Gord Downie dead at 53. The Tragically Hip vocalist was diagnosed with glioblastoma after a December 2015 brain seizure, which was made public last May. Knowledge of his terminal illness meant comprehensive obituaries were ready to go at the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s, along with this now-corrected typo from south of the border:

The weed legalization war wafts on. Canna Clinic’s days are numbered now that a provincial court has given the city permission to shut down its two remaining locations. The decision follows a North York strip mall dispensary owner being gunned down in his parking lot. Meanwhile, a reliable opponent has emerged with a full-page National Post ad: Charles McVety’s Institute for Canadian Values claiming that “Trudeau’s Marijuana Bill Allows Children to Possess Ten Joints.”

Silicon Valley will save Canada from itself. Google sister company Sidewalk Labs announced a deal to turn a chunk of the east-end waterfront into a data-driven smart city. Facebook is about to unveil its “Canadian Integrity Election Initiative." And fervour continues to rise over the prospect of some non-American city making the shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2—now boosted by Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan saying Toronto deserves to win it. At least the local desperation hasn't come to this yet:

Pickle Barrel acquisition aims to help offset the diminishing appeal of Swiss Chalet Sauce. Cara Operations bought the 12 locations of the 46-year-old Toronto restaurant chain, adding to the company's growing portfolio amidst a decline in sit-down dining. The pinch is evidently being felt at Swiss Chalet, whose most loyal customers are senior citizens—prompting the inevitable campaign to pursue millennial parents with emoji marketing.

The price of winning over Parkdale with corporate pizza isn’t that high. A petition protesting Tibet Kitchen's impending eviction on West Queen West claims that the restaurant's landlord has a more lucrative offer from Pizza Hut. Tibet Kitchen's owner wants to move a few blocks away, but the prospective location isn't zoned for restaurant use, and local councillor Gord Perks doesn’t believe in exemptions. But it may not be hard for Pizza Hut to make new friends, based on how its 50-year-old competitor got this endorsement from an indie band, just by shipping them five pies:

Tori Spelling’s image as a Toronto homewrecker will last forever. It’s our Iliad,” says Shinan Govani about the battles between actors Mary Jo Eustace and Dean McDermott, which started 12 years ago after he met Spelling on the set of the Lifetime movie Mind Over Murder. The latest twist has Eustace alleging again that McDermott lives a well-documented lavish lifestyle while failing to pay over $100K in owed support for their son Jack—now entangled in this drama for two-thirds of his life:

The new self-checkout voice is being snuck into Shoppers Drug Mart. We were promised an announcement, but Shoppers has been quietly installing new voice prompts, after a nationwide outcry about its self-checkout kisoks' vocal fry. The new sibilant sound is still female, and has absolutely none of the character of what she replaced.

Word of the moment


Finance minister Bill Morneau was exposed by CTV News for using one of these to maintain his stake in his family business.

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