Will Sloan's News Stories to Watch in 2017
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Will Sloan’s News Stories to Watch in 2017

It's hard to imagine, but 2017 could be even better than 2016.

Photo by Jason Blacquiere Photography from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Photo by Jason Blacquiere Photography from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

2016 was such a great year that it’s hard to imagine how 2017 can top it, but here we are, a new year upon us, full of possibilities. As our fair city continues its rapid transition from second-tier purveyor of brutalist architecture to a world-class metropolis, it’s time to look ahead at some of the stories that will define Toronto in 2017. Here are some of the developing stories that we’ll be following:

Workin' Moms

Workin’ Moms fever!

You can feel it in the air—Toronto is suffering an acute case of Workin’ Moms fever! Catherine Reitman, scion of Canada’s ruling clan, created and stars in this heartwarming comedy about the trials and tribulations of the upper-upper-upper-middle-class. Picking up where HBO’s Girls left off and transplanting it to Rosedale, Workin’ Moms all but begs identification. Are you Kate, who must balance the demands of motherhood with her demanding job as a PR executive? Are you Ann, the no-nonsense psychiatrist? Are you Frankie, the real-estate agent? We predict that the success of Workin’ Moms will lead to a slate for new content from Canada’s first family. A comedy about the lives and loves of Bay Street stockbrokers from Tito Reitman? A drama about the romantic misadventures of a Fabergé egg salesman from Zeppo Reitman? The sky’s the limit as Reitmania sweeps the nation.

Photo by Will Sloan.

Photo by Will Sloan.

The rise of the mafia

From white supremacists to neo-Nazis, the past year has seen the re-emergence of groups once consigned to society’s extreme margins. Up is down, black is white, and traditional notions of “good” and “bad” have been irreparably destabilized. How else to explain the sudden presence of The Godfather Private Lounge at 531 Yonge Street? Flagrantly stating that the “boys are back,” this out-in-the-open mafia hotspot is a stunning rebuke to the rule of law. It seems like just a few months ago when criminal activity took place in smoky backrooms. Alas, my friends, this is our new reality.

Canada’s sesquicentennial

As Canada turns 150, a range of celebrations will highlight our nation’s culture, history, and future. The key event, however, comes from Canadian beverage mogul-turned-my-favourite-filmmaker Frank D’Angelo, whose 2017 release The Red Maple Leaf promises to deal explicitly with the Canadian identity. The film stars D’Angelo as a hard-boiled Canadian cop on the trail of an American senator’s kidnapped daughter. Bearing the tagline “Things never seem what they seem” and boasting the final performance of Robert Loggia, this hands-across-the-border parable will only be more resonant in the age of Trump. (And when you see it, be sure to tweet your review with the hashtag #SeeTheNorth.)


CBC Comedy will keep the larfs coming

It has been said that comedy can serve as a light in the dark. In difficult times, it can be an important site of political resistance. On a more simple level, it can be a source of comfort and escapism. Arriving last year as Canada’s federally funded answer to Andy Borowitz, CBC Comedy has taken some lumps for the extreme gentleness of its gags (“A list of Canada’s 20 most romantic cities was published, featuring Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, B.C. Strangely absent? Casanova Scotia”). However, recent days have shown the yuksters willing to venture into darker, edgier territory (“Charles Manson has been hospitalized, though he is reportedly planning to just send someone to be in the hospital for him”).

Toronto will keep getting better

2016 was a hard year for Toronto landmarks, with Honest Ed’s, Mirvish Village, and that loft porn theatre on Yonge Street all falling victim to the march of progress. As downtown continues its transformation into an enormous Shopper’s Drug Mart, it’s open season on beloved local landmarks. Our predictions: the “Jesus saves!” guy at Yonge and Dundas will be replaced by an Aroma Espresso Bar; a summertime hotspot will be rebranded “the Ted Rogers Bellwoods Park”; and the area from Bloor to King between Spadina and Bathurst will be converted into a 1.53 km² condominium, with residents able to purchase a piece of collectable Kensington Market storefront.