Some bright CBC Ottawa stories in another cloudy news year

·4 min read
These are pictures from four of the nine articles featured in a look back at some of the feel good stories of 2021 for CBC Ottawa. (Submitted by Maryam Sahar, Francis Ferland/CBC, Katherine Leyton/Twitter, Kim Cormier - image credit)
These are pictures from four of the nine articles featured in a look back at some of the feel good stories of 2021 for CBC Ottawa. (Submitted by Maryam Sahar, Francis Ferland/CBC, Katherine Leyton/Twitter, Kim Cormier - image credit)
Submitted by Maryam Sahar, Francis Ferland/CBC, Katherine Leyton/Twitter, Kim Cormier
Submitted by Maryam Sahar, Francis Ferland/CBC, Katherine Leyton/Twitter, Kim Cormier

For a second consecutive year, the pandemic has dominated the news cycle, and we're ending on a pretty tough note.

Not everything this year was bad, and sometimes accentuating the positive is all it takes to turn things around.

So sit back and enjoy these nine stories that show 2021 had some bright spots.

1. Reunited and it feels so good

Submitted by Maryam Sahar
Submitted by Maryam Sahar

In a year full of reunions after lockdowns and months, or years apart, this one was on another level.

Maryam Sahar, who served as an Afghan interpreter for American and Canadian troops from the age of 15, was reunited with her family in Ottawa after being separated for a decade.

She made that original trip to Canada alone, chased by threats on her life and the lives of her family members. She would have to wait 10 years before seeing her family again.

2. Lost then found

When three-year-old Jude Leyton stepped outside his grandfather's workshop in late March, he disappeared, setting off a 75-hour search in eastern Ontario that had the country holding its collective breath.

Despite the length of time and temperatures dipping below the freezing point, police officers searching north of Kingston, Ont., found the boy.

3. Yes in my backyard!

Kim Cormier
Kim Cormier

When Kim Cormier and David MacDonald met by chance this past summer, it changed both their lives for the better.

MacDonald, who was experiencing homelessness, blew a tire on his e-scooter in front of Cormier's house, asked her to watch his belongings and ended up staying for dinner.

After that first meeting and becoming better friends, Cormier invited MacDonald to live in her backyard in his three-season tent, with plans to move into a tiny home.

4. Coming together, staying apart

Francis Ferland/CBC
Francis Ferland/CBC

The pandemic couldn't keep this tight-knit Ottawa community from enjoying each other's company, in fact some say it actually brought them closer together.

Leslie Park, a community in Nepean, has always been full of neighbourly spirit, but the pandemic seems to have brought it to new heights.

From a physically distanced birthday party for an elderly resident to a deluge of snowmen, this group knows how to stay involved.

5. Class connects with WWI soldier

An English as a second language (ESL) class at Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa found connections with the past they didn't expect this year.

Some of the students, who had experienced war first-hand, found they could relate to some of what Harry Timothy Jones, a member of Canada's only all-Black First World War battalion, had gone through.

The class also tracked down and spoke with a descendant of the veteran, his great-great grandson.

6. Sharing the love at Valentine's

Submitted by Ashley Hughes
Submitted by Ashley Hughes

An Ottawa woman turned her tough year into something positive when she rallied her friends and online community to make Valnetine's Day a special one for seniors in her area.

Kortney Force collected and delivered hundreds of Valentines from students, personal support workers and other seniors for those living at Carlingview Manor, New Orchard Lodge and Bayfield Manor.

Force had recently lost her job and said at the time the project reignited a spark for her.

7. Find your Pride

The small community of Westport, Ont., had a swell of support for a local Pride organization this spring.

Two residents of the village of 700 started a Facebook group for a Pride group and asked for a Pride flag be flown at city hall.

Council agreed with Neil Kudrinko and Jessica Roberts and for the first time, Westport flew the flag.

8. Computers for kids

When Martin Lee lost his full-time job at a hotel and started collecting the Canada emergency response benefit, he didn't know what to do.

His background working with computers gave him an idea, though, and he started refurbishing laptops to give away to kids who needed them for online learning.

In February he had already fixed about 25 and was looking for more people to help get more computers into kids' hands.

9. Dog's best friend

Submitted by Liz Taggart
Submitted by Liz Taggart

When Frankie the golden-doodle went missing one recent morning it seemed the whole city got behind tracking her down.

She traversed highways and was missing for 12 hours but was eventually found by her best four-legged friend, Hugo, the fluffy white samoyed.

In yet another pandemic year, this Christmas miracle was extra special.

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