Morning Brief: Salvaging A West Coast Shipwreck, Ontario Booze Trends & More

9 things you need to know for Monday, December 12.

​Ship wreckage. Right: An LCBO liquor store in Ontario.
Features Editor

Ship wreckage. Right: An LCBO liquor store in Ontario.

Welcome back — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕

Off The Top: SpaceX, the aerospace company backed by full-time Twitter troll Elon Musk, launched a Falcon 9 rocket over the weekend as part of "ispace Mission 1," a lunar expedition aimed at cataloging geographical landmarks on the surface of the moon. In fairness, the vast nothingness of the moon is about the only place where it's actually safe to deploy one of Musk's AI-backed vehicles.

In Case You Missed It

1. What Ontarians Drank In 2022 (& The Merciful Decline Of Hard Seltzers)

Ontario's government-operated booze purveyor, the LCBO, released its sales trend report for 2022 and the results provide some interesting insight into what residents of Canada's most populous province were drinking this year. Most notably, tequila sales were up 28% from January 1 through October 5 while sales from the LCBO's Whisky Shop Collection rose 25%. Other risers, Brooke Houghton writes, included European sparkling wines, Californian wines and rosé in general.

  • What Else? In terms of the drink categories that lost their fizz this year, sales of coolers and premixed cocktails dropped off, while wine sales in general slowed down, too — though when Ontarians did buy wine, they trended toward pricier bottles.
  • My Take: I stand in solidarity with those who survived the White Claw wars of 2020-21.

2. It Vanished In The 1800s; 147 Years Later, Treasure Hunters Eye The SS Pacific

An old steamship that plummeted into the waters off the Washington coast back in 1875 was recently rediscovered — and there's reason to believe the shipwreck could contain fabulous riches for those brave enough to take the plunge themselves. Now, since the company that owned the ship was dissolved during the Great Depression of the 1930s, it's more or less "finders keepers" for whomever is able to find artifacts among the wreckage, Ashley Harris reports.

  • Context: The SS Pacific was headed from Victoria, B.C., to San Francisco when it collided with another boat during a storm. The vessel purportedly carried a wealthy lumber magnate and gold miners — and whatever nicknacks such travellers might have had in tow.

3. Quebec's Premier Knows You Can't Live On Minimum Wage — But Tough Luck

Quebec Premier François Legault offered a paradoxical take on the province's current affordability issues last week. On one hand, he conceded that "it's difficult to make it with $18 an hour, especially if you have children." However, Legault also rejected calls for a minimum wage hike beyond the current annual adjustments; as things currently stand, Quebec's minimum wage is $14.25 per hour, roughly 50% of the average wage in the province — a target Legault plans to stick to, Thomas MacDonald writes.

What Else You Need To Know Today

McDonald's just launched a new limited-time sandwich in Canada: the Carolina BBQ Quarter Pounder boasts tangy sauce, crispy onions, bacon, pickles and cheese on a sesame bun. Tristan Wheeler took one for the team and tried the latest offering... and it was basically a big, saucy mess. See pictures and check out his full review here.

December is the month when everyone can delude themselves into thinking they're the star of the latest Lifetime channel holiday flick. That's particularly the case for those who make the trek to these seven picturesque, Christmasy towns. From Charlottetown to Whistler, Katherine Caspersz takes us on a coast-to-coast tour of seven of Canada's winter wonderlands.

Of course, the pressures of getting into the Christmas spirit can be enough to make anyone a tad Grinch-like. After years of making Toronto's Distillery Winter Village an annual tradition, Mira Nabulsi realized that she, well, kind of hates the entire thing at this point. From punishing traffic to long lines for overpriced goods, here's why Toronto's signature Christmas market is no longer up to snuff.

On Canada's East Coast, the world is quite literally your oyster — especially if your home adjoins a massive beach. Lisa Belmonte scoured the local real estate listings and found this gorgeous, nearly 2,800-square-foot home in Lockeport, Nova Scotia, which boasts three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a 576-foot guest house all for $869,000. See the listing here.

The Oscar-nominated Lucas Hedges turns 26 years old today. This former sitcom star turnedJeopardy! host is 47 (who is: Mayim Bialik). Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, the great Jennifer Connelly is 52; so does Girls Trip standout Regina Hall turns 52. Love Actually curmudgeon Bill Nighy is 73. The timeless Dionne Warwick is 82. NBA all-timer Bob Pettit celebrates the big 9-0. The immortal Price is Right host Bob Barker is 99 today. Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, was born today in 1915.

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Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow!

Andrew Joe Potter
Features Editor
Andrew Joe Potter was a Features Editor for Narcity Media Group based in Toronto, Ontario.