On the GO extends its Toronto reach

More GTA commuters pick up the free lifestyle mag - avoiding that inky newsprint aftersmudge.

Toronto’s free commuter glossy On the Go is expanding in both circulation and size. Owned by Pickering, Ont.-based 4Front Media, which also publishes regional travel mags in the province, the quarterly is expanding distribution by 35,000 copies throughout TTC subway and GO Transit stations in the GTA. Covering travel, home, recipes and events, the minimag is also increasing its page size by 20% (to a European digest format of 5.75 by 7.75 inches).

‘It’s a bigger presence for the advertisers and it allows the editorial design to sit on the stands better,’ says publisher Mark Switzer of the layout change. Distributed by Torstar Direct Services, On the Go launched in December 2007 with just 25,000 copies, is currently at 65,000, and will hit 100,000 in July. And while the commuter demographics may be broad – the average age is 36, household income is between $70,000 and $110,000 – On the Go sells ads on the premise that it reaches the masses. Major advertisers include Pepsi, Colgate and Para Paints.

‘We haven’t really found the need to promote it a lot,’ says Switzer, as the extent of promos humbly includes the banner on the Gateway Newsstands and some of Torstar’s digital signage at Union Station. ‘The whole idea behind this is you’re not getting your hands covered in ink; it’s a free, quality magazine for the commuter.’