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Latest News and Updates for COVID -19 - Click Here


Essencial Government Information for COVID -19 - below

I am continuously updating my social media platforms and my website with up to date information. Please visit and follow: 

·         Twitter: @Ainslie_Ward24

·         Facebook: @ward24scarboroughguildwood 

·         Instagram: @cllrainslie 

Public Health’s information line & 311 are experiencing high call volumes. Residents can get the information they need online at www.toronto.ca. The City’s website has a tool that can translate pages into 51 different languages. 

If you need info on COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

City of Toronto www.toronto.ca/COVID-19

Province of Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Government of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Official Global Travel Advisory can be found https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

If you can’t find any answers, you can also email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca


Please click here for a list of food banks in Ward 24.
Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.


Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) Portal

Applications for the Canada Emergency Relieve benefit is now available and can be accessed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html. You can also apply over the phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 CERB will provide $2000/month to workers impacted by COVID-19 for up to 4 months.

Questions about applying for CERB with CRA? You can find answers to common questions with this automated help line: 1-833-966-2099. 

Is any other income help available?

Yes, and here are two great resources to learn more:

Dr. Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management at Carleton University, has compiled a plain language guide to all federal and provincial income benefits to help people figure out which apply to their particular situation. 

East Scarborough Storefront has put together a summary of the financial support programs made available by the Government of Canada, including a section that speaks to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients, and a section on taxes.

April 7, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw! 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

Troubling reports regarding compliance with various pandemic-related orders and closures

Yesterday, the City received 55 complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, MLS has issued notices to 34 non-essential businesses.

The City also received 385 complaints yesterday alone about people using closed park amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. MLS spoke to 848 people regarding the closure of park amenities and distancing and issued 12 tickets – the highest number of tickets issued by MLS in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Full news release: https://bit.ly/3e2QsQ6 

Clothing drop boxes

Another emerging concern is the accumulation of donated goods, as well as garbage, surrounding full clothing drop boxes. These boxes play an important role in the city – they help reduce waste and raise money for worthwhile charities. Right now, in response to COVID-19, many charities are not accepting donations or emptying boxes. Mayor Tory announced today that, to address concerns of overflowing boxes and litter surrounding boxes, City Solid Waste Management Services workers will be collecting items left around bins and clearing the areas. The City urges all residents who want to make a donation to confirm with charities whether or not they are currently accepting donations. Illegal dumping of garbage by donation bins is not permitted and concerned residents can call 311 to report this. City Open Data set for clothing drop box locations can be accessed here: https://open.toronto.ca/dataset/clothing-drop-box-locations/ 


Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

City of Toronto recalling poor quality surgical masks distributed to staff

The City of Toronto discovered yesterday that a recently-purchased order of more than $200,000 worth of surgical masks do not meet the specifications the City requires for such masks and took immediate action, recalling these masks.

Four-thousand boxes containing 50 masks per box were received, and 1,252 boxes, or 62,600 masks, were distributed to the City’s long-term care homes on March 28. The City’s occupational health safety staff have been contacted. The City is investigating to determine how many employees in the City’s long-term care homes were caring for a patient while wearing these masks, and if there was possible exposure to COVID-19.

The City is retrieving its stockpile of surgical masks as a stop-gap measure until a new, appropriate grade mask, as specified, can be purchased, which will happen on a priority basis, as the loss of this inventory makes for a significant shortfall of surgical masks for the City. The Province of Ontario has been contacted to help expedite this order.

Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3e2QsQ6 

Ontario Calls on all Health Care Workers to Help Fight COVID-19 

The Ontario government is taking further action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by actively recruiting health care workers to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres. Today, the province is launching a new online tool that will help match skilled frontline workers with employers.

The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province's response to COVID-19. Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience. The portal will efficiently match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/2wlzLyc 


April 6, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Please see the following update regarding COVID-19 key information and resources from the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto: 

Province Providing One-time Financial Assistance During School and Child Care Closures 

Today, Premier Ford, Minister Elliot and Minister Lecce made an announcement offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario's Support for Families web page to access this financial support. Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application. Support for Families web page can be accessed here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families Full news release here: https://bit.ly/34dgEmD 

City of Toronto working with community and corporate partners to implement emergency food access for vulnerable residents 

The City of Toronto is working closely with community and corporate partners to ensure that the food needs of vulnerable Torontonians are being met during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City is working with 211, United Way Greater Toronto, and other Toronto agencies to identify where the greatest needs are and how best to ensure low-income and vulnerable residents continue to have food access.

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that corporate partners have stepped up with significant contributions to help ensure that community food programs in Toronto – including food banks, multi-service centres, home delivery programs, meal drop-ins – can continue. Sobeys Inc. has donated approximately 7,030 cases of food and Loblaw Companies Limited has provided $30,000 of food credit. Kraft Heinz Canada has donated more than 3,650 cases of baby food, with additional quantities anticipated soon.

In addition to working with corporate partners to secure donations, the group is actively working on multiple food programs including: 

  • Food delivery for seniors
  • Access to food banks
  • Food for kids
  • Indigenous communities
  • Providing equipment to community food programs 
  • connecting resources to those that need them 

Residents who are able are encouraged to donate non-perishable food to food banks or drop off food donations at local fire halls. Restaurants or food businesses with surplus food are encouraged to donate to Second Harvest’s FoodRescue.ca at https://foodrescue.ca/. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to register with https://www.volunteertoronto.ca/ or https://www.sparkontario.ca/. Full news release can be access here: https://bit.ly/3dZ2SZ3


Dear Neighbours,

Please see the following update regarding COVID-19 key information and resources: 

Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) Portal 

Applications for the Canada Emergency Relieve benefit is now available and can be accessed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html. You can also apply over the phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 CERB will provide $2000/month to workers impacted by COVID-19 for up to 4 months.

Questions about applying for CERB with CRA? You can find answers to common questions with this automated help line: 1-833-966-2099. 

“Don’t flush it!” — Learn where to put COVID waste!

Masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, facial tissues, so-called “flushable” wipes, soiled tissues, sanitary napkins — are all meant for the Garbage Bin, diapers continue to go into the Green Bin. They must be bagged, to help keep the virus from blowing around, and keep frontline workers safer.

Please bag your yard waste and refrain from using open-top bins to ensure the health and safety of our workers. Updates on waste and recyclables can be found at www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/ 

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Online Classes 

At the direction of Public Health experts, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre will remain closed until further notice. This is a difficult time for you and your families, Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre team hopes that you can take part in some of their online classes which are expanding this week to include more children’s programs, more fitness classes, an instructional cooking class and community coffee. Details on online classes can be accessed here: https://tpasc.ca/live-classes 

Diabetes Canada Donation Bin Crisis

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and crucial physical distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, pick-up of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donations bins across Canada stopped on March 23rd. The City of Toronto will update its Clothing Drop Box page with further information as soon as possible. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/public-notices-bylaws/bylaw-enforcement/clothing-drop-box/ 


April 5, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

A list of food banks in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV.

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Spring Parks, Forestry and Recreation programming and permit cancellations

Spring programs and permits for the period of April 6 to June 29 are cancelled, following the continued closure of community recreation and parks facilities. All Park, Forestry & Recreation permits for farmers markets up to June 29 are postponed and allotment and community gardens are closed. Refunds or credits will be issued for cancelled permits and programs. Although Park, Forestry & Recreation’s customer service call centre is closed, permit holders and program registrants can contact pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca. Details on affected City services, community recreation and parks facility closures, and licensing and permits affected can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2WtmRc4 

City of Toronto enforcement officers see encouraging behaviour, while some problem areas persist

Early reports from frontline enforcement staff are encouraging. Many people in City parks are practising physical distancing and only travelling in small groups from the same household. In many instances, where enforcement officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour. 

Some problem locations persist. Yesterday, 311 received 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks. In just the first day of the enforcement blitz, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park. Police also issued 19 parking tickets. Enforcement staff reported that yesterday MLS and police officers spoke with 780 people to educate them on public health recommendations and closures and cautioned a further 373 people. Police issued nine tickets while MLS officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders.

