Reader’s Choice: As We Head Into 2022, We Look Back at Our Top 21 Stories of 2021

Reader's Choice

During our second pandemic year, readers sought out stories to inform, inspire and uplift them as well as provide much needed diversion. Photo: Sean Gladwell/GettyImages

Given it was our second pandemic year, it’s no surprise that Zoomer readers continued to tap into our ongoing reporting on COVID-19 and its impact on our health, finances, relationships, travel — and just about everything else in our lives. But readers also sought out stories to inspire, inform and uplift them as well as provide much-needed diversion. Here, we look back at some of our most-read stories of 2021.




The vaccination clinic in the athletic centre at Centennial College on Progress Avenue in Scarborough, Ontario, March 11, 2021. Photo: Steve Russell/Contributor/Getty Images


COVID-19 Tracker

From vaccines and new variants to work and family life, we continued to report on the short and long-term effect on Canadians during the ongoing global pandemic.

Forget Counting Sheep! Jane Fonda Says a Puff of CBD Is All She Needs for a Good Night’s Sleep

Remember back in the ’80s when Jane Fonda instructed us to “feel the burn” via her debut Jane Fonda’s Workout exercise video? These days, she’s telling us to feel the bliss while offering advice about conking out.

An Art for the Ages: Why You Should Do Tai Chi — And How to Get Started

You, too, can do tai chi. And quite possibly, you should do tai chi. “It’s for everybody,” explained Shaolin tai chi master Shi Chan Dao, “old, young, people with arthritis, fitness beginners, kung fu experts, professional athletes.”




Ann-Margaret graced the pages of Zoomer Magazine, April 2017. Photo: Stephen Pan


Ann-Margret Turns 80: Forever the Enigmatic Girl Next Door

The iconic star who danced with Elvis, kissed Jack Nicholson and sang sold-out venues in Vegas over the course of her storied career turned 80 on April 28. Here, we revisit our 2017 cover story with her, in which film critic Richard Crouse examines the enigmatic performer’s raison d’être.

Betty White’s Guide to Life: How to Remain Happy and Thriving at Age 99

As the much beloved actor and comedian turned 99 in January, we looked at lessons from her extraordinary life that can teach a thing or two about happiness and longevity.

Downton Abbey: A New Era: The Dowager Countess Reveals Her “Mysterious Past” in Extended Teaser Trailer

The British may be coming, but for Downton fans it can’t be soon enough. The upcoming film, A New Era, doesn’t hit theatres until March 2022, and with plot details kept under tight wraps, fans were chomping at the bit for any morsel of detail that they could get from the trailer.



Reader's Choice
Queen Elizabeth  and Prince Philip re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. The royals spent their wedding night at Broadlands in Hampshire in November 1947, the former home of Prince Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten, Nov. 18, 2007. Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images


On What Would Have Been His 100th Birthday, We Look Back at Prince Philip’s Remarkable Life in Pictures

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, late husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort in British history, would have turned 100 on June 10. He died peacefully at Windsor Castle on April 9. We looked back at his long and storied life of service.

The Queen Responds to Oprah Interview as Meghan’s Father Weighs In and Kate Appears to Send a Signal

In a four-sentence statement issued under her name by Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth responded to the explosive Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry that aired a day before. True to form, her perfectly calibrated manner was equal parts warmth, as family matriarch, and dignity and solemnity, as sovereign.

Queen Elizabeth, Still in Mourning for Prince Philip, Marks Her 95th Birthday

Her Majesty used the occasion of her birthday to thank her subjects for their “deeply touching” tributes to her late husband during “a period of great sadness.” Via the Royal Family Twitter account, she said, “… it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.”




Stanley Tucci
Actor and Director Stanley Tucci attends ‘Final Portrait’ photocall at Hotel Eden on February 5, 2018 in Rome, Italy. Photo: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images


Stanley Tucci Explores the History of Food and Family in New CNN Series Searching for Italy

This year, the famed actor went back to his familial roots to give us a delicious gift indeed: a sensuous, drool-worthy armchair travelogue of Italy through the lens of its kitchens.

Dining Downstairs at Downton Abbey: 3 British Comfort Food Recipes

As fans of the hit series know, food plays a central role in the Crawley household. While elegance, not to mention a double dose of delicious drama, is served up in Downton’s grand dining room, there’s nothing like a trip downstairs to visit the steadfast cook Mrs. Patmore’s bustling kitchen when comfort food is required.

Canada’s Top Chefs Share Their Favourite Summer Recipes

From fresh salads to creative options for the grill, we asked Canada’s top chefs to share some of their warmer weather cooking secrets that go beyond marshmallows and s’mores.




Reader's Choice
Former Toronto Stock Exchange building. Photo: Bruno Perousse/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images


11 Tips For Maximizing Your 2020 Income Tax Returns

Here, we asked the experts for important tips to help seniors maximize the benefits and credits on their income tax return.

Your Anti-Fraud Kit: 5 Scam-Busting Tips for the Holidays and Beyond

This year Canadians have lost nearly $200 million to fraud, with new scams cropping up all the time. We tapped the experts for the latest schemes making the rounds, as well as for tips to protect yourself online.

Stock Market: How to Shift to Value Investing in an Overheated Market

As analysts called for a rotation into value investing, financial expert Gordon Pape weighed in on how we can adjust to the market trend




Reader's Choice
Spirit Island, Jasper, Alberta. Photo: Tonnaja/Getty Images


Easy-Chair Travel: 5 Movies That Will Ignite Your Wanderlust

Craving adventure? Romance? Here, we helped you fill that pandemic travel void with films that just might serve as inspiration for your next trip.

Meet the Snowbirds Determined to Take Flight This Winter

Despite the government’s advice to cancel non-essential travel, some snowbirds were still determined to take flight.

Where to Go in Canada in 2021

A staycation in Canada is about experiencing our wide open spaces and our great outdoors. Here, some of our favourite destinations to visit (following COVID guidelines, of course).




Jane Fonda
Honouree Jane Fonda attends the Women in Film Honours: Trailblazers of the New Normal at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Oct. 6, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Women In Film (WIF)


Shades of Grey: Celeb Styles to Inspire Your Own Silver Look

Don’t call it a mere pandemic trend. Grey hair, whether au natural or accentuated with silver or other tones, appears to be here to stay.

Diane von Furstenberg Wows Instagram With Swimsuit Selfie for Her 74th Birthday

The designer went viral after she posted a birthday swimsuit selfie on Instagram with the caption, “Am I crazy to post this? Own your age … it’s a proof you have lived! Love to everyone.” We approve of this message so much that it inspired us to look at other celebs of a certain age who’ve shown off their swimsuit styles in recent years.

How Masks Are Upping the Sex Appeal for Older Bald Men

While weaving a shopping cart through the grocery story, journalist Jay Teitel was suddenly struck by a COVID-19 truth that felt close to miraculous: bald men rock masks. And not simply bald guys, but old bald guys.


From the Death of Prince Philip to the Bombshell Oprah Interview, The Top 10 Royal Moments of 2021