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It happened in Toronto, or somewhere nearby, in 2014


Whether it was a guy without a shirt confronting the mayor of Toronto, a grumpy “leprechaun” on a bus, or a caiman swimming in a city pond, there was always something unexpected around the corner in 2014.

A pig, a python, a poodle and a caiman

Animals were often in these stories, as they often are.

At the start of June, police in Barrie, Ont., got two calls at about the same time. One was a barbecue explosion, the other was a pig named Isabelle who was running down a street — the two events were unrelated.

The police caught the pig.

About two months later, police in Midland, Ont., were called to help collect a python that had shown up at a home as a family was moving out.

Within a few days, a local resident was charged under a local bylaw relating to pet ownership.

Caiman is caught

Cheryl Sheridan of the Reptilia zoo is seen holding the caiman after its capture in Toronto in early July. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

In between those two events came the caiman, which spent at least one day of its life hanging out in a pond near High Park.

Becoming a celebrity animal gave the reptile a couple of requisite perks — a relocation to an animal sanctuary and a couple of parody accounts on Twitter.

It was a lot like a monkey named Darwin who once made a visit to a Toronto Ikea and became an online sensation.

More recently, CBC readers heard the story of Poochie the poodle, a dog that was apparently stolen from the exterior of a Parkdale roti shop while his owner paid for some takeout.

His devout owners launched a campaign to find Poochie, which they did, about two weeks later.

‘An East York guy out for a jog’

Joe Killoran decided to go for a jog on Canada Day.

East York guy

Joe Killoran confronted then-mayor Rob Ford during a parade in East York on Canada Day. (CBC)

That’s when he ran into then-mayor Rob Ford and decided to give him a piece of his mind.

Killloran soon became known as the “shirtless jogger,” after he confronted Ford about his record and his reluctance to answer questions.

“Do I look like I’m with a campaign?” Killoran said that day, when asked if he was with a rival campaign. “I’m an East York guy out for a jog.”

Tapes made on transit

This year was another in which videos made on public transit made news.

In May, a video was posted online that showed the aftermath of an occasion in which a TTC bus driver allegedly “abandoned” his bus and left passengers stranded along the 32 Eglinton West route.

ttc-leprechaun-20140926

A controversial posting about a so-called TTC ‘leprechaun’ made news this fall and raised questions about the legality of doing so. (Brenda Davie/Facebook)

The TTC apologized to riders.

Months later, a woman put a post on Facebook about a man in a green shirt and a bowler hat whom she had a confrontation. The man’s bag was taking up a seat on the crowded 72 Pape bus. 

She alleged the man called her an “airhead” and stomped on her foot.

Someone else videotaped part of the incident involving the man who was subsequently dubbed as the TTC “leprechaun.” Her post was viewed thousands of time.

The TTC reminded the public that bags do not belong on seats.

Lint rollers and a concert that wasn’t

Local celebrities had their share of unexpected headlines this year.

There was the time Drake broke out a lint roller at a Raptors game, an act that both tidied his pants and spawned a social-media meme.

Drake Lint Roller 2

Drake and his court-side use of lint roller became a major meme in 2014.

Coun. Norm Kelly, then the city’s deputy mayor, got in on the fun, accusing Drake on Twitter of having stolen his “pre-council routine.”

The team ended up giving out lint rollers as a promotion after the fact.

Justin Bieber made news a couple of times in Ontario this year.

The first was when he went to a Toronto police station in late January to turn himself in on an assault charge, which was later dropped. He later posted a video that some speculated had been filmed at 52 Division, but which police said was not.

Canadian singer Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber, seen attending a basketball game in Los Angeles earlier this year, twice made news in Ontario in 2014. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

In September, Bieber again made headlines after what police described as an alleged “physical altercation” in Perth East Township. He was charged with assault and dangerous driving.

There was also the Prince concert that wasn’t at Massey Hall.

The singer, who was once married to a Toronto resident, was rumoured to be set to play a show in the city.

But no November show materialized, despite the crowds of fans lining up to buy tickets.

Not-so-typical police matters

In February, a video appeared online that looked a lot like a movie trailer — but it actually was a production highlighting the complaints of some members of the Durham Regional Police.

YouTube video featuring Durham officer making snow angel

An officer was seen making a snow angel on the hood of a police cruiser in a controversial video posted online in February. (YouTube)

The now-retired police chief said it was made by “disgruntled employees.”

It got pulled offline within a few days.

At least two police officers were subsequently charged under the Police Services Act.

On Canada Day, the Barrie police were called to resolve a dispute over the ownership of a vacuum cleaner.

The issue was that a man wanted his roommates to either buy out his share of the device, or to let him take it with him.

The police helped sort it out, but they reminded the public that it wasn’t the type of thing that demands the presence of emergency responders.

A 6½-hour ballgame

The Blue Jays played the longest game in team history, a 19-inning marathon match that saw them eke out a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.

The Aug. 10 win left the Jays sitting just behind the Kansas City Royals in the hunt for a playoff spot.

But when the season came to an end, it was the Royals who remained in a playoff position and the Jays who would inherit the unwanted title of the longest playoff drought in all of Major League Baseball.

CBC | Toronto News

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