About the cover

We have to confess, this magazine’s cover idea isn’t entirely original — but then again, these days, what is?

Back in 1989, a peculiar anthology film was released in the US. The film, New York Stories, was split into three segments, each with its own director (hence the “anthology film” moniker). All three were cinematic heavyweights at the time: Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen, who had taken home an Academy Award for his screenplay for Hannah and Her Sisters two years previous. Though not an especially memorable film — Scorsese and Allen’s pieces were positively received by critics, and Coppola’s was torn to pieces — New York Stories has become iconic for its poster, depicting a simplified illustration of a classic New York City brownstone, with the World Trade Center towering above.

The original poster for New York Stories.

Using the poster as inspiration, The Varsity’s design team got to work on transplanting the idea and giving it a Toronto spin. Though several buildings were offered up as options (City Hall? Robarts? the Manulife Centre?), the Gooderham Building at the intersection of Wellington and Front ultimately won out. One of the few classic “flatirons” in North America, the Gooderham Building has been an iconic landmark for Toronto for over 120 years — that’s just 12 years after The Varsity was founded!