West End Phoenix

The West End Phoenix is a local periodical community newspaper for Toronto’s West End whose readership stretches across the city and the country. Dreamed up by musician (Rheostatics), writer and publisher Dave Bidini, WEP launched in October 2017 after a door-to-door campaign sold 800 pre-publication subscriptions. It is now a home-delivered broadsheet with thousands of readers, devoted to telling the stories of a diverse, compelling and quickly evolving catchment, from the Humber River to Spadina.

WEP is a reimagining of the community newspaper with some of the country’s greatest writers and photographers articulating their experiences throughout their neighbourhoods. 100% of the money raised through subscriptions and donations goes to paying the staff and contributors (WEP has no ad or marketing budget) at industry standard rates, despite having zero government support. Contributors reflect the broadest range in both experience and perspective, from young writers developing their craft through WEP’s Young Phoenix initiative to established voices like Alicia Elliott, Margaret Atwood, Michael Winter, Michie Mee, Claudia Dey, Roddy Doyle, Gwen Benaway and many others. WEP published over 300 contributors in its first two years.

Bidini is joined by deputy editor Melanie Morassutti, formerly of The Globe and Mail, managing editor Janet Morassutti, art director Alicia Kowalewski and photo editor Jalani Morgan. WEP allies include Gladstone Hotel president Christina Zeidler, guitarist Alex Lifeson, media strategist Ali Rahnema and filmmakers Nicholas de Pencier and Jennifer Baichwal. In January 2019, WEP was visited by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who recognized the paper as a model for independent newspapers everywhere.



Have a tip or a story idea that you’d like to read about, write, shoot or illustrate? Send it to stories@westendphoenix.com


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The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M6J 1J6