The year, like many, seemed to be a flurry of tragedies and, thankfully triumphs in the city.
We take a brief look back at 2012 as we embark on a new year of headlines.
The year started off with good news, when the Burnaby Christmas Bureau announced it had exceeded its goal of raising $190,000 for the 2011 Christmas season.
Because of last-minute donations, the bureau was able to raise enough money to cover a $60,000 shortfall in the final week of its campaign.
Recently, the bureau announced it was still $50,000 short of its $210,000 fundraising goal for the 2012 season - hopefully, we see a repeat of last-minute giving here in Burnaby so January 2013 gets off
to an equally good start for the non-profit.
January also brought resolution to one city tragedy, when Burnaby RCMP announced they had made an arrest in the hit-and-run death of Virginia Itubay, which occurred at Willingdon Avenue and Kitchener Street in 2010.
Coquitlam resident Vincenzo Moscato Peragine pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident knowing that bodily harm or death was caused with the intent to escape criminal liability.
In October, he was sentenced to five months in prison and banned from driving for two years.
One of the city's most well-known environmentalists retired in February, but he is still keeping up his efforts to protect Burnaby's waterways.
Mark Angelo retired from his position as chair of the BCIT Rivers Institute after 37 years. Most recently, he was appointed to the steering committee for the City of Burnaby's environmental sustainability strategy.
A Burnaby church with a high-profile parishioner - Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic - was the target of vandalism in February, when someone spray painted "Go Canuks (sic) Go," "F---Lucic" and a phallic symbol on the side of St. Michael the Archangel Church.
Local students helped clean the church windows, and Goodbye Graffiti painted over the graffiti on the wall - at no charge to the church.
An extensive letter from a team of senior doctors at Burnaby Hospital was made public, stating that there had been 473 cases of infection from Clostridium difficile in two-and-a-half years at the hospital, with 84 related deaths during that time.
Fraser Health issued a statement on March 1, saying the claim of 84 deaths is not accurate, as it can be difficult to tell whether or not a C. difficile infection contributed to the patient's death.
By Fraser Health's estimates, there were 13 cases where it was
a contributing factor.
Burnaby teachers held a three-day strike at the beginning of the month.
Tensions during the labour dispute between the B.C.
Teachers' Federation and the province peaked in the spring, when the pro-incial government passed
Bill 22, preventing teachers from striking, imposing a cooling off period and appointing a mediator to step in to handle the contract negotiations.
The federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association reached an agreement in June.
On April 16, Remigiusz Janus, a former firefighter from Poland, heroically saved his neighbour, Iliya Mochev.
The two men lived in an apartment building at 5560 Inman Ave.
A pot caught fire in Mochev's apartment after he fell while cooking. Janus smelled smoke and called the fire department, then fought through flames and smoke to rescue Mochev.
Burnaby Fire Chief Shaun Redmond presented Janus with a certificate for his heroic efforts.
A proposal to turn the 401 Motor Inn at 2950 Boundary Rd. into social housing with support services for homeless people or those at risk of being homeless died on the vine in May.
Vancouver's Portland Hotel Society brought the proposal to Burnaby council, saying the project needed the city's support to move forward.
Burnaby council refused to make any commitment to the project, due to a lack of provincial funding and a tight timeline - the owners planned to turn it into a boutique hotel if the project didn't go forward within two months.
The snakehead fish surfaced in mid-May, when it was spotted in a pond at Central Park in Burnaby.
It is an invasive predator from Africa and Asia, well-known for wiping out native species when introduced in a new environment. Snakeheads can breathe air, wriggle around on land and survive out of water for days, provided it's wet.
After a great brouhaha, the snakehead was finally caught and killed in June, studied at Simon Fraser University, and sent on to Victoria's Royal British Columbia Museum.
The month of May had a tragic ending, when Huong "Andy" Tran and Chinh "Vivian" Diem Huynh were shot and killed at the Royal Oak Sushi House restaurant on May 27, and another Burnaby man was wounded outside his home.
Angus David Mitchell was named a person of interest in the fatal shootings and was wanted in connection with the shooting of the wounded man, who was a former landlord of his. Mitchell was shot and killed by police in Maple Ridge on May 30.
After three months of refusing to sign the 20-year RCMP contract with the federal government until key issues were addressed, Mayor Derek Corrigan agreed to sign "under duress."
Corrigan agreed to sign the contract before the June 30 deadline, provided there were no financial consequences imposed on the city and a two-year opt-out provision was included.
Burnaby and a handful of other cities that held out on the contract until the deadline are now looking into other policing alternatives such as a municipal, regional or Metro Vancouver police force.
The Federal Electoral Commission of B.C. proposed redrawing boundaries in the city, giving Burnaby three ridings instead of two, with one riding shared with North Vancouver.
