Notable.ca is Canada's leading online lifestyle magazine for driven young professionals. We cover all aspects of millennial life including social, professional, and charitable engagements. We're young, connected, ambitious, and one hell of a lively bunch.
Canadian figure skaters Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue have been pulling at nation’s heartstrings throughout the Winter Olympics with their golden performance on the ice.
Moir’s most patriotic moment, however, came from the stands.
With a bevvy in hand, Moir was in attendance for the women’s hockey gold medal game between Canada and the United States yesterday. Thanks to some handy camerawork, those watching from home were treated to what can only be described as the most Canadian scene of the Olympics: Moir, fresh off a winning a gold medal, beer in hand, Canada toque on, chirping the refs about a bad call:
“Are you kidding? Wake up!” he appears to shout while standing among a seated crowd with his arms outstretched. The call in question is an arguably soft penalty against Canadian Sarah Nurse (who recently got a shoutout on Drake’s Instagram story after she scored the game-winning goal in Canada’s 2-1 win over the U.S. in group play). To the dismay of Moir – and all of Canada – the United States would go on to win the gold medal game in a shootout.
But what we lost in gold, we gained in a new Canadian Heritage Moment.
Canada had one hell of a birthday party last year.
According to Statistics Canada, we welcomed a record 20.8 million visitors in 2017. This can be attributed in part to celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. And, of course, free parks.
“The 2017 figures are a 4.4-percent increase over the near-record year Canada’s tourism sector enjoyed in 2016,” reads a release published by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Overseas visitors made up 31 per cent of all visits, while visitors from the United States totalled 69 per cent.
Source: Destination Canada
“Canadians are known the world over for our generosity, inclusiveness and warm hospitality. And thanks to the leadership of our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, more and more travellers from around the world want to visit,” said The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
“I am proud of the fact that we welcomed more than 20.8 million visitors to our beautiful country last year—a new record. However, I know that we are only just beginning. Looking to the future, I am excited for what is still to come.”
Indeed, the milestone marks the first of what will hopefully be many tourism records in the near future. Canada’s New Tourism Vision aims to increase the number of international tourists to Canada by 30 percent by 2021, double the number of Chinese visitors by the same year, and position Canada to compete for a top 10 destination ranking by 2025. It also includes actions to grow culinary tourism and support Indigenous tourism.
Representing 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP, tourism isn’t just a beacon of recreation. Canada’s tourism industry is an important source of jobs, a driver of entrepreneurship, and the country’s largest employer of youth.
With Toronto having just posted a new tourism record for 2017 as well, it looks like Canada will remain an international hot spot in the foreseeable future.
Luckily, there are decades of data to pull from. Statistics Canada, for example, has ‘Experimental Estimates of Cannabis Consumption in Canada’ that span 55 years.
The most interesting finding from that particular data, as it turns out, is that our parents smoke – or at least buy – more cannabis than the younger generation.
“The results show that cannabis activity in the earliest years examined (1960 to 1980) is a youth market. However, in the middle of this period, the effect of rising consumption among persons aged 25 to 44 begins to transition the market towards older age groups (Chart 2, above),” reads the report.
“This process continues as persons aged 45 to 64 begin to enter the market in the late 1970s, and continues up to the last data point in 2015. In 2015, persons older than 24 account for two-thirds of cannabis consumers while persons aged 15 to 17 account for less than 6%.”
So while blazing blunts behind the mall between classes was indeed very 90s, the typical cannabis consumers today are more likely to be George and Ellen after a Sunday afternoon Nordic walk around the cul-de-sac.
A few more fun facts from the data:
– By 2015, Canadians have consumed an estimated 700 tonnes of cannabis
– Total consumption increased drastically in the 60s and 70s as youth began experimenting with marijuana
– The value of cannabis sales in Canada for the year 2015 are between $5.0 billion and $6.2 billion
– The cannabis market in Canada in 2015 is roughly one-half to two-thirds of the size of the $9.2 billion beer market, or around 70% to 90% of the size of the $7.0 billion wine market
After all, it’s not every day municipal governments get a chance to add 50,000 high-paying jobs to the local economy.
