Editor's Picks: Our favourite stories from 2017

Dangerous escapes to Canada. A tribute to Gord Downie. A sexual abuse scandal. Read some of our best stories from 2017

From risking life and limb to trek to Canada, to the peak of real estate madness and the death of a Canadian musical hero, here’s a look back at the year that was. Click your way through our favourite reads of 2017.

The new underground railroad

Razak Iyal in his room at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, January 25, 2017. (Photograph by Sam Tarling)

Razak Iyal in his room at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, January 25, 2017. (Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn)

More and more refugees are making a dangerous trek north to Canada to escape a harsh new U.S. regime—risking life and limb

The American Dream has moved to Canada

The American Dream

By every measure, Canada is the true place to find ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Let’s stop squandering our good fortune. By Scott Gilmore

The return of the czar

Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the St. George Hall at the Grand Kremlin Palace at the Kremlin in Moscow, on December 12, 2013, to deliver an annual state of the nation address. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images)

One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, an emboldened Putin regime is embracing its czarist past. Could 1917 happen again?

How Canada completely lost its mind over real estate

Canada’s out-of-control real estate market has now gone totally mad­—and there’s no turning back.

At the Bill Cosby trial, ‘Canada’s Mom’ slays ‘America’s Dad’

(Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The mother of Cosby’s Canadian accuser depicts the comedian at peak creepiness, while unleashing a wave of maternal fury at him and his lawyers. Part of Anne Kingston‘s coverage of the 2017 Bill Cosby trial.

America’s mass delusion

Police investigate a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/REUTERS)

Surprisingly, the strategy of praying to God is not stopping the mass shootings in the U.S., Scott Gilmore writes.

An epic quest to find the soul of a country

Allen Abel spent weeks criss-crossing the land—meeting hunters, nuns and one John A. MacDonald—to find the true meaning of this vast country.

Meet the great-great-great-great-granddaughters of Confederation

Maya Price at Caesar’s Palace, where her father lives 18 weeks of the year. (Photograph by Emma McIntyre)

From a teen with a Céline Dion connection to a skiing daredevil, Meagan Campbell meets the descendants of Canada’s founders.

Waiting for death in Thunder Bay

Barbara KEntner. (Willow Fiddler/APTN National News)

A trailer hitch thrown from a passing car left Barb Kentner facing death, and her daughter contemplating life without her. Kentner sadly passed away a few days after the publication of this article by Nancy Macdonald.

Wooing America

Sixty-four cities, 44 states and 300 contacts. Inside Canada’s six-month mission to one-up the White House in the next NAFTA negotiations, one handshake at a time.

The Russian spies who raised us

Alex and Tim Vavilov in Bangkok in 2011. (Tim and Alex Vavilov)

The Vavilov brothers were born in Canada to deep-cover Soviet agents, so Ottawa stripped them of their citizenship. Inside their fight to finally come home.

How Jagmeet Singh hopes to win over the next generation of NDP voters

New federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at Queen's Park in June 2017

New federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at Queen’s Park in June 2017. (Photograph by Jennifer Roberts)

The Ontario New Democrat MPP and his circle of young Sikh activists are trying to build a national movement and win the NDP leadership

Lost and Broken

Bella Bresse wipes away a tear as she speaks about her murdered daughter, Evangeline Billy, at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls taking place in Whitehorse, YT., Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

The inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is crumbling amid defections, bureaucratic chaos and personal conflict. Inside the meltdown—and the desperate bid to turn things around.

Jagmeet Singh and the newest new NDP

Jagmeet Singh, centre right, sits with his mother Harmeet Kaur, centre left, father Jagtaran Singh, left, and campaign manager Michal Hay, right, as it’s announced he has won the first ballot in the NDP leadership race to be elected the leader of the federal New Democrats in Toronto on Sunday, October 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The NDP was born from the hope that things can change and in Jagmeet Singh it has picked the young, optimistic outsider, writes Paul Wells

Throw another minister on the bonfire: the ballad of Bill Morneau

Finance Minister Bill Morneau appears at Commons committee for pre-budget consultations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Paul Wells on the finance minister’s tax reform flub, and why it’s becoming an embarrassing pattern for the Trudeau government.

How a royal gift exposed sexual abuse at an elite Canadian school

L: Prince Andrew renews his memories of Lakefield College in 1985; which he attended in 1977; R: Keith Gleed. (Mike Slaughter/Toronto Star/Getty Images; University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections)

Prince Andrew wanted to memorialize his friend and former chaplain at Lakefield College School. The resulting tribute prompted Father Keith Gleed’s victims to finally break their silence.

Inside the progressive think tank that really runs Canada

President Barack Obama at the Canada2020 event. (Lisa Zarzeczny)

How a small think tank called Canada 2020 gave rise to Justin Trudeau and became the country’s new nexus of power

Gord Downie: 1964-2017

Bath, Ontario – March 26, 2009 – Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip at the band’s recording studio in Bath, Ontario. The band’s new CD, ‘We are the Same’ is out in April. (Andrew Tolson)

Remembering the life and legacy of The Tragically Hip frontman in this obituary by Michael Barclay.

Justin Trudeau’s mid-life crisis

Photo illustration by Stephen Gregory and Heshmat Saberi

After a series of stumbles and setbacks the Liberals have an ambitious but risky plan to break their slump and get back on track

What really happened at Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfred Laurier University Grad student and TA Lindsay Shepherd poses on campus on November 24, 2017. (Photograph by Cole Burston)

Inside Lindsay Shepherd’s heroic, insulting, brave, destructive, possibly naïve fight for free speech.