“It was never about a second headquarters.” Richard Florida is being sanguine about Amazon HQ2 getting split between New York and Northern Virginia—although a rant on the CityLab website run by Florida argues that the spectacle of pitting cities against each other should’ve been illegal. But the Toronto bid contingent thinks Amazon’s reality show still helped with affirming a World Class City:

King Street Pilot hopes for a middle-finger-free winter. Amidst a year of debate, it’s still unclear if making streetcars a priority on King is here to stay, let alone a model for the rest of Toronto. Now, a bigger issue seems to be the TTC struggling to keep 30-year-old streetcars on the road, after spending $26 million to try and extend their driving lives.

The return of the neon palm to College and Spadina. El Mocambo owner Michael Wekerle sat on the restored tree before it returned to the nightclub. However, details of the El Mo's spring relaunch remain largely mysterious. In any case, this is an increasingly rare example of a legendary Toronto sign remaining on its original building:

Patrick Brown’s former chief of staff lost his new job on the first day thanks to Doug Ford’s office. Alykhan Velshi was apparently removed from his executive role at Ontario Power Generation—but he’s still hanging around until the termination takes effect, along with significant severance pay. Meanwhile in Brampton, mayor-elect Brown deleted a video of himself happily breaking local bylaws by lighting long-range fireworks during Diwali.

Alex Trebek’s claim that Justin Trudeau has a secret buzzer to get himself out of meetings is denied by the PMO. But it still proved among the most notable tidbits from a Vulture interview with the Jeopardy host, who intends to keep working through 2022. The conversation with Toronto native David Marchese—who has now been poached by the New York Times—also stirred discussion about #MeToo.

“Capture Your Happy” portends a new kind of hell. Media hype still comes easy to Instagram-friendly attractions like Museum of Illusions, which opened in Toronto at the same time as the pop-up Happy Place. Plus, the AGO continues to fundraise for a permanent Infinity Mirror Room. And it usually takes three things to justify publishing a trend piece:

Stan Lee dead at 95. An unfulfilled project for the Marvel Comics founder was a Canadian-set series about an Indigenous cop with special powers. Global TV passed on Stan Lee’s The Chosen, so he shifted his focus to the U.K.-produced Stan Lee’s Lucky Man. A vintage CBC clip features Lee on psychic panel show Beyond Reason, with host Paul Soles—the star of the animated Spider-Man.

Word of the moment


On his new Broken Record podcast, Malcolm Gladwell explains how he gave this nickname to his jade tree at U of T, and performs his rap about it for Rick Rubin.

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