Earlier this year, Amazon released a shortlist of 20 cities still in the running. Toronto was the only Canadian city on the list.
So, where did other Canadian cities go wrong? Well, in the case of Vancouver, it could have something to do with throwing its tech talent under the bus.
Vancouver’s 50-page failed bid surfaced online last week, and there’s one “selling point” that had people particularly irked. “Our talent competes with the best, yet we have the lowest wages of all North American tech hubs,” boasts the brochure under a heading that reads “We are the best value option.”
Probably not something you want to brag about, especially in the midst of a housing affordability crisis.
In an interview with the National Post, Andrew Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, aired his grievance with Vancouver’s odd-choice USP (unique selling point). “Great, we’re now the Walmart of tech workers in North America — cheapest prices ever,” Yan said. “That’s a great place to start selling yourself.”
Many on Twitter echoed his sentiment.
Thanks, Vancouver. Great to hear you value us for our depressed wages, and apparently don’t expect that to change if Amazon comes here. Not like we have a housing cost crisis or anything. https://t.co/3FqAzRAt6W
What I want to know is what beaurocratic psuedo-aristocrat thinks any of that is something to advertise! Not only does to fly in the face of Amazon’s stated intent, but it clearly states to tech workers abroad “don’t come to Vancouver unless you want to be exploited”
It’s sad, of course, because it’s true. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech wages in Vancouver (and Toronto, for that matter, which has an affordability crisis of its own) are significantly lower than in cities South of the Border.
“As much as we are working with the region’s key stakeholders to increase wages in Vancouver, the reality is that we are the lowest-cost tech hub in North America, and it would have been a huge error not to include one of our strongest economic arguments in the proposal,” said James Raymond, manager of research and analysis at the Vancouver Economic Commission, in an email to the National Post.
Without HQ2, that increase will probably come later rather than sooner.
In theory, freelance life seems pretty damn great.
After all, it means the ability to flip open your laptop and work poolside from anywhere in the world, a morning “commute” that involves a trek from your bed to your home workspace, unlimited vacation days, and zero bosses.
And, for the most part, it is great.
Your daily life is so much less stressful once a jam-packed subway ride, chatty coworkers, micromanaging bosses, long lunch lines, and a cold, dark journey home are removed from the equation. Aside from the freedom and flexibility, another great aspect about the freelance world – especially as a writer – is the diversity of work it allows for. Each publication I write for is varied in audience and requires a different tone and voice. Not to mention, if you’re lucky enough to have the option, you can make yourself as busy as you’d like to be (a definite bonus on those easy, breezy summer days).
As a freelancer, you also save money on makeup (when you work from home in your sweats, there’s no need for it) and “work clothes,” can grocery shop without the hassle of long checkout lines, never have to wait for equipment at the gym, and can identify when you feel most productive and capable of your best work (i.e. at midnight, as opposed to within the 9-5 confines). The flexibility in when you choose to work – and how many breaks you choose to take – is helpful for those prone to work-related anxiety or bouts of writer’s block (or the equivalent in accounting, graphic design, or video editing).
The freelance life is not without its painfully brutal challenges, however – and there are many (some less expected than others). Aside from a newfound annoyance with your email inbox (you don’t make dollars in precious time spent on emails, don’t forget), and the occasional wave of isolation-born loneliness, the biggest – and the most unfortunate – reality check when it comes to freelance life is the fact that many clients won’t pay you on time and you’ll subsequently waste hours chasing overdue invoices. Fellow freelance friends of mine who have also learned this lesson the hard way now impose interest charges on overdue invoices, or request a deposit before they’ve clocked a minute of their time on the gig.
Some clients will even take the liberty to ask you for the invoice immediately upon completion of the project so that they can “make sure you get paid quickly,” only to fast-forward four months to you sending yet another follow-up email in your alter-ego role of a bill collector, inquiring about where your money is. Some will tell you that they are waiting on incoming invoices themselves and therefore you’ll have to wait past the agreed upon paid date, as if it was your problem. What they don’t understand or care about – or perhaps it doesn’t even cross their mind – is that an overdue $1000 invoice can really screw up a freelancer’s monthly budgeting, which is already a challenge in the early days. The irony is not lost in the fact that many of these clients are pavement pounding small business owners themselves who know very well how real the struggle can be.
