Morning Brief: The Top 'WTH' Stories Of 2022, Poutine History & More

9 things you need to know for Friday, December 30.

​Justin Trudeau's famous haircut. Right: A big ol' sopping mess of poutine.
Features Editor

Justin Trudeau's famous haircut. Right: A big ol' sopping mess of poutine.

TGIF — and welcome to the final edition of the Morning Brief for 2022. Andrew from Narcity here one more time to round our the year. ☕

Off The Top: Denizens of an outpost of the Waffle House chain in Texas caused a ruckus recently when patrons and staff members began brawling over some unknown dispute — with one employee throwing a glass coffee pot at a would-be assailant. In legal parlance, this sort of situation is most commonly known as "Literally Any Tuesday Night at a Waffle House."

In Case You Missed It

1. Here Comes The Big Ban On Foreign Home Ownership In Canada

Tough break, numbered company No. 14512481; starting Sunday, Canada's new ban on foreign real estate investment comes into effect. The initial ban will run for two years and applies to "non-Canadians" — basically anyone who isn't a citizen, permanent resident or person registered under the Indian Act, including privately held corporations not based in Canada or run by a Canadian. The goal here, Tristan Wheeler writes, is combating the high price of housing in the country.

  • However: There are a few exceptions to the rule. Namely, temporary residents attending "designated learning institutions" or possessing a valid work permit can purchase a home if they meet certain additional residency requirements, including filing taxes in Canada.
  • Additionally: The biggest caveat of them all is that the ban is only in effect within census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations — basically, any jurisdiction with over 10,000 residents.

2. The 13 Canadian News Stories You May Have Forgotten About From 2022

Perhaps it's the rush to usher in 2023 — or maybe it's contracting COVID-19 over and over and over again — but it sometimes feels like our collective memory is less like a steel trap than a wicker sieve. Looking back, so much happened this year, including no shortage of stories that left us scratching our heads in shock or amazement. From Justin Trudeau's Dumb & Dumber-style haircut to a young Canadian's epic Jeopardy! run, Janice Rodrigues takes us on a tour down memory lane to recap the 13 stories that made us say "what the heck" in 2022.

  • My Take: Not listed is Narcity taking a big swing and hiring me to run their nascent newsletter division, a move that left all onlookers in a state of mild confusion. Thanks, guys!

3. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Poutine But Were Afraid To Ask

When civilization falls, what will Quebec's ever-lasting legacy be? MTL Blog's Willa Holt makes a convincing case for poutine, that sopping wet mess of cheese curds and gravy served over a bed of french fries. But what exactly are the origins of poutine? And in a world of constant innovation, what even qualifies as poutine these days? (Looking at you, butter chicken poutine.) Willa takes us through the history of one of Canada's signature dishes, then offers a curated list of the best places to find the good stuff in Montreal.

  • My Take: It should be illegal to order poutine via delivery. Nobody has ever had a satisfactory delivery experience with any dish featuring french fries. We simply do not possess the technology.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Cancel that flight to Yellowknife; it turns out that you don't actually need to be that far north to experience Aurora Borealis — the Northern Lights — live and in living colour. Lisa Belmonte has scoured the maps and came up with seven destinations not too far from major Canadian cities where you can see nature's greatest light show for yourself.

Just when Ontarians thought it was safe to go outside, the Farmers' Almanac drops its weather projections for January 2023. It looks like residents of Canada's most populous province are in for a cold and snowy start to the new year, with heavy snowfall around the Great Lakes mid-month. Megan Johnson has more on why this mild spell is merely the calm before the storm.

Ever dream of seeing some of Vancouver's most renowned attractions? Well, um, don't — according to Narcity's own Morgan Leet, at least. Our Western Canada Editor says that after living in B.C.'s largest metropolis for a year, she can safely say that must-see tourist hotspots like Kitsilano Beach and the Capilano Suspension Bridge aren't really worth your time. Here's why.

Kananaskis Nordic Spa is the first of its kind in Alberta, offering a daylong Scandinavian experience right in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Charlie Hart recently took one for the team and tested out the facilities for herself. Here's why the not-so-cheap day floating in the hot pool was well worth the entrance fee.

Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz turns 30 years old today. Pint-sized skateboarding savant Ryan Sheckler is 33. British pop siren Ellie Goulding turns 36. The one and only LeBron James — the greatest basketball player of all time to many — turns 38 today; he's averaging about 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game in Year 20 in the NBA. Fast saga comic relief Tyrese Gibson is 44. Tiger Woods turns 47 years old today. Former Canadian hero Ben Johnson sprints his way to 61. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax is 87. The Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock was born on this day in 1869.

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 sets its delivery time based solely on the Gastown Steam Clock.

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 weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

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