Current health situation

Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 113 cases from yesterday. Of the cases, 1,026 cases are confirmed and 206 are probable, 69 cases have recovered, 140 are in hospital with 58 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths to-date. Community spread is responsible for 25% of COVID-19 cases in the city. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.

Toronto Public Health survey

Toronto Public Health wants to learn how COVID-19 is moving through the community, to provide an indication of how well public health measures are working and help determine next steps. Residents who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms can help Toronto Public Health understand where Toronto is on the 'curve' of the epidemic by completing the survey at toronto.ca/flattenthecurve.

People looking to confirm if they are eligible for testing or if they need to seek further care should use the Ontario Ministry of Health's Self-Assessment tool. In a medical emergency, people should seek medical attention immediately and call 911. Self-Assessment tool here: https://bit.ly/2XcXdsG 


April 4, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following End of Day Update regarding (COVID-19) key messages and resources from the City of Toronto: 

Please click here for a list of food banks in Ward 24.

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Current health situation

As of today, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been mobilized for 25 days, working with Toronto Public Health, City divisions, and emergency responders to slow the spread of the virus and keep our community safe and healthy.

Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 1026 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 101 cases from yesterday. Of the cases, 823 cases are confirmed and 203 are probable, 66 cases have recovered, 125 are in hospital with 53 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths to-date. Community spread is responsible for 27 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Toronto. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. today. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.

311 and access to information

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the 311 or Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline.

311 is available 24/7 by telephone for essential service inquiries and service requests. Those calling 311 should expect longer than usual wait times as 311 continues to receive a high volume of calls.

  • 311 (within city limits)
  • 416-392-2489 (outside of city limits)
  • 416-338-0889 (TTY)

Keep in mind: 

The #COVID19 Enforcement Team will be out across Toronto this weekend educating the public and enforcing compliance with new #physicaldistancing bylaw and the other measures enacted by the municipal and provincial governments as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Any two people who don't live together, who fail to keep 2 metres or a hockey stick apart in a park or public square, are subject to a $1,000 fine.


April 3, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following End of Day Update regarding (COVID-19) key messages and resources from the City of Toronto: 

Fine for failing to keep your distance in parks set at $1,000

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the fine for people failing to keep at least two metres of distance from others in City of Toronto parks and public spaces has been set at $1,000. The Chief Justice of the Province of Ontario approved the City's request for a set fine Friday.

Any two people who don't live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. Officers could issue higher tickets that would be subject to the courts where fines could go up to $5,000 upon conviction. News release here: https://bit.ly/346au7N 

Toronto Police Services confirms that people that are travelling or being parked in a car with five people or less — including individuals from different home addresses — is not against the law. News release here: http://torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/46864  

Ontario provides full transparency by releasing COVID-19 Modelling 

Today Premier Ford and Ontario Public Health, released their modelling for impacts of COVID-19. Projected number of cases and deaths can be significantly reduced if people stay home. News release here: https://bit.ly/2UDUZ3Q — Report can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2X8pLmU 

Changes to City Services

An updated list of changes to City Services is available here: http://bit.ly/2WtmRc4  including some changes to City Waste services. Currently, programs like the toxic taxi are not running and drop off depots are closed. The City of Toronto has asked residents that when sorting waste during this time all personal hygiene/sanitary products, including tissues, wipes, masks and gloves should be disposed of in the garbage.

GO Transit Schedule Updates 

Starting April 8, all GO train lines will continue to operation — with reduced frequency. GO bus service will also be adjusted. Revised GO schedules are available here: 

·         Train Routes: gotransit.com/trainschedulechanges

·         Bus Routes: gotransit.com/busschedulechanges

Rail service will run every 60-90 minutes at times of day each line generally has service. Bus service will also be reduced and adjusted to align with train service. UP Express will continue to operate every 30 minutes.

Spring recreation, arts and museum program cancelations and refunds

Based on the advice of the Medical Officer of Health, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, spring recreation, arts and museum programs are being cancelled. Refunds will be automatically processed for cancelled programs as well as permits for community recreation facilities and parks. Residents can contact pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca with questions or concerns about recreation or tohistoricsites@toronto.ca about arts and museums.

WHO Medical Product Alert

WHO has released a Medical Product Alert that warns consumers, healthcare professionals, and health authorities against a growing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19. Alert can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3bV9c2d 

KGO Weekly Updates: Latest Edition HERE: https://bit.ly/3aHnCTh 

Check out their latest roundup of key resources and up-to-date information on COVID-19 — for information and resources that matter most for the KGO and East Scarborough Community.


Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto. 

Yard waste collection resumes for two weeks

The City will resume yard waste collection from Monday, April 6 to Friday, April 17.

Information for residents:

  • Place yard waste out before 7 a.m. on your regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day.
  • Please be patient as crews make their way across the city.
  • If yard waste is not picked up the scheduled day, please leave it out as it will be picked-up in the coming days. Please do not call 311 to report a missed collection.
  • To ensure health and safety, please only use yard waste bags, not open-top containers.

The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. After the two-week period of yard waste pickup, the City will assess if it can continue to maintain the service. More information is available on the City’s website: https://bit.ly/3bPHwf5 

City of Toronto addressing financial impacts of COVID-19 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert major stresses globally, the City of Toronto has been assessing, evaluating and monitoring the financial impacts to Toronto. To address the situation, the City has assembled a COVID-19 financial impact working group to focus on stabilization and rebuilding.

The City of Toronto today announced that it is experiencing a financial pressure estimated at $65 million a week. The pressure is driven by decreased TTC and other revenues, coupled with increased costs. Revenues are decreased due to closures, decreased demands, and property tax and utility payment deferrals, and increased costs are stemming from COVID-19 related needs like additional personal protective equipment supplies, cleaning, additional shelter space, and overtime. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/2JDiX9a 

Updated list of essential services 

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.  

By 11:59 pm Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations. List of essential workplaces can be accessed here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces 


April 2, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

New emergency order allows for enforcement of physical distancing in parks and public squares

Any two people who don't live together and fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, will be subject to prosecution and liable for a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted. The Mayor took this emergency action – which is in effect for at least the next 30 days – as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to save lives, protect the healthcare system and ensure our economy and society can rebound faster from the COVID-19 pandemic. Info and updates: http://toronto.ca/covid19.

Yard waste collection resumes for two weeks

The City will resume yard waste collection from Monday, April 6 to Friday, April 17.

Information for residents:

  • Place yard waste out before 7 a.m. on regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day.
  • Please be patient as crews make their way across the city.
  • If yard waste is not picked up the scheduled day, please leave it out as it will be picked-up in the coming days. Please do not call 311 to report a missed collection.
  • To ensure health and safety, please only use yard waste bags, not open-top containers.

The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. After the two-week period of yard waste pickup, the City will assess if it can continue to maintain the service. More information is available on the City’s website.

On April 1, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued new directives under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. These include:

  • All individuals with COVID-19 are ordered by the Medical Officer of Health to stay home, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for 14 days.
  • All individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are also ordered to stay home by the Medical Officer of Health for 14 days.
  • People returning from international travel must stay home (already a federal order).
  • Anyone who is not ill or has not travelled, is strongly directed to stay home except for the following reasons:
    • accessing healthcare or medication
    • shop for groceries once per week
    • walk their dogs
    • get daily exercise while maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres
  • Anyone over the age of 70, as the Province already announced, is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

April 1, 2020 

City taking unprecedented action to stop COVID-19 and save lives, the healthcare system and the economy

The City of Toronto announced strong measures today to halt the spread of COVID-19. Three key objectives for the City and its emergency response to COVID-19 include reducing the loss of life, preserving capacity in the healthcare system and minimizing social and economic impacts. As Toronto’s case numbers continue to increase (there’s been a 500 per cent increase in cases over past two week), Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa is using every power available under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to implement stronger measures to help achieve the three objectives. Mayor Tory is also in the process of drafting bylaw to promote physical distancing on City property. More details here: https://bit.ly/2wbepDO 

Physical distancing at City parks

Toronto parks are only open for walking, cycling and running. Using amenities in parks or congregating in groups is not permitted. City staff together with the Toronto Police Service are prioritizing the patrol of hot spot parks. While education is the first line of enforcement, the fines range between $750 to a maximum of $5,000. City staff are re-installing signage, locks and caution tape at parks where these have been removed. Additionally, the City’s Parks Ambassadors have begun a downtown hot spot education blitz and electronic portable signs will display messages near some busy parks. More information is available here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/?accordion=parks 

The TTC has implemented changes to not only protect operators but riders as well

These include:

·         Increase in daily disinfecting of touch points in stations and on vehicles.

·         No longer accepting cash, tickets or tokens on TTC buses.

·         TTC employees may choose to wear their own masks while working.

In addition to safe physical distancing and to help stop the spread of COVID-19, please follow the advice of Toronto Public Health, including:

·         Avoiding non-essential trips in the community

·         Limiting, postponing or canceling gatherings

·         Working from home, where possible

·         Keeping kids away from group settings

·         Staying in your home if you are ill

·         Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces

As well, if you have travelled anywhere outside Canada, please to self-isolate (i.e. stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home) for 14 days after your return.

COVID-19 legal information for Steps to Justice 

CLEO’s Steps to Justice website, is a site is updated on a daily basis, gives answers to more than 50 legal questions, including questions about emergency benefits assistance, Employment Insurance, getting evicted for non-payment of rent, and what to do about family law matters in the midst of the closure of the courts. Access CLEO’s Steps to Justice website here: www.stepstojustice.ca/covid-19 

Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) Stroke Centre

Scarborough Health Network is proud to announce they are opening a new Stroke Centre of Excellence at their Birchmount hospital on April 8. For the first time, patients will have access to seamless stroke care services here in Scarborough. 

SHN will begin delivering care through the new Stroke Centre, which will include: 

  • Integrated Stroke Unit: A 22-bed unit is best practice for treating stroke patients who have been hospitalized - providing medical care and rehabilitation services all within the same space. 
  • Stroke Prevention Clinic: SHN’s outpatient clinic will now be located at Birchmount, providing support and follow-up care for patients in managing their risk factors for stroke. 

Find more information here: https://shn.ca/stroke-centre-of-excellence/ 

Toronto Police clarify social-distancing enforcement measures

The Toronto Police Service is reminding people that travelling, or being parked in a car, with five people or less – including individuals from different home addresses – is not against the law.

Members of the public are reminded that government directives apply to “organized public events and social gatherings” of more than five people, as well as the ordered closures of the following locations:

·         All facilities providing indoor recreational programs

·         All public libraries

·         All private schools as defined in the Education Act

·         All licensed child care centres

·         All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery

·         All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies

·         Concert venues

·         All City-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system

Questions about organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people or open businesses that should be closed, can be addressed by calling 311.

City of Toronto bylaw officers will be monitoring and providing information and education to non-compliant individuals and businesses. In some cases, the Toronto Police are contacted to conduct enforcement actions under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The Toronto Police Service continue to conduct proactive enforcement, when necessary, and officers will use their discretion to determine the proper action.


March 31, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered the latest federal update on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), face mask, face shields, gowns and other materials, such as, ventilators, test kits swabs and hand sanitizer continues to rise. The need for a stable supply of materials is vital to provide public health and health care professionals everything they need. 

Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of the active response to Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 announced last week. This plan creates pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time.

Following the announcement of the plan, 3000 companies have reached out to offer their help. The government has made agreements with 3 companies and is in the process of formalizing agreements with an additional 5 companies to procure and/or supply PPE, ventilators, hand sanitizers and test kits, increasing our local supply. The 8 companies include, Thornhill Medical, Spartan Bioscience, Medicom, Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group, Canfield, Calko Group and Irving Oil. 

In addition, the Canadian Government dedicates $2 billion for bulk purchases of PPE for provinces and territories with shipments to be expected within the next couple of days.

Cancellation of mass events through to June 30 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the City of Toronto will cancel all mass participation events through to June 30. This includes City-led major mass participation events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs, as well as all City permits for major mass participation events organized by external groups at civic centres and squares, parks, public spaces, City-operated museums and cultural centres. This decision was made in consultation with major event organizers and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The full news release here: https://bit.ly/2w8ljtu 

Childcare centres open today 

The City of Toronto opened four emergency licensed child centres today for the children of eligible, essential and critical service workers. As announced last week, Toronto is the first municipality to open emergency child care centres that will operate, as the need demands, on a 24 hours per day, seven days per week basis to support critical, frontline workers. As of this morning, approximately 487 families, representing more than 705 children, have applied. The full news release here: https://bit.ly/3dKuQIb


This afternoon, Premier Doug Ford announced the extension of the Declaration of Emergency for another 2 weeks. This includes the closure of non-essential service, closure of outdoor recreational amenities, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, beaches and more. 

The Premier and Education Minister Stephen Lecce also announced that school closures have been extended to at least May, 1st for teachers and May, 4th for students.

The following phases for reconnecting students with school staff aims to keep students and staff safe and keep everyone engaged in learning. Minister Lecce mentioned the priority and importance in student’s schedules, especially those expecting to graduate. Lecce ensures that all measures will be taken in order for senior students to graduate and no barriers to accessing post-secondary pathways will arise. 

Teacher led learning measures will be put in place so students can complete their school year. Boards will leverage resources to give access to materials to every student to continue to learn through the set curriculum. Distribution of laptops, printed materials and other materials from schools will be provided to get technology and materials to every child to continue learning. 

These teacher led learn at home measures give parents expectations to count on and ensure the teacher student relationship provides some sense of stability. Digital parental support will also be provided for guidance in reactivation of the education system. 

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is lending internet-enabled devices to families who do not have access to help students stay connected and to support remote learning. TDSB sent a survey to parents to find out how many of their students need devices and/or access to internet at home. If your child attends a Toronto Board School, the survey can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3bGO53g 

Mental health challenges are real, anxiety amongst students is common within concerns to their future, text CONNECT to 686868, if you are in need to connect to professionals securely. More information on texting the Kids Help Phone can be accessed here: https://kidshelpphone.ca/text-faq 

Please view the Province of Ontario information here: https://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en


March 30, 2020 

Dear Neigbours, 

City of Toronto reminds people to be mindful of mental health amid closures and ongoing response to COVID-19

The City of Toronto continues to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. As of today, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been mobilized for 19 days, working with Toronto Public Health to slow the spread of the virus and keep our community safe and healthy.

Toronto Public Health has had 540 cases of COVID-19 reported in Toronto, up from 512 cases yesterday. Currently, 39 of these people are hospitalized and there are 18 in ICU. Among cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, there have been four deaths to-date. There have been 24 other people diagnosed with COVID-19 who have recovered from their illness. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 1 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.

Earlier this week, Mayor John Tory, Medical Office of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, stressed the importance of mental health and addressed the anxiety many people are experiencing in response to the public health and social impacts of COVID-19. These are normal and healthy responses and feelings to an abnormal situation. It’s OK not to feel OK.

Whether in self-isolation or practising physical distancing, it is important to connect with friends and family over the phone or online and try to eat well and stay rested. Everyone is encouraged to check in by phone or other means that maintain physical distancing on family, friends, and colleagues who may be struggling.

Individuals looking for additional crisis supports should reach out to Crisis Services Canada or Toronto Public Health. Crisis Services Canada is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/, by phone at 1-833-456-4566 or by text message at 45645. In an emergency, always call 911.

Keep in Mind: 

While access to green spaces remains available and Toronto Public Health has advised that fresh air and exercise is good if you are not ill, the City has closed playgrounds and other park amenities to stop the spread of COVID-19. Signage was erected across Toronto’s parks amenities to advise of these closures including on playgrounds. Fences and gates were locked and unfenced playground structures were taped off. 

The City is urging all residents, who are not performing essential or critical services, to stay home. 

More information on COVID-19 crisis and mental health supports are listed on our website at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-health-advice/.


March 27, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following Key Messages for the day on COVID-19 updates from the City of Toronto: 

It’s OK not to feel OK 
Many people are feeling anxious, unsure and even scared. These are normal and healthy responses to an abnormal situation. Being forced out of our regular daily routines, and being distanced from our social connections, support groups and family is hard and many are struggling as a result.  As Chief Matthew Pegg noted in this tweet, please reach out to friends in a safe way, stay active in your home, do your best to eat well and stay rested. 

Individuals looking for additional crisis supports can reach out to:

    • Crisis Services Canada: crisisservicescanada.ca,1-833-456-4566 or 45645 (text); available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 
    • Resources from Toronto Public Health are available on Toronto.ca/COVID-19.
    • In an emergency call 911. 

Landlords and condo boards urged to adopt new health and safety measures 
The City of Toronto is urging landlords and condo boards to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. This includes placing alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a hand washing station at all building entrances and in common areas that remain open, such as laundry rooms; closing non-essential common areas and regularly disinfecting high traffic common areas. More information is available on the City’s website including the General Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Commercial or Residential Buildings fact sheet.

Keep in mind: 
Earlier this week, the City announced the closure of City park amenities. Open green spaces in parks remain accessible and available for walks and fresh air. Those individuals going outside for fresh air are reminded to observe physical distancing and stay at least two metres from others.

Yesterday the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recover Task Force launched a survey for Toronto businesses to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their business and what information or supports they or their employees need. The survey can be accessed here. 


Dear Neighbours, 

Today, Premier Doug Ford addressed the province with an emergency alert warning to travellers returning to Ontario urging them to comply and self-isolate for 14 days and to not visit stores, family or friends. The Premier placed emphasis on the high risk of those travellers returning and to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Additionally, the Ontario Government announced additional supports to businesses and workers to help get through this crisis. An allocation amount of $10 billion in tax deferrals to improve cashflow including:

  • $6 billion in tax deferrals from a 5 month penalty-free period to make payments on majority of provincially administered taxes; 
  • $1.9 billion in WSIB payment deferrals for up to 6 months; and 
  • Deferring property taxes to school boards by 90 days

See more details in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, accessed here: https://bit.ly/33NIvtm 

Additionally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that the government is to cover 75% of wages for qualifying businesses. This is an update to the original response measure of a small business subsidy to cover 10% of wages for qualifying businesses. 

The City of Toronto’s inviting business owners to complete a City survey to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their business, and what information or supports they need. The survey can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2JgHjFt 

The City of Toronto is urging Landlords and Condo Boards to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. Large residential buildings with a high number of units require new practice and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread. The full news release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3dAHYQ3 

Earlier this week the Government of Canada announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provides workers affected by COVID-19 crisis $2000 a month for up to four months. 

The CERB replaces two previously announced measures, the Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefit, both of which were dependent on the Employment Insurance (EI) system and application. Find more details and how to qualify and apply for CERB here: https://bit.ly/2UfRDng

March 26, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

I'm writing today to give you a further update on the City's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City staff in the Emergency Operations Centre and all essential and critical services are working around-the-clock to respond to this crisis to keep us safe. 

These are unprecedented times and I am continuing to receive multiple updates each day on the City's response and I am committed to sharing this information with you through my social media channels and in email updates like this. I have included the latest important information from the City below. 

Right now, I can’t express enough how important it is to stay home, practise physical distancing, work from home where possible and only go out for essentials. These actions, which many of you are already doing, will help to protect you but also your family, friends and all those who work in essential services. 

Thank you for everything that you’re doing to help stop the spread and please continue to urge others to do the same.

Please see the following Key Messages for the day on COVID-19 updates from the City of Toronto:

Mayor John Tory announced today that business owners are invited to complete this City survey to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their business, and what information or supports they and their employees need. The survey will also be sent to more than 20,000 businesses as well as Business Improvement Associations.

If you have a complaint about a business still operating, whether is it a non-essential business still running, or an essential business running without taking proper steps to protect its workers, please call (not email) 311. Please be patient and expect high call volumes. Complaints are logged and sent to a compliance team which will assign an officer to review and investigate.

The deadline to cancel the TTC’s 12 Month Pass plan and Autorenew for the TTC Monthly Pass have been extended until 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020. TTC will waive all cancellation fees, including any previous discounts received for the TTC Monthly Pass. Residents may still see a notification regarding cancellation fees on the PRESTO app or website, however, we ask that they please disregard this message. More information can be found here: https://bit.ly/2Ugq0uu

Please see today's update by the KGO for information regarding resources and supports available in the community including information on:


Dear Neighbours, 

As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, please see the following information and resources regarding our community.

Please click here for a list of food banks in Ward 24.
Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Government of Canada Update

Yesterday, the Canadian Government announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) yesterday, to replace the EI system which is undergoing heavy volumes of applications. The portal for accessing the CERB will be available in early April. Click here to learn more about the CERB, here for the link to apply for EI, and here to learn more about EI eligibility. For general enquiries please call or email 613-369-3710 / fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca. As well, you can direct your inquiries to your local MP Hon. John McKay, at john.mckay.c1@parl.gc.ca.

The 14-day isolation period for those that have recently travelled from abroad, including the U.S., is now mandatory, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms. Read more about the order here. Those that fail to comply with the order face up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. If you have questions about the order please contact Public Health Agency of Canada's general inquiries number: 1-866-225-0709.

Province of Ontario Update

The Province of Ontario has released its Action Plan to respond to COVID-19, as well as provide its fiscal update. Actions by the Province include:

  • $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs.
  • $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals

For families, this means a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.

Low-income seniors will have their Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) doubled for six months.

As previously announced, Hydro rates will be kept at off-peak prices all day for 45 days starting last Tuesday, March 24th.

These are some of the measures inclusive of Ontario's Action Plan, for the full list please go to their website here.

City of Toronto Updates

Yesterday, the City closed park amenities, parking lots adjacent to parks, and playgrounds. The TDSB has also followed the City's direction and closed its playgrounds and amenities (see the news release here). While parks are not closed, it is important to remember that this decision was made to limit the spread of COVID-19. Consider having a walk around your local neighbourhood instead – just remember to keep physical distancing from others.

TCHC is implementing new actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Rent flexibility 
  • Outreach to tenants
  • Food security
  • Social distancing measures, and
  • Other measures including disinfecting, visitation, holds on evictions and new parking enforcement measures.

Full information can also be found on their website here

Toronto Public Library reminds those that have taken out books that during the closure, please do not try to return books or other borrowed items, and to hold on to them until they reopen. Book drops are closed. No one will not be charged fines during this period. For more information on TPL services impacted by COVID-19 please click here.

In the meantime, consider checking out an e-book! For residents with children at home, check out e-books for children here!

Other Information
Look out for COVID-19 scams, including door-to-door sales of household decontamination services or private companies offering at-home test kits for COVID-19. Read more about reported scams here. TCHC also warns tenants if you get a call from a “volunteer” offering to deliver groceries who then asks for your banking or credit card information, hang up. It’s a scam. If you’ve been the victim of fraud, report it to local police. Toronto Community Housing staff or first responders calling you during the COVID-19 emergency will never ask for your banking or credit information.

Work out at home with Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre's online workout videos and fitness tracker! Watch on their website or Facebook page and check out their live broadcast schedule here. Download their workout guide here. Complete the workout tracker and post it on Instagram and Facebook using #MyTPASCWorkout.

Please keep in mind that while faith-based services are still permitted, services may not have more than 50 people and must be able to meet the physical distancing recommendations, otherwise they cannot continue. Please see if your faith organization can provide alternate arrangements, like services that can be conducted over the phone or Internet.


March 25, 2020

Please see the following Key Messages for the day on COVID-19 updates from the City of Toronto 

As part of the City’s continuing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, all City-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system, will be closed effective immediately. School playgrounds, fields and equipment will also be closed. Green spaces remain open for walking and jogging 

TCHC’s Our Client Care Centre received several reports yesterday from tenants who were called by someone claiming to a volunteers offering to deliver groceries to their homes, and then requesting their banking information. The following message has been shared with TCHC tenants.

FRAUD WARNING: 
Tenants: If you get a call from a “volunteer” offering to deliver groceries who then asks for your banking or credit card information, hang up. It’s a scam. If you’ve been the victim of fraud, report it to local police. Toronto Community Housing staff or first responders calling you during the COVID-19 emergency will never ask for your banking or credit information.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 
Today, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update). 

The government’s action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets. Full news release can be accessed here: https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2020/03/ontarios-action-plan-responding-to-covid-19.html 

TCHC Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) support and resources
Actions being implemented by Toronto Community Housing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak include details on: 

  • Rent flexibility
  • Outreach to tenants
  • Food security 
  • Social distancing measures and more. 

All information can be found on the TCHC Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) support and resources page, accessed here: https://www.torontohousing.ca/residents/community-services/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19-information.aspx


Dear Neighbours, 

The previous message has been revised to fix the links in the City of Toronto and Community Updates.

As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, please see the following information and resources regarding our community.

Government of Canada Update

The Government of Canada has just passed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB is a combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020. For more information please refer to the full media release here, and for general enquiries please call or email 613-369-3710 / fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca. As well, you can direct your inquiries to your local MP Hon. John McKay, at john.mckay.c1@parl.gc.ca.

The Canadian Government and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters are looking for companies that can help to produce and meet medical needs, including production of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies. Please visit the following links for more information.

Government of Canada's Call for Action

CME's Industry Rally

Province of Ontario Updates

For a 45-day period, the Provincial government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, including businesses and residents, starting yesterday. There are no forms or applications; the rates will be calculated automatically on your next bill. You can read more about the announcement here.

On Monday evening, the Province of Ontario announced its list of essential businesses. All types businesses not mentioned on this list must be closed as of today, for 14 days or unless the order is lifted or extended. If you have questions about what is or isn't an essential business, please contact the new hotline: 1-888-444-3659 (hours are Monday-Saturday, from 8:30am -5:00pm). As well, you can direct your inquiries to your local MPP, Mitzie Hunter, at mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org.

The Province is looking for any businesses and organizations with supplies they can donate, as well as ideas and innovations for helping to withstand the pandemic. For more information please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-your-organization-can-help-fight-coronavirus

City of Toronto and Community Updates

Please see the KGO's update for information regarding resources and supports available in the community including:

  • Seniors Hotline
  • Food support in Southwest Scarborough
  • Financial supports available: Ontario Emergency Assistance
  • Essential businesses still open: What you need to know
  • News & resource roundup: TCHC support for tenants, Hydro rate reductions, COVID19 App & more
  • *Updated March 24*: What supports are available in the neighbourhood? (with updated food bank info)

As well, residents that are accumulating extra garbage from staying at home can purchase yellow garbage tags online by visiting the City's WebStore and have them shipped directly to their home.

World Health Organization (WHO) Update

The World Health Organization warns that there has been a rise in criminals disguising themselves as WHO officials to steal money or sensitive information. The WHO urges individuals to stay alert and to verify the authenticity of the request. If you believe you have been contacted by someone impersonating a WHO official, please visit https://www.who.int/about/report_scam/en/ to report a suspected scam.


March 24, 2020

Deaar Neighbours,

 Please see the following update from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in regards to monthly passes. 

 The deadline to cancel your monthly pass (12 Month Plan and Autorenew) has been extended until Friday March 27 at 11:59PM. Customers who do not need their April pass have until this Friday to cancel. (No cancellation fees will be charged.)

 How to cancel: Visit http://prestocard.ca and log in to your My PRESTO account.

 1. Click on the Load drop down menu then click on Autorenew Transit Pass .

 2. On the Manage Autorenew page, click Remove to cancel your TTC monthly pass, or your 12 Month Pass.

 3. You may see a notification indicating that you owe TTC a cancellation fee. Please disregard this message since the TTC are waiving all fees. The TTC welcomes everyone to sign up for your 12 Month Plan or Autorenew again in the future.


City of Toronto taking action to protect individuals experiencing homelessness from COVID-19

The City of Toronto has, over the past weeks, rapidly mobilized and implemented a plan in response to the risk COVID-19 presents to clients of the city’s network of shelters, respites, and drop-ins. Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) is working with community partners to further strengthen this city-wide response and assure vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness that their health and safety is a priority.

As of this morning, there are two positive cases of COVID-19 in the shelter system. The identification of a second case – with no connection to the first case reported last week – is not unexpected. Both individuals are recovering in isolation. SSHA is working with Toronto Public Health to identify people who may have come in close contact with the individuals to actively monitor, test, and isolate those who become symptomatic. There is no evidence of an outbreak in our shelter system.

Physical distancing is a priority. SSHA has opened nine new facilities with more than 350 spaces to create further physical distancing for clients from shelters, 24-respites and 24-hour drop-ins. An additional facility is preparing to open with more space ready to be activated as needed. In some cases, community and recreation centres closed as part of the City’s suspension of non-essential services are reopening to support distancing efforts. The City has also opened space at hotel and motel sites and is exploring other opportunities so that we stay one step ahead of a rapidly evolving situation

The City of Toronto also has Canada’s first dedicated isolation site for people experiencing homelessness who are awaiting COVID-19 test results. Referrals to the program come directly from provincial COVID-19 testing centres. When fully-operational, the facility will have 40 rooms for isolated households waiting for results. SSHA is also working with the Province to prioritize test results for this vulnerable group. There are further plans in partnership with the provincial government and Inner City Health Associates to open a COVID-19 recovery site for people experiencing homelessness who have tested positive doe the virus.

A new Rapid Housing Access Initiative is helping to prioritize access to housing for existing shelter clients in Toronto Community Housing. Fifteen households have been matched with housing and will be moving in this week. An additional 50 units have been identified for move-in in the coming weeks. Clients are being referred through the Coordinated Access system and provided with supports to be successful in achieving housing stability. Units are being prioritized for particularly vulnerable individuals, including seniors.

Enhanced screening by Central Intake is ongoing. Stronger infection, prevention and control (IPAC) and cleaning measures continue at City and partner shelters. The City has provided additional funding for this increase in preventative measures, purchasing specialized cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), and helping to increase physical distancing (i.e. installation of curtains). There is now a focus on implementing a PPE distribution plan to ensure this critical equipment is available to clients and staff.

SSHA has also issued broad direction today to over 200 social and affordable housing providers responsible for over 33,000 units reinforcing that the housing stability of residents is a top priority. Housing providers have been directed to be flexible, exercise discretion, and to work with households whose employment-related income is affected by the current emergency.

As in all jurisdictions, the situation in our shelter system is evolving every day. The City, through SSHA and the Emergency Operations Centre, is committed communicating and working with our more than 200 community partners to provide the best possible care to individuals experiencing homelessness in our city.

If you or someone you know needs street outreach, call 311 or Central Intake at 416-338-4766.


This afternoon, Toronto’s Medical Office of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, provided an update on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 response and the implications of the Toronto and Ontario emergency declarations.

As of 1 p.m. today there are 280 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. More cases are expected because community transmission is occurring. The City reminds residents to respect the privacy of those who have tested positive for the virus.

The formal declaration of a municipal emergency made yesterday by Toronto Mayor John Tory, as recommended by Dr. de Villa and Chief Pegg, enables the City of Toronto to remain nimble and able to address the evolving public health situation. This declaration strengthens recommendations already made by the Medical Officer of Health to cease all non-essential work and activities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Mayor is now empowered to issue orders, implement the City's Emergency Plan, and better protect the health, safety, and welfare of individuals within our city.

