The story shook Canadians across the country.
It dominated front pages, broadcasts and social media timelines.
And yet it’s easy to forget just how big of a story April’s Humboldt Broncos bus crash was. The team was headed to a junior hockey playoff game when tragedy struck. Sixteen people were killed in the crash and 13 others were injured. The collision vaulted over political lines and brought elected representatives of all stripes together, even if that unity faded quickly.
Watch: The team makes an emotional return to the ice
The fact that the fundraiser started in its wake collected just over $15 million and became the second largest campaign of the year on GoFundMe is a solid reminder of the story’s mammoth reach, and a signal of how deeply it affected legions of people around the world.
And now a second refresher comes from Google Canada’s latest Year In Search, a round-up of the topics that captivated Canadians’ hearts and minds in 2018. The site’s new ranking, released Wednesday, said the Humboldt Broncos bus crash was the third most trending topic for Canadians this year.
Interest in the incident this year was only surpassed by searches for the World Cup and the Winter Olympic Games, arguably two of the biggest events to happen in 2018. (In case you’ve lost track of time, yes, both of those events happened this year.)
Breaking down search rankings into more defined categories, Google also listed the Broncos incident in first place when it came to Canadian news stories. It trended more than other massive stories like the Toronto van attack and the Danforth shooting in the city’s Greektown neighbourhood.
Here’s Google’s top 10 most trending Canadian stories for 2018:
- Humboldt Broncos
- Winnipeg Jets
- Ontario Election
- Canada Post Strike
- Toronto Van Attack
- Danforth shooting
- WestJet Strike
- Bruce McArthur
- NB Power Outages
The search engine also ranked the Canadians that trended the most in 2018, and once again the country’s strong connection to the sports world is on display.
Only three people in the top 10 for that category aren’t athletes of some kind. Figure skater Tessa Virtue came in first, followed by Cleveland Cavaliers centre Tristan Thompson.
Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown — who generated a chaotic few weeks in provincial politics early in the year — also captured a lot of online attention, as did former Conservative MP Tony Clement. The veteran politician left his party after he admitted to “acts of infidelity” and inappropriate online exchanges with women.
Here’s the full list for that category:
- Tessa Virtue
- Tristan Thompson
- William Nylander
- John Tavares
- Mark McMorris
- Patrick Brown
- Scott Moir
- Patrick Chan
- Jessica Mulroney
- Tony Clement
Google also took a look at the types of questions Canadians tried to answer online this year. The topics range from sports to celebrity gossip to cultural curiosities to … poop.
Here are the top 10 most trending questions from Canadians on Google for 2018:
- Why is Canada Post on strike?
- Why is 6ix9ine going to jail?
- Why is Russia banned from the Winter Olympics 2018?
- Why do Greeks break plates?
- Why do dogs eat poop?
- Why was Meek Mill in prison?
- Why was Roseanne cancelled?
- Why did Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell break up?
- Why 420 Is Weed Day?
- Why are there no NHL players in the 2018 Winter Olympics?
Click here to see more rankings from Google’s Year in Search for 2018.