2012 in Review: Top Stories of the Year
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2012 in Review: Top Stories of the Year

The most popular articles, op/eds, photo galleries, and features on Torontoist in 2012 (plus a few other favourites we threw in for fun).


CN Tower’s Flashing Images, Unfolding Like a Film Strip
One of our favourite discoveries of the year: the lights flashing from the CN Tower aren’t just colourful, they are actually tiny slivers of images. A Toronto resident put those slivers back together again, so you can see the full, original images.

Scott Pilgrim vs. Reality
On a single day in 2010, a Sheridan College student named Steven Dirckze set out on a “Scott Pilgrimmage,” visiting all the locations used by Bryan Lee O’Malley in the original graphic novels. The goal: capture photos that more or less replicate the angles in O’Malley’s artwork.
What Exactly Happened at Queen and Spadina?
The anatomy of a streetcar track. Many of us ride those rails every day, but don’t really know how they are constructed. We compiled a step-by-step photo gallery of road work to explain.

City Rising: A Bird’s Eye View of Toronto
Timelapse of the year award goes to Tom Ryaboi, Toronto’s veteran rooftop photographer. Inspired by the way Toronto looks from on high, he created a portrait of the city that is simply superb.

Behind the Construction Hoarding at Union Station
A peek underground.
  Colour-Coding Your Commute
How fast is your TTC route?
  Queen’s Quay Revitalization
What’s coming to the waterfront boulevard.


TTC Previews Our New Streetcars
If you guessed that Torontoist readers really, really love transit porn, you’d be very right. Our most popular post in 2012 was for something that hasn’t actually happened yet: the streetcars that we’re getting in 2014.

Farewell to the H4 Subway Cars
The TTC’s oldest subway cars, a series known to transit folks and to the fans as “H4,” made their last trip. No more ’70s-era comfy orange seats.

Meet the New Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Documentaries get a home of their own.
  A.V. Club Toronto to Shut Down
Arts and culture publication closes after just 10 months.
  Underpass Transformed Into Bright Park
A playground under a highway.


Rob Ford’s Conflict of Interest Case
After allegations that the mayor had violated conflict of interest rules, and a hearing in which Rob Ford took the stand for an entire day, a judge ordered him removed from office. That decision has been stayed pending an appeal, which will be heard in January, 2013.

Transit Showdown at City Hall
The very first thing Rob Ford did as mayor: proclaim Transit City—the Miller-era plan to build several new light rail lines in Toronto—dead. More than a year later a coalition of councillors, notably led by TTC Chair (and until then Ford ally) Karen Stintz, overturned Ford and restored many elements of that light rail plan.

City Council Debates the Future of Sheppard
The end of the mayor’s subway dreams.
  Council Overturns Rob Ford’s Budget Cuts
A coalition of councillors defeats the mayor.
  Truth and Fiction in Toronto Politics
Challenging downtown vs. suburbs rhetoric.

A History of Formal Complaints Against Rob Ford
A handy illustration to help keep it all straight.
  Governance in the Age of Rob Ford
Our mayor doesn’t understand the link between rules and fairness.
  “They Want Subways”: A Rob Ford Remix
In which we turn a soundbite into a catchy tune, courtesy of Songify.


Art Activists Take Over Info Pillars
Our second most popular story of the year: several dozen of the controversial Astral Media information pillars got guerrilla art makeovers, courtesy of local collective cARTography.

Pride in Their Own Words: Michael Erickson
In the lead-up to Pride celebrations, a schoolteacher reflects on the meaning of Pride, partying, and the wonder of really being seen.

A New Chapter in Book Borrowing
Toronto’s Little Free Libraries offer a novel and whimsical way to share the joy of reading—with dollhouse-sized libraries (stocked with full-sized books) installed on people’s front lawns.

The Babies, Booze, and the LCBO
On the Sun‘s decision to send a niqab-dressed 14-year-old boy to the LCBO.
  41 Pianos for the Pan Am Games
Painted pianos, scattered across the city for anyone to play.
  The Good and the Bad of Nuit Blanche 2012
Reflections on and photos from this year’s installment of our all-night art thing.


Prehistoric Toronto: Our City Through the Ages
In a five-part series, we explored what was happening here before human habitation. We moved through geologic time periods, tracing the effects of rock formations and ice ages, and explored the fossil record to learn about the creatures big and small that lived here millions of years ago. Meet Torontoceros and friends.

It’s All Yours at Ontario Place
A few days after the provincial government announced the immediate shut-down of Ontario Place, in anticipation of the development of a comprehensive revitalization plan, we put together a photo history of the landmark.

Ernest Hemingway in Toronto
How the legendary writer got his start in T.O.
  Yorkdale Mall and the Aesthetics of Commerce
Our most popular Historicist of 2012.
  Lost Tunes
To mark Record Store Day, we got nostalgic about some of our favourite shops.