The top 5 things to cheers to Toronto for 2016
As the year draws to a close, it's time to think back and say a toast to Toronto's achievements in 2016. While we didn't witness the flood of megaprojects that the Pan Am Games brought the previous year, there were still plenty of developments worth clinking a glass to over the last 12 months.
Here's to the ways Toronto got better in 2016. Chin, chin.
As Toronto's density continues to increase, it seemed 2016 was the year that we fully embraced a new vision for downtown parks. The wildly ambitious plan for Rail Deck Park is the poster example of this, but let's not forget the hugely important Bentway and Don River Valley Park developments, the former of which is slated to open partially as early as next year.
Toronto was the centre of the music universe in 2016 and Drake was king. Also holding court at the top of the Billboard charts were the Weeknd and adopted son Justin Bieber. Let's not forget the epic years that Alessia Cara, Tory Lanez, and Shawn Mendes had as well. Gone are the days when local artists would struggle to find a following south of the border.
Where to begin? While we didn't win a championship, 2016 was an amazing year for Toronto sports teams. The Raptors pushed the Cavaliers to the brink in the NBA conference finals, the Jays electrified the city with a nail-biting playoff run for the second year in a row, TFC made the MLS finals, and the Leafs' youth movement turned out to be the real deal.
Cycling infrastructure had a banner year in Toronto with the arrival of bike lanes on Bloor after decades of campaigning from biking advocates in the city. It's only a pilot project, but it was a huge deal. Still, Bloor wasn't the only major upgrade for cyclists. The separated trail on Bayview Avenue helped to make the Don Valley more accessible, and the city announced plans for even more ambitious projects in the future.
It was a huge year for Toronto's retail scene, punctuated by the dual openings of Saks and Nordstrom. Beyond these giant, upscale department stores, Yorkdale opened a new addition with lineups at Uniqlo and Canada Goose, Shinola graced the foot of Ossington, Warby Parker became a major optical destination, and Vancouver's 8th and Main set up shop on Yonge St.
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