2020 was quite the year.

We turned the page on a new decade, learning from past challenges and building on our many successes as a city. These last twelve months have been, without a doubt, one of the most disruptive periods in our city’s history. Life as we knew it changed in the blink of an eye as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down cities across the world, causing an unprecedented economic decline and social uncertainty. Individuals were confined to their homes and businesses were forced to close their doors without knowing what the future held.

Despite the financial and mental toll that the pandemic has taken on our residents, we have been blessed to witness some incredible acts of kindness in 2020. Hundreds of fundraisers for COVID relief efforts, community groups rallying together to make masks for their neighbours, and young children donating the money in their piggy banks to the Food Bank to feed those less fortunate.

It was clear that the people of Ottawa were ready to take on this pandemic and help their fellow residents get through it as well. As Mayor, I have remained committed to moving forward on key city-building projects, notably:

  • Construction is underway for Stage 2 of our light rail system;
  • We have laid the foundations to extend LRT to Barrhaven, Kanata and Stittsville as part of Stage 3 LRT
  • Elgin Street was revitalized ahead of schedule;
  • We worked with our partners in healthcare to reduce paramedic wait times and secure funding for a new 40-bed unit at the Civic Hospital;
  • We updated our Housing and Homelessness Plan with tangible goals and outcomes;
  • Our Official Plan is underway to guide how the city will grow and improve over the next 30 years;
  • The Combined Sewage and Storage Tunnel is now operational, a major investment to protect the Ottawa River for future generations; and
  • We are forging ahead with a plan for a sustainable design for a net zero carbon Central Library.

While the year ahead will undoubtedly be another major test for the people of Ottawa, I am confident that we will continue to limit the spread of the virus in our community while finding ways to innovate and make progress to come out of this stronger than ever.

With the vaccine roll-out now underway, there is cause for much optimism, as we are one step closer to the return of normalcy in our daily lives. I’m confident that in a year from now, we will once again enjoy the activities we cherish, while having learned some important lessons on resilience and supporting each other through the pandemic.

I offer to all of you a year 2021 full of health, love and happiness.