Morning Brief: Christmas Forecast, A Vaccination Conundrum & More

9 things you need to know for Monday, December 19.

​A snowstorm in Montreal. Right: Traffic during rush hour in Toronto.
Features Editor

A snowstorm in Montreal. Right: Traffic during rush hour in Toronto.

We're back; happy Monday to those who celebrate/tolerate — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕

Off The Top: Putting a new and nearly as unwelcome spin on "sleeping with the fishes," the massive aquarium that adorned a hotel lobby in Berlin exploded over the weekend , dumping ludicrous amounts of water and glass and about 1,500 fish across the grounds. On the bright side, although the world's largest free-standing aquarium is no more, future visitors can still marvel at the largest free-standing hunk of mangled steel. Pack your bag, honey!

In Case You Missed It

1. What Would You Change About Canada? Here's How The Internet Responded

Denizens of the internet recently joined together on the Reddit message board r/AskACanadian to debate a simple prompt: what's the one fundamental thing you would change about this country? Some suggested making every province fully bilingual — fluency in both English and French. Others quite wisely suggested improvements to our health care system or reparations with the First Nations communities. The biggest takeaway? For as much as Canada is associated with winter activities, many respondents would be more than happy to ditch the cold for good, Lisa Belmonte writes.

  • Best Answer: Someone with quite an imagination wished there was a 3,000-metre chain of mountains just north of Ontario to block out the cold arctic air.

2. Speaking Of Winter Weather — Here's An Updated Christmas Weather Forecast

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, this story's for you. The Weather Network has unveiled its updated forecasts for December 25 and there's "at least a coin-flip's chance" of white stuff on the ground in every major Canadian city — except for Vancouver. But while actual snow is a 50-50 shot, it's "a sure bet" that the temperature across Canada will dip below freezing next weekend, the network says, per MTL Blog's Mike Chaar.

3. Why Unvaccinated Canadians Are More Likely To Get In A Car Accident

I can already feel some readers beginning to buzz with anger over this headline, so bear with me here. A study from Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital has observed that traffic accidents in Ontario have featured a higher concentration of participants unvaccinated against COVID-19 than the general population. About 25% of the nearly 7,000 accidents analyzed involved unvaccinated adults — while the study's larger sample of over 11 million Ontarians featured just 16% unvaccinated adults, Stuart McGinn reports.

  • Wait, What? Remember that high school statistics class you took? This is one of those classic cases of causation (a direct link) versus correlation (an indirect link). Let's let the study's principal investigator explain it.
  • In His Own Words: "This does not mean COVID-19 vaccination directly prevents traffic crashes. Instead, it suggests that adults who do not follow public health advice may also neglect the rules of the road," said principal investigator Dr. Donald Redelmeier.

What Else You Need To Know Today

The dollar store isn't your only option for finding great deals on name-brand products around Toronto. There's actually a number of retailers who sell last season's odds and ends at clearance prices — places with names like Larry the Liquidator and Krazy Binz. Mira Nabulsi breaks down seven stores in the GTA where you can find heavily marked-down clothing, food and furniture .

Crank up the Black Sabbath; researchers with Consumer Reports recently tested the contents of 28 popular dark chocolate brands, from Hershey's to Lindt — and the results were, uh, intense. Twenty-three of the chocolates tested contained cadmium over the levels recommended for daily consumption, while another five also contained lead. Asymina Kantorowicz puts the risk into context for us .

Just like Rome's Coliseum or England's Stonehenge before it, the new Canadian Tire in Ottawa is an architectural marvel built to stand the test of time. (Pause for laughter.) With two floors and a length equal to 36 hockey rinks, the Carlingwood location is a remarkable ode to consumerism that needs to be seen to be believed. Megan Johnson takes us on a photo tour through its hallowed halls .

If you've ever dreamed of being one of Santa's little helpers but can't imagine squeezing into one of those elf getups, there's an easier way. As MTL Blog's Willa Holt notes, Canada Post is currently hiring more than 100 temporary workers in Montreal for the holiday season, including delivery agents, postal clerks and drivers. Here's how to apply.

Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow turns 35 years old today. Jake Gyllenhaal is 42. NFL defensive tackle and Hall of Famer Warren Sapp hits the half-century mark; so does actor Alyssa Milano. Want to hear something really freaky? Magician Criss Angel is 55. Flashdance star Jennifer Beals is 59. Boston Celtics post-savant Kevin McHale turns 65. The late wrestling promoter "Mean Gene" Okerlund would've been 80 today. The everlasting Cicely Tyson would have been 98. French icon Édith Piaf was born on this day in 1915.

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Thanks for reading Narcity's Canada Morning Brief — and indeed, non, je ne regrette rien .

Have a question or comment about today's edition? Let me know at or hit me up on Twitter if you'd prefer at @andrewjoepotter .

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.