Newspapers create narratives of people and shared experiences within a region. Canada has over 1,000 newspaper titles, serving people all over the country, from its major cities and towns to more remote regions.
The list below showcases the biggest newspapers in Canada and the best the country, often referred to as the Great White North, has to offer. In this list, we’ll get into the major Canadian newspapers that have kept up human-interest stories and community building in a climate where the decline of newspapers is rampant.
The Globe and Mail is a well-known Canadian daily covering everything from business, sports, and cultural news to the big national and international events impacting Canada and the world. It has earned a place in the annals of Canadian journalism with its quality news reporting. It was incepted in 1844.
Most notably, the paper is known for its coverage in breaking the Airbus affair in the 1990s. Its reporting exposed corruption in the sale of Airbus aircraft to Air Canada. This investigation led to a series of actions and made a lasting impact on Canadian politics and businesses.
The Toronto Star is a highly respected daily within the Canadian newspaper scene. Like its rival The Globe and Mail, it too, covers the most important news stories and events in international and national news. It can trace its beginnings to 1892. It also gives the latest goings on in the world of business, sports, and in entertainment.
Toronto Star has won various awards for journalism over the years. Today, it has a large online presence and releases print and online editions of its paper.
French Canadians are fiercely proud of their heritage. Founded in 1984, in the country’s Acadia’s region, L'Acadie Nouvelle, is for them. The paper began in Caraquet, New Brunswick, in the northeast of the country. It reports on national and local news but from a French perspective. In fact, the paper plays a large role in the preservation and promotion of the French language and Acadian culture (the coastal areas of northeast Canada where French settlers first arrived in the 1700s)
The Toronto Sun is a tabloid famed for its easy-to-read and digestible style. Featuring sports, entertainment, and lifestyle, the paper throws in some witty headlines mixed with news and opinion pieces. The paper takes somewhat of a conservative stance in its coverage of news events, often seen as having a populist standpoint. There is a heavy focus on sports, especially ice hockey.
First published in 1872 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada’s fifth most populated province, the Winnipeg Free Press has the distinction of being one of the country’s oldest newspapers. Despite this, it has successfully transitioned to the digital era, with the paper coming in e-versions. The newspaper looks at local and national news, business, sports, art, and culture.
This paper was founded in 1983 and is part of the Sun Media China group that also counts other national tabloids under its umbrella. The Ottawa Sun takes a sensationalist stance and focuses on human interest stories that its audience wants to hear about. Their coverage also further includes breaking news, entertainment features, opinion pieces, and, of course, sports coverage, with a heavy focus on local teams.
The Mississauga News is a local community newspaper from Ontario. It covers news and events, including community issues, crime, politics, business, sports, and human interest stories related to Mississauga. The paper was first published in 1965 and is known to be a source of community-focused journalism. Its online website still features an obituary section and events and things to do section specially catered to the city of Mississauga.
The National Post is another well-known daily. Established in 1998 by Conrad Black, a Canadian/British newspaper baron and businessman, its distinctive and eye-catching orange logo is recognizable to many. The paper reached its position with in-depth reporting on local and national news, national politics, business, culture, and sports. It also contains in-depth opinion pieces for readers.
This French-langauge paper is actually one of the oldest in the whole of North America. Quite an achievement. La Presse began its life in 1884, offering various perspectives on both local and international news and events, and is now recognized for its investigative reporting and editorials. Previously a broadsheet, like many it has had to adjust to digital-only formats since 2018.
This French daily newspaper is based in Quebec City, Quebec. Le Journal de Québec was actually first established in 1967. Part of the Quebecor Media Group, a huge media conglomerate within Canada, it owns and operates various media assets, such as newspapers, digital platforms, and TV channels.
Rather surprisingly, The Montreal Gazette goes right back to 1778. It was formed nearly 90 years before Canada was a country! As one of the oldest outlets in North America, it gives news updates in the world of business, politics, finance, and the arts. Despite its long history, it manages to operate a traditional printed version of the paper, whilst enjoying a strong online following.
