Drake, The Weeknd among Canadians’ favourite YouTube music videos this year

Canadians shook off their stereotypical polite behavior and spoke to audiences loud and proud in 2016.

YouTube has released its yearly review of the top videos in Canada from the past year and Canadian content dominates the list.

In the top trending music videos category, Toronto’s own “6ix god” Drake led the way with his feature in Rihanna’s “Work” video, which was filmed in local Jamaican restaurant The Real Jerk. Another Toronto superstar, The Weeknd, Pickering’s Shawn Mendes, and Edmonton native Ruth B also ranked in the top 10, proving that Canadian artists are holding their own in the music industry.

It was also the year of highly anticipated blockbuster films such as the Toronto-filmed Suicide Squad (above), which led the category of most-viewed trailers in the country.

Beyond entertainment, Canadians experienced quite a number of magical moments in 2016. People from all over the world flocked to YouTube to watch CBC’s livestream of the final Tragically Hip concert in Kingston (above) on Aug. 20, with YouTube reporting that viewers from 188 different countries tuned in to watch.

2016 also witnessed the death of legendary Canadian artist Leonard Cohen on Nov. 10. Following the announcement, the video for his performance of “Hallelujah” was the most-watched video on YouTube that day. The song is actually the most frequently covered song from before 2010 on the site, with 8.7 thousand covers.

The first US presidential debate also broke records on YouTube, with nearly 2 million concurrent views around the world (14 times more than the live viewership of the 2012 debates), the company reported. Canada was the top country outside of the US that turned into the debate on YouTube.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 music videos in Canada in 2016.

1. The most watched video in Canada belongs to Rihanna, featuring Toronto native rapper Drake. “Work” has garnered more than 800 million views worldwide since its release at the end of February.

2. Coming in second is Fifth Harmony’s “Work from Home,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, with more than 1.2 billion views worldwide.

3. The Chainsmokers’ hit “Closer,” featuring Halsey, ranks third with almost 89 million views worldwide.

4. “This is What You Came For,” by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna was fourth with more than 1 billion views worldwide. According to a Google press release from Dec. 7, the video reached 1 billion views in just 167 days. It was also Rihanna’s second guest performance to cross 1 billion views. (The first was with Eminem on “Love the Way You Lie,” which hit 1.2 billion views).

5. Rounding out the top five is former One Direction band member Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk” video, which has reached more than 653 million views total since its January release.

6. Sixth place goes to Twenty One Pilots with their video for “Heathens,” which was featured on the Suicide Squad soundtrack. The video has racked up almost 500 million views, despite only being released in June.

7. Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” written for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, took seventh spot on the list of most watched music videos in Canada, with 82 million views globally.

8. Toronto’s own The Weeknd holds the eighth spot with his “Starboy” single, featuring veteran electronic duo Daft Punk. The video was only released at the end of September and has already reached more than 356 million views worldwide.

9. Pickering, Ontario teen sensation Shawn Mendes takes the ninth spot with “Treat You Better.” The video has garnered more than 482 million views globally.

10. Relative newcomer Ruth B, an Edmonton native, rounds up the top 10 with her video for “Lost Boy,” which has amassed almost 40 million views total.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacs
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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