Torstar plans to boost its ethnic reach

Already publisher of the Canadian version of Chinese-language daily Sing Tao and Sway, a weekly geared to Toronto's African- and Caribbean-Canadian communities, the Toronto Star is now leveraging the success of a magazine geared to all the 250,000 immigrants who arrive here annually - plus planning a Toronto edition.

Current circulation of Vancouver-based monthly The Canadian Immigrant – which covers careers, education, lifestyles, culture and financial matters, along with profiles of prominent British Columbia immigrants – is 30,000. Advertisers in this month’s issue include Safeway, Biopro Technology,, Mac’s Milk and Vancouver Honda.

But when a Toronto edition of the magazine is launched later this year, publisher/president/CEO Naeem ‘Nick’ Noorani estimates that initial circulation of the magazine he founded two and a half years ago will zoom to an initial 55,000. He also predicts that the number of advertisers who want to reach Canada’s many immigrant consumers through the hard-copy and online pages of what he describes as an ‘multi-ethnic’ publication will soar.

The former Saatchi & Saatchi creative sold a controlling interest in his magazine to the Star Media group of Torstar last month for a price neither party will disclose. Nor will Noorani say which side of the deal first approached the other. But he tells MiC he considers the result ‘an excellent fit’ for both pubs. ‘According to Profit 100,’ he notes, ‘(marketing to) the immigrant community is one of the five fastest-growing business opportunities in Canada.’

Noorani recalls realizing soon after he emigrated from India that ‘the information needs of immigrants (to Canada) were not being met by mainstream media. That’s what led to a huge growth in ethnic publications.’ His response to the dearth was to first co-write – with his wife Sabrina Noorani – an advice book titled Arrival Survival Canada, and then to launch The Canadian Immigrant.

In the near future, Noorani plans to extend his company’s portfolio to include publishing directories and sponsoring trade shows themed to appeal to immigrants. He already hosts a national advice-to-newcomers weekly radio show on Radio and publishes a daily blog: