What did Canada Google about in 2019? Toronto Raptors, of course

Google says the topic that was searched the most by Canadians in 2019 was the Toronto Raptors.

The team that won the 2019 NBA championship dominates Google's lists of top trending searches in 2019, top trending Canadian news topics in 2019 and top trending Canadian moments of the decade.

Kawhi Leonard, famous in part for his buzz beater shot in May that lifted the Raptors into the Eastern Conference Finals, meanwhile, is number two on the list of top trending searches and leads the list of top trending people searched on Google in 2019.

Alexandra Klein, communications and public affairs for Google Canada, based in Toronto, says 2019 was a "very exciting year" and in large part due to victories in professional sports. 

"We had the Toronto Raptors win the NBA championship. This was a moment that brought our country together," Klein told CBC Toronto.

"It was such a thrilling playoff run. All kinds of questions were asked about the actual ins and outs of basketball. How many fouls until you are fouled out? How many games in the playoffs?"

People in India, the Philippines and Dominican Republic also searched Google many times for information on the Raptors, she said.

When Canadians sat down at their computers or looked at browsers on their smart phones, they searched for champions, Klein says.

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Tennis star Bianca Andreescu, for example, is number seven on the list of Google's top trending searches for 2019. Andreescu, of Mississauga, is also the top trending Canadian of 2019. There were Google questions asked about her coach, country of origin, her parents and their dog.

"It was very clear that Canadians were so thrilled to be searching for these events."

Why is Toronto called The 6? That's still being asked

Klein said Google also looked back at the last 10 years in searches because it is the end of the decade. In 2010, the top search was the Vancouver Olympics and there were questions about Vancouver being a world class city.

"If you think about where we are now, we are no longer asking the international community to validate us. We are exporting Canada to the rest of the world, whether that's through sports or culture or through music."

Klein said, for example, 2016 was really Drake's year. He trended highly in searches that year on the heels of his song Hotline Bling. Drake has become an unofficial ambassador for Toronto, especially after coining one of the city's most famous nicknames.

"One of the top questions that we saw in 2019 was: why is Toronto called the 6? That's still a question that Canadians are asking. This is somebody who has literally transformed the landscape of Toronto."

But all is not trophies, confetti, parades and pop stars. An analysis of Google's top trending questions, including why and who, has found that the number of questions asked by Canadians about climate change was 75 per cent higher in 2019 than in 2015.

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One of the top trending questions in Canada asked in 2019, for example, is: Why is the Amazon burning? Another top trending question in the who category was: Who is Greta Thunberg?

"This really reveals that this is topic in which Canadians may have anxieties or curiosity and are seeking answers," she said.

Google determines its top trending lists by analyzing what it calls "aggregated anonymous data that represents mass interest in a topic," Klein said. Everything listed means a "significant" number of Canadians has been searching for it, she added.

"It's an excellent barometer of where we're at this moment in time," she said.

Here is Google's list of top searches in Canada in 2019:

1. Toronto Raptors 2. Kawhi Leonard 3. Canada Election Results 4. Luke Perry 5. Cameron Boyce 6. Game of Thrones 7. Bianca Andreescu 8. Don Cherry 9. Thanos 10. Hurricane Dorian

Here is Google's list of top trending Canadian news topics in 2019:

1. Toronto Raptors 2. Canada Election Results 3. Bianca Andreescu 4. Don Cherry 5. Alberta Election 6. Toronto Raptors Parade 7. Hurricane Dorian 8. Nova Scotia Power Outages 9. SNC Lavalin 10. BC Fugitives

Here is Google's list of top trending Canadians in 2019:

1. Bianca Andreescu 2. Don Cherry 3. Jagmeet Singh 4. Andrew Scheer 5. Mitch Marner 6. Jody Wilson-Raybould 7. Kevin O'Leary 8. Jake Muzzin 9. Ayesha Curry 10. Tyson Barrie

Here is Google's list of top trending people in 2019:

1. Kawhi Leonard 2. Bianca Andreescu 3. Don Cherry 4. Kevin Durant 5. Antonio Brown 6. Jussie Smollett 7. Kevin Hart 8. Lori Loughlin 9. Jordyn Woods 10. Billie Eilish

Here is Google's list of top trending questions in 2019 - "Why…"

1. Why is Toronto called the 6? 2. Why did Don Cherry get fired? 3. Why is blackface offensive? 4. Why is it called Good Friday? 5. Why am I always tired? 6. Why is celery so expensive? 7. Why is the Amazon burning? 8. Why did the Jonas Brothers break up? 9. Why do we have daylight savings? 10. Why is Fortnite not working?   And in the category of things that really matter, here is Google's list of top trending recipes in 2019:

1. beef stroganoff  2. brussel sprouts 3. coleslaw 4. banana bread  5. lasagna 6. guacamole  7. fried rice  8. gnocchi  9. turkey breast  10. beef stew