When we started NOW magazine 32 years ago this week on September 10, 1981 - determined to be a fresh, progressive voice - daily newspapers were in crisis, young readers were abandoning the format, and the concentration of press ownership was making a media-consuming public and champions of diverse opinion nervous.
Flash forward three decades and an entire generation of young people have never bought a daily newspaper, and a dwindling handful of companies divide up the media spoils in this country and worldwide.
Even the alternative newspaper business has been infested with chain ownership, and one-time powerhouses like New York City's Village Voice and L.A.'s Weekly chafe and shrink under ineffectual remote control.
But miraculously, Toronto's NOW Magazine has emerged as the largest, most successful alt newsweekly in North America, and maybe the world, with a circulation of 110,000 copies and 409,000 readers weekly, and over 1.5 million monthly total views online at nowtoronto.com.
Beyond that, NOW remains steadfastly independent, a handmade media company still owned and operated by Alice Klein and Michael Hollett.
Sure, we'd like to take some credit, but a part of our great good fortune has been to operate in one of the most dynamic and exciting cities on the planet. Even as we find ourselves enduring the folly of a disastrous mayor, this city's engaged citizens refuse to give up, continuing to fight to preserve and develop the remarkable experiment in urbanism that is Toronto - the envy of the world.
T.O.'s dynamic and risk-taking arts scene gives us an exhilarating amount of creativity to cover as we seek to offer our readers a universe of exciting arts choices.
And with over 150 cranes in the sky, Toronto is a city that loves living downtown - or coming here to play. Our retail isn't buried in chains but features a dynamic mix of independent outlets, stand-alone businesses like NOW Magazine itself.
These have been great supporters over the years because they see for themselves the effectiveness of advertising in the paper, a cost they always cover by more customers in their stores. Reaching an engaged and active readership has been the payoff for their faith.
While big media try to cut costs and replace local writers in news and arts with nationwide reporters, NOW remains committed to developing, employing and publishing dozens of local journalists and artists. A city this exciting deserves nothing less.
Giving you, the people of Toronto, the magazine and digital choices you deserve has been our honour and obligation. We look forward to at least 32 more years of being dazzled and amazed by your innovation, determination and passion.
Thank you, Toronto. It continues to be our pleasure to serve you all.
Alice Klein • Editor/CEO • @aliceklein
Michael Hollett • Editor/Publisher • @m_hollett