Over Dose

Dose is dead, long live Dose. CanWest MediaWorks shut down the youth-oriented commuter newspaper today that was distributed free in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Launched a little over a year ago, the powers that be decided that paper was not going to be profitable and stopped the presses, effective immediately.

That’s the dry version. Full disclosure here, I was on contract as a web editor at Dose for the past six months and was lucky enough to work with a group of energetic, talented editors, writers, designers and photographers (and all the other people needed to put together a daily paper) who were excited about what they were creating. It was a fun place to work, with music playing and endless pop culture arguments.

The paper (or magazine as it was called around the office) was created to target advertising at the 18-to-34-year-old market, but over the year it became more than an advertising vehicle. Some things worked, some didn’t, but in every case they were trying for something new and different. Though owned by a major media corporation, it didn’t speak like one.

Anyway, 50 out of the 60 of us are now out looking for work and I wish them all well. The website Dose.ca and the mobile elements will continue and I also hope the best for them as well – it will be a hard road to follow with a reduced crew but I’m sure they are up to it.

For anyone reading this on Wednesday and in Toronto, you can find us tonight at Squirrely's on Queen Street West. If you are looking for an experienced web editor, drop me a line tomorrow when I’ve sobered up.


  1. CanWest's loss. You'll all land amazing gigs, I know it.

  2. It was probably the model that was the downfall -- it sure as hell wasn't the content. Dose was a great paper to read day in and day out, and it's a shame to see it go.

  3. I've created a little flickr group for us to throw photos on. Check out www.flickr.com/groups/overdosed

    See you tonight!

  4. Boo Hiss... Loved the paper. Let's get drunk over the long weekend - haven't done that in what? Two weeks?

  5. Let's get drunk next weekend too...I'm really sorry to hear it.

  6. I have to say, I only read it a couple of times - it's hard to read a commuter paper when you're commute involves flying down St.George on a bike.

    But I'll say this. The television ads were the worst, most off-putting spectacles on television. I'm sure they irritated a lot of people other than myself.

    Having said that, I hate to see any writers out of work. Jeremy - I'll be in touch.

  7. Came here by way of the mention at the CBC Radio 3 feed…

    I loved Dose. However, sadly I couldn't keep up with Dose on a daily basis like I would have loved to, being that London wasn't a market you hit. But every time I was in the T-Dot, I made sure to grab every copy I could fine - old or new.

    Too bad they nixed what I felt was something fresh, and different than the typical newspapers. But I have enough experience and background in papers to know that dailies are a tightrope over a canyon of costs. Especially when you factor in the "art" of Dose.

    Sad to see it gone.

    Since I have no way of getting one, do you think you could set aside one copy of the last paper you printed - I'd happily pay for the postage down the 401, just to know I had a piece of something I like for a while before it was taken away? :)

    My email, if you can help a brother out, is at my web link…

    Thanks and good luck with the future.

  8. chimpunkMay 18, 2006

    sorry to says for all the people that worked there and stuff. that part certainly sucks!

    but these commuter dailies are just too prevelent. ottawa we don't need tumble weeds we got daily news papers flying through our bland and lonely streets.

    or the buses with disentigrating papers under people's snowy boots?

    sure people are as much to blame as the papers - but there wasn't much of an education campaign what to do with this stuff. and leaving a paper on a bus felt way better than carrying the thing around when there was no recycling to be found at all (considering these dailies should be made to pay for those if they want to keep putting all this paper out into the world).

  9. That's too bad, Dose was a convenient read when I was working last summer. Just long enough to consume over a lunch break, and avoid social interactions with annoying coworkers.

    Hope you find good work soon.

  10. I think one of the reasons why Dose failed had less to do with it's style and content and more to do with the logistics of distributing a *daily* newsmag with heavy design/layout skillz, aimed primarily at urban readers.

    Distributing anything across Canada is always going to be twice as bad as doing the same in the U.S. or Europe due to the fact that we've got the second biggest country in the world but with a ridiculously small population density for measure.

    It's too bad to see Dose go, as I'd rather see it standing rather than Metro or the others.

  11. Ian BarrMay 22, 2006

    Disappointed to see your publication go; you guys were very creative in your attempts to be different. I've posted my views here:


  12. Thanks for all the well wishes folks. It was fun, now on to the next cool thing.

  13. That's terrible news, and I can relate having just lost my own job in that field recently as well.