Best of 2021

This year GCL has shared hundreds of pieces from across the country, from deep-dive investigations and personal essays, to profiles and reported features. It’s a daunting (but exciting) task to sift through them to pick out favourite pieces from the past year.

This year in particular was challenging because it was a particularly strong year for Canadian longform writing, despite the continued pandemic. As a result, this year’s list features 12 pieces instead of the usual 10.

The following list, unveiled Thursday, Dec. 16 on our Twitter account is presented in alphabetical order of the author’s last name. It comprises a dozen pieces from 2021 that are especially notable for their quality and craft.

Happy reading. (And continue to wear a mask!)

Rob Csernyik

December 29, 2021


Genetic Mapping

Emma Gilchrist, Maisonneuve

Infiltrating Amazon

Mostafa Henaway, The Breach

The Shadowy Business of International Education

Nicholas Hune-Brown, The Walrus

Forgiving Jaskirat Sidhu

Aaron Hutchins, Maclean’s

The Lives of Others

Lindsay Jones, The Atavist Magazine

Cases of missing trans people are rarely solved. A married pair of forensic genealogists is hoping to change that

Erica Lenti, Xtra


Tori Marlan, Capital Daily

The School in Sakitawak

Samantha Nock, Maisonneuve

The joke that went to the Supreme Court

Marie-Danielle Smith, Maclean’s

Rothko at the Inauguration

Richard Warnica, Hazlitt

Survivor: Salmon Edition

Brandon Wei, Hakai Magazine

B.C.’s Lower Post residential school’s story starts with abuse and ends in fire – but keeps pointing toward justice

Patrick White, The Globe and Mail