Justin Trudeau is you and you and you and you (and maybe even Donald Trump). The east coast leg of the prime minister’s listening tour included him saying he relates to the immigrant experience because his maternal grandmother was born in Scotland. He also noted some common ground with the U.S. president-elect: a pledge to boost the middle class. But it now takes a bit more drama than that to get the U.S. media's attention:

Marketplace busted for undercover racist-baiting. Alliston police received a call about a local bylaw being broken by a van hawking “Make Canada Great Again” T-shirts (evidently featuring “some sort of white power slogan on them”), which turned out to be a hidden-camera stunt by the CBC show. The producers said they were conducting a social experiment meant to serve the greater good. (And to get people to watch the resulting episode.)

The empty storefront shutdown is coming. Mayor John Tory announced a mission nearly everyone can agree with: repealing a circa-2001 tax rebate for landlords who own vacant commercial or industrial space. “We are subsidizing people to keep space empty that is increasing, almost hourly, in value,” said Tory, who was standing on a blighted stretch of Queen East near Beaches Park, behind this increasingly ubiquitous podium:

“Sugar Baby Mommies” are still a relatively elusive concept. Matchmaking service Seeking Arrangement can’t fail at getting press when it breaks down its membership based on where all the debt-laden students are located: 683 of them allegedly at U of T. Whether or not the claim of 631,678 “registered users” in Canada is genuine, the company claims 65 per cent are young women seeking "arrangements" and 15 per cent are dudes. On the demand side of the equation, older male benefactors apparently outnumber women 18 to 1.

Record store tourist attraction stakes get raised. Sam the Record Man in Belleville is still pushing for that tourism designation, no matter how adamant the province is about not giving those highway signs to commercial businesses. Besides, an even quirkier outlet up the 401, Brian’s Record Option, has clearly done more to earn tourist-worthy weirdness:

Fast food nation lives on Reddit. Not too many Toronto topics are discussed with the fervent authority displayed in this Reddit thread about how “Popeyes and A&W are popping up everywhere.” The so-called Louisiana kitchen is now located in Delisle Court, on Yonge north of St Clair—arguably countering efforts to upscale that area. As for A&W—newly installed as the jewel of the Junction—its expansion can be at least partly credited to an urban hipster growth model that reduced the price of franchise entry from a million bucks to $150,000.

Ketchup-flavoured Pringles are a marketing afterthought to Kellogg. The very Canadian chip concept came and went—though it seems to have lived on in Germany. Now, a press release buries news of a return beneath a bunch of stuff about how healthy Kellogg Canada's other snacks are.

Word of the moment


The Weeknd's $50,000 donation to the new Ethiopian Studies program at the University of Toronto is now manifest in a course on this ancient Semitic language.

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