A glimpse of Broadview's most popular stories in 2023. (From left to right: photograph by Alexa Gilmour; courtesy of Craig Ramsay; by Daniel Ehrenworth, courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada; by Colin Way).

Topics: Ethical Living | Broadview News

Broadview’s top stories of 2023

Readers were eager to learn about declining United Church membership, elevating marginalized women's stories, tackling homeless refugee crises, reconciliation through land acknowledgements and more


We want to thank our readers who read and shared Broadview’s stories throughout 2023. Your interests and passions inform our content, and this year, our coverage was insightful, educational and hopeful. Curious to see what stories were beloved across Canada and beyond? So were we! Check out Broadview’s top 10 stories of 2023. As usual, we love hearing what stories have resonated with our audience. Let us know what you enjoyed about our most popular articles or link your favourite story in the comments below.

10. How these Amazing Race Canada winners overcame adversity through faith

Catherine Wreford and Craig Ramsay’s friendship has been strengthened by faith, a cancer diagnosis and winning “The Amazing Race Canada.” (Photograph courtesy of Craig Ramsay)

Catherine Wreford and Craig Ramsay’s inspiring journey was our July/August cover story. As told to Whitehorse writer, Rhiannon Russell, the lifelong best friends went from dance partners to reality show champions. But before beating the other contestants on The Amazing Race Canada, Wreford had to beat brain cancer – a diagnosis that initially gave her six years to live. You can listen to their journey through our July/August National Online Reading Club, where Wreford was a guest.

9. The United Church’s numbers have dropped more than any other denomination

The number of Indigenous people in Cana­da who identify as Christian fell from 63 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2021, according to the latest census data. (Illustration by Romain Lasser)

Guelph-based writer and editor Julie McGonegal reports on the United Church’s shrinking membership about the state of religion in Canada. The United Church general secretary Rev. Michael Blair says he is not surprised by the decreasing numbers and offers his speculations in our June cover story.

8. Sheima Benembarek’s ‘Halal Sex’ explores Muslim women’s intimate lives

“Halal Sex” author Sheima Benembarek. (Photograph by Daniel Ehrenworth, courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada)

Our audience was eager to jump into Sheima Benembarek’s Halal Sex: The Intimate Lives of Muslim Women in North America. Berlin-based writer Sayida Ansari spoke with Benembarek, revealing her inspiration for the book and how women and non-binary Muslims have been learning to dismantle their shame around sex. To hear more from the author, you can tune into our April/May National Online Reading Club.

.7. Greek mythology’s forgotten women are getting their own stories

Medusa is one of the mythical figures to be reimagined through a feminist lens. (Illustration by Rachel Perciphone Kilbury)

Written by former Broadview intern and Ottawa-based freelancer Rawan Youssef, this story highlights young adult authors who are flipping the script on Greek mythology where women repeatedly get the short end of the stick. By exploring these feminist retellings, Youssef challenges readers to pay attention to who crafts stories and decides our victims and villains.

6. Outreach worker on why money alone won’t solve Toronto’s homeless refugee crisis

Toronto resident holding a sign in protest
Toronto residents advocating for the government to support homeless refugees. (Photograph by Alexa Gilmour)

Not even a week after Alexa Gilmour wrote about aslyum seekers being forced to live on the street because of the Canadian government’s housing failure, a community of churches and outreach workers helped relocate around 200 homeless refugees into temporary housing. Broadview’s assistant digital editor Sherlyn Assam spoke to Lorraine Lam, an outreach worker who co-created a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $80,000. Lam told Broadview why money alone won’t be enough to help the refugees.

5. This is what’s missing from land acknowledgments

Rev. Tony Snow. (Photograph by Colin Way)

Rev. Tony Snow, the Indigenous minister for Chinook Winds Region, wrote an opinion piece about how land acknowledgements can help improve the relationship between Canadian settlers and Indigenous peoples. Does your land acknowledgment treat the colonized land as an event of the past? You can learn how to avoid performative land acknowledgements and prioritize real apologies and relationship-building with advice from Rev. Snow at Broadview‘s March National Online Reading Club.

4. Tibetans and Buddhists say Dalai Lama controversy comes down to ‘unfortunate mistranslation’

The Dalai Lama is seen in 2017. Members of the Tibetan and Buddhist communities say that a gesture from a video taken earlier this year in India has been taken out of context. (Photograph courtesy of U.S. Institute of Peace/Flickr via Creative Commons)

As the video of the Dalai Lama kissing a young boy made its way around the internet, conversations about sexual abuse in religious institutions erupted across social media. The Dalai Lama’s Twitter apology did not stop the controversy. While some drew parallels with abuse in the Catholic Church, the Tibetan and Buddhist community members that writer Sherlyn Assam interviewed explained how cultural context made them see the event differently. Can cultural differences determine what is right and wrong?

3. Religions on the rise: Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism are thriving in Canada

Religious affiliation will only continue to grow more diverse across Canada. (Photograph by Hasan Almasi via Unsplash)

This profile of Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism in Canada is courtesy of our June cover story about religion in Canada. Did you know Muslims make up the largest religious group after Christians? What about Hindus and Sikh populations more than doubling since 2001? Higher immigration rates, Christian denominations shrinking – Greater Toronto Area-based writer Sanam Islam reports how religious diversity is on the rise in Canada.

2. Why this Ontario city will be celebrating Diwali without fireworks this year

“It’s about protecting our environment and animals, thinking about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and autistic individuals suffering from sensory processing disorder,” says Baljit Ghuman, founder of Sikhs for Autism. (Photograph by Ray Hennessy)

Toronto journalist Prarthana Pathak takes readers to the city of Brampton as residents respond to the city council’s ban of personal fireworks during Diwali. Racial bias? Environmentally conscious? Sensory-friendly? Readers were curious to know why families couldn’t celebrate the Festival of Lights with personal fireworks and how the city council would help them keep the spirit of Diwali alive.

1. The incredible story of finding my brother in my 60s

Dorothy Ellen Palmer and Don Doiron were born a week apart, in the same hospital, to different mothers. They learned decades later that they were half-siblings who were both adopted. (Illustration by Christy Lundy)

In this story of long-lost half-siblings, separated at birth and reunited over 60 years later, Dorothy Ellen Palmer writes how two people who share the same father live drastically different lives. Do Palmer and her brother Don Doiron find their mothers who gave them up for adoption? Did either of them connect with their father; absent at both births? You can learn about Palmer’s story in her feature and our January National Online Reading Club.

Sherlyn Assam is Broadview’s assistant digital editor.

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