Essential services in Toronto are continuing without interruption. Emergency response by first responders and the public health response to COVID-19 is ongoing. Our utilities, including clean, safe water, continue to be delivered. Social supports across the city are ramping up to provide emergency assistance to those who need it and protect vulnerable members of our community. New community and private sector partnerships are being sought out to aid in the City response.

The Province of Ontario also declared a state of emergency yesterday. Similar to the municipal declaration, the provincial declaration provides additional tools and resources to respond to this extraordinary situation. A key tool of the declaration is the ordered closure of non-essential businesses. More information on the Province’s declaration is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

City of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards is now participating in a joint operation with Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Police Service to ensure non-essential businesses are complying with the order to close. Compliance audits started this morning at 8 a.m. across the city and will continue 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Non-essential businesses found to be open may be provided with a Notice under the Provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.


Dear Neighbours,

The Province of Ontario has released the list of essential workplaces to remain open for two weeks.  Please note that the order allows teleworking and online commerce at all times for all businesses.

If you have questions about a service on this list, or not on this list please visit https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/3/list-of-essential-workplaces.html.  For up to date information on the current status of COVID-19 visit toronto.ca/covid-19.

Supply chains
1.    Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate;
Retail and Wholesaling
2.    Businesses engaged in the retail and wholesale sale of food, pet food and supplies, and household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and businesses, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets and other similar retailers;
3.    Businesses that provide essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including feed, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding;
4.    Beer, wine and liquor stores and alcohol producers, and stores that sell beer and wine through arrangements with authorized providers; cannabis stores and cannabis producers;
5.    Gas stations, diesel, propane and heating fuel providers including providers of motor vehicle, aircraft and water/marine craft fuels;
6.    Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities;
7.    Hardware stores and stores that provide hardware products necessary to the essential operations of residences and businesses;
8.    Business providing pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical services, including pharmacies and dispensaries;
9.    Businesses that supply office products and services, including providing computer products and related repair and maintenance services, for individuals working from home and for essential businesses;
10. Safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment);
Food Services and Accommodations
11. Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or takeaway, together with food delivery services;
12. Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences;
Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial Maintenance
13. Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial industrial and residential properties and buildings, including, property management services, plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, , security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics, (e.g. HVAC, escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services
Telecommunications and IT Infrastructure/Service Providers
14. Businesses engaged in providing or supporting Information Technology (IT) including online services, software products and related services, as well as the technical facilities such as data centres and other network facilities necessary for their operation and delivery; 
15.  Businesses providing telecommunications services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc) as well as support facilities such as call centres necessary for their operation and delivery;
Transportation
16. Taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for activities of daily living;
17. Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals including by air, water, road, and rail including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, including truck stops and tow operators;
18. Businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services such as clearing snow, response to collisions, and completing needed repairs to the transportation systems.
Manufacturing and Production
19. Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer);
20. Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two- way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and Global supply chains.
Agriculture and food production
21. Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing;
22. Businesses that support the food supply chain including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal slaughter plants and grain elevators;
23. Business that support the safety of food including animal and plant health and animal welfare;
24. Businesses that provide veterinary services, and that supply veterinary and animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits;
25. Businesses that help to ensure safe and effective waste management including deadstock, rendering, nutrient management, bio hazardous materials, green waste, packaging recycling;
Construction
26. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;
27. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance;
28. Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors;
29. Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects
Financial activities
30. Capital markets (e.g., the TSX);
31. Banking & Activities related to Credit Intermediation; credit unions;
32. Insurance;
33. Businesses that provide pension services and employee benefits services;
34. Businesses that provide financial services including payment processing, the payroll division of any employer (as defined by the Employment Standards Act/Occupational Health and Safety Act), any entity whose operation is the administration of payroll, banks and credit unions;
Resources
35. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (e.g. metals such as copper, nickel and gold) and that support supply chains in Northern Ontario including;
a.    Mining operations, production and processing;  
b.    Mineral exploration and development;
c.     Mining Supply and Services that support supply chains in the mining industry including maintenance of operations, health and safety. 
36. Businesses that provide chemicals and gases to support the natural resource sector analytical labs and drinking water and wastewater sectors and other essential businesses;
37. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of forestry products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.);
38. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of aggregates to support critical infrastructure repairs and emergency response requirements (e.g. sandbags, armour stone barriers, etc.);
39. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of petroleum and petroleum by-products;
Environmental Services
40. Businesses that support environmental management/monitoring and spill clean-up and response, including environmental consulting firms, professional engineers and geoscientists, septics haulers, well drillers, pesticides applicators and exterminators, management of industrial sewage/effluent (eg. for mining operations), and environmental laboratories;
Utilities and Community Services
41. Utilities, and Businesses that support the provision of utilities and community services, including by providing products, materials and services needed for the delivery of utilities and community services:
a.    Waste Collection, Waste/ Sewage Treatment and Disposal, operation of landfills, and Hazardous Waste Disposal;
b.    Potable drinking water;
c.     Electricity Generation, transmission, distribution and storage;
d.    Natural Gas distribution, transmission and storage,
e.    Road construction and maintenance;
f.      police, fire, emergency services including coroner services and pathology services ;
g.    corrections and courts services;
h.    other government services including licenses and permits;
42. Businesses engaged in or supporting the operation, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure (railways, dams, bridges, highways, erosion control structures, etc.);
Communications Industries
43. Newspaper publishers;
44. Radio & Television Broadcasting;
45. Telecommunications providers;
Research
46. Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities;
47. Businesses that provide products and services that support research activities;
Health Care and Seniors Care and Social Services
48. Organizations and providers that deliver home care services;
49. Retirement homes;
50. Long-term Care Facilities;
51. Independent health facilities;
52. Laboratories and specimen collection centres;
53. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals; medical devices and medical supplies
54. Manufacturers, logistics and distributors of products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations (including but not limited to hospitals, labs, long-term care homes, other residential health care, physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives, and home care services);
55. Businesses that provide products and/or services that support the health sector or that provide health services, including mental health and addictions and counselling supports.
56. Businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies.
57. Businesses that provide personal support services (many seniors and persons with disabilities, who can afford to, hire individuals to assist with the activities of daily living).
58. Health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists, optometrists and physio-therapists;
59. Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home and also provide residential services for individuals with physical disabilities (such as the Centre for Independent Living and March of Dimes);
60. Businesses and all other organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals, including but not limited to food banks, violence against women emergency shelters, homeless shelters, community housing, supportive housing, children's aid societies, residential services for adults with developmental disabilities and for children, and custody and detention programs for young persons in conflict with the law;
Justice Sector
61. Professional and social services that support the legal and justice system;
Other Businesses
62. Rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;
63. Businesses providing mailing, shipping, courier and delivery services, including post office boxes;
64. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers;
65. Professional services including lawyers and para-legals, engineers, accountants, translators;
66. Businesses providing funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer, and burial services, and any related goods and products (such as coffins and embalming fluid);
67.  Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services;
68.  Businesses providing security services including private security guards; monitoring or surveillance equipment and services;
69. Businesses providing staffing services, including temporary help;
70. Businesses that support the safe operations of residences and essential businesses;
71. Businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including veterinarians, farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers;
72. Child care services for essential workers, and home child care services of less than six children;
73. Businesses providing cheque cashing services;
Business Regulators and Inspectors
74. Organizations, including Administrative Authorities that regulate and inspect businesses


March 23, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

Mayor Tory declares a State of Emergency in the City of Toronto:
Today, Mayor John Tory declared a State of Emergency in the City of Toronto in ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. This declaration came after receiving advice from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. The declaration will ensure the municipal government can continue to act and respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead. In making this declaration, residents are strongly encouraged to continue taking every precaution to protect themselves – stay home, stay safe, only venture out to buy essential supplies once a week, or if possible, make orders online.

The closure of all non-essential workplaces:
To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government announced that they will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 pm. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. Tomorrow the Province will release a fill list of businesses that are permitted to stay open. 

New Signage in City Parks and Playgrounds: 
The City is erecting signage in parks and near playgrounds reminding the public of the importance of physical distancing, hand hygiene, and that playgrounds are not sanitized. These signs are being installed and will start appearing in some parks today. 

Child Care Centres for children of Essential and Critical Service Workers:
The City of Toronto will open licensed child care centres specifically to provide care for children of essential and critical service workers. Child care service will be available, at no cost, funded by the Province of Ontario, for children from infant to age 12, and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to begin to address the unique demands of people who work shifts to keep the city safe and healthy.

Keep in mind: 
Please dispose of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, etc.) properly, in a plastic bag and into general waste. Remember to perform proper hand hygiene after removing and disposing of your personal protective equipment. 

Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Stay home as much as possible and remember to practice physical distancing and keep 2 metres away from others. 

For residents with children at home, check out an e-book from the Toronto Public Library for some extended March Break activities. Details here. 


March 22, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

City of Toronto to open child care for essential and critical services workers: 

The City of Toronto has received authorization from the Province of Ontario to open licensed child care centres specifically to provide care for children of essential and critical service workers. The centres will be spread across Toronto in existing City-run child care facilities and be operated and staffed by City of Toronto licensed child care workers. 

The City is establishing an online registration system that will be communicated widely once available. The centres will then open as quickly as possible, following registration. Essential and critical service workers have been defined by the Province and a list of those services will be made available shortly. Full news release here. 

Toronto Public Health has received notification of Toronto’s first death related to COVID-19:

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has been notified of a death related to COVID-19. The individual, a man in his 70s, travelled to the United Kingdom. He was tested at a hospital in Toronto and immediately began self-isolation at home. He was reported to TPH by the hospital and a case investigation was completed. He later presented at the Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital on March 14 and died on March 21, 2020. Full news release here. 

March Break travellers should self-isolate to help stop the spread of COVID-19: 

For the many Torontonians who are returning from travel outside Canada, including the United States, following March Break, 14-day self-isolation is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, even if symptoms of illness are not present. 

Those returning home who need to restock their house with supplies are encouraged to order online for home delivery or ask a family or friend to pick up items for them. Full news release here. 

There are currently 220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. TPH is actively following up with these individuals and their close contacts. A key component of our COVID-19 response is limiting the virus spread by encouraging people to limit their social interactions as much as possible. 

We are asking residents to do their part by: 
• working from home, where possible 
• staying home, except to get essential supplies 
• maintaining social distance by keeping at least six feet away from others. 

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311. 


March 21, 2020

Toronto’s Medical Office of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has clarified the recommendation to suspend faith services in Toronto. Read the statement here.

This afternoon, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, and City Manager, Chris Murray, provided an update on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 response. 

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed by Toronto Public Health in the city continues to increase. As of 1 pm today there are now 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. 

New cases are not unexpected as the City continues to respond to the current situation. As the number of cases grows, the City urges for Torontonians to contribute to the public health response is to continue the proactive measures of social distancing, and if sick, self-isolation. 

Importantly, for those returning from abroad following March break, self-isolation is critical to help mitigate the continued spread of COVID-19. Anyone who has returned to Canada, including from the United States, is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. The full news release can be found here. 

City of Toronto key messages of the day on COVID-19 updates: 

The City is actively developing signage for City parks and playgrounds, advising caregivers that playground and recreation equipment is not sanitized, and reminding everyone to practise social distancing and to wash their hands before and after play. Parks remain open, but people should take every opportunity to avoid interactions with others through social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Take every opportunity to avoid interactions with others through social distancing. This helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we confront the possibility of community transmission. Please stay home, every interaction avoided helps to flatten the curve. Practise social distancing measures including: 

    • keeping two metres (six feet) apart from other
    • avoiding crowds and gatherings

As this is an evolving situation, the City’s website at toronto.ca/covid19 remains the best place for Toronto residents to obtain information about the City’s response to COVID-19, impacts to or modifications of City services and available resources. People are encouraged to check the website often for the latest information on programs and services as it is continuously updated. The City’s website has a tool that can translate pages into 51 different languages. This helps keep 311, 911 and Toronto Public Health call lines open for critical calls from the people who need them most.

Let’s work together to stay apart as we confront COVID-19 community transmission. Remember to practice social distancing and self-isolate if you are feeling sick. 


March 20, 2020

This afternoon, Mayor John Tory and City of Toronto officials announced actions the municipal government is taking to help essential service workers with child care options; vulnerable residents such as seniors; people affected by untreated trauma, mental health and addictions; people in need of housing supports and emergency food access; and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City is committed to doing everything it can to help residents during this extremely difficult time.

Support for vulnerable residents

To ensure that the needs of vulnerable residents are met during the COVID-19 emergency, the City is working in partnership with social service agencies to address issues that arise in the community service sector.

A City-Community Response Table meets daily and includes representatives from more than 30 agencies across Toronto and 11 City divisions. This group is working to identify new and emerging issues affecting vulnerable Torontonians during the COVID-19 emergency and to plan city-wide responses to address and resolve these issues, for example, food security and community resource needs.

The City is also partnering with community agencies like the United Way Greater Toronto to help agencies and groups communicate with each other so they can continue to do their important work of serving Torontonians as well as communicate with Councillors and other services providers. Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council (TASSC) is also leading the coordinated Indigenous response and will collaborate with the City and United Way.

All long-term care homes continue to care for residents. For seniors not living in a long-term care home, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care continues to provide essential support services to seniors already enrolled in their Supportive Housing program with personal care, medication reminders, and safety checks. Many community agencies offer supports to seniors including Meals on Wheels, friendly visiting, transportation to appointments, personal support, and adult day programs. Seniors and caregivers should check with the individual agencies to confirm continuity of service delivery. Call 211 (available 24/7 in 150+ languages) to obtain up-to-date information.

Other resources for seniors include:

  • Toronto Seniors Helpline:416-217-2077 or 1-877-621-2077, for support and referral to services
  • Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Home Care: 310-2222 (no area code required) to find out about services in their area
  • Distress Centres of Toronto: 416-408-4357, 416-408-HELP
  • Seniors Safety Line (Elder Abuse Ontario): 1-866-299-1011

Food Security Table to ensure access to food

Access to food is a major issue for residents that live near or below the poverty line. Community food programs, which include food banks, are a vital part of our communities, especially in times of crisis. To ensure that Toronto’s food programs can stay open during the outbreak, the City has convened a Food Security Table (including Second Harvest, Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank and Red Cross) to receive updates and find solutions for food access issues.

The City is calling on all restaurants that are still providing take-out and delivery services and businesses that sell food to consider donating any type of unsold, good food through https://foodrescue.ca/. Residents who are able, are also encouraged to donate essentials to their local food bank.

Child care for essential and core service workers

The City of Toronto is working with the province of Ontario to find ways to help health care workers and emergency responders and other essential workers with child care. We hope to have further updates on this shortly.

Volunteers to help deliver essential services

Non-profit agencies in the community services sector are also facing a shortage of volunteers to help with delivering essential services. The City is urging non-profit organizations and agencies to do the following to help facilitate connecting residents willing to volunteer to organizations and agencies who need the help:

  • Update or add information about current operations to 211’s database
  • Register volunteer needs through Spark Ontario at https://www.sparkontario.ca/ and/or with Volunteer Toronto at https://www.volunteertoronto.ca/. Volunteer Toronto has waived the fee associated with posting volunteer positions.

Residents interested in volunteering should register with the above-mentioned websites to get alerts for volunteer opportunities (some of which may be remote), call Volunteer Toronto at 416-961-6888 or email info@volunteertoronto.ca to connect with an advisor to discuss volunteer opportunities. Non-profit organizations and agencies’ staff are practicing infection prevention measures within their operations and volunteers would be required to do the same.

Although many places across Toronto have been closed due to social distancing measures, there are still social services supports available for residents in need. Through 211, operators can connect residents to income supports, distress lines, and mental health supports to name a few. Call 211, text 21166, or live chat with 211 agents Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., or visit http://211toronto.ca to search for services.

Please continue to check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for details and updates as they are made. 


