John Tory has arrived to abide by #OpenTheArmouries. The hashtag that trended from one year to the next created much Twitter tension amidst reports that homeless shelter beds were maxed out all over town. The mayor returned from holiday to announce that the city would discuss using the Moss Park Armoury as a respite centre, despite previously leading a vote against doing so. All of this occurred as a mysterious mayoral candidate recruitment drive steps things up:

Albert Schultz: “I intend to vehemently defend myself.” The famed founder of the Soulpepper Theatre Company, now the subject of four civil lawsuits from actresses claiming incidents of sexual battery and harassment over a 13-year period, issued a statement to announce that he's taking a suggested leave of absence in order to challenge the allegations. But four members of Soulpepper have resigned in support of the women.

A pair of Vice Media executives accused of misconduct are now suspended. After a Christmas cliffhanger in the New York Times, the $6-billion hipster media empire told president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano to stay away from the office amidst an investigation into their behaviour. Toronto architect Daniel Voshart, who monitors the company at his website Not Vice, now explores an unusual pattern of digital activity:

“Of course that’s completely crazy and 1984-like and definitely sounds more like North Korea than Canada.” Jan and Tim Elder, an artist duo from Berlin, are bewildered by the TTC’s decision not to activate LightSpell, a $500K interactive installation at the new Pioneer Village station, which was commissioned in 2009. Last-minute concerns over hate speech showing up on the giant eight-letter display have kept the lights off, pending a discussion at the next TTC board meeting. The Elders scoff at the suggestion that a “white list” of safe words be built in, because they feel it would counter the spirit of the idea, as typing is performed in full view.

The family compacts fight the raised minimum wage. Of all the complaints about needing to pay $14 an hour, you couldn’t do much better than a miserly edict to Coburg employees from a daughter of Tim Horton. Perhaps her face will soon be as familiar as that of Galen G. Weston, who remains under some scrutiny after his efforts to placate price-fixed bread buyers with $25 gift cards, following some minimum-wage whining of his own.

Will the real estate hate-reads endure another year? Toronto home sales for 2017 were down 18.3 per cent from 2016, although average prices have gone up. TREB blames the volatility on “government policy decisions.” It remains to be seen whether stories like the one about an Ajax single mom who bought houses for two tweens will remain on-trend, or whether the financial advisor calling it merely “an extension of helicopter parenting” turns out right:

Myles Hunter dead at 60. The frontman of the band Refugee, got attention for being the first rock star to perform in Zimbabwe, in 1986—a scenario that “ended up like a scene from Midnight Express.” Hunter later served as an Anglican priest in Mimico, where he recorded an album with parish members.

Word of the moment


The name of a Twitter account where Joshua Boyle shared photos of his family meeting Justin Trudeau—now under scrutiny because of his 15 criminal charges.

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