Billy Bulletin August 11-17: Canadian Border Services Says Enough with the Guns

The Billy Bulletin appears every Thursday with news about travel and the cities we cover, to help our readers and passengers navigate the week ahead.


Here’s what we’re seeing across our cities this week …


The Rogers Cup is under way until Saturday, Aug. 12, and the city is in the midst of tennis mania – well, mania for Roger Federer, at least, who can pack a stadium just to watch a practice. Check here to see if tickets are still available. And if you happen to be attending, be sure to consult Billy’s roundup of places to to go in the local Jarry Park area.

(While the men’s tournament is being held in Montreal, the women’s is in Toronto.)


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Pat Patriot … in a plane!

During the season ahead, the New England Patriots will become the first football team – and, perhaps, the first pro sports franchise – to have its own airplanes to fly to away games. ESPN reports that the Massachusetts-based NFL champions have bought a pair of Boeing 767s, which are now being retrofitted with all the appropriate luxury fixings. While Air Patriot will sport five Lombardi trophies on its tail, the purchase of the planes is reportedly a practical decision as opposed to braggadocio: Sports teams are finding it tougher to charter a flight these days, and the Patriots organization will be able to rent out its 767s during the off season, which will lower the overall cost of operation.


New England Patriots

Air Patriots’ livery

Also: If you’re in Boston this Sunday, Aug. 13, Newbury Street goes car-free for a street festival.

New York

According to Eater, New York is considering appointing a “nightlife ambassador,” whose tasks will include fostering smooth relations between club owners and residents. This follows a European-led trend of naming “night mayors” to acknowledge the growing importance of nocturnal activity (especially to the economy). First job for the ambassador might be overturning New York’s infamous cabaret law, which has effectively banned dancing in most bars for the best part of a century.

If you prefer to sleep, on the other hand (but not too much!), here’s a handy roundup of some of the new, upcoming and new-ish hotels in New York – and not all of them are in Manhattan.

In other New York news, a study says it’s the most expensive city in the United States in which to keep a pet. Well nowwshutt, buying dog chow in little bodega-sized bags can’t be the most cost-effective way to feed Fido, can it?


Speaking of pets, Erik the Red, a quasi-famous RCO (“Rodent Control Officer”) at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, has died at the age of at least 19. According to Metro Halifax, the cat will receive – and we are not joking – a viking-style sendoff: “Like his former RCO colleagues, Erik’s body will be taken from the museum on a small work boat and his ashes will be cast to the sea.”

This is not to say the Halifax waterfront will be feline-free from now on – far from it. A horde of cats, sheltered and nurtured by locals, is a regular fixture of the Halifax docks.


Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The late, great Erik the Red


The city is celebrating 50 years since the installation of what some call its most famous piece of outdoor art. No, not the bean (you mean Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate?). This big anniversary belongs to the untitled Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, which The Wall Street Journal reports has been cheesing off art-skeptic locals since 1967. Also, no one can agree what it looks like.


City of Chicago

What do you think it looks like?


Travel news

Hey, travellers from the United States! Stop trying to bring guns into Canada. According to Vice, the Canadian Border Services Agency is jumping up and down trying to generate some media coverage for this important message, in light of the fact that hundreds of Americans still get caught each year trying to bring guns into Canada without the proper permits. That will get your weapon confiscated, at the very least.

Billy Bulletin August 11-17: Canadian Border Services Says Enough with the Guns
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