The Sun was first published on November 1, 1971, the Monday after the demise of the Toronto Telegram, a conservative broadsheet. As there was no publishing gap between the two papers and many of the Tely's writers and employees moved to the new paper, it is today generally considered as a direct continuation of the Telegram. The Sun is the holder of the Telegram archives.
The Toronto Sun is modeled on British tabloid journalism, even borrowing the name of The Sun newspaper published in London, and some of the features, including the typically bikini-clad Sunshine Girl, who was initially on the same page as the British paper - page 2 or 3. Traditionally on page 3, in the 1990s the Sunshine Girl feature was relocated to the Sports section. The feature was later moved to the inside back page, before being changed again in 2011; now two different photos of the same daily Sunshine Girl are published in every edition, one on page 3, and another on the inside back page.
News stories in the tabloid style tend to be much shorter than those in other newspapers, and the language Sun journalists use tends to be simpler and more conversational than language used in other newspapers.
As of the end of 2007, the Sun had a Monday through Saturday circulation of approximately 180,000 papers and Sunday circulation of 310,000.
The Sun is owned by Postmedia following the 2015 purchase of Sun Media from Quebecor. Torstar, the parent company of the Toronto Star, once attempted to purchase the Sun. The paper, which boasts the slogan "Toronto's Other Voice" (also once called "The Little Paper that Grew") acquired a television station from Craig Media in 2005, which was renamed SUN TV and later was transformed into the Sun News Network until its demise in 2015. By the mid-2000s (decade), the word "The" was dropped from the paper's name and the newspaper adopted its current logo.
The Toronto Sun's first editor was Peter Worthington. He assumed the title "editor-in-chief" in 1976, resigned in 1982 to protest the newspaper's takeover by Maclean-Hunter but remained a columnist for the paper until his death in 2013. He was succeeded by Barbara Amiel who, in turn, was succeeded by John Downing (as editor). Other senior editors have included Lorrie Goldstein (city editor, editorial page editor), Linda Williamson (senior associate editor), Rob Granatstein (editorial page editor), and as editors-in-chief: Peter O'Sullivan, Mike Strobel, Jim Jennings, Glenn Garnett (2006-2007), Lou Clancy (2007-2009), James Wallace (2008–2013) and Wendy Metcalfe (2013-2015). The current editor-in-chief is Adrienne Batra; the publisher is Mike Power.
The Toronto Sun was originally published out of leased space at the Eclipse White Wear Company Building at 322 King Street West. In 1975, the newspaper moved into the Toronto Sun Building at 333 King Street East which was eventually expanded to six storeys to house all of the newspaper's operations. In 2010, the building was sold to property development company First Gulf, the Sun consolidated its operations onto the second floor and remained in the building until 2016.
Following the acquisition of the Sun newspaper chain by PostMedia in 2015, it was announced that the Toronto Sun staff and operations will move to 365 Bloor Street East, the same building that houses the National Post, but that the two newspapers will maintain separate newsrooms. The move occurred in March 2016.
Editorially, the paper frequently follows the positions of traditional Canadian/British conservatism and neo-conservatism in the United States on economic issues. In an endorsement of Stephen Harper in 2011, the paper stated "From the day we took our first breath...[we have] always stood for the advancement of small-c conservatism, and our demand for transparency in a smaller but efficient government has never wavered." Editorials typically promote individualism, self-reliance, the police, and a strong military and support for troops. Editorials typically condemn high taxes and, most of all, perceived government waste.
The paper typically editorializes with its headlines, which is unusual in Canada.
Sportsperson of the Year award
The Toronto Sun's format has given rise to sister Sun tabloids in major markets across Canada, namely the Edmonton Sun, the Calgary Sun, the Ottawa Sun and most recently the Brampton Sun and York Sun, weekend-only tabloids distributed as sections of the Toronto edition. The Winnipeg Sun was originally launched by independent interests, only later coming under common ownership to the Toronto Sun, which subsequently elicited a redesign in Sun Media style.
The Vancouver Sun is a broadsheet and was never a Sun Media newspaper. Due to the acquisition of Sun Media by the Postmedia Network, the Vancouver Sun now shares the same owner as the other Sun newspapers; The Province, also owned by Postmedia Network, Inc, is Vancouver's traditional tabloid daily.
The Toronto Sun originally had several editors with various responsibilities, none with the title "editor-in-chief" however, from 1971 to 1976, Peter Worthington was listed on the newspaper's masthead immediately under the publisher, Doug Creighton.
- Peter Worthington (1976-1982)
- Barbara Amiel (1983-1985)
- John Downing editor (1985-1997), no editor-in-chief until 1995
- Peter O'Sullivan (1995-1999)
- Mike Strobel (1999–2001)
- Mike Therien (2001-2004)
- Jim Jennings (2004–2006)
- Glenn Garnett (2007)
- Lou Clancy (2007–2009)
- James Wallace (2009–2013)
- Wendy Metcalfe (2013-2015)
- Adrienne Batra (2015–present)
Current Sun writers
Former Sun staff