The Top 5 Lows of 2013

2013 has come and gone, but not without some questionable, heartbreaking and disappointing moments. I look back at the top five lows of the last 12 months, everything from pop-culture to politics and yes, even the Toronto sports scene.


5) Proposed Canada-US Merger

Canadian author and journalist Diane Francis publishes Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country in late September. With its argument of a social, political and economic union between two of the North American countries, the book garners tremendous attention the moment it’s released, sparking debate among scholars everywhere.

Some, like myself, are a little skeptical of the idea. Wouldn’t this just erase everything that Canada has stood for and done in its 146 year history?  Personally, I’d argue that we’d be getting the shorter end of the stick, seeing as how the States are perceived in the world with their political upheaval, cultural turmoil and economic instability. Sure, we’re not in the best shape either, but I’d like to think we’re a step ahead of the US in some of these areas (consider our free health care system established by Tommy Douglas in the early 60s, as opposed to ongoing debate on Obamacare introduced last year).

Besides, you can’t just go back and undo history- it’s not right, no matter how economically viable it may be.


4) Weather

Need I say more? Though we Canadians are used to extreme weather, from ridiculously hot summers to frigid cold winters, we were hit by something worse late in the year – an ice storm.

With many losing power for days, neighbourhoods across the country, especially in the eastern portion, were victim to falling trees, pow

er outages and slippery sidewalks. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as people did last-minute Christmas shopping and travelling to spend the holidays with loved ones. Not to mention the dozens of flights at Pearson Airport that were cancelled as a result.

Probably my only favourite thing about the ice storm of 2013, which looks like it very well may carry on into 2014, was seeing the beautiful icicles that had formed on tree branches. That, and seeing little kids skate on the roads because of how thick the ice was. Bet you don’t see that in the States.



3) Twerk

Thank you, Miley Cyrus, for making twerk a household term. Not only did I have to awkwardly change the subject when kids asked me what it was, but I had to endure you violently shaking your behind into Canadian singer Robin Thicke’s – um, area – during the MTV Video Music Awards in August. And, let’s be real, every video since then.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the ex-Disney star, she released a video for Wrecking Ball, which at some points featured her in the nude, sitting on a wrecking ball and seductively licking a hammer.

It seems I couldn’t turn my head without hearing about Cyrus; I even had to sit through a 4-hour class where my prof referenced Wrecking Ball at least five times.

What’s that? You’ve had enough of the twerking antics? Ha, good one! In what I can only hope is an effort to take the fun out of the word by producing an official definition, Oxford Dictionaries adds twerk to their wordlist, while also making it a runner-up for Word of the Year.

Among the other words inducted into the Oxford Dictionaries were selfie and derp. Let’s hope these are left in 2013.


2) Politics

This is pretty much self-explainable, unless you were living under a rock during 2013. Where to begin, from the Senate scandal of the federal government to a local mayor who’s accused of smoking crack, among other things.

Though the Senate issue can be traced back to late 2012, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s troubles began in May of last year when US site Gawker, as well as one of the largest and most reputable newspaper companies in Canada, the Toronto Star, uncovered allegations of the mayor smoking crack. Ford made international headlines and became fodder for late-night TV shows for his outlandish behaviour and “drunken stupors” (his words, not mine).

Harper’s team wasn’t doing great either; senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau came under fire for claiming travel and housing expenses that they were not eligible for. The scandal reached its peak when the three were suspended from Parliament without pay in late 2013, but was largely overshadowed and put on the back-burner by new allegations that would surface against Ford.

Many residents turned against the Mayor, with frequent protests outside Toronto City Hall calling for his resignation. He was stripped of his powers by council in November, many of which were transferred to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.


1) Toronto Sports

Recalling the Maple Leafs’ epic Game 7 collapse against the first round of the NHL playoffs against the rival Boston Bruins is painful to this day. It was an embarrassing loss in a hard-fought series. What made it worse was how we lost; up 4-1 on the visitor’s home ice, the Leafs looked like they were finally about to defeat the mighty Bruins. Heck, I had been surprised and happy that they’d made it this far, so if they lost, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. After all, it was the Bruins they were up against. But having a lead like that, which was cut down to two with just 2 minutes left in regulation, made it seem like the Leafs were finally learning from their habits of late-season hiccups. Of course, we should have known it was too good to be true; the Bruins managed to tie the game and wold eventually go on to win it 5-4 in extra time. The city collectively fell into depression, but it didn’t take long for the blame-game to begin.

The Leafs weren’t the only ones with a tough 2013. The Blue Jays came into their season with a fresh set of faces signed in the previous offseason, headed by Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey who mastered a mean knuckleball. The new roster had even the most modest forecasters predicting a World Series win. Reality set in, though, when the Jays failed to make the playoffs, let alone a .500 record.

Personally, I was hit hardest by the Leafs collapse, and it seemed that the city was too. The Jays hadn’t made the playoffs whereas the Leafs had managed to get in but, just their luck, were faced against a much stronger, heavier Bruins team.

It was as if the Leafs were tempting us, showing how good they could play, before pulling the rug from under us and throwing it all away. It was truly an epic collapse, but I’m not embarrassed to admit I cried that day. Fingers crossed for this season.