Based in the city of Sherbrooke, in the lower part of Quebec, La Tribune is another daily French-speaking newspaper serving coverage on national events, politics, sports, and lots more. The paper focuses on providing news related to Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships and covers community issues, cultural events, and national news with a regional perspective.
Métro is a free daily newspaper in Canada providing condensed news coverage with a focus on local, national, and international news. Métro newspapers are part of a global network, consisting of several versions in different cities around the world. The Canadian editions include Métro Montreal and Métro Toronto. Métro Montreal was first launched in 2001. The paper is distributed for free at public transit stations, making it widely available to commuters. The distribution model aims to reach a large audience, especially those who are on the go.
Published in Stratford, Ontario, and formed in 1923, this newspaper hones in on local news and municipal affairs, community events, and human interest features. With the decline of newspapers, The Beacon Herald has managed to stay relevant out of several other papers in Stratford and currently has a circulation of around 25,000.
The Sun Times is a community newspaper based in Owen Sound, Ontario. The paper covers local news including current events as well as health-related content and comic strips adding a touch of humor. The Sun-Times also pays homage to the lives of community members through its obituary section and provides a special emphasis on reporting on community events and human interest stories of residents of Owen Sound.
In Canada, newspapers go beyond informing; they turn into storytellers, creating stories of people across the country. Canadian newspapers focus on community reporting and highlighting human stories that resonate in major cities and smaller towns. Despite the challenges posed by the decline of newspapers, major Canadian newspapers have stayed motivated to share stories about people and bring communities together.
With over 100 daily newspapers, the Toronto Star is the largest in Canada with a circulation of around 300,000. Despite being the top consumed newspaper, like most Canadian news media, the publication saw a mass decline in readership in the 1990s due to inflation, distribution challenges, and the increase of online news and information.
Expanding its multimedia platform to fit the needs of the digital media shift, the Toronto Star released its online website in 1996, adding a paywall behind it in 2013. The publications app was launched in 2015, reaching over 100,000 downloads in 50 days. It also has multiple podcasts commissioned by Radio Canada and BBC including ‘This Matters’, ‘The Billionaire Murders', ‘It's Political’, and ‘Deep Left Field’.
Dating back to New England colonies, the Halifax Gazette is the oldest newspaper in Canada. The paper was first issued on March 23, 1752, for Halifax City and its 4,000 residents. The paper was published weekly by John Bushell, also known as the first person to operate a printing publication in Canada.
The Halifax worked entirely on government revenue and published news from around Europe and the British colonies with information about businesses, local political news, military news, and advertisements. Today, the newspaper continues as the Royal Gazette and remains a popular publication in Nova Scotia.
Most international newspapers rely on national governmental regulars that include laws for freedom of the press, privacy issues, and ownership, while journalistic ethics and editorial standards are decided on by individual newspaper publications. Similarly, Canadian media is led by a mixture of public and private entities. Like most international newspapers, policies and their implementation are controlled by a combination of governmental regulation, self-regulation, and industry standards.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is a part of the federal government responsible for regulating broadcast and telecommunications in Canada. While it doesn’t have the authority over newspaper ownership and distribution, it oversees certain aspects of print media when affiliated with telecommunication platforms like broadcast television and radio.
Media ownership in Canada in terms of control, vertical integration, and joint ownership is decided upon by regulations created by the CRTC. In 2008, the agency introduced a rule to limit joint media ownership, whereby companies could only control two types of media in a single market to maintain variety within the Canadian media market.
Most newspapers in Canada are owned by a small number of large corporations. The concentration of media ownership is saturated by telecommunications conglomerates like Rogers, Bell, government broadcasting agencies, and the Postmedia Network Canada Corporation which owns the majority (66%) of the newspapers in Canada. Small independent owners such as Canwest, Quebecor, Alliance Atlantis, and CTVglobemedia, have been undercut by larger companies, making it harder for them to compete.
Canadian newspapers can be contacted through many channels like local tip lines featured on the newspaper's website. Contact information is also available on their website's ‘Contact Us’ section where you can find the newsroom's email address, phone numbers, or contact forms. An alternative is reaching out to relevant publications via social media like Twitter and LinkedIn where they often accept pitches and story leads.