Torstar Digital launches social media venue taps into the popularity of social networking with a little help from its friends plus a few 'urban passionistas.'

Torstar Digital and Toronto-based imason are officially launching this week. It’s a social media site that lets Torontonians list and rate their favourite people, places and things in the city.

The site’s invite-only beta version launched at the beginning of April, asking pre-launch participants to create profiles, submit places, and start tagging in true Web 2.0 style. It is set up to track activity and identify potential influencers among the Favers, which in turn leads to recommendations from ‘urban passionistas.’

With no in-your-face advertising as yet (read banners and boxes), it’s essentially a word-of-mouth platform powered by‘s established biz database – meaning details such as precise location are automatically associated when a ‘Faver’ posts a fave.

A quick squint at the recent activity shows the site could be a gold mine for Faver-endorsed small biz in the city. Other marketers may want to take note of certain clustered posts – such as the Starbucks page, which reads like a user-generated menu board.

Torstar Digital director of corporate strategy Candice Faktor tells MiC the site’s ad/sponsorship model is in development as the online community builds, although plans are in the works to offer highly-targeted opps from loyalty programs and sponsored pages to more traditional ad units.

Promotion for the site, while backed by links from and, will aim for viral value – leveraging the power of other social media sites (Facebook included) for getting the word out. Toronto-based Rock-It Promotions is handling publicity, which will also include a launch party. Faktor says might be expanded to other cities across North America.