Year in Review: Top 5 news stories for Global Toronto in 2017

A house in Toronto that sold for more than $1 million over asking, the demise of Sears Canada and a $250-million cocaine bust by Ontario Provincial Police all made the list of Top 5 news stories for Global Toronto in 2017.

Toronto house sells for more than $1M over asking amid record year for home sales

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A split-level home, located at 19 Talwood Dr. in the Lawrence Avenue East and Don Mills Road area, was sold by Ecko Jay Realty Ltd Brokerage on Nov. 10, 2016 for $2,658,000 after being listed at a price of $1,488,800.

Ecko Jay said the house was on the market for one week and had 15 offers before it was sold. He added it was intentionally priced lower to create a bidding war.

READ MORE: Toronto home price growth leaps ahead of Vancouver

Toronto-based real estate lawyer Bob Aaron said significantly undervaluing real estate listings is a common tactic real estate agents use in Toronto to drive up competition.

59 Sears Canada stores close down, liquidations begin

The collapse of Sears Canada marked a key moment for the retail sector in 2017.

The once mighty retail giant filed for creditor protection in June, sold off some locations and decided to liquidate the rest of its stores, leaving some 15,000 employees out of work.

Consumers were left fuming after the company said it would not honour warranties after Oct. 18.

READ MORE: Sears Canada’s rocky downfall named Canadian Press business story of 2017

Outrage mounted after it was reported that some Canadians discovered price hikes on certain liquidation items.

Meanwhile, a Toronto judge approved a hardship fund to help former employees in financial difficulty when they lost their jobs.

Ontario man charged with first-degree murder of 7-year-old stepson in St. Catharines

A manhunt for an Ontario man accused of murdering his seven-year-old stepson gripped the province earlier this year.

Justin Kuijer was on the run for five days before a tip from the public led to his capture by police.

READ MORE: Ontario man accused of killing 7-year-old stepson appears emotionless in court

The arrest came after Nathan Dumas was found critically injured in a home in St. Catharines, Ont., on the morning of March 16. He was rushed to hospital, but died two days later.

Kuijer is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the child’s death.

Toronto bar serves drinks on coasters made from cars that never made it home

Handing out metal coasters from cars involved in collisions were a bit of a hit in 2017.

It was all part of a campaign co-ordinated by Arrive Alive, an organization that raises awareness of the risks of impaired driving.

READ MORE: Son-in-law of Ontario cop ID’d as victim of suspected fatal impaired driving crash on Hwy. 48

The coaster had the message, “This coaster used to be a car. That car never made it home.”

Arrive Alive program director Michael Stewart told Global News the coasters have made people think about different ways to make it home safe.

Ontario police make largest drug bust in its history, seize $250M of cocaine

A wall of cocaine was put on display as the largest drug seizure in Ontario history was announced at Ontario Provincial Police headquarters last summer.

With an estimated street value of $250 million, police said the investigation – nicknamed Project Hope – netted 1,062 kilograms of pure cocaine.

READ MORE: Here are some of Canada’s largest drug busts over the last 25 years

The investigation, which began in March 2017, led police to the discovery of various caches of cocaine at a Canada Border Services Agency warehouse, at the Port of Montreal and in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

The cocaine seizure resulted in the arrests of three Toronto-area men in May and July.

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