2013 Year in Review: Top News Stories
We’re taking a look back at the top stories, trends and newsmakers in Metro Vancouver over the last year. It’s time to turn to Vancity Buzz’s most popular news stories from 2013.
Cory Monteith’s shocking and sudden death blanketed global headlines for a week. He was a Vancouverite, he was one of our own – a Vancouver success story. The 31-year old, Glee star passed away from a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol on July 13 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.
Image: DFree / Shutterstock
On December 17, 2013, while he was on his way to a job interview to help support his family, Karim Meskine was beaten viciously with a baseball bat by a 16-year old in an random robbery near New Westminster Station. He passed away on December 20 – his 19th birthday.
Image: R.I.P. Karim via Facebook
From April to October, UBC’s Point Grey campus was under siege by one male predator. Numerous women were sexually assaulted at night with three incidents reported from late-September to mid-October and two other incidents in April and May. The assaults were a major cause for public safety concern; the suspect responsible is still at large.
Image: Creatista / Shutterstock
IsoHunt.com, one of the world’s most popular downloading websites, has been operating from Richmond for more than ten years and often reached the list of the internet’s top 100 websites for traffic. After a long battle in American courts, IsoHunt reached a settlement and paid a consortium of Hollywood studios a $110-million fine.
“Y-O-U-N-G at UBC we like ‘em young, Y is for your sister, O is for oh so tight, U is for under age, N is for no consent, G is for go to jail.”
Many called it an international embarrassment when it was leaked out that the undergraduate student society for UBC’s Sauder School of Business had been instructing some of its annual Frosh attendees to participate in a chant that encouraged nonconsensual sex with minors. The outrage it sparked led to vandalism of school property and prompted university officials to take action.
News of a violent attack on a lesbian couple near East Hastings Street and Commercial Drive sparked a social media storm of anger. The man followed the couple after seeing them exchange a kiss while riding the bus. The suspect is still at large.
Image: mrkornflakes / Shutterstock
Addressing Lululemon’s recall of pants that were deemed by customers to be too sheer, company founder Chip Wilson made controversial on-air comments on Bloomberg TV that suggested his female customers were at fault: “They don’t work for some women’s bodies… it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”
Ultimately, those comments led to a PR nightmare for Lululemon and Wilson’s resignation from his position of non-executive Chairman. Wilson was also mocked by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
Image: Comedy Central
Pixar was one of Vancouver’s most high profile digital media establishments during the three years it was located in Gastown. Its closure came as a major surprise and sent the local creative industry reeling.
Image: Pixar Disney
9. Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Samsung announce Vancouver offices
It was a major year for tech company openings in Vancouver. Facebook opened a new office in Coal Harbour on a one-year trial basis while Twitter was confident enough to open a new, permanent development office from the get-go: both tapping into Vancouver’s rich tech talent.
Amazon announced a new, major expansion at the under-construction TELUS Garden that could employ as many as 1,000 employees upon opening. Meanwhile, Samsung announced announced Vancouver would be location of the company’s first Canadian research and development centre.
Image: TELUS Garden
The announcement that Vancouver’s BC Place will play host to a NHL Heritage Classic game on March 2, 2014 was a huge cause for excitement for the city’s many Canucks fans. Aside from the Olympic events the stadium held in 2010, next year’s big ‘outdoor’ hockey game will likely go down as one of BC Place’s most anticipated and high-profile events.
Vancouver will kick-off 2015 in proper fashion with a free, public countdown celebration to midnight consisting of live entertainment, a street festival and a high-aerial fireworks display over Coal Harbour. The event on December 31, 2014 will be the region’s first major New Year’s Eve celebration in more than a decade. Vancity Buzz is proud to be the event’s founding organization.
Image: NYE VAN
The closure of the Waldorf Hotel in January was seen as a major blow to the city’s arts and cultural scene. After three years of operations, it faced imminent closure following being purchased by a real estate developer. The 1947-completed building featured a restaurant, hotel rooms, a tiki bar, two nightclub spaces, a recording studio, and an art gallery.
Image: The Waldorf
“Would you live in a $25,000 Vancouver micro-home?” This was a question we pondered to readers, and the vast majority responded in the affirmative. A Vancouver-based start-up designed a 10′ x 12′, 2-storey micro-home with an integrated living area, kitchen area, bathroom (which doubles as an integrated shower) and sleeping area.
Of course, the $25,000 is just for the cost of the structure – it doesn’t include the cost for Vancouver priced real estate.
Over the summer in time for gay pride festivities, the City of Vancouver installed permanent rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Bute and Davie Streets – right at the heart of the Davie Village to celebrate and further cement the LGBT community’s place in the neighbourhood.
One bike owner decided to take it upon herself to hatch out a plan to reclaim her bike after a friend found it on Craigslist. Her friend arranged a meeting with the ‘seller’ and asked to take it for a ‘test ride.’ He never stopped pedalling and the bike was returned to the rightful owner.
Image: View Apart / Shutterstock
A White Rock woman held a yard sale to sell off all of her belongings while her husband was away having an extramarital affair. She posted an ad on Craigslist telling would-be shoppers that she is “selling everything while he is gone this weekend with his floozie.”
A Surrey farmer took advantage of early-December’s sub-zero temperatures by flooding his field with water to create a massive outdoor ice rink for the community to skate and play on. Skating was free, although donations were optional and went towards the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
Image: Vancity Buzz
Vancouver’s Swiss Bakery decided to create its own version of the cronut – one of 2013’s food trends in New York and other major American cities. The cronut combines the croissant and donut into one delicious desert pastry. However, the Vancouver bakery – the only location in the city where the treat is found – calls its take on the cronut as the ‘frissant’.
Image: Vancity Buzz
Lululemon billionaire reportedly spent $1-million to have the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform at a private concert at his recently completed, $37-million beachside mansion at Point Grey Road. The private event served as a housewarming party and a celebration for his wife’s 40th birthday.
2013 experienced the driest October in 22 years with just 25 mm recorded throughout the month, far short of the historic average of 113 mm of precipitation. The prolonged, rare conditions led to a combination of summer-like weather at high elevations and foggy weather in the city – a boon for local photographers with many taking the ‘Fogtober’ opportunity to capture surreal and stunning images of the region.
Image: Alexis Birkill
Can you say outrageous? Due to a combination of bad luck and poor logistics, Kanye West’s original October 20 date for his Vancouver concert was rescheduled just 4 hours before the concert was set to begin.
Not only was the concert rescheduled for Halloween, the worst time possible for his young fans, it was canceled again on the day of with merely a few hours notice. Coincidentally on the following day, West flew to San Francisco to propose to girlfriend Kim Kardashian.
Ultimately, the Vancouver concert and five other performances elsewhere in Canada and the United States were all eventually canceled after a car accident carrying his stage equipment were damaged.
Something tells us we won’t see a Kanye West concert in Vancouver for a long time to come.
Image: Kim Kardashian via Instagram
Featured Image: Max Lindenthaler / Shutterstock