Some Toronto Sun staffers feel this is their future: Sun/24, free and feeling cheap.
When you click on 24 Hours on the Calgary Sun web site, you get the paper in pdf format.
The new Calgary 24 online edition coincided with Quebecor's launch of a 24 Hours on the streets of Calgary. CanWest's free Calgary RushHour was launched Feb. 20 and TorStar's free Calgary print edition of Metro is due Monday.
Come Monday, 1.1 million Calgarians will have free RushHour, 24 Hours and Metro commuter tabloids to read, plus the paid dailies, the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.
(Speaking of the Calgary Sun, it recently lost Chris Nelson, Editor in Chief, who resigned in the same disgruntled manner as Jim Jennings, Editor in Chief at the Toronto Sun, who resigned in September. Jennings is now at the Globe and Mail.)
Quebecor has also launched 24 in Edmonton, but the Edmonton Sun web site does not have the Sun/24 logo. A nearby contest ad does combine the Sun and 24 logos.
While the free commuter paper war is heating up across Canada, what sets CanWest and TorStar apart from Quebecor is there are no rumours about mergers of their major dailies and free papers.
Free commuter dailies are the rage among media conglomerates, but readers beware - you do get what you don't pay for.
Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi always come to mind when thinking about the future of the Toronto Sun as we have known it for 35 years:
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot