A Review of Year-End Reviews: The Canada Letter

The New York Times Magazine has also listed its most popular stories. Its ranking is topped by a must-read on the growthin anxiety among teenagers. While the article focused on the United States, a well respected Canadian survey shows that teenagers here are facing similar psychological stress.

Although Cooking, The New York Times’s food app, has nudged aside cookbooks in my family’s kitchen (and not simply out of corporate solidarity), I was surprised to find that we haven’t cooked any of its most popular recipes from the past year. Dealing with that deficiency will be a holiday project.

Read: The Most-Read New York Times Stories of 2017

A Review of Year-End Reviews: The Canada Letter
A Review of Year-End Reviews: The Canada Letter

Read: Year in Review: Top Magazine Stories of 2017

Read: Our 25 Most Popular Recipes of 2017

Editors’ Choice


A view of Expo 67 from the top of Canadian pavilion.Credit Archives of the City of Montreal

Suzanne Spector, the editor on the International Desk who handles Canada, also looks after a kind of feature we call “journals.” They are, in her description, “a longstanding weekday feature by Times correspondents around the world that aims to bring readers to places they haven’t been, in the hope of offering insight into a place and culture.”

Speaking for myself, writing journals is one of the most interesting and satisfying parts of my job. Ms. Spector has picked 17 favorites from the past year, a list that includes my essay comparing Expo 67 with this year’s Canada 150 celebrations as well as Dan Levin’s account of life in Keno City, Yukon, a place with about a dozen full-time residents and two bars.

Another standing feature by Times correspondents is the Saturday Profile. Kyle Crichton, who edits the profiles, has chosen 11 exceptional women who appeared in it during 2017. His favorite: Kiki Zhao’s article on Yu Xiuhua, China’s most-read poet, who has cerebral palsy and who never finished high school.

The Travel editors, who made Canada their top destination for 2017, have come up with their five favorite articles from the past year, including one about Great Bear Lake.

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Read: 17 Postcards From Our Correspondents Around the World in 2017

Read: 11 Powerful Women We Met Around the World in 2017

Read: Five Travel Stories From 2017 to Help You Escape Into the World

Climate and Science


Flooded streets in Naples, Fla., after Hurricane Irma swept through in September.Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

From extreme-weather events to the Trump administration’s abandonment of the United States’s commitments on greenhouse gas reduction, it’s been an extraordinary year in climate change. The Times’s climate desk has pulled together highlights of our coverage from the past year in a package that includes several striking multimedia presentations.


Pups at Wolf Park, a 65-acre zoo and research facility in Battle Ground, Ind., in July.Credit Andrew Spear for The New York Times

Science has pulled together the most memorable discoveries of the year. They include James Gorman’s reporting on research, much of it taking place in Nicolet Quebec, which found that you can’t turn wolf puppies into dogs.

Read: 2017: The Year in Climate

Read: What We Learned in 2017

Reporters’ Pick

All of us who report for The Times speak to a lot of people over the course of the year, more than I can easily calculate in my case. Some of those conversations can be exceptionally memorable. Ten of my colleagues have recounted such moments from 2017.


Catherine Porter, the Toronto bureau chief, the day after she witnessed the planned death of John Shields in Victoria, British Columbia.Credit Leslye Davis/The New York Times

Catherine Porter, the Toronto bureau chief, has also written a separate article about the particular challenges she faced earlier this year while reporting a story about a planned death. It was, by the way, one of the most-read stories from Canada this year.

Read: Our Journalists Share Their Most Memorable Interviews

Read: Rules for Reporting a Planned Death: No Photos, No Pad, No Pen

Final Push

Just over a week remains in the Commonwealth Challenge. One of my bosses has challenged the readers of this newsletter to sign up more newsletter subscribers than readers of Australia Letter by the end of the year.

So this is my last chance to rally you to the cause. Here’s the link to the sign-up page. You can also promote the competition by posting the newsletter announcing it on social media. Remember: subscriptions are free.

Although the overall prize is really just national bragging rights, I do have some prizes for the person who sends the most amusing, interesting, engaging or fun email about trying to recruit fellow Canada Letter readers to We’ll announce the results on Jan. 3.

Centre Ice

—Élise Béliveau, widow of famed captain Jean Béliveau, is the reigning monarch of the Montreal Canadiens.

Trans Canada

—Dan Bilefsky has looked at the latest development in the debate over cultural appropriation: French-speaking Quebecers who are displeased when poutine is described as being a “Canadian” dish. Fun fact from the story: Its name may have come from “pudding.”

—A week later, the deaths of Barry Sherman, the Toronto billionaire, founder of Canada’s largest drug maker and philanthropist, and his wife, Honey, remain shrouded in mystery.

—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is staying in Canada this Christmas after being rebuked by the ethics commissioner for a trip last year to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Caribbean.

—The Times’s Dance In the Real World video series has released an episode featuring Laura Grizzlypaws of St’at’imc First Nation in British Columbia using dance to honor the grizzly bear. Don’t miss it.

—The combined effects of President Trump’s pullback on immigration and Canada’s open approach to skilled workers are being felt in New York.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.

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