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Metroland Media Group

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Metroland Media Group
Company typeDivision
FoundedFebruary 1981; 43 years ago (1981-02) (merger of Metrospan Community Newspapers and Inland Publishing Company)
Headquarters3715 Laird Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Ian Oliver (president)
  • Newspapers
  • websites
  • Commercial printing
  • Online marketing
ParentTorstar Corporation

Metroland Media Group (also known as Community Brands) is a Canadian mass media publisher and distributor which primarily operates in Southern Ontario. A division of the publishing conglomerate Torstar Corporation, Metroland published more than 70 local community newspapers–including six dailies–and many magazines.[1] In addition to printing most of its own publications, Metroland operates as a commercial printer of flyers and magazines.


Metroland is the publisher of six daily and more than 70 community newspapers in Southern Ontario.[2][1] Metroland also publishes local news, classified and shopping websites, and operates nine printing operations. The company is a distributor of flyers and circulars. It produces specialty print products, magazines and newspaper inserts, which are geared toward specific market segments. Metroland produces and manages a handful of consumer shows.[3]

In February 1981, Metrospan Community Newspapers (a unit of Torstar) and Inland Publishing Company (formerly owned by The Telegram Corporation, owned by the Eaton and Bassett families) merged to become Metroland.[4][5]

Metroland Publishing was combined with CityMedia Group to create Metroland Media Group on September 11, 2006.[6] It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation.[7] In October 2011, it was announced that Metroland acquired Performance Printing of Smiths Falls, Ontario.[8] The acquisition greatly expanded Metroland's community newspaper coverage in Eastern Ontario.[9]

In 2013, the company cut the frequency of three Toronto suburban newspapers, Scarborough Mirror, North York Mirror and Etobicoke Guardian, from twice a week to once a week.[10]

On September 15, 2023, the company filed for bankruptcy protection and ceased production of all weekly community newspapers, moving to an online-only model.[11]

Business areas[edit]

Metroland's regional and specialized business units can be grouped into five categories: Newspapers, Printing, Distribution, Digital Media, and Consumer Marketing. After September 15. 2023 the physical printing and distribution of the newspaper unit has ended and moved online.


Metroland maintained a distribution network separate from the Canada Post. The total number of pieces distributed annually has increased substantially to more than 4 billion in 2014. There are 20,000 delivery persons province-wide performing door-to-door delivery of flyers, papers and print materials.

Digital media[edit]

Metroland Media entered into digital media and the internet with the migration of its community newspaper sites online in the mid 1990s. Subsequently, Metroland built or acquired numerous online properties including save.ca, a website offering coupons and flyers; and gottarent.com, a Canadian apartment rentals listing site.


Metroland Media owned four printing plants in Ontario, but outsourced some printing in 2023. The presses print Metroland Media now provide commercial printing to other clients as printing of their newspaper ceased on September 15, 2023. The combined print capacity of these print facilities is reported as more than 16 million tabloid pages per hour in full colour, approximately 250,000 newspapers per hour.[12][13]


Metroland publishes six daily newspapers:[1]

Until 2023, it published over 80 local and community newspapers total. With the exception of the aforementioned daily papers, they are all now online-only.[1]

Metroland newspapers Ancaster News, Dundas Star News, Hamilton Mountain News, and Stoney Creek News were available through HamiltonNews.com, which was merged into TheSpec.com by 2022. The Sachem was also merged into TheSpec.com. Earlier newspaper titles included Flamborough Review and Glanbrook Gazette.

Kawartha Lakes This Week and Peterborough This Week was merged into The Peterborough Examiner.[15]


Metroland publishes dozens of magazines and specialty product titles. The general areas of interest these magazines focus on include lifestyle, leisure, parenting and transportation themes.

Consumer marketing[edit]

Digital marketing production[edit]

Expansion into customer fulfilment led to creation of a Metroland Digital division in 2008 to provide SMBs (small-to-medium businesses) with full-service online marketing capabilities such as fully custom websites, e-commerce websites, paid search (like Google Adwords), search engine optimization (SEO) as well as social media marketing and display advertising.

Consumer shows[edit]

Metroland produces consumer shows in Toronto for specialty audiences for Metroland Media Group publications. Metroland produces several consumer shows and exhibitions including the Toronto Golf & Travel Show, the National Bridal Show, the Forever Young Lifestyle Show, the City Parent Family Show and numerous local area shows.


Other large media and publishing companies in the area are also engaged in convergence of their printing and digital activities, and constitute the primary market competition for Metroland in the region. Among these are Rogers Media, Transcontinental Media, and Quebecor.


Metroland Media publications have been recognized with Local Media Association awards such as (2013):

  • Journalist of the Year – All Classes Combined[16]
  • Top Company Winners (92)
  • Top Newspaper Winners (14)


  1. ^ a b c d "About MetrolandMedia". www.metroland.com. Metroland Media Group Ltd. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "Torstar agrees to $52M sale to NordStar Capital". CBC. 2020-05-26. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  3. ^ "Shows". Metroland.com. Archived from the original on 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  4. ^ "Sold Weeklies To Pursue Broadcasting, Kent Inquiry Told". The Gazette. Montreal. March 19, 1981. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Milestones". Metroland. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  6. ^ "2006 Archives – Torstar Corporation". Torstar.com. 2006-09-11. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  7. ^ "Businesses – Torstar Corporation". Torstar.com. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  8. ^ "Performance Printing purchased by Metroland". OCNA. 2011-10-19. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  9. ^ "CAJ fears job losses for community newspaper journalists on the horizon". The Canadian Association of Journalists. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Revised publishing schedule for three Metroland papers". Newspapers Canada. September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Metroland seeks bankruptcy protection". Toronto Star. September 15, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "New KBA Colora unveiled at Metroland in Toronto/Canada. On the cutting edge of print". KBA North America Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14.
  13. ^ "Nordstar to put Metroland newspaper group into bankruptcy, more than 70 weekly papers to go digital only". The Globe and Mail. 2023-09-15. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  14. ^ "Metroland will no longer print community newspapers, including those in Durham". DurhamRadioNews.com. Oshawa, ON. 16 September 2023. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Metroland Media Group ends print editions of 70 community newspapers and flyer delivery business". kawarthaNOW.com. Peterborough ON. 15 September 2023. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  16. ^ "2013 Editorial Contest Winners" (PDF). Local Media Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-02.

External links[edit]