Morning Brief: Where Inflation Hits Hardest, Behind-The-Scenes At Value Village & More
It's "Friday Jr." — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕
Off The Top: With Nordstrom signalling its impending exit from Canada, savvy shoppers were hoping to see major discounts as part of the liquidation process. So far, no dice; our Rhythm Sachdeva was on the scene at the Eaton Centre and discovered that most items were only marked down 5% for now. Still, the chain plans to be gone by June, so hold the line, deal hunters!
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In Case You Missed It
Which Food Items Are Most Impacted By Inflation?
The interior of a grocery store in Montreal, Quebec.
Canada's rate of inflation is still on the rise. The Consumer Price Index rose 5.2% year-over-year from February 2022 to February 2023 and 0.4% from January to February of this year. Those numbers are actually coming down slightly — the rates in the previous month's report were 5.9% and 0.5%, respectively — but StatsCan is warning that the improvement only looks good by comparison.
In fact, the higher cost of food production has meant that the price of everyday grocery essentials, such as cereal, eggs and fresh produce, are high as ever. Thomas MacDonald takes us through the numbers to get a better sense of where we're feeling the most pain at the checkout counter.
What Items Are Cheaper At Dollarama Than Grocery Stores?
A Loblaws grocery store. Middle: Dollarama sign. Right: A Walmart store.
Paul Mckinnon | Dreamstime, Iryna Tolmachova | Dreamstime, Roman Tiraspolsky | Dreamstime
Speaking of the rising cost of, well, staying alive, have you ever wondered just how much cash you could save by picking up a handful of items at the dollar store instead of a major grocery retailer? Sarah Rohoman recently stopped by Dollarama to see how some of its products stack up versus heavy hitters like Loblaws and Walmart. They might not be the most gourmet ingredients, but it turns out you can find quite a few pantry staples at low prices — like olive oil, canned tuna fish and Himalayan sea salt.
What Are The Top Pet Peeves For Value Village Staff?
Patrick smiling. Right: A Value Village in Toronto.
Patrick John Gilson | Narcity, Google Maps
And rounding out our thrift-minded Thursday, Patrick John Gilson is here to give us the inside scoop on what life was like as a Value Village employee. When he wasn't picking up shirts that had fallen off their hangers, Patrick says he spent a lot of the time daydreaming — and, apparently, grousing over minor annoyances, like shoppers walking in right before close. In any case, he's scraped the recesses of his mind for six things he'd never do again after working at Value Village. For the sake of those who staff the thrift store today, we should all heed his advice.
What Else You Need To Know Today
📁 THE FRASER FILES
With Brendan Fraser's huge Oscar win thrusting the beloved action-adventure star back into the spotlight, former colleagues are once again sharing an old story about the leading man's generosity. Back while making 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth, Fraser stepped in to make sure the crew's visual effects artists got paid after the studio tried to stiff them. MTL Blog's Thomas MacDonald revisits the viral tale.
📱 EMERGENCY TEXT
Residents of Quebec will soon be able to text 911 to access emergency services. The modernization of the province's emergency services communications is actually a $45.5-million line in Quebec's 2023-24 budget. The government actually set a deadline to implement these "next-generation" services: March 4, 2025. Once again, here's Thomas MacDonald to break down the news.
🥾 TAKE A HIKE
About an hour's drive out from Toronto, you'll find the Rockwood Conservation Area — the perfect place for a day trip, Madeline Forsyth writes. From towering limestone cliffs to stalactite-filled caves, there's plenty to explore. You could also take it easy with a leisurely paddle around the shining water. Here's what you need to know before setting out.
💻 STREAMING SOON
The Netflix machine never stops churning. The streaming giant unveiled the list of shows and movies hitting the platform in April, and there's a nice mix of original content and old favourites. For instance, you'll be able to catch up on some of the more recent Mission: Impossible releases ahead of this summer's newest entry. Janice Rodrigues breaks down the whole list.
Former Yankees relief ace Dellin Betances turns 35 years old today. Four-time Olympic track champ Mo Farah hits the big 4-0. Former Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle is 44. Hollywood blogging pioneer Perez Hilton is 45. The Americans' Keri Russell and the Mission: Impossible series' Michelle Monaghan are both 47. Fresh Off the Boat's Randall Park is 49.
NBA Hall of Fame floor general Jason Kidd crosses the half-century mark. Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn is 55. "The Chairman of the Boards," Moses Malone, would've turned 68 today. Chaka Khan is 70. The late Japanese filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa was born on this day in 1910.
Thanks for reading Narcity's Canada Morning Brief — the Rashomon of daily newsletters.
Have a question or comment about today's edition? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter if you'd prefer at @andrewjoepotter.
Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow!