Canadians kicked off 2016 filled with hope. Surely after 2015 — the year that saw the Paris terror attacks, Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed ashore, and the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby — there had to be some good news on the way.
That was not to be.
What was bad in the world got worse. The Syrian civil war raged on, with Aleppo on the verge of collapse as the year comes to a close. The U.S. presidential election reached new levels of acrimony not seen in modern times, only to be overshadowed by the roiling protests and Russian tampering revelations that followed the vote. And the economy pushed many into deeper levels of despair as it seemed harder and harder to make ends meet.
Dear 2016: I made you this ornament. It is a Dumpster fire. pic.twitter.com/XjbM18bC9i
— Jennifer Brooks (@stribrooks) November 20, 2016
Already in the midst of one of its worst recessions, Alberta was upended by a massive wildfire that tore through the province in May. The blaze, nicknamed “The Beast,” burned for weeks, razing thousands of buildings, displacing dozens of communities, and leading to the deaths of two people. Fort McMurray was the focal point for the entire country as stories of heartbreak and heroism dominated the front pages and made Fort Mac No. 11 on our list of top news searches for the year.
Canada’s spirits were brightened later in the summer, as athletes shone at the Rio Olympics in August. Though the days and weeks leading up to it were filled with dread over the Zika virus outbreak, the city’s crime levels, and stories of polluted beaches, the Games introduced Canadians to stars like Penny Oleksiak and Andre De Grasse. In the end some of the biggest hiccups were a green diving pool and a lying U.S. swim team.
Despite glory abroad, back at home pro teams didn’t fare too well. The Raptors and Blue Jays made it to the postseason, at least. But the Maple Leafs ended the 2015-2016 season with the worst record in the NHL and for the first time in decades, not a single Canadian team advanced to the playoffs. Despite it all, “NHL” was the second-most searched term of the year.
Of the top 20 search terms in 2016, six were sports related: NHL (No. 2), Blue Jays (No. 3), Rio 2016 (No. 6), Euro 2016 (No. 8), Toronto Maple Leafs (No. 13), and Toronto Raptors (No. 18).
But it was the economy that dominated Canadian minds and search requests, with “Canadian dollar” coming out as the top search term of the year. As oil prices (the No. 15 most-searched term) continued to drop, so too did our dollar, slumping to 68 cents on the US dollar early in the year and coming into December worth about three-quarters of a greenback.
When our eyes weren’t on our pocket books, Canadians were searching for the latest in the world of arts of entertainment, from Céline Dion (No. 10) — who lost both her husband René Angélil and brother Daniel Dion in January — to Game of Thrones (No. 7) and Minecraft (No. 14).
And what summary of 2016 would be complete without mention of the politicians. U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump filled every nightly newscast and flooded social media feeds with fights and fervor. Canada’s honeymoon with its prime minister continued as Justin Trudeau basked in fawning write ups for much of the year, until accusations of impropriety around cash-for-access fundraisers attracted the ethics commissioner’s attention. And the country and its largest city bid farewell to Rob Ford, the larger-than-life mayor who died in March after being diagnosed with cancer during his 2014 re-election bid.
Yahoo Canada Top Searches 2016
Toronto Blue Jays
Game of Thrones
For more looks back at the year that was, keep an eye on Yahoo Canada as we unveil the top stories from the world of Style, Sports, Finance, and News.