It’s not shocking that it’s difficult to budget as a freelancer – even if your clients do pay on time. For example, if a girls’ trip that cuts no corners in the cost department is proposed on your group What’s App chat, there’s a sting of anxiety in not knowing if you’ll be able to swing it by the time the months-away proposed trip dates come around. Even if you’ve had a killer few months and things are looking pretty breezy in the financial department as of late (meaning, you’re no longer worried that you’ll cover all of your bills like you were in the early days), there is the constant stress that you’ll have a few ridiculously slow months that will offset that.
For those who have grown accustomed to salaries and the full-time world, consider that freelancers don’t get paid for accounting, invoicing, marketing your services, research, pitching, negotiating with clients, and chasing people for invoices. For that reason, I try to focus on making a certain minimum each day – whether that day lasts three hours, or it lasts ten.
A major negative to the freelance world is the whole lack of benefits aspect – something that can take a major toll on the wallet in the event of unexpected dental work, need for therapy, or blurred vision that can no longer be ignored.
Another tough reality to face is the lack of distinction between home life and work life. While your significant other may appreciate the fact that you can beat the northbound traffic and leave at noon on Friday for the cottage, they may not be as thrilled when you have to clock in a few hours a day on your phone or laptop when on vacation. An annoying aspect to the freelance lifestyle is the belief among certain friends and family members is that, because you don’t have a “real job,” you can visit their newborn baby across town at any point during the workday, take long boozy brunches with the “ladies who lunch” set, or have a catch-up on the phone at 1 pm on a Tuesday.
On a more serious note – especially in our #MeToo climate – being a freelancer means you lack the protection of a HR department. A brand-new survey from HoneyBook – a business management platform – polled just over 1000 females to reveal that 54 per cent of freelancers working in creative fields have experienced sexual harassment on the job, a figure noticeably higher than those with full-time jobs. Equally as disturbing, a paper by McMaster University, Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario and The United Way called The Precarious Penalty reports that the lack of stability that riddles the precarious work economy can have incredibly negative consequences on the physical and mental health of freelance workers and their families. It states that our current culture makes it extremely difficult to build stable and secure lives.
We’re now seeing a growing number of companies outsourcing work to freelancers as opposed to hiring in-house, and 45 per cent of Canadians will be self-employed by 2020. In Toronto, recent months have seen the surfacing of two instantly popular co-working spaces, Love Child and Spaces. As we move further into a gig-based economy, the hope is that we will see accompanying changes designed to make the lives of freelancers more manageable.The Precarious Penalty recommends that governments take action to produce “comprehensive, coordinated and integrated workforce-development strategies” that are sector-specific to address the unique needs of precarious workers, and to update update basic protections and existing labour-market regulations.They also call for federal funding for Statistics Canada to collect better quality labour market data, and for the government to offer training for the precarious workforce that connects with real employment opportunities.
Hopefully in time, the “bad” and “ugly” of the freelance world will dwindle as we embrace the fact that this new, vibrant sector of the workforce is here to stay.
Unless you’ve been hiding out in an abandoned Sears warehouse, you’ve probably noticed that healthy, ethical foods are having a moment in Canada.
Studies show that “33 percent of Canadians, or almost 12 million, are either vegan, vegetarian or are eating less meat.” It took a little while, but thankfully, the restaurant industry has begun to reflect these choices.
While there are no shortage of restaurants to choose from that have strictly vegan or vegetarian menus, the real MVPs in the food industry these days are taking it a step further by offering healthy alternatives along side millennial indulgences – think antioxidant infused cocktails.
District Eatery is one such MVP – their menu is full of healthy twists on classic bar favourites, such as vegan caesar salad, with the ability to modify most items no matter what your dietary preference or restriction. It’s been important from the start for owner Jesse Warfield to create a menu that reflects the “balanced lifestyle” many millennials lead, “I live a downtown lifestyle and I was finding options that were healthy or not at all. District Eatery fills the gap because it’s a place people can come to eat healthy or get a drink with friends, they don’t have to make a choice between health or fun. I wanted people to think differently about going out and I think we’ve hit that balance here”.
