Meghan Markle, Hurricane Irma and B.C.'s wildfires: Google Canada reveals 2017's top searches

If you are what you Google, Canadians are a pretty broad-minded lot

Searches for B.C. wildfires were often accompanied by searches asking how to help

Canadians were especially interested in getting updates on Hurricane Irma as it swept across Florida. (Alvin Baez/Reuters)

If you are what you Google, Canadians are a pretty broad-minded lot.

Google has released its 17th annual survey of top-trending searches, and top-of-mind topics for Canadians in 2017 ranged from devastating hurricanes to deceased rock icons to the continuing political circus south of the border.

"Google Year-End Search takes a look at trillions of searches globally," said Alexandra Hunnings Klein, trends expert for Google Canada. "These lists are a barometer of what was interesting, what Canadians were curious about in 2017."

No. 1 search: Hurricane Irma

The top overall search term was Hurricane Irma. Canadians were keen for the latest news on the powerful storm that battered Florida and the Caribbean in the fall. The second most popular overall search was Meghan Markle, the American and sometime Toronto actor engaged to Prince Harry. 

And while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained broadly popular, Canadians appeared to be curious about opposition leaders. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, both anointed this year, were near the top of searches under "Political Figures."

It's no surprise that column was headed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip front man who died this year after a rapturously received national tour and album in 2016, placed high in both the "National News" and "Losses" categories.

Entertainment giants toppled

Canadians also seemed fascinated by entertainment giants toppled by allegations of sexual misbehaviour. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey — who all lost their jobs over such accusations  —  came in one, two and three in the "People" category.

The biggest search surges in the "Kitchen" section were for the apple cider vinegar diet and plant-based diets.

The Google list suggests we've had a bit of a tough year, said Hunnings Klein.

"This list really tells me we've had a year where there's been many moments that have been divisive or contentious or challenging. We've had a lot of moments that have challenged us." 

How to help during B.C. wildfires 

But some searches suggest there were moments that brought us together. Queries on the British Columbia wildfires were often accompanied by searches asking how to help, Hunnings Klein said.

Some questions may have flummoxed even the world's most popular search engine, including, "Why are fidget spinners so popular?"  

Some questions, even for Google, remain unanswerable.