JANUARY 1, SUNNYSIDE BEACH
In an annual tradition, intrepid Torontonians plunged into Lake Ontario on New Year’s Day for a polar bear swim, to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, and possibly also because their friends dared them to.
JANUARY 17, NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
While city council met inside to debate the 2012 budget, outside, protesters angry at many proposed cuts clashed with police. After a large public outcry, council decided to reverse many of those proposed cuts, in opposition to Mayor Rob Ford’s wishes.
JANUARY 19, QUEEN AND BATHURST
After two years of renovations, the Big Bop’s old home was unrecognizable, purple paint and boarded-up windows replaced by restored red brick, heritage details, and… a chain store specializing in condo furniture.
JANUARY 21, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (BACK CAMPUS)
Members of a University of Toronto powderpuff football team stare down opponents from York University during a tournament game.
JANUARY 28, BLUFFER’S PARK
Surf’s up, Toronto—where the best weather for getting on a board, counter-intuitively, is in the middle of winter, when winds are at their peak.
FEBRUARY 10, METRO TORONTO ZOO
A polar bear cub, at the time still unnamed (he was since given one: Hudson), testing things out during one of his first public appearances.
MARCH 10, YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE
Members of Toronto’s Tibetan community rally, marking the anniversary of the 1959 rebellion against the occupation of Tibet by the army of the People’s Republic of China.
MARCH 17, JAMIE BELL ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
The High Park castle playground, a few hours after an arson attack destroyed much of the structure.
MARCH 19, NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
Singing, knitting, and reading aloud from favourite volumes, Toronto’s library workers strike after negotiations with the TPL board break down.
(Flickr pool contributor Tetsuaki)
MARCH 25, DAVENPORT AND SPADINA
We never did find out who was responsible for this bit of springtime fun. But we remain grateful.
APRIL 13, HIGH PARK
Taking cherry blossom appreciation to, er, new heights.
MAY 10, GARDINER EXPRESSWAY
City workers do some emergency clean-up after a chunk of concrete falls from the Gardiner, one of what will become a long list of such incidents.
MAY 14, MASSEY HALL
Leonard Cohen is awarded the Glenn Gould Prize.
MAY 25, LAKE SHORE BOULEVARD AT JAMESON
A tranquilized-but-still-hurdling deer stops traffic after wandering into the road.
MAY 31, DUFFERIN GROVE
Torontonians break out their pots and spoons to march in solidarity with striking Quebec students, in a local manif casserole.
JUNE 7, FORT YORK
The Encampment lights up Fort York, commemorating the War of 1812.
JULY 2, COLLEGE STREET
Fans of La Furia Roja celebrate after Spain wins the 2012 Euro Cup.
JULY 5, SPADINA 510 REPLACEMENT BUS
Jazz-funk band The Shuffle Demons, reprising their song “Spadina Bus” while riding on, well, you know.
JULY 5, HONEST ED’S ALLEY
Theatre artists rush at the official Fringe Festival information wall, blank and ready for their posters if only they can get there to hang them fast enough.
JULY 9, QUEEN STREET
cARTography Toronto, an artist/activist collective, hacks into Astral Media’s info pillars, installed on many city streets, and replaces advertising with public art.
JULY 9, CITY HALL
Fresh Eyes, an installation project by Arrivals.ca, puts images of the eyes of new Canadians in city councillors’ windows, overlooking Nathan Phillips Square.
JULY 17, MORNINGSIDE AVENUE AND DANZIG STREET
A memorial for Shyanne Charles, 14, and Joshua Yasay, 23, caught in the crossfire and killed in a shooting at a local block party.
AUGUST 2, UNDERPASS PARK
At Eastern Avenue and Richmond Street, in a setting that doesn’t seem entirely obvious, a new park officially opens to try and bring life to some underused public space.
AUGUST 13, PEARSON AIRPORT
Trampolinist Rosie MacLennan shows off her gold medal, just off the plane returning from the 2012 Olympic Games.
AUGUST 15, SPADINA STATION
Lemon Bucket Orkestra convenes a party, on the anniversary of the giant 2003 blackout, and takes it underground.
AUGUST 17, RUSSIAN CONSULATE
After a rally in support of the band Pussy Riot, convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for a guerrilla performance in a church.
AUGUST 19, MARILYN BELL PARK
Annaleise Carr hugs her family minutes after becoming the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario—and raising more than $100,000 for Camp Trillium in the process.
AUGUST 19, EN ROUTE TO 329 YONGE STREET
When you have a big job to do, who better to help than a Stormtrooper? Fans of comic shop Silver Snail, many in costume, helping the store move this summer.
SEPTEMBER 5, 361 UNIVERSITY AVENUE
Mayor Rob Ford leaves the court house after several hours of questioning during a hearing into conflict of interest allegations.
SEPTEMBER 5, TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY
Bike couriers, family, and friends remember the death of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard while inside, Michael Bryant launches his memoir recounting the incident.
SEPTEMBER 29, KING STREET WEST
Space Invaders invade the Financial District during Nuit Blanche.
OCTOBER 12, CHRISTIE PITS NEIGHBOURHOOD
Concerned residents march through neighbourhood streets after a series of sexual assaults.
OCTOBER 21, WOODBINE PARK
Dr. Faisal Moola (David Suzuki Foundation), George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC), and Jeremy Taggart (Our Lady Peace) at Soupstock, rallying against a proposed megaquarry north of Toronto. A few weeks later and after a prolonged public campaign, the company seeking to dig that quarry withdrew its application for a license.
OCTOBER 30, QUEEN AND SOHO
Though it took place in the midst of Toronto’s brush with Sandy, this fire in a historic Queen Street brick building wasn’t storm-related, but a case of arson.
NOVEMBER 1, SORAUREN PARK
An annual pumpkin parade takes a political turn.
NOVEMBER 12, JARVIS STREET
Several protesters take turns halting the progress of a power-blasting truck as it erases the Jarvis Street bike lanes.
NOVEMBER 15, HILLCREST YARD
The TTC shows off the first test vehicle from its new fleet of streetcars, scheduled to start running in regular service early in 2014.
NOVEMBER 15, BIRCHMOUNT PARK
Rob Ford getting drenched in Gatorade by the high school football team he coaches, the Don Bosco Eagles, after they qualified for the Metro Bowl semifinals.
NOVEMBER 25, ROGERS CENTRE
The Toronto Argonauts win the 100th Grey Cup.
NOVEMBER 26, CITY HALL
Rob Ford, shortly after learning that a judge had ordered him removed from office for conflict of interest violations.
(Flickr pool photographer Metrix X)
DECEMBER 21, YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE
Idle No More protesters converge in support of Canada’s First Nations communities.