Taddle Creek often is asked to define itself and, just as often, it tends to refuse to do so. But it will say this: every six months, a new issue of Taddle Creek appears on newsstands, in mailboxes, and on computing devices. Each of those issues contains a multitude of things between its snazzily illustrated covers, including, but not limited to, fiction, poetry, comics, art, interviews, and features stories. It’s an odd mix, to be sure, which is why Taddle Creek refers to itself somewhat oddly as a “general-interest literary magazine.”

Taddle Creek’s contributors are the famous, the infamous, the long-since famous, the never-to-be famous, the up-and-coming, the down-and-going, and the never to be heard from again.

Work presented in Taddle Creek is humorous, poignant, ephemeral, urban, and rarely overly earnest, though not usually all at once. Theme issues generally are avoided, though when they do pop up from time to time, they’re not of the themes one might expect. Taddle Creek takes its mission to be the journal for those who detest everything the literary magazine has become in the twenty-first century very seriously, with rigorous editorial values and a keen eye on design.

Taddle Creek supplements its semi-annual publication schedule in a number of ways, with live events, a Web site, the occasional audio project, art shows, a series of social media feeds, and the occasional special publication or piece of merchandise.

Taddle Creek was founded in 1997 as a Christmas annual for the good people of Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood and their friends in the surrounding communities of Seaton Village, Christie-Ossington, Little Italy, Palmerston, Sussex-Ulster, Huron-Sussex, and the University of Toronto area. By the end of 2000, an insatiable need for expansion saw Taddle Creek increase its frequency to twice a year and widen its availability to all of Toronto. That year also saw the launch of the Taddle Creek Web Site, and the magazine’s first audio project: a compact disc of readings by three of its favourite authors. Always on an edge as cutting as its budget allows, the magazine beat society to the punch by about a decade, launching its first (and to date only) digital issue in 2001. In 2002, Taddle Creek became available nationally across Canada. Originally a black and white journal, Taddle Creek began dabbling in colour in 2007, eventually throwing all future staff raises to the wind and becoming a full-colour publication in 2009. The fun and merriment continue today.

The Happenings

Taddle Creek always loves an excuse to throw a party, and there’s never a better reason than the launch of a new issue. The Taddle Creek Happenings are legendary for their mix of art, music, food, and alcohol, not to mention their fifteen-minute-maximum readings. Like the magazine itself, Taddle Creek events never stand still, continually moving from bar to bar, speakeasy to speakeasy, coffee shop to coffee shop.

The Web Site

Taddle Creek’s Web site offers fifteen-plus years’ worth of stories and art from the print edition that you can read for free, so don’t even think of complaining about a lack of original content. (There’s also a blog, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

The Editorial Style

High editorial standards are Taddle Creek’s top priority (the magazine detests the word “mandate”). All works appearing in the magazine go through a rigorous process of editing, fact checking, copy editing, and proofreading. Generally, the magazine follows the rules set out in the Chicago Manual of Style, though its first reference is The Taddle Creek Guidebook to Editorial Style and Its Usage. Why have such a document when Chicago is so thorough? Because Taddle Creek likes to be different, and as good as Chicago is, some of its rules, especially in more recent editions, are such that Taddle Creek simply cannot abide by them.

Also of frequent reference is The Taddle Creek Guidebook to Fact-Checking Fiction. So ignored is factual accuracy in today’s literary world that Taddle Creek offers this book free of charge to all publishers of fiction and poetry in the hope of spreading its seed of precision.

Taddle Creek’s official spelling resource is the Oxford English Dictionary. Though the magazine often refers to the O.E.D.’s abridgement the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, it does so with less frequency than in the past, in no small part because the Canadian Oxford hasn’t been updated for some time now.

The Type

Taddle Creek’s display typeface is Futura. Designed by Paul Renner, in 1927, for the Bauer Type Foundry, of Germany, it is a non-traditional sans-serif gothic typeface, and remains a favourite amongst artsy types.

Taddle Creek’s body type is set in Bodoni, named for Giambattista Bodoni, an Italian master printer, active in the eighteenth century. All versions of Bodoni are based on his work, though there are many variations. Bodoni is known for creating modern letter styling, with more “perfect” forms and more contrast between the thick and thin strokes of his characters in comparison to traditional typefaces.

Body copy used on the Taddle Creek Web Site is set in Kepler. Adobe calls Kepler “elegant and refined with a hint of oldstyle proportion and calligraphic detailing”—a confusing combination that perhaps lends a hint as to why its designer, Robert Slimbach, named the font after after Johannes Kepler, the famed seventeenth-century German scientist who also believed God created the world through divine plan.

The Archives

Taddle Creek is proud to make available on its Web site nearly every work published in the magazine since its inception. Readers may browse for articles alphabetically by subject, chronologically though the Back Issues page, or via the Search tool.

If, like Taddle Creek, you prefer your magazines in print format, take note that hard copies of Taddle Creek are archived by Library and Archives Canada; the Toronto Reference Library; and the John P. Robarts Research Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, at the University of Toronto, among others. PDF copies of the print version will soon be available for free download on the Back Issues page, in spreads for desktop and laptop viewing, and in single-page view for easy tablet reading.

The Taddle Creek Web Site is also archived by Library and Archives Canada.

The Awards
The Indicia

TADDLE CREEK is published semi-annually in print (ISSN 1480-2481), in June and December, and on-line (ISSN 1710-8632), by Vitalis Publishing, P.O. Box 611, Station P, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2Y4 Canada. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40708524. Taddle Creek acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Taddle Creek also acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, in the creation of this Web site. Taddle Creek is a member of Magazines Canada. All rights reserved. No part of the print or on-line version of this periodical may be reproduced in any form without the consent of Taddle Creek or the individual authors.

Canada Council for the Arts Ontario Arts Council Canadian Heritage Canada