The 10 wildest things that happened in Toronto last year besides COVID
It's been an unusual year for Toronto, as it has been for most of the world, but when your city's baseline level of "crazy" is already nearing "Florida" territory, most years are weirder than those before them.
From Grand Theft Auto-style car chases and raccoons robbing jewellery stores to cops seizing kangaroos in cannabis raids and myriad random fights caught on camera, Toronto had plenty of "wtf?" happenings aside from the global pandemic this year.
Here are some of the wildest things to happen in Toronto throughout the course of 2020 (aside from the reviled coronavirus.)
Two bloody tattooed men gave beach-goers quite a scare on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning at Toronto's Cherry Beach in August when they emerged from the bushes revving chainsaws. In the end, it was learned that the men were retaliating against an alleged attack by anti-lockdown ravers, rendering them heroes in the eyes of many.
Also in August of 2020, a wicked storm passed through the city — which isn't uncommon. What was unique is the "rain shaft" that formed in the sky. Described by meteorologists as "a column of precipitation,"it resembled a sci-fi depiction of aliens beaming up entire neighbourhood.
If being forced to stay in is bumming you out this NYE, imagine starting off the new year with a part of your face missing — 24-year-old Allyson Danylko did after her boyfriend started acting "weird" and "jealous" at a King West club, eventually going home to bite off her nose.
The young Toronto woman bravely shared her attack and recovery stories online to support survivors of domestic abuse.
The devastating wildfires that hit California early this fall were so huge and impactful that Toronto experienced several days of hazy weather in direct relation to the smoke. If nature and the environment's ability to be connected by so much distance isn't wild, I don't know what is.
Man shows up in blackface to Toronto protest and quickly gets arrested by police https://t.co/FrWi0cCU5X #Toronto #TorontoProtest #TorontoPolice #CityHall #NathanPhillipsSquare pic.twitter.com/fkO6LirJcP— blogTO (@blogTO) June 6, 2020
This was beyond effed up, and whether the man who perpetuated the act realized it at the time or not, he found out fast that Toronto doesn't look kindly upon any form of racism. The 28-year-old man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in June after being escorted from a protest at Nathan Phillips Square by six cops.
The things youths will do for clout in this city remains insane, but few filmed-for-Insta acts were as disruptive as one staged by a young local performing artist in August on the 401. The rapper actually stopped and got out of a car to perform for the cameras as traffic waiting impatiently behind him.
Images of a cliff collapsing onto the beach beneath Toronto's Scarborough Bluffs served as a powerful reminder in August of why officials keep telling people to stay off of the eroding geological structure. The videos are as impressive as they are terrifying.
There's a man going around Toronto's west end in a white SUV, approaching women who are walking alone to ask for directions, and then performing what police call "indecent acts."— Lauren O'Neil (@laurenonline) August 13, 2020
And that's just the tip of the iceberg: https://t.co/UhFcsMqJYb
As if we weren't already freaked-out out enough by the circulation of a deadly virus, women in Toronto's west end were warned in great detail this summer — by peers, advocates and police alike — about several attempted abductions involving a man in a white SUV. Fortunately, the creeper had nothing on neighbourhood groups who banded together for safety's sake.
The stunt driving scene in and around Toronto reached new heights of "WOW" this spring with less traffic on roads to account for. One 21-year-old man (who was later arrested and charged) blocked off the intersection of Yonge and Dundas in April to do burnouts while his friends ran around the car filming, inches from being hit.
I wish I could tell you literally anything about what led up to two men facing off with narrow wooden planks in Kensington Market this past June, but nobody at the scene could get details.
All we know is that nobody was hurt and that, fortunately, one witness managed to capture what turned into a hilarious clip in the fleeting moments before the men ran away.
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