District Eatery’s Power Teas are a menu item that perfectly exemplify what the restaurant is doing to combine health with realistic millennial habits. Each cocktail combines alcohol with tea in order to pack in proteins, vitamins and minerals – while you work on your buzz. They are the brainchild of the in-house mixologist who modified a 300 year old British process of crafting the cocktail. These versions have been updated to include ingredients of the moment like agave. Bonus: they are all 100% vegan. “Obviously the alcohol isn’t healthy, but if you’re having one of our house made sodas instead of a Jack and Coke that’s going to be packed with tons of aspartame then that’s a great start”.
The genius come in taking classic bar menu items which are traditionally high in calories and packed with unhealthy fats and spinning them into healthy alternatives. For example, their Coconut Vegan Cheesecake is made in house, sweetened with maple syrup and served alongside homemade jam. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from vegans that come with their significant others who eat animal food prodcuts”. says Warfield. “They’re really happy because no one has to compromise”.
Since opening, they’ve gone through a few menu iterations to become even more vegan friendly by staying on the lookout for opportunities to innovate or make things themselves, such as recently investing in a juicer. “It has been a challenge but I think the end result has been great and the feedback has been really positive. We want to keep innovating without sacrificing taste”.
A guilt-free night out drinking and eating cheesecake is something we can definitely get behind.
One of the biggest travel trends of 2017 was transformative travel. We’re living in a world of sensory overload where so much of the world is on display via social media and the internet. There are virtual reality apps that allow you to walk around the colosseum in Rome, and ski the Swiss Alps while staying in the comfort of your own home. Travel trends keep changing on the dime but there has been an emergence of people looking for a purpose while they travel, not merely traveling just because. Last year when I was going through a difficult time in my life and I was looking for a bit of perspective and direction. I decided it was best for me to get off the grid for a little while, and so began my solo venture to Curaçao.
My plan was to get out of my comfort zone, by getting under the water, and high above the clouds and experiencing all that local Curaçao had to offer.
While it’s one thing to ‘get off the grid’ when your experiencing turbulent times in life, choosing an island seemed even more appealing to me. Thousands of miles of ocean separating you from your problems back on the mainland, I was not running away- merely seeking an escape for a couple of days. I wanted to experience a different culture and slow down, which was tough to do when my brain was running 1,000 miles a minute. Curaçao is an incredible island which I didn’t know too much about. I did know about their resident liqueur, Blue Curaçao. The infamous blue liquid that mixes well into a Blue Lagoon, my favourite cocktail in university.
Flying overhead I was in awe of the turquoise waters below. I spent the next five days perusing local markets, eating my body weight in fresh fish and mingling with the locals. My biggest takeaway was the people of the island are just as warm as the temperatures.
The beach at Playa Knip
I stayed at Lions Dive & Beach Resort which is an eco resort, favourable among the scuba diving crowd. While I didn’t have any experience in diving (and being underwater scares me a bit) I explored ways to get deep below the sea without spending hours in the pool taking scuba lessons. I found a perfect balance when I signed up for a Sea Trek. This requires you to wear a large weighted pressurized helmet hooked up to air tanks above the water. I began this trek from the shore and walked into the water which got up to 40 feet deep. This was new to me, and even a bit scary as I don’t like the feeling of not being in control. I had a moment where I thought my helmet was going to fill with water and drown me on the ocean floor- what a way to go! The divers coached me though the course with basic sign language and I began to feel at ease. When I emerged back out of the water 40 minutes later I felt euphoric, I had conquered by fears and had a lot of fun doing it.
The remainder of the day I spent beaching it, with my toes in the sand and a book in my hand. The island has a number of private and public beaches which can be accessed for a couple of dollars a day. Playa Knip was my favourite of all. I grabbed a fruit batido from one of the local trucks before making my way down to the turquoise waters. Sitting in solitude hearing the ocean roar allowed me to better reconnect with myself. It’s funny how having noone to talk to used to terrify me, I was actually beginning to enjoy it.
