Toronto Star shares video

Art Gallery of Ontario

Coming very soon, the Toronto Star will make its videos available for embedding, just like this one from November, 2008.

Note: May not work in Firefox

Questioning the obsession with economic growth

Growing up immersed in the environmental movement of the 1970s, my thinking on economics was definitely shaped by concepts such as resource sustainability and limits to growth.

Then came the 1980s and 1990s, when western societies seemed to reject such ideas as hopelessly naive, assuming instead that limitless growth was not only possible but essential to preserve our standard of living.

But the idea of living within the resources provided by Earth hasn’t disappeared altogether, as environmental writer Peter Gorrie explains at

Gorrie interviewed Peter Victor, a senior economist at York University and author of Managing Without Growth.

…Victor and others say the focus on growth diminishes us, largely because two-thirds of our economy is based on consumer spending: If we don’t work and earn so we can keep stuff flying off store shelves and into ever-larger homes, our industrial machine sputters and wheezes. Other important aspects of life – family, friends, relaxation, contemplation, health, hobbies and interests – are trampled in the mad frenzy to ensure the wheel stays spinning.

It’s a good read, and a timely alternative view when we are being urged to consume more to restore our ailing economic system.

Happy New Year!

Toronto Star blue ribbon nameplate

Happy New Year everyone and, if you’re a reader of the Toronto Star’s print edition, yes it is 2009 even though this morning’s newspaper might have had you checking the calendar for a moment.

The front page of today’s Star features the iconic blue ribbon nameplate which had been removed in a 2007 redesign.

John Cruickshank, the former head of CBC English language news who starts his job as Star publisher today, tells readers in a front-page column that the return of the blue ribbon is “a sign of the renewal of our historic editorial mission and as a symbol of our continuing commitment to our print and online readers in Greater Toronto, across Canada and around the world.”

My new job

I’m delighted to report that I have a new job, starting next Monday, at the Toronto Star.

As Assistant Managing Editor – Multimedia, my responsibilties will include editorial content on, one of Canada’s most popular news sites.

The Star has an impressive commitment to digital publishing, and it’s an honour to join an organization with such high standards and values.

The next few weeks are going to be very hectic indeed as I get to know my new team — some of whom I was fortunate to meet, albeit briefly, this afternoon — and learn my way around a very large, dynamic operation.

I’m looking forward to working with my new boss, editor-in-chief Fred Kuntz, and everyone else at the Star.

LiveDeal sold to online yellow pages operator

Online classified advertising network LiveDeal, Inc has been purchased by YP Corp, operator of “America’s local online yellow pages”.

LiveDeal will become a subsidiary of YP Corp, and current LiveDeal shareholders will receive shares in YP.

YP Corp says it plans “to use LiveDeals innovative technology platform to converge its four principal marketing channels directories, mobile services, classifieds and advertising/distribution networks into a first-of-itskind, hyper-local marketing solution for businesses and consumers”.

In the United States, where the term “yellow pages” is not trademarked, the site already carries such business directory listings.

Toronto Star publisher Torstar has held a minority stake in LiveDeal since October 2005, and the two companies operate the Canadian site — without Yellow Pages listings — under a joint venture agreement. [In Canada, “Yellow Pages” is a trademarked brand name belonging to the Yellow Pages Group.]

>> More from Mark Evans and the official announcement