November 16, 2018

ZEITLINES | 11.16.18


A chill has come over. This week as the temps drop and the snow flies, Toronto welcomes winter…but not Amazon. In the face of our city’s dashed hopes, CEO Beverley Hammond looks at a clever campaign out of Austin (another loser in the Amazon beauty pageant) that attempts to make us feel better about it – sort of, while Community Manager Michelle Nguyen reflects on her fondness for the first snow and the newest member of our team, Graphic Designer Cassie Chan chooses to grin and “bear” it all.

Sorry, Not Sorry

Beverley Hammond, CEO

Well, at long last, the 112 Billion-Dollar Man and his aptly named online retail distribution monopoly have made the decision about where Amazon’s next world-conquering headquarters will be located. Until that happened, some of us here in Toronto, Canada held out hope that President Trump’s Jeff Bezos rants might be more than just his standard ‘tweets from the toilet’ and could represent the kind of real, visceral hatred that would drive Bezos and Amazon to choose a non-US location as a poke-in-the-eye, of sorts. But alas, not. National Landing (Huh???) Virginia and Long Island City in Queens, New York are the picks.   Looks like the good business decision with lower US corporate tax rates and a whack of municipal incentives ultimately won the day over the poke-in-the-eye. Which might explain why Jeff Bezos is the richest human on the planet. Besides, he’s already got the Washington Post as his retaliatory vehicle. So here we sit, broken-hearted. And what says Amazon to that? Um, nothing. So, in the also-shunned city of Austin, Texas, an ad agency McGarrah Jessee decided to say something on Amazon’s behalf, creating custom apologies from Alexa for the losing cities.

It’s simply brilliant and one for the “damn, I wish we’d thought of that” file. Check out Alexa’s apology to Toronto. To cite an old adage - it would be funny if it weren’t so sad!

S-NO Way You’re Bringing Me Down!

Michelle, Community Manager

Is that a snowflake I see out there?  Snow really gets the city warmed up for December. My favourite type of snow is when it’s coming down without a breeze— that magic, that freedom of movement—flittering down like dust off of a neglected shelf.

The sight of it immediately transports me back to being a child and watching my parents untangle Christmas lights at the foot of our plastic tree, laughing about how frustrating it is and “maybe we should figure out a system for next year.” I remember hoping that they didn’t, because there was something about the seasonal struggle of something so inherently Canadian that really did get me into the spirit.

Maybe that’s what the snow does for us collectively in this city, too. I sense an excitement all about at the first snow. We complain and marvel at the first snowfall within the same foggy breath. Funny how we can feel so passionately about something that doesn’t feel anything in return.

Fortunately, no one can rain on my Santa Claus Parade. (Even if it rains, which it has been known to do.) Cue the Christmas music because Sagittarius season and the Big Man himself are coming to town! ❄️ ❄️


"Bearing" The Cold

Cassie Chan, Graphic Designer

The cold weather’s been a downer but gummy bears aren’t!

I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump this week so making this little illustration was a nice break from it. The inspiration came from the sudden drop in temperature, plus my endless hunger for food and bad puns. Here’s to hoping I get used to the cold and snow for the next couple months.


What are your thoughts on Toronto getting 'iced out' from HQ2? Have you gotten your snow boots out yet for this slushy city? Send us an email at and share your thoughts!