Bulletin Aug. 18-24: Drake Restaurant Rumours, Clintons in Quebec, Trump vs. Bicycles

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.

So what’s heating our places of interest during this late summer week?


Is Drake opening a new restaurant in Toronto’s Financial District? The circumstantial evidence says yes. BlogTO shares the persuasive clues here, starting with OVO-branded hoardings near Yonge and Wellington. Beyond that, the plans are a mystery.

More or less completely predictable, on the other hand, is the annual Canadian National Exhibition. Better known locally as the CNE or “The Ex,” it kicks off Friday, Aug. 18 and runs until Labour Day. The largest annual fair in Canada, it’s a massive celebration of summery schlock replete with rides, midway games, dogs that do tricks, hawkers hawking bargains, greasy treats and plentymore.

The East Coast is the special food theme this year, but if you’re new to the Ex, locals will insist that your first snacking priority is Tiny Tom Donuts.


In other lowbrow diversion news, a beloved Cambridge bowling alley saw its final strike on Sunday; as the Boston Globe reports, Lanes and Games will be demolished to make way for an apartment development. The 75-year-old institution was notable among bowling alleys for serving craft beer, while still offering specials like $12 for two games (including shoe rental!).

Eastern Townships, Quebec

Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have been spending a week in the region just east of Montreal. While they have done some hand-shaking around North Hatley, Que., they’re mostly taking it easy. As the CBC reported: “[Bill] Clinton said his plans were to do as little as possible on the trip except play with grandchildren and have a good time.” Among the few social calls on the Clintons’ agenda was a visit with Louise Penny, a detective novelist who lives in nearby Knowlton and counts Hillary Clinton among her fans.

Oh, and if you’re reading, Bill and Hillary, we have some dining suggestions for the Eastern Townships!


In addition to some other activities this week, the Trump administration removed a Capital Bikeshare station near the White House. The Washingtonian speculates that the move was politically motivated.

New York

Note to business lunchers with vegetarian clients: Dirt Candy, a key restaurant in the trend toward haut veggie (or, as devotées increasingly prefer, “plant-based”) cuisine, is going even more haut – switching to a tasting menu format and ditching à la carte service as of Sept. 5. Canadian-born chef Amanda Cohen – whom Billy interviewed last year – told Forbes magazine: “I’ve been doing this for nine years … The customers I’ve started with have all grown up. We’re almost a decade older and want an elevated experience.”

Amanda Cohen

New York’s street food scene may lose a major player, meanwhile: Maria Cano, the legendary Arepa Lady, is considering retiring as her bricks-and-mortar restaurant faces demolition. As Grub Street explains: “The Arepa Lady started as a street cart in Jackson Heights, becoming a destination for Colombian food in the ’90s before opening its first storefront in 2014. Over time, she became something of a legend in New York food-geek circles” – not least for her leading role in the city’s street food resurgence.

Travel news

U.S. airlines are bumping fewer passengers, according to Statista. There’s no information on whether this is related to certain high-profile incidents involving what the industry calls “involuntary denied boardings.” Bumping is extremely uncommon anyway; the data gathered by Statista shows typical rates of one in 10,000 passengers, sometimes even a small fraction of that. In Canada, meanwhile, the biggest three airlines all have policies to limit bumping.

Bulletin Aug. 18-24: Drake Restaurant Rumours, Clintons in Quebec, Trump vs. Bicycles
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