Mayor's State of the City speech highlights 'culture shift' in London

Mayor Matt Brown deliver the final State of the City address of his mayoral term Tuesday morning to a full house saying London is in the midst of a 'culture shift.'

The Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event is the biggest event of its kind in Canada

Mayor Matt Brown delivered the final State of the City address of his mayoral term Tuesday morning to a full house, saying London is in the midst of a "culture shift." 

"We're seeing a culture shift at city hall. We're changing the way we do business," Brown told a crowd of 1,200 business and community leaders. 

As expected, the mayor used the event to announce new and expanded business ventures within the city, the successes of local leadership, plus ongoing hardships faced by Londoners.

He also promoted his own political agenda, including the most ambitious project undertaken by city council. 

"Big ideas like Rapid Transit will move us forward and benefit each and every one of us," Brown said. "To suggest anything less than this system is selling Londoners short."

Brown's first address, in 2015, got a standing ovation, coming on the heels of the tumultuous term of former mayor Joe Fontana. The response leading up to October's municipal election was more tempered. 

Brown's term as mayor hasn't been without controversy, including an affair with a city councillor. 

Investment in London

Brown spoke at length of the growth happening in London, highlighting investment in the aviation sector, tech and digital development, academic contributions and the ongoing support of the city's corporate institutions, including 3M and General Dynamics. 

"London has attracted $250 million in investments over the past three years and created 5,000 direct jobs in digital creative, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage processing, defence and more." 

Other announcements included: 

  •  Brescia University College will construct a $14 million academic pavilion
  • China's Wanfeng Aviation has completed its purchase of Diamond Aircraft Industries
  • A new luxury condo by Tricar to be built at 40 York Street with a contest to name the building
  • Tech firm Zomaron will expand and relocate to the former site of the Westmount Public Library on Wonderland road south in March, doubling its current square footage and increasing staff by 25%
  • Robotics firm JMP Automation will expand and build a new facility
  • A budgeting software company, PSD will hire 36 more people by the end of 2019
  • A new campaign to promote London as a place to grow business launched called #LondonCAN and is geared to entrepreneurs.

Here is an archive of tweets from the event: