“Last Sam’s Standing” wants to be an official landmark. A decade after a Facebook campaign to save Sam's neon sign on Yonge Street, the last surviving franchise, in Belleville’s Quinte Mall, has asked Ontario tourism minister Eleanor McMahon to have the store plugged on nearby highway signs. The province replied that they don't do that for retailers. So, what's one more petition?

Conflicted feelings about Hooker Harvey’s. Residential development at Jarvis and Gerrard looks as though it will eviscerate the storied fast-food joint—though the proposed high-rises technically wrap around it. But, throw in a couple of random sarcastic tweets and now you’ve got a Global News story claiming there's outrage about it closing. (Marcus Gee counters that "Hooker Harvey’s" is already gone as a state of mind.)

St. Patrick station’s uncharacteristic seal. The Toronto Star wonders why the University and Dundas station still has its passageways blocked off four decades after they were closed in response to the stabbling death of 16-year-old Mariam Peters. (At the time, the CCTV technology required to monitor the dark areas was deemed too expensive.)

The Queen is going to die, someday. The National Enquirer gives her two months, but Elizabeth II has rebounded from her Christmas cold, only to be the subject of a National Post explainer on what we’ve got to suffer through when her time’s up. CBC had a broadcast team on call through the holidays for the kind of mourning marathon that Colby Cosh believes would un-harden the heart of every anti-monarchist.

CBC Comedy’s ritual self-destruction. The state broadcaster’s revamped laughter division got off to an odd start last summer when one journalist who ridiculed its website was asked by its managing editor to react in a “more constructive manner.” For a while, CBC Comedy was dominated by woke joke articles that lacked the finesse of The Onion. Now, its Twitter is mostly one-liners that’d get any open-mic amateur pelted with the bricks from the wall behind them. CBC non-comedy staff have mostly avoided joining in the jeering, at least until this one:

Joe Warmington vs. the anti-Nickelback brigade. Avril Lavigne stuck up for estranged husband Chad Kroeger when Mark Zuckerberg joked about his music. Belatedly, the Night Scrawler stepped in to have his say. On Twitter, he recalled being mocked by a Target Canada staffer for looking at a Nickelback CD. The employee is now apparently working for a different retailer—a career move for which Warmington, whose entire public persona is about fighting for the "little guy," seems to have nothing but contempt:

“If there were fisticuffs between me and Nick there would have been two hits: me hitting him and him hitting the ground. By the time he’d have woken up I’d have been prime minister.” In a Maclean’s profile of Nick Kouvalis, Doug Ford denied the existence of a rumoured fistfight during Rob Ford’s 2010 mayoral campaign. The main focus of the piece is on Kouvalis' work with Kellie Leitch, whose current persona is seen by some as having been scripted by him. (Kouvalis wouldn't speak to Maclean's, opting to stick to his tweeting instead.)

Word of the moment


Giorgio Mammoliti's description of the experience of sitting in city council chambers, offered in response to a question about why he was absent so often last year.

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