Torstar, Tele-Direct, CitySearch Create Toronto Service

Torstar Corp., publisher of the
Toronto Star
newspaper, Tele-Direct Publications
Inc.
and CitySearch formed a new partnership to
provide an Internet service that designed to let buyers and sellers conduct
business
online in the Greater Toronto Area.


Building on the Toronto Star CitySearch.com site and integrating business data
from Tele-Direct’s award-winning YellowPages.ca site, the new partnership
will evolve the city guide model to integrate more and more electronic
commerce,
the companies said.


The new partnership is called ‘Toronto.com’ and the service will be accessible
at http://www.toronto.com.


“. . . this new alliance will benefit all our customers in the Greater
Toronto Area
as the premiere Internet site to connect buyers and sellers,” said Tom Bourke,
chairman of Tele-Direct, Bell Canada’s directory company. “Tele-Direct brings
our powerful Yellow Pages brand, significant new media experiences, and sales
and marketing network to the partnership. Combined with the Toronto Star’s
strong brand recognition and consumer demand, its popular online classifieds
and new media content expertise, Toronto.com will provide both residents and
visitors to the Greater Toronto Area with a vital source of information and
new opportunities for electronic shopping experiences.”


Toronto.com will provide event guides, mapping, and topical community
information, as well as shopping opportunities for tickets, books and CDs. The
partnership said it intends to take advantage of the new Mpact Immedia/Bell
Emergis alliance for the development of e-commerce merchant tools and
capabilities.


The major shareholders in the new partnership are Torstar and Tele-Direct,
each holding a 45% share. CitySearch will hold a 10% share and will
provide its proprietary technology platform.


Toronto.com will be a member of the CitySearch Network of key North American
and worldwide city guides.


Publisher of the new partnership will be Bruce Annan, formerly publisher of
Toronto Star CitySearch.com. George Jewell, formerly Director of Internet
Services for Tele-Direct, will join Toronto.com as director of sales and
marketing.


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