In other news: Some of the stories that shaped Toronto in 2020 aside from COVID-19


The phrase “amid the COVID-19 pandemic “could easily have fit into just about any story that was told over the past year.

Some stories are just too big to fit into a round-up. COVID-19 is undoubtedly one of them. But there were other things that happened this year, some of them inspiring, some of them tragic.

While the pandemic will likely continue to shape our lives for months to come, so will other forces. Here’s a look back at some of the other stories that shaped the life of the city in 2020.

Flight PS752

The year started off in tragedy for many people around the GTA and in Canada. Amid sabre rattling between Washington and Tehran, a Ukrainian jet liner was shot down by a surface to air missile on January 8 2020.

Of the 176 people who died in the crash of Flight PS752, 138 were travelling to Canada. Among them were 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and many others who were studying in Canada on students visas or visiting family here. Many of those who died lived in the GTA.

Among the dead were school children, newlyweds, graduate students, doctors and engineers. The tragedy set off mourning in the GTA and other parts of Canada — as well as a search for answers.

On Dec. 15, Special Envoy Ralph Goodale released a report summarizing the tragedy and Canada’s response to it. While work continues to support the families of the victims, Iran has so far been uncooperative in negotiating compensation for the families and providing transparency in the investigation. As the year drew to a close, Iran said it would provide $150,000 USD to each of the victims’ families. 

Schlatter found guilty in Tess Richey’s murder

In March, nearly three years after 22-year-old Tess Richey was found dead in the city’s gay village, a jury found Kalen Schlatter guilty of first-degree murder in her death.

During the trial, the Crown alleged that Schlatter stalked Richey and later killed her when she refused to have sex with him.

Jurors deliberated for three days before reaching their verdict. The conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Schlatter, 23 at the time of his conviction, will be 48 before he is eligible for parole. He is seeking leave to appeal his conviction.