Toronto’s two most forever-renovating venues

Paradise is back—will El Mo follow?

Big day for the El Mo! Our fierce leader has been there for every step of the way. Thanks @michaelwekerle and team @theelmocambo for keeping live alive in this beautiful city! #keeplive #newmusic #musicvenue #thesix #musichistory #thisdayinhistory
November 28, 2019

Michael Wekerle purchased the El Mocambo five years ago, but only this week was its hoarding removed, which may mean really reopening soon. Meanwhile, elsewhere in downtown Toronto, the Paradise Theatre is a week away from being formally restored after 13 years, although it’s already hosted a live version of Dave Hodge’s The Reporters.


We’re standing with Will Sloan

A week of being blocked from tweeting was the punishment received by a cinematic podcaster received after he mocked Baby Yoda clickbait from Esquire. Now released from his shackles, Will Sloan got a show of support from at least one elected official. (Baby Yoda also receives crucial cultural coverage in the new issue of Maclean’s.)


The pile-on to push Andrew Scheer to disappear. Leading up to his speech at the Alberta provincial Conservative convention, Stephen Harper’s ex-campaign director Jenni Byrne is the latest federal fixture to publicly advise Scheer to move along. But one of his failed candidates thinks the CPC leader can maybe just lose some weight.


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Santa is the hot topic in B.C.

First, the Comox Valley Record fed worldwide content mines by printing an ad for a Christmas parade that invited Courtenay kids to take “Pictures with Satan.” Then, 69-year-old Gary Haupt, in his second year of playing Santa at a Penticton mall, lost his $5,000 contract gig after exposure of social media photos that included spanking:


Quebec dismissed comedian Mike Ward’s human rights tribunal appeal. Joking about disabled singer Jérémy Gabriel, who became a provincial celebrity, led to $42,000 in fines that Ward refuses to pay. But the Supreme Court ruled that the woman once arrested in Montreal for not holding an escalator handrail in the Metro is entitled to $20,000.


Black Friday clouds over MEC

Mountain Equipment Co-Op employees in Victoria accused the company of union busting tactics, due to being sent memos about financial “crunch time” at its stores—but those workers unionized anyhow. It coincides with retail headwinds hitting MEC, after it racked up debt to build Vancouver and Toronto locations with a big-box look: