December 18, 2017 10:22 am
Updated: December 18, 2017 11:15 am

Year in Review: Top 5 videos for Global News Toronto in 2017

Lindsay Shepherd, a Wilfrid Laurier University graduate student and teaching assistant, landed in hot water with the university over a video clip, featuring controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, she used in a critical thinking course. After receiving complaints, the university claimed she created a toxic environment. Shepherd had a meeting with faculty and administration, here are excerpts from the secretly recorded conversation.

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Viral videos seem to get all the attention these days but sometimes compelling stories can have a more lasting effect.

In 2017, the top videos on Global Toronto’s website all stem from content based on strong storytelling, whether it be from the investigation into Ontario hydro disconnections or an angle into Toronto’s red-hot real estate market.

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As we look back at the year that was, our Global News team has crunched the numbers and provided a Top 5 list of the most viewed videos in Toronto.

Mattamy Homes, City of Markham under fire over new home occupancy (May 31, 2017)

Canada’s largest homebuilder came under fire after buyers in two Ontario communities said the company was forcing them to take possession of homes that weren’t ready.

New homeowners in Waterdown, Ont., and Markham, Ont., reached out to Global News saying their homes had serious deficiencies that should have been fixed before their closing dates.

READ MORE: Mattamy homeowners furious with builder

In some cases, there was no sink or countertop in the kitchen, closets were not finished and there were visible cracks in the foundation wall and water in the basement.

But in the face of a backlash by angry consumers, Mattamy issued a public apology.

Extended: Excerpts from secretly recorded meeting between Wilfrid Laurier University grad student and faculty (Nov. 17, 2017)

Wilfred Laurier University was accused of censorship after a teaching assistant was confronted by school officials for playing a controversial YouTube clip about gender-neutral pronouns in her tutorial for students in a communications class.

Lindsay Shepherd, a master’s degree student who secretly recorded a meeting with school officials, said she was left in tears after staff said the clip created a toxic environment for transgender students and called her transphobic.

READ MORE: Wilfrid Laurier TA happy school apologized but wants long-term changes to protect free speech

The clip in question featured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has famously refused to use gender pronouns other than “he” or “she,” defending his position against a professor who argued it was necessary to use the pronouns that a person prefers to be called.

University officials later issued an apology to Shepherd. (Video at the top of the page)

Cobourg beach disappears due to high Lake Ontario water levels (May 29, 2017)

An early wet start to the summer of 2017 threatened to wash out the tourism season for the popular Lake Ontario town of Cobourg, 118 kilometres east of Toronto.

Heavy rain and flooding deteriorated beach conditions in Cobourg and nearby towns and forced evacuations of low-lying homes.

READ MORE: 12th annual Sandcastle Festival takes shape at Cobourg Beach

The persistent heavy rainfall had caused water levels in Lake Ontario to rise dramatically, and local watersheds to flood. By July, much of Victoria Beach was unusable.

Tourism operators said festivals and events took place as usual and some of the dollars lost due to the earlier wet weather were partially recuperated by improved conditions by the end of the summer.

36-year-old Toronto woman dead after fatal fight (Feb. 16, 2017)

A 51-year-old man was charged with second-degree murder after a 36-year-old woman was found dead in an east-end Toronto apartment.

Toronto police said Michelle Riley was assaulted in an apartment building around 8:30 a.m. on Dawes Road near Beth Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue.

READ MORE: Toronto man charged with 2nd-degree murder after woman killed in east-end apartment

Police said emergency crews located an unconscious woman and CPR was performed. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A resident of the building had told Global News the woman was living with three other male roommates.

Winter hydro disconnections now against the law in Ontario (Feb. 22, 2017)

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) permanently banned utility companies in the province from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment between Nov. 15 and April 30 of the following year.

The decision also prohibited companies from installing load limiters during winter months. These devices are used to restrict the flow of electricity to a customer’s home in order to reduce overall consumption.

READ MORE: Ontario permanently bans winter disconnection from electricity

The move also required electricity providers to reconnect any customer without power before the disconnection ban period began.

Global News has been investigating rising electricity costs in Ontario since June 2016.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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