ECW is Entertainment. ECW is Culture. ECW is Writing.

Publishers Weekly recognizes ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America. ECW Press has published close to 1,000 books that are distributed throughout the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of languages. In the next year, we’ll release 50+ new titles and will continue to support and promote a vibrant backlist that includes poetry and fiction, pop-culture and political analysis, sports books, biography, and travel guides. Books by writers whose names you know and love — and by those who we’re very pleased to introduce for the first time. Who are we? After three decades, we still get asked about our name, those three little letters: ECW.

At first the acronym was self-descriptive: Essays on Canadian Writing (the name of the journal of literary criticism we started in 1974). But as the company grew and changed, our name, in our minds, also changed. We’ve heard the company called Essential Canadian Writing, Excellent Contemporary Writing, or, more recently, Extreme Cutting-Edge Writing. And these names have been, and still are, appropriate. But now we realize that each of those letters represents a particular strain of ECW Press’s diverse passions — Entertainment, Culture, Writing.

No matter how our name has been interpreted, however, there has always been one constant: our pursuit of excellent writing. We recognize that it’s our authors who make us what we are, who establish our reputation. And because of this we’re committed to bringing you the best writers and the best writing we know — in every genre. In the next decade, ECW will continue to grow and change.

Today, we’re publishing a heady mix of commercial and literary works that strive for a uniform standard of excellence: the best writing; the most exciting, controversial, and insightful takes on the hottest subject matter; ground-breaking design; and high production values. Our goal is to support every ECW Press title with the kind of innovative marketing and promotion that give our books and authors the recognition they deserve.


A Note on Our Location

The ECW office is situated on land that was the traditional territory of many nations including the Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewa, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the Credit, the latter of whom completed negotiation of a Treaty No. 13 known as the “Toronto Purchase” begun in 1787, negotiated in 1805, and re-negotiated in 2010. It was a sandy, oak savannah on a hill rising westward from Heward Creek, one of Toronto’s lost ravines (with current ones showcased in An Enduring Wilderness). In the 1880s, the land was developed as part of a growing community around St. Matthew’s Anglican and other churches. Starting in the 1950s, our neighbourhood was transformed by immigrants fleeing the Vietnam War and Chinese Canadians dispossessed by the building of Nathan Phillips Square and subsequent rise in real estate value in other Chinatowns. Our area became known as East Chinatown. A local restaurant was used as a location in the filming of A Christmas Story. We are grateful to those who cared for the land before us, and are proud to be working amidst this mix of cultures! 


Our Commitment to Sustainability

We’re proud of our list of environmental titles and are always looking to make our business as sustainable as possible. All of our books are printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and the majority of books are printed on paper that is 100% post-consumer waste. We print conservatively, reprinting as needed, to reduce the likelihood inventory will need to be destroyed.

Our office has been powered by renewable Bullfrog energy since 2012. Though we try to minimize flying, all unavoidable staff travel is offset by the Gold Standard. (In 2020, we helped fund distribution of improved cookstoves in Peru.)

We were among the first publishers to expand into ebooks so that we could reduce the need for printed books that need to be shipped. We work electronically whenever possible and encourage reviewers to use digital galleys through services such as NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Welcome to ECW. 

ECW Press
665 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 1Y2