New and different things about Upper Canada in 2002:
- There is no more music on AM radio: the AM dial has been almost completely converted to talk-radio format. The most striking and unusual example of this is Mojo Radio, the station formerly known as 640 CHAM. It now bills itself “The World’s First and Only Talk Radio Station for Guys” and its hosts address serious global issues like “Man-bags and the Wussification of Society.” Advertisers tend towards strip clubs, hair-loss clinics and sporting events. In an apparent move to counter this, venerable 1010 CFRB is coujnter-programming “Wednesday Mensday.” Really.
- Shopping malls that used to contain 100 little stores now contain 25 big stores. Yorkdale, for example, used to be a rather dowdy old shopping centre. It’s now host to William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Eddie Bauer and Indigo, all of which are huge. There appears to be no difference between the stores you find in a mall in Peabody, MA and the stores you find in Toronto, ON.
- On television, all the sportscasters are women. This is probably true on PEI too, as we get the same channels by and large — I just notice it here more because I’m around my sports-loving brothers. Brian Williams and ‘casters of his ilk are now the minority.
- There is still strong competition in the wireless telephone market: Fido, Telus, Bell and Rogers all have kiosks or chichi stores in all the malls, and the emphasis is on small and sexy phones and gimicky rate plans (i.e. “free calling after school”)