What’s that thing on the back of my twenty? – A look at art and culture on Canadian currency

I recently returned from a 14 month trip around Australia and S.E. Asia. Both regions have an abundance of rich cultural heritage, evident in their art. Trudging through the Vancouver Airport I noticed a piece of our own cultural heritage, a large greenish sculpture I recognized as a Haida piece. I knew I’d seen it before but I couldn’t quite place where. Later, when buying my first Double-Double since 2010 I saw it staring up at me from the back of a $20 bill. The Spirit of Haida Gwaii by Bill Reid, commissioned in 1985 for the Canadian Embassy in Washington.  Cast in bronze, the original black version was recast in a jade patina for the Vancouver Airport. That got me thinking. What other bits of Canadiana are on my money, and where are they from? The Coins The variety of indigenous species on our coins can be seen across the country, with the exception of the Polar Bear adorning our Toonies who only shows his white mug in the coldest of climates. Churchill, Manitoba or the Territories would be a great place to visit him. Growing up in Atlantic Canada, I’d always identified with the

Tim Hortons introduces their newest cup size, and it's huge

Well, Tim Hortons is bringing out the big guns. Yesterday, via their official site, Timmy Ho’s announced that their previous double-double holders weren’t big enough, so they introduced a new version of the extra large – and it’s definitely living up to the name. It’s a 24oz steaming hot beverage – and for those of you keeping track at home – that’s bigger than the Venti (20oz) from Starbucks. Here’s what the PR rep from Timmy’s had to say: To accommodate the brand new cup, the names of the other hot cup sizes have shifted: the original small is now extra small, the medium is now small and so forth. The change in names of the hot cup sizes will apply to all hot beverages – guests will still receive the same amount of coffee for the same price, only the name of the size has changed. “We tested the names of the new hot cup sizes with our guests and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Our guests also told us that they love our small eight-ounce cup, so we will continue to offer that size,” said Dave McKay, Director of Brand Marketing for Beverages, Tim

Canadian comfort food: Toronto's best poutine

As temperatures plummet and February looms, the warm, cosy lure of the Canadian comfort meal beckons. You know what this means; French fries smothered in gravy and topped with creamy curds. That’s right, there’s nothing that warms the cockles quite like poutine. Poutine became the national de-facto dish because everyone was too lazy to make Tourtiere. This lowly dish from the province of Quebec has risen to the lofty heights of being Canada’s most love national cuisine. For the uninitiated, poutine is a plate of fries smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. Although some find any deviation from this triangle of awesomeness treason of the highest order and downright ‘un-Canadian’, the more adventurous chefs are creating poutine masterpieces from all manner of ingredients. Ask 20 Torontonians what they think the best poutine joint in town is and you’re bound to get 20 different answers. So I decided to ask a whole lot more and, even though there was very little consensus, there were defiantly areas of overlap. So, if not the definitive list I was aiming for, here is a stab at the best places to get poutine in the city of Toronto. The