Toront o’s first post office is a block away from The Walrus headquarters. Still open for business, the 1834 building offers a reading room where you can peruse your mail and jot off a hasty reply, should you happen to have ridden in only for the day by horse (they also offer a supply of quill pens). In the back, there is a topographical map showing the evolution of the area, once the town of York; today, blacksmiths and taverns have given way to latte art and showrooms for Italian designer faucets. The current offices of this magazine are housed in what was a factory that made bicycles and carriages before evolving into the three-storey brick structure it is now, host to businesses that include a cluster of ad agencies and startups. I mention all this because it’s as easy a way as any to explore the fluidity of place. We are witnessing a rapid and somewhat revolutionary shift in the concept of geography — local, national, international — much of it led by technology. Over the past few years, the world has seen that terrorism doesn’t have borders. Climate change doesn’t have borders. Threats to the democratic process and the free press don’t, apparently, have borders. In this month’s issue of The Walrus, writers explore the effects of some of the changes before us. In his cover story, “Hacking Your Vote,” political journalist Justin Ling describes attempts by Russian bots and trolls to influence Canadian politics andpublic discourse. The possibility of these threats is, of course, something most of us have considered in this era of fake news and privacy breaches. The immediate challenge, as Ling demonstrates, is to understand the scope of the problem as much as it is to know what to do with it. In her essay “After NAFTA,” Lauren Mckeon, digital editor at The Walrus, explores the new United States-mexico-canada Agreement through the lens of how the tense discussions leading up to the deal will affect Canada’s reputation in future negotiations. In “Poutine in Qatar,” meanwhile, Corey Mintz reports on the expansion of Canadian food companies such as Smoke’s Poutinerie. Quebec’s signature dish of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy has come to symbolize a taste of Canada for foodies everywhere—but what does it mean to export it to places where social norms contradict Canadian values? It might seem logical to conclude at the end of 2018 that location is becoming irrelevant. But there are ways in which it has never been more important. Artist John Hartman’s new exhibition, People and Place, features Canadian writers in some of their favourite settings. Hartman, who grew up around Ontario’s rugged Canadian Shield in the 1950s and 1960s, first earned his reputation as a landscape painter. “Ialways thought people and place were interconnected,” he told me. Hartman’s portrait of well-known journalist and author Ian Brown, which appears in this issue, is somehow both familiar and revealing: ahuman figure rendered with the complexity of a landscape. Is it place that makes us who we are, I asked Hartman, or place that lets us be our true selves? “Both,” he answered. Brown’s essay “A Place to Call Home,” written in response to his portrait, appears on our back page. It has long been an important exercise of Canadianness to define what Canadian really means. Is it based on geography? Culture? Language? The range of perspectives offered by anglophones, francophones, immigrants, and Indigenous peoples has long demonstrated that difference, not homogeneity, is our normal. The discovery that a country is not geographically or politically immutable shouldn’t come as a surprise, but somehow, it still does at times. That we are talking about it so openly now is, I would argue, a strength. Scott Benesiinaabandan (“New Landmarks”) is an artist whose work includes digital prints and light and sound installations which reframe monuments and, thus, the recorded narratives of Canadian history. In the context of a global discussion about what to do with controversial tributes to the past, Benesiinaabandan, who is Anishinaabe, reminds us that sometimes the most effective change comes from revealing the world in front of you in a new light.