University of Toronto Online Student Newspaper: The Independent Weekly

the newspaper is the largest independent student newspaper in Canada with circulation on and around the University of Toronto. It is published by non-profit corporation Planet Publications Inc. and has been since it was founded in 1978. It was briefly circulated as The Independent Weekly before returning to its original title, which is now commonly stylized as the newspaper with intentional lowercase. To see the latest news from the newspaper go to their website:

Today the newspaper website is a lot slicker looking than the Independent Weekly website of the past, but that seems inevitable with all the advances that have occurred in web design in the past fifteen years. And I should know since I am part of a team that handles custom application development for companies requiring specialized, industry-specific needs that are usually outside the scope of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) programs. When a business utilizes COTS software, they are now at the whim of the company that built the software. Imagine the disruptions that could occur if the company's COTS software were discontinued? Most likely the business would be required to purchase some unexpected expensive upgrades or in the worst scenario, go out of business. The bespoke application development services that we create for clients is actually owned by them. They can keep the programs and tools as long as they like, having them updated as their needs change. Custom software development alleviates concerns that the one day-in and day-out programs a company relies on will suddenly not be available anymore. I have seen so many companies left in the dust with old, non compatible COTS programs. Unlike the creators of the Independent Weekly who built an entirely new website when the publication changed its name back to the newspaper, companies with custom applications do not have to start from scratch when they decide to pivot with their direction. Of course if they choose to change their name and totally re-brand themselves, a new website most likely would be in order. However, the back-of-the-house operations would keep humming along. Enjoy the nostalgic look back to when the University of Toronto's largest independent student newspaper was known as the Independent Weekly.


The was the website when the newspaper was renamed The Independent Weekly.

About the Independent Weekly

The Independent Weekly has been the University of Toronto's respected campus wide voice since 1978. Founded as the newspaper by three U of T students, and one of two campus wide papers serving the 70,000-strong university community, the Independent is funded entirely through advertising revenues.

We circulate 17,000 copies every Thursday across U of T's campus and in the surrounding community.

You can reach us at the following numbers:
Editorial: 416 593-1552
Advertising: 416 593-1559
Fax: 416 593-0552<
... or feel free to e-mail us at

Our offices and mailing address are at:
The Independent Weekly
1 Spadina Crescent., Suite 245
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A1


Issue 29 - 2003-04-10


Editorial -25 years of Paper 

The Independent Weekly, then called the newspaper, published its first issue 25 years and eight months ago today, give or take a day here and there. We were going to work out the exact number of days, but then we remembered that whole leap year thing and decided we’d rather sit back and have a cold beer.

Things sure have changed in the world in the past 25 years. No more U.S.S.R. No more Berlin Wall. No more Cold War. At least, that’s what we’re told by the International Relations people. We don’t get out much with these jobs.

But it’s even more remarkable what hasn’t changed. The Colonel’s secret recipe. Y-fronts. And – coincidentally, we’re sure – the newspaper. The name may be different, but the approach remains the same: give students something relevant, something informative, and most importantly, something fun.

This is all the more remarkable when we consider the wide fluctuations in the quality and approach of other campus papers over this period. 
We’ve survived 25 years because we’ve given the U of T community what it wants. We don’t have a choice. With no levy to support us, we have to keep ahead of the competition.

We, by which we mean this year’s editors, really had no idea what we were getting into when we signed on. But over the year, it slowly dawned on both of us just how fantastic this operation really is. As the only unfunded student paper in Canada, we’re unique. 

More than that, each year the editors come on board with precious little experience and training. From that, they’ve got to learn how to run this paper. Some crash and burn, but not many. Most of us stumble a few times before (we hope) getting things down.

As you’ll see, next year’s paper will have a few changes. It’ll take on a life of its own, as ours did. They’ll “improve” it, like we “improved” last year’s.

One of the past “improvements” was the name change, which happened in the summer of 1998. the newspaper was dropped in favour of The Independent Weekly. That, we hope, everybody knows by now. But what most people don’t know – and our bylaws have valiantly hidden – are the names we’ve rejected over the years: 
1979: Disco Fever! 
1983: the newspaper Strikes Back 
1985: The Worker’s Daily 
1989: The Even Newer Republic 
1991: The Globe and Mail 
1993: Smells like teen newspaper 
1997: The Irresponsible Sort-of-weekly 
2001: Bastards!!!! 
2003: Operation U of T Freedom

And despite all this, in another 25 years, we think that certain things will still be true. We’ll still be independent from U of T funding, though perhaps we won’t be the only campus paper in Canada able to say that. 
We’ll still work hard to bring together the best and craziest (not mutually exclusive) minds on campus. 
And we’ll still be the best damn paper U of T has ever seen.


Inside this issue: Features

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - Archive photos you should see

A U of T tradition of 25/100 of a century - Men’s bowling team is no longer pinned in gutters

Despite toiling in the relative obscurity of the OAAU (Men’s) Bowling League, U of T head coach “Pins” McPhee feels his sport is ready to take off on an intercollegiate level.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - U of T drops entrance grade to 70

The possibility of falling enrolment and last year’s high attrition rate (which represents the number of students who fail to return after first year) has caused the U of T administration to increase the number of first-year students it will admit and at the same time to lower the U of T minimum grade requirement for admission.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - PSY 100 in Con Hall next year

There is a great possibility that all sections of Psychology 100 will be held in Convocation Hall next year.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - Springsteen is god

Last Thursday’s Bruce Springsteen concert demonstrates that Springsteen is, if only by default, the world’s greatest living rock and roller. With the Stones, Dylan and now The Who in decline, at this point in time, no one else comes close. His live presentation provides all the necessary elements for quality rock. It inspires, it is all-consuming and sexually arousing, and it is both danceable and dramatic

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - Bruce proves success doesn’t spoil a deity

Last week Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played two sold-out nights down at the Gardens. When the fans finally filed out of the building Wednesday night at almost one o’clock, everyone was talking but not screaming and yelling.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - The playgoing habit is erratically rewarding

The playgoing habit, if you have not picked it up already, may be acquired at the university. It will bring you countless hours of pleasure, and it will last as long as you can hobble to the box office

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - China takes her place in the international

Someone once said that the Chinese revolution would be over the day Coca Cola arrived in China. The events that have been molding a new “New China” since the death of Mao just over two years ago have been dramatic.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - Gay faculty should come out

Campus closets are still crowded with gay faculty and students. It’s been a lonely liberation for the handful of gay professors and students who have “gone public” at the University of Toronto.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - The great books are the best path to knowledge

The core of a university is the liberal arts – the kind of knowledge which prepares a human being to be free and self-legislating. And the core of that core is philosophy – understood to be the quest for knowledge of the good life.

A U of T tradition for 25/100 of a century - What’s the most popular song ever recorded? None other than Louie, Louie, of course.

Richard Berry. The name probably does not ring a bell – which is a shame, for Berry is the composer of one of the most popular tunes ever in rock ‘n’ roll: Louie, Louie.