Burnaby council says the city would prefer larger north and south ridings, not linked with other municipalities.
The commission is redrawing the electoral boundaries in B.C. to accommodate the growing population in the province.
This would add six federal seats for B.C., bringing the number of seats for B.C. members of parliament to 42.
The Burnaby districts proposed by the B.C. commission are Burnaby North-Seymour, Burnaby South-Deer Lake, and New Westminster-Burnaby East. The current ridings are Burnaby-Douglas and Burnaby-New Westminster.
A local non-profit was hit by thieves not once, but three times over 10 days in July.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore lost about $10,000 in stolen goods and property damage due to the thefts. In the first two, 20 pairs of new work boots for volunteers working on 27 town homes in Burnaby were stolen. In the third break-in, thieves hot-wired a forklift and used it to rip the gate open so they could get a vehicle in, load it up and then drive off with the stolen goods. They took tools the volunteers were using on a local construction project and tools for sale in the store.
A master plan for the new Brentwood Town Centre went to public hearing at the end of August. The council chambers at city hall was packed with people wanting to speak about the proposal, with more lined up outside.
The proposed development is divided into four phases and would include 10 residential towers ranging in height from 20 to 70 storeys, depending on their location, and two office towers ranging in height from 30 to 40 storeys. The design also includes a redeveloped commercial centre, a 50,000-square-foot food store, and a variety of public outdoor spaces.
The plan divides the 11.5-hectare site at 4515 and 4567 Lougheed Hwy. into four quadrants for development, with the first phase including the two residential towers that could range in height from 45 to 70 storeys at the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Lougheed Highway.
A cyclist was hit and killed by a Rocky Mountaineer train on Sept. 6 near the intersection of Cariboo Road and Government Street.
The victim was identified as 30-year-old Heather Lauren Levine by a family member, who wished to remain anonymous.
Levine was walking along the track when her bicycle was hit by the train and she was pulled into harm's way, according to police.
The developers of Fortius Sport and Health - formerly known as the Multisport Centre of Excellence - announced the centre would be opening in the spring.
The project is comprised of the Fortius Athlete Development Centre and Fortius Institute for sports science and medicine.
Construction of the $61-million complex at Kensington Avenue and Joe Sakic Way is nearing completion
The project stalled in 2008 during the recession but was boosted last year by a $23-million donation from Scott Cousens, founder of the centre.
Jeffrey Caron, a 28-year-old from Calgary, died in a workplace accident near the intersection of Edinburgh Street and Gilmore Avenue in North Burnaby on Oct. 11.
Caron was one of two workers who were laying pipe in a trench when a concrete retaining wall collapsed on them.
Both were taken to Vancouver General Hospital, where Caron later died.
The workers were employed by J. Cote & Son Excavating Ltd., a company based in Surrey.
Emails between members of the Burnaby Hospital community consultation committee and B.C. Liberal insiders surfaced in October, indicating the public consultation process and committee report were politically driven.
The committee was formed in the spring to gather public feedback about the needs of the community in terms of a new or renovated hospital.
The emails indicated the committee report would conclude the issues with the hospital and lack of resources were the responsibility of the Fraser Health authority, not the Liberal government.
A leaked letter, provided to The Vancouver Sun by the B.C. NDP, came out in November, further suggested the process was politically motivated to garner the Liberals the Burnaby-Deer Lake riding in the next election.
The committee's report was released on Nov. 30 and submitted to Fraser Health.
The health authority is currently working on a master plan for the possible expansion or replacement of the hospital.
The family of former Burnaby councillor, Douglas Evans, voiced their relief when he was placed at Normanna, a local senior's centre, on Nov. 1.
Evans, who has Alzheimer's, was at Burnaby Hospital for four months after he got lost and was picked up by police on June 25.
While in the hospital, he contracted pneumonia and two bouts of C. difficile, a bacterial infection.
Ninety workers at the George Derby Centre, a non-profit seniors' home for veterans, received pink slips following a decision by the centre to contract out housekeeping, food and nutrition, laundry, clerical and activity staff.
But after much outcry from the public and a workers' rally organized by the Hospital Employees' Union, the centre rescinded the notices.
Operation Red Nose launched in Burnaby this year and has had record-breaking numbers of volunteers out on the road.
Burnaby and New Westminster joined with Operation Red Nose for the Tri-Cities for the first time this holiday season.
The volunteer-based designated driving service provided 160 rides on the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8, which almost doubles the 89 rides offered the same weekend in 2011 when the service operated only in the Tri-Cities.
The service ran on weekends in December and on New Year's Eve, offering free rides to people celebrating during the holidays, in an effort to curb impaired driving in the city.
- The year end review was compiled by Janaya Fuller-Evans, staff reporter.