Rochdale draws its name from Rochdale College, Canada’s first and only free university. Setup by a group of ambitious students at the University of Toronto in 1968, Rochdale College was an eighteen story utopian experiment financed by the federal government. It housed nearly a thousand students at its height—hippies, draft dodgers, junkies and artists. Coach House Books was its printing press. It didn’t take long for the Hells Angels to move in, for the city of Toronto to shriek, and for the doors to be welded shut.
While we aren’t nostalgic for the narcissistic cultural politics of the 1970s (and Rochdale had its fair share of it!), we are nostalgic for a time when the Canadian state was responsive to left-wing ambition. Hence, our blog. We’re here to crank Canadian discourse to the left. We have no intention of being a place for reactionary opinions, for literary gymnastics or for bourgois purity. Writing that’s suffocatingly linked to the news cycle or to the advancement of anyone’s career will be shot into outer space. We’re looking for writing that shows humour, vulnerability and class war. You can read more about how we think about writing here: "Write for Rochdale."