There was no shortage of quirky, heartwarming and just downright wacky Canadian news stories in 2017 that got international coverage, and CTVNews.ca has rounded up some of the wildest of them all.
1. The naked kidnapping
Two women and one man face charges of kidnapping and resisting arrest after police say a couple and their baby were forced from their home near Edmonton and stuffed into a car full of naked people – which then collided with a pickup truck.
Police found the sedan crammed with five people, including two youth. All were naked, despite snow on the ground and temperatures dipping to -10C.
Police say the victims, a man stuffed into the trunk, and a woman with a baby, all managed to escape the moving car. When a Good Samaritan picked them up, it’s alleged the car rammed the truck. A relative of the accused has blamed the bizarre incident on hallucinogenic tea.
2. Stairway to nowhere
Toronto city workers dismantled a staircase in July that was built by a citizen for $550 after a city report said it would cost $65,000 to $150,000.
The retired man built the stairs on a precarious slope that leads to a community garden after tiring of waiting for the city to do it. City officials said the stairs weren’t built to its regulations.
3. Pineapple on pizza?
The Greek migrant who says he first put one of the most controversial toppings on a pizza died in June at 83 in London, Ont.
Sam Panopoulos says he created the Hawaiian pizza in 1962 in Chatham, Ont. (His claim of invention is contested, though, with some saying it was created in Australia and others in Germany.)
Pineapple on a pizza created an international stir this year when Iceland’s president Gudni Johannesson said in February that he wished he could ban the fruit as a pizza topping. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waded in by tweeting: “I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation. #TeamPineapple @Canada.”
4. Charlie Brown heads north
The buyer, DHX Media, is behind children’s shows “Teletubbies,” “Inspector Gadget” and “Yo Gabba Gabba!” The seller, Iconix Brand Group, bought its stake from the family of late “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz for $175 million in 2010.
The “Peanuts” brand has hundreds of licensing deals in about 100 countries. Charlie Canuck has a nice ring.
5. The world’s smallest women’s march
Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, population 65, became the site of the smallest women’s march in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.
The two organizers thought it might just be the pair of them marching a 3.2-kilometre route from the school to the fire hall in the tiny fishing village. But a dozen people took part, in solidarity with an estimated one million people who descended on Washington and millions more who marched all around the world.
6. The ‘f-word’ gets OK in Quebec
The French f-word is so commonplace that the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) ruled it’s OK for the radio.
It was previously banned on radio and TV to beyond evening hours and then only with a warning. But complaints from listeners of a Montreal French-language radio station — about two clips aired with the word — prompted a ruling in November that said the f-word is so common it does not have “the same vulgar connotations when used in French” as it does in English.
“If the word is used infrequently and not as an insult towards a particular person, it will be deemed acceptable in the context of French-language programming,” ruled the CRTC.
7. Enemies on the ice, mommies off
Heated rivals off the ice, two Olympic hockey players made a love connection that produced a baby girl in November.
Caroline Ouellette, captain of Canada’s team at the 2014 Winter Games, and Julie Chu, the captain of the U.S team from 2011 to 2013, made international news when they announced the birth of their daughter Liv Chu-Ouellette.
No doubt she’ll have her first pair of skates soon.
8. Stolen Yukon toe
One of Canada’s most colourful traditions was momentarily halted after a patron at a Dawson City, Yukon bar made off with a mummified toe served in its infamous sourtoe cocktail.
The shot of whisky at the Downtown Hotel features the blackened toe, complete with nail, and those who successfully down the shot and touch the toe to their lips get a certificate. The toe is reportedly that of a 1920s rum runner who preserved his frostbitten, amputated big toe in a jar of alcohol in his cabin.
The toe was eventually mailed back to the hotel with an apology. How Canadian.
9. Kitchen party in airport lounge
A group of passengers heading to Newfoundland turned a delayed flight into Toronto into a party.
Two musicians broke out their instruments to entertain the passengers, who were singing along and dancing.
A toe-tapping video of the event has gone viral.
10. Feline treks from California to Guelph, Ont.
A tabby cat that went missing from her California home in 2013 turned up in Guelph, Ont. in March and her owner believes she may have “hitchhiked” there.
It seems BooBoo the cat has a penchant for hopping into strangers’ cars, so her owner Ashley Aleman thinks that may be how she made the 4,300-kilometre journey.
Aleman feared she had lost BooBoo forever, so was stunned to get a call from the Guelph Humane Society where she been anonymously handed in. Luckily, she had a microchip that led back to Aleman.
There is no word on how BooBoo crossed the Canadian border without a passport.