Toronto Telegram

Toronto Telegram

The "Toronto Telegram" (previously the "Toronto Evening Telegram") was a conservative, broadsheet afternoon daily newspaper published in Toronto, Canada, from 1876 to 1971.


The Toronto Telegram was founded in 1876 by publisher John Ross Robertson. The Telegram's Editor from 1876 to 1888 was Alexander Fraser Pirie (1849-1903) who was a native of Guelph, Ontario. Pirie had previously worked for the Guelph Herald which was his father's paper. He was already well known throughout 1870s Toronto as the "Sun Skit Urchin" - a newspaper column consisting of humorous political commentary.

The newspaper became the voice of working-class, conservative Orange (Protestant) Toronto. The daily was famous for being printed on pink paper until the 1960s, when the advent of colour photography made it necessary to switch to standard white paper. "The Tely" strongly supported Canada's Imperial connection with Britain as late as the 1960s.

It was purchased in 1952 by John Bassett. The newspaper had a reputation for supporting the Conservative Party at both the federal and provincial level. In the 1960s, the paper had increasing difficulty competing with the liberal "Toronto Star" and suffered a strike by its typesetting union in 1964. The paper was linked to the new TV station CFTO-TV via Telegram Corp from 1960 to 1971. The Bassetts finally shut down the money-losing paper in October 1971.

A number of the "Telegram"'s key writers and staff started a new conservative tabloid, "The Toronto Sun" the Monday following the Telegram's last issue. As there was no time gap between the two papers, the Sun is today generally considered as direct continuation of the "Telegram", and is the holder of the "Telegram"'s archives. York University's [ library holds] about 500,000 prints and 830,000 negatives of pictures taken by the Telegram's photographers. Only a small number are searchable on line.

In the book "The Death of the Toronto Telegram" (1971), former "Telegram" writer Jock Carroll describes the decline of the paper, and provides many anecdotes about the Canadian newspaper business from the 1950s until 1970.

Well-known reporters, editors, columnists and cartoonists at "the Tely" included:

*Frank Drea
*Peter Worthington
*Kenneth W. (Ken) MacTaggart
*Andy Donato
*Isabel Bassett
*Trent Frayne
*Douglas Fisher
*Jack de Lissa
*Ron Barratt
*Jim Foster
*Phil Sykes
*Edna Usher
*Laurie McKechnie
*Art Cole
*Brain Hogan
*Doug Stubing
*Art Holland
*George Gross
*Jim Hannie
*Ann Kemp
*Dick Brown
*Paul Rimstead
*John Downing
*Kerry Gibbens
*Douglas Creighton
*J. Douglas MacFarlane
*Ben Wicks
*Walter Stewart
*Lubor J. Zink
*Gordon Donaldson ["Toronto reporter and writer Gordon Donaldson dies at 74," "Expositor", Brantford, Ontario: June 12, 2001, pg. A.24.]

ee also

* "Toronto Star" 1899 to present
* "Globe and Mail" 1936 to present
** The Globe (Toronto newspaper) 1844-1936
** The Mail and Empire 1895-1936
*** The Toronto Mail 1872-1895
*** Toronto Empire 1872-1895

* Toronto Sun 1972-present


*cite book | first=Jock | last=Carroll | authorlink= | coauthors= | year=1971 | title=The death of the Toronto Telegram & other newspaper stories | edition= | publisher=Simon & Schuster of Canada | location=Richmond Hill, Ont. | id=ISBN 0-671-78184-7
*cite book | first=Ron | last=Poulton | authorlink= | coauthors= | year=1971 | title=The paper tyrant; John Ross Robertson of the Toronto Telegram | edition= | publisher=Clarke Irwin | location=Toronto | id=ISBN 0-7720-0492-7
*Toronto: Past and Present / A Handbook of the City. C. Pelham Mulvany (Toronto: W. E. Caiger Publisher, 1884). Toronto Evening Telegram history: pp. 193-194.

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