That time when the CN Tower had a clown on stilts

The CN Tower has memorably provided stout entertainment to Toronto and its visitors for almost four decades, but sadly history has not been kind to its original kid-friendly mascot, a humble, balloon animal wielding clown on stilts who went by the name of Diego. David Garrick, former general manager of …

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That time when Toronto got the Munchies and nothing else would do

There was a time locally when only one brand of potato chips mattered – Hostess Potato Chips. Owned by powerhouse General Foods, Hostess Potato Chips monopolized the snack food industry between 1959 and the early 1990s with strong flavours, and stronger favor. If you were a kid during that era, …

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That time when CFTR became 680NEWS

Exactly 20 years ago today, as the final notes of Starship’s paen to 80s era commercial rock “We Built This City on Rock’N’Roll” faded away into the murky 440 hz fuzz of amplitude modulation, Toronto’s once mighty Top 40 radio station AM CFTR 680 was re-born as the city’s very …

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That time when Toronto Ford meant something else

A quick Google of the names “Ford” and “Toronto” spits out over 300,000,000 depressing results, covering everything as you might well guess from subways to KFC to cocaine of the smokeable variety. While this ubiquitous association has many concerned for the global rep of this once fine and politically civilized …

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That time when the Provincial lottery did blackface

Yesterday’s toppling of the OLG house of cards, accompanied by the feint whiff of an oncoming category 5 scandal presents us with yet another blunder in a long line of embarrassing, OLG related palavers. Did you ever hear the one about the Al Jolson lottery commercial? In 1978, Ontario based …

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That time when the SkyDome landed in Toronto

Some might say that the Rogers Centre SkyDome was born under a bad sign: After the 1982 Grey Cup relayed broadcast to an audience of over 7 million Canadian viewers (at the time, a whopping record) embarrassing images of sullen Argos fans at Exhibition Stadium soaked to the bone, frozen …

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That time when Record Store Day was everyday

Tomorrow is Record Store Day, a special occasion to celebrate local record shops, and the seemingly Teflon vinyl format. There’s a lot of noise about why vinyl is still en vogue, whether it is the undying physicality of the medium – those liner notes and photographs, the human need to …

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That time when life in the city started at the Centre

The Eaton Centre may fall in and out of fashion, but it has always enjoyed top tier status in the pantheon of Hogtown iconography for good reason. While the last decade or so may not have been so kind – last summer’s Food Court shooting being a particularly barmy blight …

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That time when puppets taught us about danger

For too long fatal dangers in the average Canadian home were left unchecked. Aside from the occasional in-school 16mm horror shows warning of poison and dangerous strangers, there was little effort to educate kids about the severe repercussions of messing around with unknown substances. So after the sweeping Hazardous Products …

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That time when a clucking bunny meant Happy Easter

The Eastertime resurrection of the Cadbury Clucking Bunny was annually guaranteed to raise a smile. Like the trusted barrel collared St. Bernard dog from Neo Citron commercials, the Clucking Bunny was a loveable mascot of industry: a signifier of not only delicious chocolate covered crème egg yolk ecstasy but also …

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