Walking along the seafloor during the Sea Trek
I woke up first thing the next morning and laced up my running shoes. Today I would hike to the top of Mount Christoffel to stand high among the clouds at 1,220 feet. A sweaty two hours later I stood at the top and soaked in the panoramic 360 views of the island. There is something to be said about a hiking a mountain as opposed to a regular trail. A sense of accomplishment that goes along with seeing how high you climbed.
At the top of Mount Christoffel
Queen Emma Bridge
Fresh fruit at the floating market. Most of the produce is boated in from Venezuela.
My goal while exploring the land portion of the island was not so much about conquering fears, but more so about getting in touch with some natural healing practices. I had heard that Willemstad was home to a large Aloe Plantation. Before visiting this plantation aloe made me think of sunburns and the after sun treatment my mom used to rub on my shoulders after a long day at the pool. Now I have a whole new appreciation for this beautiful plant and all of its health benefits. After a quick demonstration on how the plant is cultivated and extracted, I tasted it (it’s edible, weird I know). I left the property with a full set of skin care products as I vowed to never use heavy chemicals on my skin ever again.
Next up was a visit with Dina Veeris the island’s local holistic medicine guru. Dina was just as vibrant as the above picture suggests. She really listened to what I was saying and my health concerns. Like many, I suffer from anxiety and was thinking of going off my medication. Dina and I wandered through her garden where she let me touch smell and taste a variety of plants and explained how they would react with my body. I left the garden with a number of supplements, and herbal teas which would certainly help me continue on my healing journey when I headed back home.
It was only natural that my final step in self care involved a visit to the spa. I had heard great things about Santa Barbara Golf and Beach Resort. The resort hugs the coastline and sits on over 2,000 acres of land. I was told by locals that it’s the best place to catch the sunset so I had booked an appointment late in the afternoon. Along with a championship golf course, Santa Barbara is also home to the best spa on the island. I opted for a facial as the salt water and sun had dried out my face. My therapist explained to me that they customize each treatment based on your skin. Instead of selecting from a pamphlet I trusted the therapist to leave me with hydrated glowing skin. I was ready to brave the chilly temperatures back home.
At the end of the week I was feeling a lot lighter in body and mind. In the past, most of my tropical vacations consisted of all inclusives where the goal was to beat the rush at the swim up bar. This trip was so much more, I will forever be grateful for the experiences I had at a time when I needed it most.
Wealth, in this context, refers to the total private money held by all individuals living in the city. That’s the metric used by the Global Wealth Migration Review, which recently released its ‘Wealthiest Cities Worldwide’ ranking.
Toronto is the only Canadian city to crack the top 15. Listed as the 13th wealthiest city in the world, Toronto is noted for having the 9th largest stock exchange and robust financial services, real estate, IT, media and telecoms industries. Toronto’s total wealth totals $944 billion USD.
The top 15 wealthiest cities:
1. New York City
4. San Francisco Bay Area
7. Los Angeles
8. Hong Kong
The Global Wealth Migration Review also ranked the 10 wealthiest countries in the world. Here, wealth also referred to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. Canada landed in the eight spot, at $6.4 trillion USD.
The top 10 wealthiest countries:
1. United States
4. United Kingdom
Another interesting metric in the review is how much a country’s wealth has grown over the past decade. Canadians, for example, have seen their total wealth grow 25% between 2007 and 2017. France, meanwhile, has seen its citizens’ wealth decline 11% in the last 10 years. Residents of China and India have seen their collective wealth grow the most, at 198% and 160%, respectively.
Despite Canadian CEOs taking home more money than ever, Canada actually scores fourth-best when it comes to the most equal countries. This metric calculates the per cent of wealth held by millionaires (lower = more equal):
The 5 most equal countries:
1. Japan (23%)
2. New Zealand (26%)
3. Norway (27%)
4. Australia (28%)
5. Canada (28%)
The millennial dating scene right now is nothing if not confusing.
We have a difficult time even labelling our relationships (dating, seeing each other, hooking up, etc.) so when a holiday like Valentine’s Day rolls around, knowing what to gift the person you’re seeing can feel like a minefield.
There are so many factors to consider:
How long have you been seeing each other?
Do you only meet up after 2 AM?
