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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The top 10 Toronto news stories from 2015

Beck taxi protest TorontoLooking back on the top news stories of this year, it's clear that there's been some butting of heads. Taxi drivers want Uber gone, and the Pan Am Games had its share of controversies. Still, there's been plenty of cause for celebration. The Blue Jays gave us one heck of a season, you can now buy beer from a grocery store, and we're finally starting to see some progress with TTC upgrades.

Here are my picks for the top Toronto news stories from 2015.

See also: The top 10 Toronto social media hits & blunders in 2015

#ComeTogether: Blue Jays mania takes over Toronto
The city experienced a collective heartbreak when the Jays, so close to advancing to the World Series were defeated by the Royals.. Nevertheless, the Jays made us proud this year. From outfielder Kevin Pillar's unbelievable catch to Jose Bautista's bat flip following an epic home run, the Jays delivered some of the most exciting and headline-worthy moments in recent MLB history.

Year of the Drake
The 6 god was indomitable this year. He released a surprise mixtape that topped the Billboard 200 chart, expanded OVO's clothing line with Raptors-inspired apparel and made his first foray into the city's dining scene with Fring's. Drake references have been ubiquitous both online and off. Who can forget the time the ACC set up a Hotline Bling booth in honour of Drake Night?

Pan Am Games is a success but not without controversy
Certain aspects of the Pan Am Games ruffled feathers. The temporary HOV lanes frustrated many drivers. The announcement that Kanye West would be headlining the closing ceremonies was also met with backlash. It wasn't all bad, though. There were impressive displays of athleticism, free concerts and the creation of new facilities. Plus, we now have an iconic Toronto sign.

Taxis versus Uber
Toronto taxi drivers' longstanding conflict with Uber came to a head earlier this month. Hundreds of taxi drivers took to the streets to protest what they deem to be an illegal business, disrupting traffic and letting their grievances be known. In September, city council voted to begin regulating the ride-sharing service. A report is due this coming spring.

Mystery tunnel turns out to be a man cave
In January, a conservation official discovered a tunnel near York U. Some of the items found inside were a rosary, a generator and a ladder. The tunnel made international headlines, national security officials were notified, and speculations were rampant. The person responsible turned out to be Elton McDonald, a construction worker who built the tunnel intending for it to be a kind of personal refuge.

@norm takes the internet by storm
With over 200,000 followers on Twitter, City Councillor Norm Kelly has become an internet
sensation. His tweets are so endearing and clever that we had to ask him whether he actually manages his own account (he does). He made waves in the Twittersphere this year when he came to Drake's defence against Philly rapper Meek Mill.

First wave of Syrian refugees arrive in Toronto
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne were at Pearson to greet the first wave of incoming Syrian refugees. They gave a warm welcome to the newcomers, providing them with winter necessities and toys for their children. Before their arrival, Trudeau gave a speech at the airport reaffirming the country's commitment to helping Syrian families settle into their new home.

TTC begins catching up to the future
This was the year that all TTC streetcars got PRESTO with buses and subway stations will follow. Completion of the entire project is slated for the end of 2016. In other transit-related news, in an effort to ease congestion the TTC recently implemented all-door boarding, with a new proof-of-payment system, on all streetcar lines.

Beer now sold in grocery stores
At long last, as of December 15th, you can now purchase beer at select grocery stores across the GTA. We've been waiting for this moment ever since Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the plan in September. There are now seven grocers selling beer in Toronto. None of those six locations, however, are in the downtown core.

Fashion Santa sets the internet on fire
Fashion Santa, a.k.a. model Paul Mason, was all the rage at Yorkdale Shopping Centre this holiday season. In the spirit of charity and good PR, Yorkdale promised that for every #YorkdaleFashionSanta selfie posted to social media, it would donate $1, up to a maximum of $10,000, to the SickKids Foundation. Justin Bieber was among those who posed for a pic with the chic Saint Nick.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for the top Toronto news stories from 2015 inthe comments.

by Jeanie Tran via blogTO

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