Dealing with the 4/20 vibe shift in Toronto
Storefronts bloomed under lockdown
“There’s a standing joke in Toronto that dispensaries are sprinkled around like parsley,” claims a budtender quoted in the New York Times story about the Toronto retail overload wrought by C-Day. With the number of iGaming operators in Ontario now pushing past 30, that saturation sounds like another safe bet.
Party crash in Locomotive Hall
In these times, all it seems to take is a random reaction roundup from Twitter for Steam Whistle Brewing to issue a disclaimer to media that a booking on its premises isn’t a political endorsement. Pierre Poilievre drew an unusual overflow crowd for a Conservative event in downtown Toronto. CTV News still managed to find a man in a Trump hat for an interview.
Canada’s airplane and train mask mandate will remain intact for now. Questions about dropping it followed the counterpart American rule being overturned on the grounds of overreach. But the Canadian measures don’t apply to ride-sharing services, which is why Uber is soon dropping mask requirements.
A mule recruiter is cooling off
The new book Bad Trips tells a first-person version of the Vice Canada staffer who went to jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine to Australia. It comes with a note that co-author Brian Whitney is getting the royalties. Slava Pastuk, in whose voice it’s written, still has six months of day parole:
Jerry Doucette dead at 70. The guitarist and singer’s 1977 hit “Mama Let Him Play” paid dividends for decades. Songs that came out of sequestering in a Vancouver basement led to a minor American chart ranking. The sound of Doucette didn’t have much staying power, but early-’80s AM radio was a fit for “Nobody.”
Finally, alt-weekly rescue mission
The Coast, founded in 1993 as an alternative weekly in Halifax, was committed to print editions just before the pandemic came with other plans. Now it’s been acquired by Overstory Media Group, which launched with lofty national ambitions. At least it’s a different spin from uncertainties surrounding similar publications in Vancouver and Toronto: