The Top 10 Toronto Viral Videos of 2009
From failed braking to shingle-shaking and news-making, it seems that the best Toronto viral videos of 2009 have captured a bit of... well, everything. The power of pocket technology has made it possible for anyone to be an instant filmmaker. Couple that with the might of the web masses, and you've got audiovisual evidence of the city's idiosyncrasies ballooning in popularity overnight, for one weird reason or another.
The following 10 video clips are noteworthy for their rapid rise to Internet fame, their interestingness, or because they capture a bit of the occasional absurdity that makes our beloved city what it is. After all, Toronto's corner of the web just wouldn't be complete without its very own memes.
Extreme Fitness BMW Parking Failure
With over 2.5 million views under its belt, this truly viral video (at top) is proof that accidents can happen whether or not you buckle up. The surveillance clip depicts an absolutely atrocious parking job by a 62-year-old woman behind the wheel of a black BMW SUV, outside an Extreme Fitness in Thornhill. CTV News and CP24 both remarked on the hit-and-run YouTube sensation. Hopefully we're looking at a "one-hit wonder."
Deer Tasered by Police in Downtown Core
After this past November's deer-in-the-city incident and the subsequent taser controversy, it's no wonder that everybody wanted to see the video evidence, scrutinize every blurry frame, and argue over exactly how the whole thing happened and what would've been the most appropriate action. The YouTube jury's still out -- but then again, when is it not?
World's Dumbest Arsonist: Man Sets Fire to TTC Bus
As you watch this clip, you might think, "What possessed this man to do what he did?" With a bit more context, you'd probably then think, "What possessed this man to do what he did, the way he did it?" I'd say that Toronto's (and arguably the world's) dumbest arsonist is rivaled only by one other infamously stupid criminal. I'm sure the two will battle it out for the title, but only if they first figure out how to do that.
At the End of Yonge St.
Shot in the span of 14 hours, At the End of Yonge St. illustrates in vivid stop-motion the journey of two friends between Yonge and Wellington and the end of Yonge St. at Lake Ontario. The highly praised video highlights a unique snapshot of Toronto every step of the way... and there are a great many steps.
Tribute to Lady Gaga on the TTC
This LoveGame tribute was created at the TTC's Don Mills station by Lady Gaga fans the Terrific T-Dot Team: Mara-Milk Bombaii, Putie Tang, Stepahanie Petal, Indonazn, and Liz Lemon. We first wrote about them in September, and we're shining the spotlight on them again now. You have to hand it to these ladies.
No Pants Subway Ride 2009
If that leotard-ensconced Lady Gaga lover weren't enough, Improv in Toronto's No Pants Subway Ride left many feeling the breeze between their legs in January. With Toronto's 2010 iteration of the event just around the corner, now might be a good time to reflect by seeing Paris, seeing France, and...well, you get the idea.
Toronto Lightning Storm
Daily Dose of Imagery photographer Sam Javanrouh captured the most incredible Toronto lightning storm in memory in early August, using 347 still shots, at 17-second intervals. Many of us may look back on this past summer as a mess of wet weather and ruined outings, but this clip serves as a reminder to us all that sometimes, Toronto weather is really... just... awesome.
Aug. 20 Tornado in Vaughan
Speaking of awe-inspiring weather, this August's tornado won't soon be forgotten for the wreckage it left in its wake, and for the sudden awareness it may have given many of us about the effects of climate change. For those of us lucky enough not to have experienced the tornado first-hand, there's this video, which certainly makes an unfathomable storm a little more tangible.
While I Was Away
Created by Toronto blogger Jay David, While I Was Away tells the (made-up) story of romantic miscommunication through a series of emails from a (fictional) lovesick girlfriend. Inspired by a real-life cabin trip sans cell phone reception, the clip has reached close to 800,000 views on YouTube. Too bad so many of its viewers still can't see pure entertainment for what it is, and nothing more (certainly not truth).
Diamond Rings: All Yr Songs
The recent Diamond Rings YouTube scandal places the Toronto artist's music video with the rest of the news-making and noteworthy on this list. Sony BMG initially pulled "All Yr Songs" from Youtube without warning or explanation, and no official reason for the copyright claim was given, although the issue was quickly resolved and the video restored. Here's to a weird blip in the Toronto-related Youtube stream -- one occurring in viral videos' birthplace itself.
BONUS: Honourable Mentions
Security camera footage of the Michael Bryant/Darcy Allan Sheppard motorist/cyclist incident.
A dancer doing a seriously ouch faceplant at the Lady Gaga concert at the ACC.
Toronto Raptor Jarrett Jack ties shoe during the game vs Chicago Bulls.