By most standards, 2018 has been a roller coaster of a year for Toronto.
From Bruce McArthur’s shocking multiple murder case, the euphoria of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s triumphant Olympics performance and the tragic van attack in the first half of the year, to both a provincial and municipal election and cannabis legalization towards the latter half — the city and the country have experienced several headline grabbing events.
While the bigger stories tend to stand out in public memory, they’re not always the ones that garner the most interest online.
Here is a list of the top ten stories on CityNews.ca that amassed the most page views in 2018:
#10. A sneak peek inside the Ontario Cannabis Store website
Oct. 11, 2018: Cannabis legalization was no doubt a topic that remained top-of-mind for several months leading up to legalization day. Our story and video page giving Canadians a look at the official Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website about a week before pot became legal comes in as the tenth most viewed page on CityNews.ca
#9. Weed is legal! Here’s how to buy it in Ontario
Oct. 17, 2018: Post legalization on Oct. 17, Ontarians have only been able to buy legal weed online. Brick and mortar stores will not set up shop till April 2019. Our primer on how to purchase pot on the Ontario Cannabis Store website ranked as our ninth most viewed page.
#8. Vigil held for 30-year-old newlywed killed in Brampton car crash
Oct. 28, 2018: Thirty-year-old newlywed Anam Laiq was killed in a car crash in Brampton, just a week after her wedding. The community came together to support the grieving family and her husband, who survived the crash but has a long and difficult recovery ahead.
#7. Boy, 3, dies after being found inside hot vehicle in Burlington
May 23, 2018: A three-year-old boy died after being found inside a hot Ford Escape SUV in Burlington. An autopsy determined the preliminary cause of death was hyperthermia and consistent with a child left in a vehicle and exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.
#6. City finally fixing sinkhole after fed-up residents grew tomatoes in it
Aug. 16, 2018: Frustrated residents in a Toronto neighbourhood began growing tomatoes in a gaping hole in the road after their repeated requests to repair it went unheeded by the city. A day after a CityNews report about the sinkhole salad aired, the city finally took action. The healthy veggie protest was our sixth most viewed page in 2018.
#5. Government warning women about travel to popular tourist destinations
Dec. 7, 2018: Global Affairs Canada issued advisories for a list of countries where women have reported being sexually assaulted, in some cases by resort staff. The warning came after CityNews’ investigation into reports of four Canadian women being sexually assaulted at Hotel Riu Republica resorts in the Dominican. The cautionary story was our fifth most viewed page on CityNews.ca.
#4. Shocking footage of minor crash turned major on the 401
#3. CityVote 2018: where to find GTHA election results
#2. St. Michael’s College School students expelled after video of alleged group sex assault circulates
Nov. 14, 2018: Shocking videos appearing to show assaults at St. Michael’s College School, one of them sexual in nature, led to investigations and the subsequent expelling of several students. Since then, more such cases have surfaced at the school and the police sex crimes unit have investigated as many as eight incidents. The initial story, first reported by CityNews, ranks as the second most viewed page on CityNews.ca.
#1. Ontario’s tough distracted driving laws one step closer to taking effect
Jan. 15, 2018: In the beginning of the year, tougher distracted driving laws with harsher penalties were set to take effect in Ontario, including automatic driver’s licence suspension for convicted distracted drivers. Ontario’s imminent crackdown on distracted driving garnered the most attention on CityNews.ca and ranks as our top most viewed page of 2018.