“An Odiferous Goulash”

Automobility, the newspaper wars and how paved roads came to Hogtown

Local newspapers are an endangered species in Canada today. At least 70 community newspapers have shut down across the country since 2008, as recorded by the Local News Research Project at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. In 2016, the 149-year-old Guelph Mercury ended its print edition, as did the Nanaimo Daily News and the Northern Journal in the Northwest Territories. In 2013, the Lindsay Post, which had served south central Ontario for 152 years, closed its doors. And questions about what the demise of local news will mean for democracy, informed citizenry and government accountability have been roiling again in recent weeks, following speculation about the health of Postmedia (owner of some 200 newspapers, including many local and community papers) as well as the release of a parliamentary committee report on the troubled Canadian media.

Into this fray comes an...