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About Us GuelphMercuryTribune.com

GuelphMercury.com is a trusted source of local news serving readers in Guelph. Committed to delivering quality, community journalism, GuelphMercury.com publishes daily news and information that aim to inform, engage and empower readers, and strengthen the community.

GuelphMercury.com is the website for the former ߲ݴýMercury Tribune weekly community newspaper. The award-winning publication, published by , a subsidiary of , moved to a digital-only model Sept. 15, 2023.

Torstar is owned by Nordstar Capital, which is owned by Toronto business leader Jordan Bitove.

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History

The ߲ݴýMercury Tribune was a fusion of two newspapers and websites serving the ߲ݴýand surrounding area — the ߲ݴýMercury and the ߲ݴýTribune.

The ߲ݴýMercury published as a daily newspaper from 1867 until its final edition in January 2016. The ߲ݴýTribune, a community newspaper established in 1986, published in print twice weekly up until December 2018, when weekly publication was consolidated to Thursdays.

As we began to prepare for the ߲ݴýTribune's 30th anniversary, it seemed appropriate to honour the heritage of the ߲ݴýMercury and its important role in documenting life in ߲ݴýby incorporating that great brand into the Tribune's name. The ߲ݴýMercury Tribune continues to tell the stories that matter to our region.

The ߲ݴýMercury was established in 1867, much like Canada itself — making it one of the oldest broadsheet daily newspapers in Ontario at the time of its final print edition in January 2016.

The Mercury’s history traces back to a weekly, known as the Advertiser, which started in 1854. At the time, ߲ݴýwas a hamlet of fewer than 2,000 people, with no telegraph service and dirt roads.

One hundred years ago, classified ads appeared on the front pages of most newspapers. Alongside headlines about faraway wars and municipal budgets were announcements about church meetings or furniture for sale. Papers were once much more subjective and political; the idea of a balanced news story didn't appear for some time. And people purchased newspapers for different reasons.

In the 1950s, the paper strove to put 25 stories and 75 local names in every issue. From the early days of placing ads and local gossip, page A1 morphed to include more local news, and then changed to cover national and international news with a special city section inside. Around the early 1990s, the paper shifted again, putting local stories back on the front page to emphasize the paper's focus on local news.

The ߲ݴýAdvertiser, a weekly paper, was established by George Keeling. He arrived in the hamlet of ߲ݴýfrom Great Britain in 1854, with his wife, two kids and an old crank press, which was relatively easy to transport.

"It is pretty great that he was able to get a newspaper out at all," because of the primitive existence of life in the hamlet at the time, said Mercury historian Lynn Boland-Richardson.

With five employees, Keeling churned out a paper week after week, never missing a deadline. When he died, his five teenage employees still got the paper to print on time.

In 1862, Toronto newspaperman James Innes bought the Advertiser. He later purchased the Mercury, another weekly, to form the Mercury and Advertiser.

In 1867 the paper was turned into a daily, The ߲ݴýEvening Mercury and Advertiser.

"It was great," Boland-Richardson said. "They published chapters of novels, it was the only way people could get books and they would get news from home, where they had emigrated from," Boland-Richardson said. It also included the latest local gossip.

It was an honour to own a paper at the time, Boland-Richardson said, during the era of newspaper barons in the United States and Britain.

The Mercury's publishers and editors were very involved in the community, sitting on hospital and library boards and other volunteer activities. They were right in the mix of finding out what was happening in the city.

In 1905, a local man named J. Innes McIntosh bought the paper. In 1924 McIntosh bought the rights to the ߲ݴýHerald, a competing daily.

Although it is the successful weeklies that led to the formation of the ߲ݴýMercury, it's believed that ߲ݴýfounder John Galt had a press with him when the hamlet was founded, Boland-Richardson said.

There were at least two papers that attempted to start up in the early 1800s, predating the weeklies that became the Mercury.

Until the Thomson ߲ݴýpapers Corporation bought the paper in 1947, the paper was always locally owned.

With Hollinger Inc.'s mass purchase of 19 Ontario newspapers in 1995, the Mercury was under new ownership again, and had a larger focus on national news.

Sun Media briefly owned the paper in 1998 before it was sold to Torstar Corporation that same year.

The paper's name has changed several times, with titles ranging from The ߲ݴýEvening Mercury and Advertiser to the Daily Mercury and the ߲ݴýMercury.

Throughout the years the paper has always been very loyal to the community, Boland-Richardson said.

"They did a good job of writing about their own heritage and pioneers and they've always included bits about the past in the community," she said.

"Like many Ontario newspapers, they did a good job of writing about what was going on in the community, first."

Compiled by Fiona Isaacson

Special thanks to Lynn Boland Richardson and the staff at the ߲ݴýPublic Library