Aylmer’s Highlights of 2018
2018 was a year of twists and turns for Aylmer and the rest of Gatineau. Here’s the Bulletin’s quick look at the past year.
Winter and Spring
At the Civitan and Steak-Out Awards, presented in April, André Sirois, President of the Saint-Vincent de Paul d’Aylmer, won the Aylmer Citizen of the Year Award.
On the sports/recreational side, the dog park at Paul-Pelletier Park was closed in 2018 to allow construction of a high school. The Wychwood Tennis Club celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2018. The Grande-Rivière Cyclones women’s futsal team (hard-court soccer) achieved a remarkable feat: in March, for the fourth consecutive year, the team won the RSEQ regional futsal final.
Old Aylmer’s outdoor Christmas market saw more booths and larger crowds, and the city’s Christmas parade attracted crowds from across Gatineau.
In 2018, the Association des professionnels, industriels et commerçants d’Aylmer (APICA) signed a funding agreement with the City to reduce APICA’s administrative burden. Reconstruction of the l’Imagier exhibition centre (Front Street) began in 2018, to be completed this spring. Aylmer resident Stéphanie Meunier launched an LGBT podcast, Gaytineau, in April. The podcast introduces the LGBT community of Gatineau through various testimonials.
The Commission scolaire des Portages de l’Outaouais (CSPO) changed its face when Joanne Légaré resigned as president at the beginning of May; she had been president since 2014, and Mario Crevier replaced her. Coincidentally, the chair of the West Quebec School Board, James Shea, passed away in December. In May, the provincial and federal governments announced the widening of Pink Road -- by 2023. As tradition has it, city council met in Aylmer, at Place des Pionniers, on May 15.
In May, through the City’s Green Fund, the Boucher Forest Foundation received more than $20,000 for its projects, “Imagine the Boucher Forest” and “Bioblitz”.
Summer saw an incident of vandalism at the community garden of Centre André-Touchet. On the night of July 18, offenders pulled up plants and disturbed operations.
City council announced it would support the construction of the new Lucy-Faris library at its current site, 115 rue Principale. In 2019, councillors will set timelines and costs.
In 2018 “little Hugo” survived an attack by a pit bull-type dog in the Lucerne ward. In June, the City announced details of a possible light-rail system for the west end, including Aylmer. Speculation is that a 26 km train will link the west with the downtowns of Gatineau and Ottawa. Currently, the pricetag is estimated at $2.1 billion, likely paid by the provincial and federal governments.
The City’s 2016-2020 Waste Management Plan (RMP) generated media attention (and letters to the editor) with changes to bulky-item pickup. Several large items, mattresses and sofas, were left in public places as protest. Bulky-materials regulations changed on July 15: the City decided to collect bulky materials four times a year. City Council will review its collections policy at the end of January 2019. As of July 15, Gatineau also decided to make composting mandatory.
The Aylmer Marina was packed with people on the weekend of June 8-9 for the annual sailing festival, its 6th edition, later followed by the annual Outaouis en fête. A disaster was the SPCA-Western Quebec building burning to the ground, July 2, killing more than 70 animals. The service has reopened not far from its former location at 1658 Pink Road.
Most dramatically, at summer’s end, tornadoes ravaged multiple homes and apartments across Gatineau and the Outaouais. The end of the summer also saw a provincial election campaign, where the Coalition avenir Québec formed the new government. André Fortin, of the Quebec Liberal Party, however, managed to keep his seat as the MP for Pontiac.
The Old Aylmer Festival at the end of August had over 30 giant inflatable works of art bring festival-goers to attractions along rue Principale.
Construction of Phase 4 of the Terrasse de L’Emerald housing project, along McConnell Road, began. However, the vote on the future of rue Robert-Stewart, in Deschênes near boulevard Lucerne, did not take place. Municipal officials will have to decide in 2019 whether the artery will open to vehicles. (Transl: FR)