AGAINST ALL ODDS, THE LITTLE PAPER GREWIt seems like only yesterday ....
Okay, not quite yesterday. More like 9,133 yesterdays and about 8,000 Suns ago.
READERS MAKE OUR DAYWhat is so special about a newspaper reaching 25 years of age?
That's really not old in newspaper terms. The Toronto Star is more than 100 years old and the two papers which joined to form the Globe and Mail go back to the mid-19th century.
RIGHT TIME, RIGHT GUYSThey called them the three amigos but, to tell the truth, friendship was not the main ingredient of the partnership that started The Sun.
True, the three founders of the paper were driven together in the fall of 1971 by mutual need and contagious excitement. But the popular conception of three reporter buddies conceiving the idea over a few cool ones at the Spadina Hotel isn't exactly accurate.
THE RISING OF THE SUNSignificant dates in Sun history:
Oct. 30, 1971: Toronto Telegram folds
JOY, TRAGEDY ON HOMEFRONTNov. 1, 1971 - The Toronto Sun rises from the ashes of the Telegram and rolls off the presses for the first time.
June 21, 1973 - An Air Canada DC-8 jet explodes during fuelling and burns to a blackened hulk at Pearson airport minutes before 120 passengers were to board for a flight to Zurich.
'HAPPY BAND OF WARRIORS'As the one person on the original Sun board of directors who voted againt the sale of the mini-chain to Maclean Hunter in 1982, I suppose I should feel a certain told-you-so satisfaction that present management has bought the paper back, some 14 years later.
Frankly, I'm not sure what I feel.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS ALWAYSNow I'm in my anecdotage, a condition hastened by the fact I've written more than 4,500 columns for The Sun, I often find myself talking about the early days.
The audience is not always rapt. After all, we Day Oners, our term for employees who gambled and were here Oct. 31, 1971, when we created the first Sun, seemed to have been in for most of the laughter, and profit.
DONATO'S MAGIC TIMES 25He is, in a word, gifted ... more than just an artist, more than just a political cartoonist.
He is, in essence, his own self portrait; a man weho grew up in Toronto's east end and who learned about people as he learned to draw.
QUEBEC TAKES CENTRE STAGEJuly 30, 1974 - Quebec's Liberal government passes Bill 22, making French the only official language in the province.
Nov. 10, 1975 - Twenty crew members of the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald die when the ship breaks up and sinks during a Lake Superior storm.
CONTACTS GAVE SUN FIRST SCOOPWhat a great 25 years!
When the word came down in 1971 that the Toronto Telegram would cease publication, most staff members went desperately rushing about trying to find jobs.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTERThe Toronto Sun's history has, in many ways, been part of my own.
I was four years old the day my dad, Bob MacDonald, walked out the door of our Scarboro home to help start that little paper as one of its first reporters.
25 BEST CONCERTS, FLICKS, ALBUMS, THEATRE AND TVRemember the Beatles? Turns out they broke up not long before The Sun was born in November '71. Twenty-five years later, we're still arguing about whether there'll be a reunion.
In the meantime, Showbiz of every kind has hit and stuck in Toronto, making us one of the true entertainment capitals of the world.
THE WARS, THE WALL AND O.J. WALKSThe Sun's globe-trotting columist Matthew Fisher picks the top international news stories of the past quarter century:
1972 - Detente. Richard Nixon follows ping pong diplomats to China. Signs SALT I nuclear pact with Soviets.
MIRACLE ON KING ST.Has it really been 25 years since we began working on the first edition of The Sun on the fourth floor of the ramshackle Eclipse Building on 322 King Street West, complete with broken windows, exploding tea kettles and a creaky elevator?
Where has the time gone since the late Paul Rimstead covered his first Maple Leaf game after a long hiatus and wondered why Eddie (Clear the Track) Shack wasn't in the lineup?
25 OF SPORTS BIGGEST STORIESPaul Henderson scores and Canada wins eight-game Summit Series against Soviets, Sept. 28, 1972
Israeli athletes killed at Munich Olympics, 1972
YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, PEOPLEThe Sun's very first editorial promised there would be no "women's pages" in the paper because they considered them "patronizing."
Thus, Lifestyle pages were born, crossing the sexual boundaries on issues faced by all of us: From parenting to food to fashion to health to sex. Not to mention another "Day Oner," the Dear Abby column. The subject on Nov. 1, 1971 was a woman's complaint that her husband paid more attention to his mother than her.
THE FIRST BOY AND MOREIn a bow to our women readers, the first official SUNshine Boy finally appeared in the Toronto Sun on Nov. 7, 1972.
"The saints be praised, ladies, a SUNshine boy at last," the paper wrote in declaring the breakthrough.
TIIU WAS SUNSHINE GIRL NO. 1Her place in Toronto Sun history was assured the moment the first Sun photographers happened into Henry's camera store back in 1971.
Tiiu Poder is the original SUNshine Girl, but she says she didn't become No. 1 on purpose.
LOYALTY TO CLIENTS NEVER CHANGESWe couldn't have done it without you.
"It" being 25 years of publishing history in Canada's most competitive market.
A SPECIAL ATTITUDEWhen one thinks back over the last 25 years, one can't help but notice that while there is the appearance of a lot of change, things are pretty much the same.
In 1971, a small group of mostly former Telegramers embarked on what was probably the riskiest venture of their lives. Most traded the security of a weekly pay cheque in favour of a livelihood that was completely dependent on their abilities to sell newspapers one copy at a time.
April 3, '89 Wrestlemania 349,000
WE'RE ON OUR OWN NOW//25 YEARS LATER, THE REALITY HAS SET INWhen it comes to money, times sure have changed since The Toronto Sun was first launched 25 years ago.
Canadian pay cheques were pretty slim back then with average earnings hitting a measly $137.65 a week. Minimum wage crunched in at a piddling $1.65 an hour in Ontario.
THE SUN'S SOULThrough the '70s and '80s, Paul Rimstead was The Sun's resident character. From his seat as the Page 5 columnist, the Rimmer played out his home-spun adventures and opinions to a loyal family of readers. Here's his musings from Day 1, 1971:
From the outside, it does not look so hot.
SUCCESS BUILT ON HARD WORKFor all of us who were a part of Production in those early years, growing up with The Sun was the experience of a lifetime.
It was, depending on the situation of the moment, exciting, frustrating, exhilarating, annoying and fun. Looking back, I am sure that not one of us would have had it any other way.
`THE LITTLE PAPER THAT GREW' ... AND GREWThe Little Paper That Grew ... Wouldn't Life Be Dull Without The Sun ... Slogan to Come ... Our Readers Are More Fun ... Tough Little Paper To Put Down ... We'll Be There ... We Cut Through.
These are all slogans that have characterized The Toronto Sun over the past 25 years.
BINGOHHH!, BIRDS AND BIRTHDAYSNot a day goes by without a promotion in The Toronto Sun.
The promotion team - or, as I like to think of them, my "second family" - look after in-paper contests, special events, community relations, charitable fundraising, free reader services, corporate sponsorships, sports marketing, cause marketing, sales promotion and added value, blending our advertisers into our activities.
AWARDS GALOREThe Toronto Sun was barely a month old when it won its first award.
And it hasn't stopped collecting honors since.
LAURA HAS LAST WORDLaura Sabia, a feisty and famous Sun columnist, was being buried on Oct. 21 when her daughter, Maureen, rose before the mourners to let her mother speak from the grave.
Maureen said: "I can do no better today than to use mother's own words about her life. Not only could no words of mine equal hers, but mother loved to have the last word. Today, above all days, should be no different.
IRASCIBLE SUN HITS 25 TODAYToday we turn 25.
That's the age when you're supposed to settle down and start taking life seriously. You know - buy a real bed and get into it before Letterman, get out of it before Oprah.