Morning Brief: A Shocking Toronto Murder, When Harry Met Meghan & More

9 things you need to know for Wednesday, December 21.

A Toronto police cruiser. Right: ​Meghan Markle.
Features Editor

A Toronto police cruiser. Right: Meghan Markle.

Happy "Hump Day" and first day of winter — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕

Off The Top: A 7-Eleven outpost in southwestern Ontario has become the first in the province to receive a liquor licence, opening the door for romantic dates (or lonely dinners) at the mecca of convenience. One can only imagine what the people of Leamington must feel about being viewed as the logical entry market for such a service.

In Case You Missed It

1. What You Need To Know About Season Affective Disorder (SAD)

If the cold weather and long nights have got you down, there's a chance it's more than just the "winter blues"; seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real, with millions suffering from the form of depression each year. Symptoms of SAD mirror "those associated with major depression" and can last four to five months, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Think: low energy, a change in appetite and trouble sleeping. For more on SAD, including how it differs between warm and cold seasons, here's Asymina Kantorowicz.

  • By The Numbers: About 5% of U.S. adults experience SAD; perhaps counterintuitively, Canada pegs the numbers at 2-3% of the population. In any case, women are four times more likely to be diagnosed than men.
  • My Take: The gender divide might be more of a symptom of men being less likely than women to actually go get diagnosed for just about anything. Just a hunch.

2. Eight Teens Face Murder Charges For The Violent Stabbing Of A 59-Year-Old Man

Eight teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 16 were arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Toronto over the weekend. The victim, a 59-year-old man, was found in the early hours on Sunday morning with multiple stab wounds; upon being taken to the hospital, he was pronounced deceased. The man had recently started living in the city's shelter system but had "a very supportive family" in the area. The names of the eight suspects cannot be released due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, notes Patrick John Gilson.

  • In His Words: "We don't know how long they've been acquainted together with each other, but I wouldn't describe them as a gang at this point," said Detective Sergeant Terry Browne. But he said the incident was "consistent with what we traditionally call swarming or swarming-type behaviour."

3. What We Learned From The 'Harry & Meghan' Netflix Docuseries

All episodes of the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan are now streaming — and as it turns out, Canada played a big supporting role in the nascent relationship between British royal Harry and actor Meghan Markle. You may recall Markle starred in the TV show Suits, which was filmed in Toronto; as it turns out, her life in Toronto was quite peaceful — until she started dating the youngest son of the now-King Charles III. As their relationship grew, so did Harry and Meghan's sometimes-complicated relationship with the Great White North. Helena Hanson breaks down the six major Canadian talking points from the series.

What Else You Need To Know Today

There's a new bar and bottle shop in Newmarket that allows guests to sample wine before committing to a full glass or bottle. The self-service model at Wine on Main is apparently the first of its kind in the GTA, allowing guests to purchase as little as an ounce of wine through a prepaid wine card — basically Dave & Buster's style, they say. Madeline Forsyth breaks it down for us.

Denizens of the internet recently asked Tim Hortons staffers past and present to detail the most bizarre requests they'd ever received. From customers asking for an intentionally burnt bagel (aka "triple toasting"), putting salt and pepper in the Watermelon Quencher fruit drink, and a half-coffee, half-tea abomination, Katherine Caspersz rounded up some of the best answers.

With the first day of winter comes the first real day of the winter biking season. MTL Blog's Willa Holt has a quick guide to cycling around the Quebec metropolis through the snow and slush. Have fun and stay safe out there!

If you're looking for a unique oenophilic experience this winter, head on down to southwestern Ontario to take in the Niagara Icewine Festival. Admission is free and the event runs January 13-29. Once again, here's Madeline with the details.

Minari star Steven Yeun turns 39 years old today. Bonne fête à toi, Emmanuel Macron; the French president is 45. French-American actor Julie Delpy is 53. Canada's Kiefer Sutherland has 24 hours to celebrate his 56th birthday. The late American track legend Florence "Flo-Jo" Joyner would have been 63 today. Kermit-voiced comedian Ray Romano is 65. The legendary Samuel L. Jackson turns 74. The subversive Frank Zappa would have turned 82 today. Jane Fonda is 85. Daytime talk show trailblazer Phil Donahue is 87.

HEY YOU! You should sign up for the email version of this newsletter right here. It's better than this version. Trust me.

Thanks for reading Narcity'sCanada Morning Brief — the newsletter that would've played an integral role in Harry and Meghan's budding romance had it existed before this year.

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.