Mid-2019 was a very different time. The Toronto Raptors had just won a franchise-first NBA championship, COVID-19 was not a thing yet, and local hip-hop and entertainment icon Drake was complaining about the WiFi in Pickering.
“Can the mayor of Pickering put up some stronger WiFi towers so @boi1da can send me all his latest beats?” Drake wrote in an Instagram story posted in July 2019, referring to his Pickering-based producer’s struggles with connectivity.
When you’re worth about $180 million, things usually go the way you want, and after two and a half years, Drake finally gets what he asked for: The City of Pickering announces the completion of a recent Bell Canada expansion of fiber-optic internet in the United States. hamlets and the countryside of the town.
In a Tuesday press release, the City of Pickering announced that, at Drake’s request, “Grammy award-winning producer, Boi1da, can now collaborate with top artists such as Drake, Eminem, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Jack Harlow.” straight from his home studio in north Pickering.”
It’s not the first time Pickering has responded to Drake’s grievances. He answered his first call with an incredibly corny response in defense of the city’s Internet service, littered with ridiculous Drake credentials.
“Hey @champagnepapi /Drake/Drizzy/6ixGod, if you’re reading this it’s too late – I’m responding on behalf of @mayordaveryan and @cityofpickering,” reads the 2019 reply, adding that “I’m upset @boi1da had issues with our public wifi. It’s the best I’ve ever had, so I’m not sure why Matt couldn’t get a good connection.”
“We started from the bottom up and now we have 65 WiFi access points installed here in Pickering in City facilities and some key public areas,” argued the city representative, adding that “we are looking for more WiFi access points, so in a few years you can go from 0 to 100 Real Quick.”
The back and forth on social media and the resulting viral news story caught the attention of internet service providers looking to capitalize on the buzz, with Bell Canada eventually winning the contract to install high-speed internet in the hamlets of Kinsale, Whitevale, Claremont and Green Pickering River.
Understanding that it’s not commonplace for them to be “called out by superstars like Drake and Boi1da via social media,” Mayor Dave Ryan admits that the focus “may have shed light on the digital divide for many of our residents and businesses in our hamlets and countryside.” .”
The move was acknowledged by producer Matt Samuels aka Boi1da, who thanked Mayor Ryan and Bell Canada for connecting an enhanced internet service, emphasizing the importance of being able to work with international artists from “here from my home studio in Pickering to maximize our artistic and creative energy.”