The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted nearly every single facet of our lives in Ottawa and around the world. Virtually no domain has been left untouched in the face of this public health crisis, with one exception: work continues to move forward on major projects that will transform this city for generations. I wanted to provide a brief update on a few of our largest infrastructure projects:

New Civic Campus – The Ottawa Hospital has completed the next stage of planning for the campus and plans to open in 2028 as one of the largest and most advanced hospitals in Canada. Construction of the project will help drive the regional economy, creating an estimated 20,000 jobs, as well as research and training opportunities. Once open, it will offer world-class health care in Eastern Ontario that will attract health care providers, researchers and students from around the world.

Stage 2 LRT – With Stage 1 of our Light Rail Transit system open and operating smoothly, we are keeping up the momentum to better connect the suburbs of Ottawa to the downtown core. Residents will see construction on all three O-Train extensions: South to Limebank and near the airport, East all along Highway 174, and West towards Moodie Drive and Algonquin College. I am encouraged by the pace of the ongoing work and look forward to seeing these next stages of our LRT roll-out over the next few years.

OPL/LAC Central Library – The new net zero carbon joint facility with Library & Archives Canada will be an accessible and welcoming space for all to connect, learn, discover and create. The plans include an area dedicated to the study of Indigenous culture, as well as an open “town square” on the ground floor, and a rooftop café that will have stunning views of our historic Parliament Hill and the beautiful Ottawa River. This exciting new space is expected to open in 2024.

With that, I would like to once again thank the people of Ottawa for their patience over the last fourteen months. Vaccines are rolling out in large quantities; the weather is getting nicer; we are making great progress on our key city-building projects and the end of this difficult journey is in sight. We will get through this together.

Photo: Digital rendering of the Ottawa Hospital’s new Civic Campus. (credit – TOH)