toronto newsmakers 2016

The top 10 Toronto newsmakers from 2016

Toronto's biggest newsmakers from 2016 run the gamut from sports stars to activist groups to beloved musicians the city has adopted. Yes, there were even some bandit rodents who wracked up a ton of headlines this year. There were plenty of highs and lows in 2016, but no shortage of excitement.

Here are our picks for the top Toronto newsmakers in 2016.

The Toronto real estate market

Was there a more talked about subject in this city throughout 2016 than the white hot real estate market? Each month seemed to signal another record housing price broken. By the time December rolled around, Toronto had been widely crowned the hottest market in the country, having surpassed Vancouver, which started with a darn healthy lead.


Drake has had quite the 2016. He dropped one of the biggest albums of the year, his whiskey made a killing at the LCBO and John Tory even handed him the key to the city. He most recently is making headlines for linking up with J Lo. One Instagram post and the Internet literally broke.

Ken Pagan

If you don’t know who Ken Pagan is you must have been living under a rock during the Blue Jays playoff run. He’s the fellow who thought it was a great idea to toss a beer can from the stands during the Wild Card game. Toronto made international headlines and the Rogers Centre made the decision to ban cans during the rest of playoffs.

Black Lives Matter

The local activist group staged a major intervention at the Pride parade that managed to take the cameras off of an attention hungry Justin Trudeau and eventually elicit a formal apology from organizers for their marginalization of the black community. Perhaps even more importantly, BLM held a long term occupation at Toronto Police Headquarters that eventually garnered meetings with Kathleen Wynne and John Tory as well as a public inquest into the death of Andrew Loku.

Milos Raonic

Toronto has had a phenomenal year for sports and the city’s rising tennis star was near the top of the heap. This year he made history when he beat Roger Federer and advanced to the Wimbledon finals. He also found himself ranked the No. 3 tennis player in the world as the 2016 wrapped.

High Park Capybaras

What’s a year without a High Park Zoo escape? This year two large rodents called capybaras managed to escape their enclosure and the citywide hunt begun. The news of the critters escape was everywhere and the journey up until their capture was all documented.

Gord Downie

After the Tragically Hip's frontman announced he had terminal brain cancer this year, he and his band embarked on the cross-Canada Man Machine Poem tour. The final stop in Kingston was broadcast pretty much everywhere. Downie also released a graphic novel in 2016 and committed himself to First Nations causes as he was cast under a huge spotlight.

Rob Ford

Former mayor Rob Ford passed away on March 22, 2016. His family held a widely attended funeral at St. James Cathedral and later in the year, the infamous crack video finally went public, laying to rest years of speculation and questions.

Penny Oleksiak

Toronto's Penny Oleksiak proved herself at the 2016 Olympics after winning four medals for swimming, including a gold and silver. The 16-year-old is still a high school student in Toronto, but closed out the year with the Lou Marsh award.

Auston Matthews

The attention thrust upon Toronto hockey stars is unparalleled in the sport, but it reached new levels with the selection of Auston Matthews as the first overall pick last summer. Everything this kid does is dissected on sports networks and radio call in shows, but the most amazing part of this story so far is that he's lived up to hype, including his virtuoso four-goal debut performance.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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