Bulletin Sept. 1-7: City Chipmunks Are Healthy! (Plus Soulpepper, Windsor Flooding and Le Burger Week)

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.

Sudbury researchers have good news about urban animals, in case you were wondering. And some other things are happening this week …


North America’s Summer of Rain continues, and it’s Windsor’s turn: Parts of the city on the Detroit River are flooded following a recent deluge. About 300 homes currently have mucky water sitting in their basements. For visitors, the main inconvenience will be traffic from road closures. But let’s keep things in perspective; as Mayor Drew Dilkins told reporters: “I think the state of emergency is actually in Houston, it’s not in the City of Windsor.”


Sept. 1 to 7 is Burger Week in Montreal – or as it is known locally, “Le Burger Week.” It’s a time for people to gather and celebrate one of the greatest of all foods, especially in deluxe editions offered only during this most wonderful of seasons. Mtl Blog lists the 19 participating restaurants here; we’re especially intrigued by the inside-out-looking monstrosity pictured below, from Le Gras Dur.

Now that’s a burger.

New York/Toronto

Soulpepper Theatre Company’s special summer season in New York – a 12-production program called  “Soulpepper on 42nd Street” – has been a critical and commercial hit, one that may inspire donors to dig deeper in future, the Toronto Star reports. Said Soulpepper artistic director Albert Schultz: “I can say at this point there was no lose. This was a win-win-win-win-win.” The shows are over for now, but as they say, if you can make it in New York … you can probably make it again in New York next year.

Scene from Soulpepper’s production of Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage

Thunder Bay

If you’re depressed by the performance of a favourite major league team this year (*cough cough* Blue Jays *hack* *gag* Tigers), perhaps watching the potential stars of tomorrow will reinvigorate your enthusiasm for baseball? For 10 days starting Friday, Sept. 1, Thunder Bay hosts the WBSC U-18 (Men’s) Baseball World Cup. It’s tournament of the best teenage players from 12 nations, including Canada (which last won a medal in 2006 – a bronze), the United States (which took home the gold in the last three tourneys) and – with a contingent of more than 60 members of the press trailing the team – another perennially strong contender, Japan.

When else are you going to be able to watch Australians play baseball?


City living – or at least living in Sudbury, Ont. – is better for chipmunks than living in pristine wilderness. That’s according to a Laurentian University research team, who told CBC: “We expected chipmunks that lived in the city would be more stressed out, probably thinner … What we found was that chipmunks that live in the city are fat … and they have relatively low stress hormone levels compared to their counterparts in natural habitats.”

The relative ease of obtaining food in urban environments may not be any healthier for the rodents in the long run than it is for humans, however: The lead researcher said more study is needed to determine the nutritional consequences of dining on muffin bottoms and pizza crusts.

Travel news

Qantas has dropped a gauntlet at the feet of Airbus and Boeing: Deliver airplanes that can make a direct trip from Sydney to New York and London by 2022, and the Australian airline will schedule the routes. As Skift reports: “Qantas estimated flights from Sydney – its biggest hub – would take roughly 20 hours and 20 minutes to London and a little more than 18 hours to New York.”

Fifteen-to-18-hour segments are a reality already, thanks to transpolar routes and the development of a few super-long-haul airliners, namely Boeing’s 787 and 777X, and the Airbus A350 XWB. So it really is only a matter of time before every major first- and second-tier city in the world enjoys direct connections to most of the others, no matter how distant. Now, if only Hollywood could produce enough decent movies in a year to keep a passenger occupied for a 40-hour round-trip.


The 787-9 Dreamliner has a range of more than 14,000 kilometres but Sydney is nearly 17,000 away from London

Bulletin Sept. 1-7: City Chipmunks Are Healthy! (Plus Soulpepper, Windsor Flooding and Le Burger Week)
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