Ten years ago, insauga.com emerged as a small website focused on food, fun and events in Mississauga that generated 375 page views day one.
Fast forward to 2022, insauga.com now employs 20 people across Ontario and covers not only Mississauga but also Brampton, Halton Region, Hamilton and, as of summer 2021, Durham Region and the Niagara Region.
insauga.com now does upwards of 750,000 pageviews in one day and boasts 12-million page views a month that has become the go-to source for local breaking news, culture, and events for communities across the GTHA.
How did we get here?
The seed was initially planted when insauga’s founder, Khaled Iwamura, Googled ‘something to do in Mississauga’ and nothing came up in the 6th biggest city in Canada.
The idea for the site was fleshed out further on a napkin (yes, cliche) in a restaurant in Square One after Iwamura couldn’t find any website dedicated to the sixth biggest city in Canada.
Today, insauga.com is one of Canada’s largest digital-only news websites in Canada and it proudly serves 18 cities and communities across Southern Ontario–and it’s still growing.
In 2011, Iwamura first noticed the coverage of bigger legacy/traditional news media outlets didn’t quite touch on the issues and events affecting communities on the outskirts of the country’s biggest cities.
While Mississauga already had a legacy news source, it did not cater to younger audiences nor did it highlight the flourishing food and culture scene.
“We really wanted to bridge that gap and show people the really great things happening in their own communities,” Iwamura said.
When the website launched in January 2012, insauga.com consisted of Iwamura alone and coverage focused on food, culture, history and events in the city.
It was a long and slow process for the first couple of years, and Iwamura sold his condo just to keep the website afloat and to give it the time it needed to make its mark on the community.
Steady, upward progress was made at every step, Iwamura recalls of insauga.com’s early days, but it wasn’t until 2016, when content started to include more local breaking news and events, that the publication started seeing the numbers that would justify Iwamura’s all-in gamble.
“We have given our communities a voice and a place to be seen,” said Iwamura.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, insauga.com kept communities informed as Iwamura conducted dozens of video interviews with local leaders, public health officials, and policymakers about the crisis in the areas that mattered: their home communities. Those interviews alone have amassed more than 7 million views.
Insauga’s managing editor, Ashley Newport, who has been a member of the team in various capacities since the beginning, credits much of the site’s success to insauga.com’s growing team of writers and creatives who bring the site to life daily.
“Over the past 10 years, I’ve watched insauga.com grow from a tiny, food-oriented website to a huge local news organization that serves people all across Southern Ontario,” Newport said.
“I couldn’t be prouder of all the journalists and creators who have contributed to our company over the years and made the site better with each and every article.”
Looking forward to the next decade, when it comes to insauga.com, the sky’s the limit, as far as Iwamura is concerned.
“We are growing and are planning to expand into markets from coast to coast, from BC to the east coast.” Iwamura said, noting that more communities will be joining the insauga.com lineup before the end of 2022.
“We’re very excited at the prospect of bringing the insauga.com team’s expertise and enthusiasm to even more places in Canada.”
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Insauga.com, one of the largest digital-only media publications in Canada with a hyper-local focus in:
Niagara on the Lake