In February 2021, hip-hop star Drake called Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan because he was having trouble getting new music from his producer, who lives in town.
Drake posted this on social media:
Grammy-winning producer Matt Samuels, aka Boi1da, works from his home studio in North Pickering.
He collaborates with artists such as Drake, Eminem, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Jack Harlow.
The City responded with the following message.
The exchange went viral and many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reached out to the city to discuss improving and expanding broadband.
Bell Canada was the first ISP to deploy a major fiber Internet project in underserved areas of Pickering.
On Tuesday, it was announced that, following the City of Pickering’s advocacy on broadband investments and Bell Canada’s recent expansion of pure fiber internet into the hamlets and rural areas of Pickering, Boi1da can work from her home studio.
By 2022, Bell Canada will have installed high-speed Internet in the Pickering hamlets of Kinsale, Whitevale, Claremont and Green River.
“Being called out by a superstar like Drake on social media is not an everyday occurrence,” Mayor Ryan said. “However, it has highlighted the digital divide for many of our residents and businesses in our hamlets and rural areas. I am delighted that Bell Canada has answered the call and will serve 21,000 additional locations in Pickering over the next three years. In addition to our residents, we also want to see high-speed broadband installed in our Innovation Corridor so we can attract even more world-class companies like Kubota Canada and FGF Brands to Pickering. We work ‘Non-Stop’.
“I want to thank Mayor Ryan, the City of Pickering and of course Bell Canada for providing this new high-speed internet connection,” Boi1da said. “I work with international artists from all over the world, and it’s important to be able to do that right here from my studio in Pickering to maximize our artistic and creative energies.”