th of April, 1876, from offices on the east side of Yonge Street, just below King. It is, and always has been, entirely independent in politics, and has devoted much attention to municipal affairs, subjecting the actions of the civic officials to the closest scrutiny, and unhesitatingly exposing and denouncing anything that savoured of jobbery or corruption. In 1881 the proprietor, Mr. John Ross Robertson, erected the handsome building on the south-west corner of King and Ray Streets, where the paper has since been published. The Telegram has a large local advertising patronage and circulation. It aims especially at avoiding long-winded articles of any kind, and supplies its readers with comments in the "paragraph" style.

The World made its first appearance as an evening paper, under the auspices of Messrs. Horton & Maclean, io February, 1880, but shortly afterwards the proprietors formed a joint stock company. This arrangement continued for nearly a year, and in October, 1881, the journal passed into the hands of the Messrs. Maclean. Soon after this it became a morning paper. Although always blight and chippy, it had a hard struggle for existence, and finally on the 14th of April, 1884, it was compelled to suspend publication. Its disappearance from the field was but a brief one, and it speedily resumed its place among the Toronto dailies, as an advocate of Canadian -independence. The editor of the World is Mr. W. F. Maclean, one of a family of journalists.

Among 'he denominational weeklies, the Christian Guardian, the Methodist organ, stands foremost, as being the oldest journal of any description .n Toronto. It was founded in 1829, and w as long edited by the Rev. Egerton Ryerson. The other weekly church publications are the Dominion Churchman and the Evangelical Churchman, the former High Church, the latter Evangelical in tone ; the Canada Presbyterian, a high class journal, edited with marked ability, and enjoying a large circulation; the Canadian Baptist; the Tribune, a Roman Catholic organ, with a tendency to the Reform side of politics; the Sentinel, the champion of the Orange body; and the Citizen, the organ of the Temperance cause.

Of the secular weeklies, the principal are :—The Monetary Times, the standard authority on financial and commercial questions; the Weekl, a high class literary periodical; Truth, a family paper of a more popular type; the Canadian Sportsman; the Advertiser; Grip, an illustrated satirical paper, etc. Besides these there are several monthly periodicals.


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