Aylmer Bulletin’s 2021 Year in Review
Going into the second year of the pandemic, 2021 brought a number of challenges and changes for many. Throughout the year, healthcare and frontline workers continued their hard work to ensure that people stayed safe.
Even with the ongoing pandemic, there were many newsworthy events that happened in the last year. Here is Aylmer Bulletin’s 2021 year in review.
- A new non-profit was founded to preserve Deschênes’ natural environment. The association was founded by France Gagnon, Lucie Goulet and Deschênes Residents’ Association (ARD) President Howard Powles; the organization’s goal is to get the area officially designated as a natural urban park.
- The city of Gatineau officially legalized food trucks. By approving a bylaw allowing street kitchens to operate in the city, Gatineau council aims to revitalize the local culinary experience while helping small businesses.
- A local youngster Sami Bellefeuille and his family set out to help children with reduced mobility to access the equipment by donating buckets and bagloads of tabs from canned beverages to the Robert Hampson Tabs for Kids Fund.
- Thanks to more ecological municipal regulations and enhanced resident engagement over the last five years, the city of Gatineau ranked number one in the province in terms of waste minimization.
- City of Gatineau adopted the Assembly of First Nations Québec-Labrador’s (APQNL) action plan on anti-racism and discrimination.
- The Boucher Forest Foundation hired its new leader Marion Jean, replacing Marianne Strauss, who successfully led the organization for seven years.
- Two local youngsters and their mother recently joined forces with the Centre Communautaire Entre-Nous to put a distanced twist on the traditional Easter Egg hunt, with a couple of fun games for kids.
- City of Gatineau’s municipal council gave their approval to dedicate $8,300 towards the creation of sidewalk art in Old Aylmer.
- A local high school student, with the help of her family, opened her own Vietnamese restaurant in Deschênes named Vic & Co Cuisine Viet.
- Seventy local households and 15 volunteers participated in a special Styrofoam collection event in the Deschênes district with the main goal of raising awareness about the environmental ramifications of residual Styrofoam.
- Aylmer screenwriter Christie Leblanc got her script adopted into a motion picture on Netflix streaming services. Titled Oxygen, the movie is a French-language science-fiction thriller.
- The city of Gatineau announced the winner of the Place des Pionniers architectural contest, giving the IN SITU + DMA, in collaboration with CIVILITI and EXP multi-disciplinary firm, the privilege to use its conceptual design to build Aylmer’s new library and municipal service centre.
- Lucy-Faris Library moved to Galeries Aylmer shopping centre
- The Aylmer CyClownes made an appearance at Park des Cèdres. CyClownes of Good Cheer showed up in flower-themed costumes and their signature clown noses to sing and dance, with the goal of spreading joy.
- Deschênes Residents’ Association (ARD) unveiled a special mural on the Deschênes Hotel by the artist Dom Laporte, also known as Dom La Soul.
- The Aylmer Sector Partners (PSA) announced their new reforestation project with the goal of planting 1,200 trees in the Old Aylmer and Marina districts by 2022.
- Gatineau recently started installing publicly-accessible electric car charging docks in three of Aylmer’s districts, aiming to facilitate the population’s transition to electrified transportation and greener energy consumption.
- Boucher Forest Foundation (FFB) hosted a ceremony to officially inaugurate its long-awaited park development project.
- On September 18, around 300 competitive cyclists from the region and beyond gathered in Old Aylmer to race in the first British Grand Prix – the event’s first edition since the start of the pandemic. The event was presented by the Tour de Gatineau and hosted by the British Hotel, in partnership with the city of Gatineau.
- Old Aylmer hosted its first annual Oktoberfest event.
- Laura Reinsborough, expert in non-profit organizational (NGO) development and a passionate environmentalist, was appointed Ottawa Riverkeeper CEO.
- Ninety-four sailors from the region and beyond convened at the Aylmer Marina to compete in an annual provincial regatta on the Ottawa River called the Festivoile.
- After more than a year of efforts to protect one of the region’s longest-existing graveyards, Gatineau officially granted a heritage citation to Aylmer’s Bellevue Cemetery.
- Redevelopment of Woods Park ice rink and basketball court started. The ice rink is being used by the community this winter!
- The Walk of Remembrance was organized by the Aylmer Legion during Veterans' Week.
- During the Municipal elections, the Mayoral Candidates held debates at Grande-Rivière High School to introduce young people to municipal politics.
- Gatineau residents elected their first female mayor. France Bélisle ran as an independent candidate and was elected with 29,734 votes (42.83%).
- Auberge Symmes Museum received accreditation as an official museum institution.
- Aylmer Food Centre held its 16th annual Christmas Share Store to help Aylmer families with food and gifts over the holidays.
- Old Aylmer was aglow with a European inspired Christmas Market and Santa Claus Parade, bringing joy to residents during the holiday season.