Has he/she met your friends?
Even if you’ve been hooking up for a while have you had “the talk”?
Not to stress you out even more – but add in the fact that if you’re reading this, you are probably shopping last minute most likely adding to the stress of getting the right gift. If you’re thinking is in line with the rest of the country, you’re sticking tried and true. The top 5 Valentine’s Day gifts Canadian’s are searching for this V-Day are:
4. Candy grams
5. Giant teddy bears
Flowers are always a nice touch, but where is the imagination?! For other last minute ideas check out these cultworthy brands for a load of other unique gifts that will support Canadian businesses and will definitely impress bae – just blame the delayed delivery on the post.
Aside from what to gift their loved ones, Canadian’s are also wondering how to self-love a little better this year, as evidenced from Canada’s top trending questions about love:
1. How do you love yourself?
2. How do you break up with someone you love?
3. How do you know you love someone?
4. How do you say I Love You in French?
5. How do you make someone fall in love with you?
Whether single or coupled up, if you need a little more R&R this year opting to stay in instead can be just as indulgent (and much more relaxing) as a big night out. And if you are coupled up, try not to stress too hard about what to get the person you’re seeing, a gift is a gift is a gift.
I’ve always stood by the notion that to be able to whole-heartedly love others, you have to learn to selflessly love yourself first.
With that in mind, when Valentine’s Day rolls around and I found myself single, I take a different approach than drowning my sorrows in chocolate – I see it as an opportunity to find empowerment in celebrating myself instead. I like to be spoiled, and if there is no one around to spoil me then dammit I’ll do it myself. This kind of celebration calls for an upgrade on the “traditional” single Valentine’s Day ice cream and romcoms on the couch. In my case, one of my favourite indulgences is 5 star food so naturally I decided to include a lobster dinner in my plans. Aside from the fact that they pair amazingly with butter, lobsters mate for life. See? Single V-day plans can be super romantic.
That being said, dinner for one on Valentine’s day at a sit down restaurant sounds like a nightmare. I’m not looking to overpay for fixed priced menus surrounded by doting couples. This celebration is all about me after all. I figured Bluenose Lobster at Assembly Hall would be the ideal solution, it’s luxe yet casual and I could decide to stay and eat or take it to go if I so pleased.
When you have one major ingredient on your menu it’s important to nail it and let me tell you, Bluenose Lobster does not mess around when it comes to their star ingredient. Lobster is plucked right from the Nova Scotia and flown in fresh for your finger-licking enjoyment. I decided to sample a few of the menu items to really make sure I got the full experience.
First up, the Lobster Thermidor: an open-faced lobster smothered in a delicious herbed sauce. As Chef Gareth Lagree’s food is meant to be enjoyed with all the senses, he encouraged me to dig in with my hands and it’s definitely the way to go, the flesh is already diced up into perfectly sized chunks so there is no messing around with complicated lobster shell cracking tools.
I’ll admit I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to certain things – lobster is a perfect example. It’s better when it’s the main focus and enhanced instead of mixed up in a bunch of complicated flavours. This is why I also decided to try out the Whole Lobster. I didn’t know my life was missing lobster dipped in maple butter until I tried this. So simple but the PERFECT indulgent addition to a very hedonistic meal.
Wrapping up my lobster adventure came the Rouleau de Homard (Warm Lobster Roll). A well buttered, toasted bun was the perfect vessel for supple lobster chunks and to top it all off, a juicy dill pickle. (Editors Note: I have quite a few photos of myself sampling the roll but in a difficult editorial decision it was decided that I look like I’m enjoying myself a little too much and that our readers should maybe be shielded from the passionate experience I had with this roll. Just do yourself a favour and order it.)
If you’re looking at all this thinking, “That is a hell of a lot of lobster” you are right and I had to take most of it home. Thankfully it was just as amazing later that night from the comfort of my couch.
All in all, I must say this was one of my favourite Valentine’s Days ever – mostly because I took matters into my own hands to make it so. If you need an excuse to treat yourself no matter the occasion, Bluenose Lobster and their stacked menu is here to take care of you. Single or coupled up, I hope you can find a way big or small to celebrate the shit out of YOU.