2016 was an intense year for Toronto. Tolls were announced, capybaras were lost, and final shows were sung. Here is our list of the year’s biggest moments for Toronto.
John Tory’s Toll Announcement
When Mayor John Tory announced his plan to implement tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, it was no surprise that the announcement sparked a lot of controversy. The announcement is still fresh in our heads and more news continues to surface regarding opinions and counter-arguments. At this point, we can only wait and see where the tolls take us.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) December 7, 2016
Penny Oleksiak in Rio
At only 16 years old, Toronto native Penny Oleksiak blew the rest of the world away when she won four Olympic medals in this year’s Rio Summer Games, including one silver, two bronze, and one gold. She tied with Simone Manuel in swimming, setting a new Olympic record at 52.70 seconds and winning Canada’s first gold in Rio. Another notable performance was given by Andre De Grasse, who became the first Canadian to win Olympic medals in all three sprint events.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) August 12, 2016
Tragically Hip’s Final Toronto Shows
In May, Gord Downie shook the nation when he announced that he had terminal brain cancer. The announcement was followed by a tour with the band that had been together for over 30 years, leading to the most emotional run of live performances that had ever occurred in Toronto with three shows in four nights. Later, the country gathered both inside and outside the stadium to watch the Hip play what could have been their final show in Kingston. It was a powerful summer for Canadian music.
— The Tragically Hip (@thehipdotcom) August 15, 2016
TFC Plays the MLS Cup Final
Toronto FC made history this year in Canadian sports. Although they suffered an unfortunate loss on penalty kicks, Toronto FC became the first Canadian team to advance to the MLS Cup. After beating Montreal Impact in a high-scoring game, TFC held their own throughout the MLS Cup game, giving us more than just hope for next year’s season. Regardless of the outcome, this team worked their butts off this year and made Toronto and Canada proud.
Posted by Toronto FC on Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Black Lives Matter and Toronto Pride
Black Lives Matter staged a shutdown during 2016’s Toronto Pride Parade. The group stopped its float at Yonge and College Sts. for over half an hour and refused to move on until Pride officials met their demands. The parade resumed after executive director Mathieu Chantelois and board co-chair Alicia Hall agreed to the list of demands on the spot. Pride’s management later made headlines once more after they retracted the signed agreement they made with Black Lives Matter.
— BlackLivesMatter TO (@BLM_TO) July 3, 2016
Choir! Choir! Choir! Covers Leonard Cohen and David Bowie
Known for their tribute to Prince in Massey Hall, the Toronto-based musical choir performed “Hallelujah” with Rufus Wainwright at Hearn Station, as well as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Rob Ford Dies
At just 46 years old, Rob Ford died earlier this year 18 months after beginning treatment for cancer. The former Toronto mayor was first diagnosed in 2014 during his bid to be re-elected as mayor. Chemotherapy put a strain on this goal, forcing Ford to take a break from office to undergo treatment. Ford would have turned 47 in May.
Uncle Rob, You have fought the good fight long enough and now can rest in peace. Love you and will forever miss you. pic.twitter.com/3tIM0KZJdK
— Michael Ford (@MichaelFordTO) March 22, 2016
Jian Ghomeshi Found Not Guilty
In a Toronto courthouse in March, Ghomeshi was found not guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. Since the controversy began in 2014 when Ghomeshi was first arrested, the trial had Toronto making headlines and sparked a massive dialogue regarding sexual assault and assault in the workplace.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) March 24, 2016
Prince’s Surprise Show in Toronto
Just about a month before his death, Prince had announced a last-minute surprise show in Toronto. The show took place on March 25 at the Sony Centre, and took Prince fans by surprise since it had been about a year since the artist had last made an appearance in the City.
Drake sits on the CN Tower
Drake’s album release was accompanied by a social media craze that involved people parodying the Views album cover by photoshopping Drake in different photos, also known as the “Fake Drake” craze, or Photoshopping themselves on the CN Tower. The cover featured an image of Drake sitting on the edge of the CN Tower. Though the album cover was pretty fun to parody, the chart-topping album also put Toronto in the spotlight.
— DeRally DeCap (@_rallycap) April 26, 2016
The Supermoon that Made History
On November 14th, the world was watching as the biggest supermoon in 70 years rose over Toronto. Although you may have become annoyed at the burst in supermoon pics on social media, you have to admit that the supermoon looked pretty awesome over the city.
Drake and Rihanna film “Work” music video at The Real Jerk
When The Real Jerk mysteriously closed its doors on February 5th, fans began gathering around the Gerrard St. E restaurant in hopes of spotting Rihanna and Drake. Prior to the closing, a casting call had opened in Toronto seeking dancers for Rihanna’s music video for “Work.” Of course, the reason for the closing was later confirmed, and yes, the two did shoot the video for “Work” in a local Toronto spot. Pretty cool.
Drake and Rihanna leaving the set of the "Work" video last night in Toronto pic.twitter.com/jbOhoOlXQ0
— Drake (@DrakeBible_) February 6, 2016
Every year, thousands of Canadians flock to Toronto to watch the Canadian International Air Show. There have always been complaints about this show because, well, anything that’s loud is bound to piss some people off (although many people really do love the Air Show). Of course, social media has given Air Show protestors a place to voice their concerns, and voila.
— Lola Landekic (@lolamachine) September 2, 2016
Honest Ed’s Closing
Honest Ed’s will be closed forever on December 31. Ed Mirvish opened the iconic thrift store in 1948 and ran it right up until his death in 2007. Located on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, this Toronto landmark will be greatly missed.
Capybaras Escape High Park Zoo
Two capybaras from High Park Zoo made international headlines after they mysteriously escaped and managed to forage on their own for nearly a month in High Park. The two rodents, nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde, were spotted by Toronto residents during the span of their escape. The zoo managed to catch one of them on June 12, but didn’t capture the second capybara for another 16 days. Since these escapes, the world has definitely learned never to underestimate these clever rodents.
— blogTO (@blogTO) May 24, 2016
Thank you for checking in on Indie88.com over the holidays to read our entire Best of 2016 series.