The events of 2018 can perhaps be best described as a mixed bag of delight and despair, with Torontonians experiencing highs and lows of every stripe.
The year began with alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur’s shocking murder case dominating the news for several weeks. February brought hope and celebration with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s triumphant Olympics performance, quickly followed by the crushing blow of the van attack in April. The contentious provincial elections took us into a busy summer news cycle, followed by cannabis legalization and a tumultuous municipal election in the fall.
While the bigger headlines leave their mark on public memory, they’re not always the stories that garner the most interest online.
Here is a list of the top ten stories on 680NEWS.com that amassed the most page views in 2018:
#10. Woman and her 2-year-old son dead in Mississauga crash
Nov. 1, 2018: A mother and her 2-year-old son were killed in a car crash in Mississauga and left the father with life-threatening injuries. The 18-year old driver of the other vehicle was charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
#9. Boy, 3, dies after being found inside hot vehicle in Burlington
May 23, 2018: A three-year-old boy died after being discovered inside a hot vehicle in Burlington. An autopsy determined the preliminary cause of death was hyperthermia and consistent with a child left in a vehicle and exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.
#8. ‘People were flying everywhere’: van plows through pedestrians at Yonge and Finch
April 23, 2018: In an attack the likes of which Toronto has never seen, a van plowed through pedestrians in the Yonge and Finch area, indiscriminately hitting almost everything in its path.
Alek Minassian, 25, was identified as the suspect and faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
#7. North America’s first sex-doll brothel opening in Toronto
Aug. 25, 2018: North America’s first sex-doll brothel was set to open in a Toronto strip mall in September, allowing customers to pay to have sex with lifelike dolls. The lease was cancelled shortly after, but the video of our initial report on the proposed brothel comes in as our seventh most viewed page in 2018.
#6. What we know so far about those killed in van attack
April 24, 2018: The day after the horrific van attack at Yonge and Finch, the names of the victims and the lives they lived began to surface.
#5. 9 killed, 16 injured after van plows through pedestrians at Yonge and Finch
April 23, 2018: As news broke of the devastating van attack at Yonge and Finch, initial numbers of those killed and injured were posted as soon as they were available. After the dust settled, those numbers sadly increased. Our first story citing 9 killed was the fifth most viewed page of 2018. The story was updated the next day to reflect the increased death toll.
#4. Ron MacLean describes being in hospital with misidentified Humboldt victim
April 9, 2018: In the aftermath of the horrific crash carrying the Humboldt Broncos that killed 16 people and injured 13 others, authorities mixed up the identities of one of the deceased and one of the survivors.
The parents of Parker Tobin thought the badly injured person in the hospital was their son, when in fact it was Xavier Labelle.
Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada visited the misidentified boy in hospital and his account of the day is our fourth most viewed page of the year.
#3. Mother of three-year-old swept into river says search for her son has ended
April 21, 2018: Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms when their vehicle entered the Grand River during a flood in February. His body was found by a fisherman in Orangeville.
She was later charged in his death with one count each of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and criminal negligence causing death.
#2. 2 killed in massive tanker fire on hwy 407 in Vaughan
Oct. 31, 2018: Two people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash that sparked a massive tanker fire on Highway 407 at the height of the evening rush hour on Halloween. The article has a description and audio live from the scene from airborne 680 NEWS traffic specialist Darryl Dahmer.
#1. Teens facing child porn charges after 14-year-old secretly recorded: police
Feb. 9, 2018: Police in St. Thomas charged a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man with production of child pornography. The shocking incident involved a secret recording of a 14-year-old girl performing a sexual act.