University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Proofs of University of Toronto Magazine's Contents page for the Autumn 2018 issue
Photo by Della Rollins
Opinion

The New University of Toronto Magazine

A fresh, expansive look, with a focus on ideas that move us

Last year, deputy editor Stacey Gibson and I began asking how we would reimagine U of T Magazine. It seemed like a pertinent question: the last time the magazine got a makeover was a decade ago – before the spectacular rise of social media and before news was delivered to people minute by minute on their phones.

What did our readers want from a magazine in 2018? Did they still want a hard copy? (A large majority told us they do.) And what should it say?

We thought a lot about this last question, and, as you can see, much about University of Toronto Magazine has changed. The stories draw inspiration from current headlines, but we’ve dispensed with any attempt to report the latest university news or events, which are updated daily at the U of T website. Each issue will centre on a theme, explored from many angles, and on ideas from our faculty, students and alumni that delve into the messy, complicated questions of the day.

To help us re-envision the magazine, we turned to Studio Wyse, a hot shop in the graphic design world that created the playful look of The Grid (a former Toronto newsweekly) and, more recently, refreshed Chatelaine. The Wyse team drew on field guides and journals for inspiration, but applied a dynamic, contemporary lens. We talked about the magazine as offering a kind of backstage pass to the university’s brightest minds. With everything else speeding up, we liked the concept of giving readers something to savour. Visually, says lead designer Vanessa Wyse, the result is “sophisticated in its restraint but grand in its execution” – with sprawling feature stories, large photographs, supporting infographics and generous amounts of white space.

To bring greater attention to each issue’s theme, we’ve flipped the magazine’s structure on its head. Apart from a few bits and pieces, most of the shorter articles have moved to the back. An expanded feature section appears close to the front, so you get to the meatier stuff faster.

We heard from readers that the magazine devotes a lot of space to science and technology and could do a better job of covering the entire university. As a result, expect to see more stories in this issue – and upcoming ones – that explore topics from a cultural and social perspective as well.

The magazine publishes twice a year, but we’ll be posting additional articles here, at our website, which has been completely revamped and modernized. The site’s new design makes it easy to browse topics you’re interested in, from arts and politics to U of T’s rich history. Why not sign up for our email newsletter while you’re here?

You have many reasons to be excited about, and proud of, your connection to the University of Toronto. We hope the new University of Toronto Magazine gives you one more. We’d love to hear what you think of it.

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  1. 6 Responses to “ The New University of Toronto Magazine ”

  2. From Kim Krenz, MSc 1942, Peterborough, Ontario

    The new University of Toronto Magazine makes me proud to have been part of the university. The Autumn 2018 issue captures the urgency of Toronto’s immediate problems, and it encourages me to know that people at U of T are working to solve them. It bodes well for Toronto’s future.

  3. From Celia Harte, LLB 1997, Toronto

    This is the first time I’ve ever been interested in reading the whole magazine. It was really interesting!

  4. From Wendy Hughes, BEd 1978 OISE, MEd 1997, Toronto

    I receive alumni magazines from Guelph, Queen’s, York and U of T – a long story that has to do with my kids. I usually scan them for insights and as you say “a backstage pass to the university’s brightest minds.” But this issue of University of Toronto Magazine was something special. I was riveted by the feature stories. The magazine hadn’t just assembled some profiles and facts. The editors had invested time and energy, and presented a mini-course on urban planning full of ideas that matter. I searched out the editorial to learn whether there was a new editorial team. Great work reimagining!

  5. From John Truman, MD 1960, North Andover, Massachusetts

    Congratulations on your new format! When I graduated from U of T in 1960 I went straight to Boston where Harvard Magazine awaited me. I hid my U of T Magazine from sight because of its chest-pounding provinciality. In 1988, I joined the Columbia faculty where Columbia Magazine had the same dominating effect. Now, at long last, University of Toronto Magazine has serious articles that cry out to be read amidst a minimum of in-house bumpf. I display it with pride to my Ivy League colleagues to prove that the University of Toronto is truly in the fast lane.

  6. From Burt Rairamo, BA 2005 Woodsworth, Toronto

    I want to congratulate you on the autumn issue of University of Toronto Magazine. I read almost the entire magazine for the first time in years. Great work.

  7. From Lorne Green, BA 1978, Ajax, Ontario

    Congratulations on a redesigned magazine that’s better organized and a better read.

    However, your cities issue completely ignored the elephant in the room: Toronto has not been adequately served by transportation infrastructure in more than 40 years! The increase in residential density in this city is not sustainable. Where is the corresponding increase in infrastructure – not just transit? Toronto planners, with the full direction and blessing of city council, continue to ignore the need for better roads.

    Amazon took a pass on Toronto because there is no effective way to move goods within a metropolitan market that’s underserved by transportation. Your city-themed articles were “enlightened” and “academic” but they failed to address the most pressing issue.