Times Colonist's top 25 most-read online stories of 2013

When looking back on the most-read stories of 2013, it's not surprising that the foiled Canada Day legislature bombing plot is front and centre.

Tuesday, July 2 was the single-biggest day for visitors to timescolonist.com. In fact, that day had nearly 30 per cent more people reading our website than the prevoius Tuesday.

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During the period from July 1-3, there were at least 14 stories on timescolonist.com about the bombing plot, accounting for a readership greater than any other news story.

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Except one — a story about a soy sauce substitute written by Times Colonist food columnist Eric Akis in June 2012. Yes, 2012.

The most-read story on timescolonist.com for 2013 was written 18 months ago by our food writer:

More than two-thirds of the people who read it, found it in 2013 by doing a Google search. Half of the other third read it because someone sent them the link. Tens of thousands of people.

It's not really that surprising. Akis tapped into the hot issue of dietary restrictions and substitutes and racked up record numbers of readership.

The full list of 25 includes mostly news stories. But there's also a sports story, a parenting column and more than a few features. All titles are clickable, so peruse the list and revisit your favourites. Oh, and an Eric Akis column is No. 3.

The 25 most-read single stories of 2013 (writer's name or the newspaper/service appears after the headline):

1. It's not hard to make a substitute for soy sauce (Eric Akis)

2. Telecom giant says shareholders don't have the right to know about NSA dealings (The Associated Press)

3. Ask Eric: Is it safe to eat imported basa fish? (Eric Akis) 

4. Cougar goes for fast ocean swim off Vancouver Island (Sarah Petrescu)

5. Downton Abbey's Lady Mary actor dishes on life after Matthew (LA Times)

6. Courtenay girl, 12, rescued from locked bank vault (Comox Valley Echo)

7. Ukrainian teen solves deep-sea mystery off Vancouver Island (Judith Lavoie)

8. Island family recounts journey of a transgender child growing up in small-town Comox (Amy Smart) 

9. Couple who died in Victoria house fire 'would have changed the world' (Derek Spalding)

10. RCMP find body of missing Langford mother (staff)

11. Island teen’s flashlight a bright idea, powering her into final at global science fair (Andrew Duffy)

12. Ferry leaves with baby while mom still onshore (Nanaimo Daily News)

13. Patrick Lane: An open letter to all the wild creatures of the Earth (Patrick Lane)

14. Victorian's miniature horse Dolly euthanized after disturbing assault (Judith Lavoie)

15. Fatal fire engulfed house where people had attended party the night before (Sarah Petrescu and Jeff Bell)

16. International Olympic Committee drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (The Associated Press)

17. Controversy swirls over Jillian's win on the first-ever 'Big Brother Canada' (The Canadian Press) 

18. Victoria police ask public to beware of parolee with history of sexually assaulting females (Jeff Bell)

19. Best Buy stores close in Saanich and Langford; smaller outlets in new strategy (Andrew Duffy)

20. Nightclub shooting suspect Dennis Grant Fletcher arrested (Cindy E. Harnett) 

21. Baby Makes Six: Victoria parents, we salute you (Cindy McDougall)

22. Emma Fillipoff vanished, leaving a mysterious trail through Victoria (Derek Spalding) 

23. Two mothers learn details of how their daughters were brutally murdered in Duncan (Louise Dickson)

24. Stonemason discovers secret room in 150-year-old rock wall on Wharf Street (Sandra McCulloch)

25. The photo that broke a mother’s heart (The Province)

Keep in mind that many of our news stories — Johnson Street fire, nightclub shooting, Best Buy closures — have multiple versions written as the story develops. This list represents the single stories that were the most read.

However, it is also a good indication of the most-popular topics for the year.

Surprised by what you've been reading? I'd love your feedback on this list.

@CaleCowan

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