A side-by-side grid of all of Toronto Life's covers from 2023

The Year in Covers

A month-by-month look at what mattered when

This year, our covers featured the stories that Torontonians were—or were about to be—obsessing over. We shared the good: the city’s most coveted neighbourhoods (for the first time, the east end snagged the top spot) and best new restaurants (including our number-one pick, Matty Matheson’s Prime Seafood Palace). We shared bad: the crumbling TTC and ever-worsening rental crisis. And we shared the in-between: the outsized and uncertain influence of AI figured in not one but two of our cover stories. Other covers featured the clash of egos that nearly destroyed the city’s paper of record, an elaborate fraud orchestrated by a police officer and his mistress, and more.

Here, a look back at our cover stories from 2023.


January: True Tales from the Rental Crisis

Toronto is a city of renters. Renting is supposed to be cheaper, more attainable and less stressful—so why is it such hell? In January, we collected stories of soaring prices, out-of-control bidding wars, shrinking square footage and greedy landlords in an on-the-ground look at the maddening hunt for somewhere to live.

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The cover of the January issue of Toronto Life, which reads, "The average rent for a one-bedroom is $2481 and it's going up"


February: Funny People

In its 50 years, Second City Toronto has cemented the city’s image as a comedy capital. To mark its anniversary in February, we spoke to early cast members, including Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Joe Flaherty, about the troupe’s first decade and how it helped shape a fresh, silly and distinctly Torontonian comic sensibility.

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Toronto Life February cover, titled "Funny People." It features an old, black and white photo of the cast of Second City


March: Inside the Battle for the Toronto Star

When Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett bought the Toronto Star in 2020, they were relatively unknown. They were ambitious, though, and they promised to lead the legacy newspaper into a golden era. Then, within two years, their big egos and clashing visions nearly tore the company apart. In March, we took readers inside the vicious battle for control of the country’s largest newspaper.

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The Toronto Life March cover, which reads, "The Battle for the Toronto Star." It has a photo of the two owners, Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett


April: The Smack-Talking, Muscle-Flexing, Fastball-Slinging Alek Manoah

Alek Manoah is a good friend to have and a fierce enemy to face. In other words, the perfect addition to the Blue Jays, a team that has suffered from a glaring lack of the ineffable substance known as grit. In April, our cover story looked at the pitcher’s electrifying life.

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The April cover of Toronto Life is a portrait of Alek Manoah, a pitcher for the Blue Jays


May: The High-Tech, Mostly Affordable, Nearly Here Future of Real Estate

The list of Toronto’s real estate problems is long, bleak and all too real. Yet there are also reasons for optimism. Across the GTA, innovative sci-fi-esque housing projects give hope amid the gloom. In May, we previewed some of the coolest develop­ments, most-sustainable living spaces and smartest home tech on the horizon.

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The May cover is a sprawling, Jetson-esque cityscape


June: Where to Eat Now 

After two years of takeout and home cooking, Toronto diners have been keen to splurge—even as we’re price-matching at supermarket checkouts like it’s a bloodsport. The message, in short, is that if people choose to dine out, they’re going big. In our annual list of the city’s best new restaurants, we chose 20 places where we’re more than happy to put our money where our mouths are.

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The June cover featured a large photo of Matty Matheson, who's Prime Seafood Palace was number one on our list of best new restaurants


July: Who Broke the TTC?

The city’s transit woes are the culmination of decades of inertia, political meddling and bad management. They were allowed—and, in some cases, encouraged—to happen. Worse still, nobody seems to have a viable plan to make it any better. In July, our cover story took an inside look at everything wrong with Toronto transit and who’s to blame.

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The July cover is a close up of the iconic red TTC seats


August: The Fabulous, Terrifying, Chaotic Life of TikTok’s Reigning It Boy

A few years ago, Josh Richards was an unknown teen from Cobourg posting goofy clips on social media and praying they’d go viral. Today, he’s Canada’s richest TikToker and the fifth richest one in the world. His career path is not without risk, but Richards has proved it’s possible to make a fortune via bedroom eyes, 10-second lip syncs and a signature ’do. In August, we found out how he did it.

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Our August cover was Richards sitting on a velvet purple couch, turning his head towards the camera.


September: The New Age of Cheating 

AI has made it easy for post-secondary students to fake their way to a degree. Some instruct ChatGPT to create essays whole-hog; others use it to weave chunks of original thinking into a coherent whole; and still others rely on it to overcome writer’s block. Schools say it spells the end of university education as we know it. In September, we took a look inside the AI revolution on campus.

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The September cover, which is an image of students sitting at laptops in a university classroom


October: The Inside Job

Robert Konashewych was a police officer earning a $128,000 salary. He and his girlfriend owned a penthouse condo. But it wasn’t enough—Konashewych had multiple affairs and racked up mountains of debt.  Then, he came across the file of Heinz Sommerfeld, a recently deceased man with a large unclaimed estate. In October, our cover story told the twisty tale of an almost-perfect fraud.

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A large portrait of Robert Konashewych, the subject of our October cover story


November: The All-New Neighbourhood Rankings

Five years have passed since we last ran our neighbourhood rankings, and what a transformation there’s been. To find out just how much things have changed, we partnered with the data heads at Environics Analytics to compare the city’s 158 neighbourhoods across metrics such as housing, education, crime and entertainment. In November, our cover story presented a mostly scientific, slightly inflammatory, deeply informative portrait of this ever-evolving city.

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Our November cover was an image of our top neighborhood, Danforth


December: Most Influential 2023

Our December cover featured our annual roundup of the year’s 50 most influential Torontonians. Some faces were familiar (Olivia Chow, Drake, Matty Matheson), though fresh ones also wielded influence (Lauren Chan, Summer McIntosh, Emma Seligman). But no one else had the paradigm-shifting impact of the person in our number-one spot: artificial intelligence giant Geoffrey Hinton.

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Our December cover was a close up shot of our most influential, Geoffrey Hinton