The provincial legislature looks ready to break. The next Ontario election will be different from the last, whether or not it’s called before next year’s fixed date. While the NDP are busy accusing the Liberals of stealing their ideas, Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn has all but declared a Conservative victory (or maybe it’s just some kind of ploy to scare Star readers). At this stage, a Lego QP might be more sturdy than the real thing:

Kevin O’Leary isn’t finished whining about the Conservative leadership race. The candidate who abandoned his campaign claims to be on the hook for about $300,000. Since rules stipulate he has to raise it one maximum $1,550 donation at a time, O’Leary is arguing he now risks being sued by small vendors facing ruin—because he can’t pay them with proceeds from Shark Tank investments like an illuminated toilet seat. (Oh, and he’s also asking for a recount of the vote that sunk Maxime Bernier.)

Promise of free VIP pornography fails to calm tenants in Parkdale. Residents who are part of the growing rent strike at buildings owned by MetCap Living Management got loud during a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing about rent increases at one building. Mercifully, the news media didn’t take the bait from Pornhub, which offered free premium memberships to any Parkdalians aggrieved by gentrification. Meanwhile, Toronto Life’s story about a personal real estate crisis generated one last American hot take—which blames HGTV for never showing the people who such renovations displace.

“For those who have attended high school, pranks are a rite of passage, but this one went too far.” Cooking oil and peanut butter smeared across the floors forced Senator O’Connor College School at Victoria Park and Lawrence to close yesterday, not so much out of concern about allergic reactions, but because a staff member slipped and fell. John Yan of the Toronto District School Board acknowledged that social media plays a role in influencing students to top each other in the prank department. (The same teens are surely amused when multiple TV news trucks pull up to the school hoping to chase them down for a soundbite.)

“Toronto’s Apollo” gets a hip-hop oral history. Now Magazine is fronted this week by Ron Nelson, the legendary host of CKLN’s Fantastic Voyage, who got the chance to turn the Masonic Temple into a dominant rap palace through the late ’80s. The turning point was a 1989 Public Enemy concert, when a shocked Nelson received a $7,500 cheque for his cut of T-shirt sales, purchased by the overwhelmingly white crowd. “Black people didn’t do that. We didn’t have that kind of money.”

The mystery of the Pop Shoppe hard soda. LCBO billboards are promoting two spiked flavours, riding the trend of the infantilization of booze cans and nostalgia for the 1970s drink depots. Two decades after its demise, the company was revived by Brian Alger, who focused on selliing it in small stubbles. Pop Shoppe was acquired a year ago by Beverage World, a company which won't disclose any details of the deal, citiing confidentiality agreements. The new iteration is produced by Blue Spike Beverages, and it has a social media campaign. Yet, there’s no parallel promotion for the non-alcoholic Pop Shoppe, left suspended in time like a Ford Pinto.

Postmedia staff could end up on a picket line. Staff at the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun have voted 91 per cent in favour of a mandate to strike amidst locked negotiations over a new collective agreement, although conciliation meetings are scheduled for later this month. This week, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne debated Toronto Star chair John Honderich in Ottawa about whether government should step in to save dying newspapers. (Coyne’s case against won the night.)

Word of the moment


How a Newmarket woman in her 80s ended up, according to police called after she apparently bit into cannabis-infused chocolate provided by her grandson.

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