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08.28.17 – Shift Magazine launches sixth edition, focusing on art and architecture in Toronto

By Josie Northern Harrison, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Shift Magazine

On August 19, the Shift Magazine launched its sixth edition titled SHIFT06. The theme for the issue explored social issues around art and architecture produced within and about Toronto (otherwise nicknamed "The 6"). The issue was conceived as an assessment of Toronto, documenting some of its good sides and bad sides. To start, Phat Le and I each wrote short letters to Toronto in lieu of the traditional Letter from the Editors.

“I’m here to let you know, how thankful I am for you [Toronto],” writes Phat Le. “You opened your doors for both my parents during the Vietnam War, and allowed them to create a safe space for my sister and I to live.”

The issue is organized into two sections (the good and the bad). For “the good” section, the articles considered topics like the city’s monuments, Drake’s album cover, quirky city flâneurs, and the haunting bells of the TTC subway. Monique Lizardo took Drake from his original Views cover album (depicting him sitting on the CN Tower) and resized his figure to scale (shown below). Emily Suchy wrote an article arguing that monuments can be subjective and unintentional, which was supported by an illustrated map of the Shift team’s personal monuments in Toronto.

A Visual Analysis of Drake, Human Scales, and the Question of the “Views” Album Cover, 2016,  by Monique Lizardo.

Toronto is an amazing city, but it does have flaws, so we felt it was necessary to vent our frustration about Toronto’s shortcomings in the second half of SHIFT06. Eddy O’ Toole compiled a collection of messages to illustrate the longing and struggle someone might experience when studying in a new city. Irina Rouby Apelbaum created a series of sketches about 665-669 Spadina Ave — the former undergraduate studio space — to capture the stressful and quirky home that we’ve left. Najia Fatima sketched a series of vignettes illustrating the dilemmas she encountered when touring her Muslim mother around Toronto.

Similar to SHIFT04, this issue was printed using the risograph method, which reduces the cost of printing by only printing with one colour at a time instead of the CMYK and similar processes which combine colours to achieve a specific hue. However, we differed this print by using gold ink on 80lb vellum paper with a saddle-stitched bind (instead of red and blue on a lightweight paper). By using a thicker paper, we maintained the publication’s lo-fi aesthetic, but created an object that feels more substantial.

As a goodbye to the former undergraduate studio space, SHIFT06 was officially launched on August 19 with a very successful send-off event at 665-669 Spadina Avenue that featured local bands Luna Li, The Ferns, Tange, Lover's Touch, and Westelaken. If you couldn’t make it out to the event, you will still have opportunities to pick up a copy at Clubs Fair on Wednesday, September 6, or you can send a message to or Shift’s Facebook page and arrange a time to meet. If you’re interested in joining the 2017-2018 Shift Team, send an email introducing yourself and your interests to

Contributors to SHIFT06:
Monique Lizardo
Emily Suchy
Eugenia Wong
Chester Coxwell
Eddy O'Toole
Irina Rouby Apelbaum
Josie Northern
Najia Fatima
Phat Le
Benjamin de Boer

Shift Editorial Team:
Phat Le, Co-Editor-In-Chief 
Josie Northern, Co-Editor-In-Chief
Emily Suchy, Senior Publication Editor 
Chaya Bhardwaj, Publication Editor 
Najia Fatima, Publication Editor 
Ceylin Oz, Publication Editor 
Sonia Sobrino Ralston, Blog Writer 
Alexandra Spalding, Blog Writer
Regina Arcia-Martinez, Illustrator 
Jess Camarda, Illustrator
Eddy O’Toole, Layout Designer 
Eugenia Wong, Layout Designer 
Monique Perez Lizardo, Social Media 
Gianina Ann Ramos, Social Media 
Jasper Choi, Digital Manager 
Lillie Wang, Web Designer