March 20, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

Today, Mayor John Tory announced a 60-day grace period for City of Toronto property tax, water and solid waste utility bill payments for all residents and businesses.

The immediate extension is part of the City's ongoing efforts, led by the Mayor, to protect Toronto's economic success in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Tory is focused on making sure we do everything possible as a municipal government to make everyday life easier for Toronto residents now during this incredibly difficult time.

Homeowners and other residential property owners will have a 60-day grace period on their City of Toronto property tax, Toronto Water, and Solid Waste bills as of March 16, 2020.

A 30-day grace period for businesses on tax and utility bill payments introduced earlier this week is being extended to a 60-day grace period as well.

Late payment penalties for residential and business properties will be waived for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020 to reflect these relief measures.

Utility bills (water and solid waste), are normally due 21 days after the billing date, but the City will extend that date an extra 60 days.

This will ensure that residents and businesses who find themselves facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can defer their next property tax instalment without penalty. Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures.

On Monday, the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force was launched to identify immediate and longer-term economic recovery strategies for residents and businesses, with a focus on supporting those segments of the economy that are most strongly impacted by COVID-19, such as tourism, hospitality and entertainment.

The Mayor will also continue to advocate for renters in the wake of the pandemic. He has been continuously calling on landlords to provide accommodation and leniency to renters because it's the right thing to do at this time. Mayor Tory has also publicly asked landlords to offer accommodation to small business on at least the timing of rent payments in light of the severe cash flow difficulties many of those businesses will be facing.

To further demonstrate his commitment to renters the Mayor will be hosting a teleconference on Monday with various residential landlords across the city as part of the Task Force's ongoing work.

On this call the Mayor will continue to call on landlords to be accommodating to tenants with cash flow issues and find solutions on how the City can work with landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic.

QUOTES:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people's lives upside down overnight. We know families are struggling to figure out how to make ends meet while also worrying about their health and the health of their loved ones. Toronto businesses and residents need to know that we understand these are extraordinary circumstances and we are here to support them. The immediate grace period announced today will give people relief as we all work to rebuild the economy. We will continue to find ways to offer extraordinary help in these extraordinary circumstances."
- Mayor John Tory

"We are doing what we can as a City government right away to help residents and businesses across the City. Just as I know many households and businesses are reviewing their finances in the wake of COVID-19, we are continuing to review the City's finances to fully understand its impact on our operations and revenues. While we know there will be a financial impact to the City, we are moving now and in the coming weeks to do what we can to help our residents."
- Budget Chief Gary Crawford (Councillor, Ward 20 Scarborough Southwest)

BACKGROUNDER:
Here's how the 60-day grace period on property tax, water and solid waste payments would work:

  • For properties on the regular 3-instalment payment plan, no further instalment payments will be required until June 1, 2020.
  • Here is how the new instalment structure looks for those on the regular instalment plan (2020 Final Tax bills will be sent out in May 2020):
    • March 1, 2020: Interim Billing instalment #1 due
    • April 1, 2020: No instalment due
    • May 1, 2020: No instalment due
    • June 1, 2020: Interim Billing instalment #2 due
    • July 1, 2020: Interim Billing instalment #3 due
    • August 4, 2020: Final Billing installment #1 due
    • September 1, 2020: Final Billing instalment #2 due
    • October 1, 2020: Final Billing instalment #3 due
  • For property owners on the 11-instalment pre-authorized payment plan, Interim 2020 instalment due dates will be extended by 60 days. Customers will be advised of revised instalment amounts and withdrawal dates for the Final 2020 bill.
  • Late payment penalties will be waived for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020 to reflect these relief measures.
  • Utility bills normally are due approximately 21 days after the billing date. The City is prepared to extend the due date for all utility bills issued to all residents and businesses by an additional 60 days, to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment, and still take advantage of the early payment discount.
  • These measures will be implemented immediately.

March 19, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Toronto Community Housing: 

Toronto Community Housing has put in place a number of social distancing measures to protect public health and help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Our offices are open, but closed to walk-in visits until further notice. Staff will meet with tenants by appointment.
  • Community rooms, recreation rooms and amenity spaces are closed to social gatherings. Food programs delivered by agencies will continue to operate.
  • Laundry rooms remain open and will be cleaned several times a day.
  • We are continuing to provide emergency repairs, but all other requests will be completed at a later date.
  • In-suite capital work is suspended until further notice, except for repairs to fire life safety equipment and window air conditioner exchanges. Vendors doing this work will wear personal protective equipment for your protection.
  • All 2020 Tenant Election activities and all public meetings are suspended.

TCHC is also taking the following measures in our communities: 

  • We are cleaning and disinfecting common areas where people gather and all frequently touched surfaces three times daily.
  • We are advising people not to visit our buildings if they have returned from travel outside Canada or have respiratory illness, cough, fever or trouble breathing.

Updates can be found on TCHC's website here.To download copies of the COVID-19 posters for tenants, check out their resources section. Information cards for tenants are available in 12 languages.

City of Toronto key messages of the day on COVID-19 updates:

As this is an evolving situation, the City’s website at toronto.ca/covid19 remains the best place for Toronto residents to obtain information about the City’s response to COVID-19, impacts to or modifications of City services and available resources. People are encouraged to check the website often for the latest information on programs and services as it is continuously updated. The City’s website has a tool that can translate pages into 51 different languages. This helps keep 311, 911 and Toronto Public Health call lines open for critical calls from the people who need them
most.

Take every opportunity to avoid interactions with others through social distancing. This helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we confront the possibility of community transmission. Please stay home whenever you can, every interaction avoided helps to flatten the curve. Practise social distancing measures including:

    • keeping two metres (six feet) apart from others
    • avoiding crowds and gatherings.

City parks are open, but please practice social distancing. We know that many Toronto residents do not have access to private greenspace and visit City parks and greenspaces for fresh air, exercise and bathroom breaks for their pets. City parks may be open but please practise social distancing by keeping six feet away from others.

Here is some additional information you may find useful: 

The City's Economic Support and Recovery page has a variety of links including information regarding Employment Insurance.  This is a good link for employers and will be updated daily.  

For Questions regarding EI Benefits, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html or call 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)


March 18, 2020

News Release - Toronto Police announces changes to on-street parking enforcement

The Toronto Police Service has been working closely with our City of Toronto Emergency Management partners in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been taking advice from public health officials and making decisions that balance our need to provide community safety with maintaining the health and safety of our members.

Given the changing needs of our city, particularly for those who are now working from home, caring for others, or trying to ensure the flow of goods and services, the Toronto Police is making adjustments to parking enforcement, effective immediately.

Until further notice, parking enforcement has been suspended for the following offences:

- On-Street Permit Parking Areas
- On-Street Time Limit Offences such a 1, 2 and 3 Hour Parking
- North York Winter Maintenance Bylaw
- Expired Vehicle Validation License Plates
- Boulevard Parking
- School Zones with posted No Stopping/No Standing/No Parking Signage

The above parking offences may be enforced in exceptional circumstances where a significant traffic safety, and/or of community concern exists. Parking Enforcement Officers will continue to have discretion to use enforcement tools as necessary to ensure the safe and orderly movement of vehicles in the city.

All other parking offences will continue to be enforced. This includes no stopping, no standing and no parking offences, rush hour routes and also pay and display/metered areas where payment is required. This is to ensure an adequate level of street parking, traffic flow, and maintain traffic and pedestrian safety.

For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.


Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation today with an update on the closure of the Canada-U.S. Border and announcing Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses. 

The Canada-U.S. Border is temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across the border, non-essential includes crossing the border for recreation or tourism purposes. Essential travel will continue to preserve the supply chain across both countries. 

Trudeau announced a fiscal stimulus package of $27 billion in direct supports to Canadians and $55 billion through tax deferrals totaling to $82 billion amounting to over 3% of Canada’s GDP. 

Direct Supports to Canadians include an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks is available to Canadians without paid sick leave, who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children. 

For those who have lost a job or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact an Emergency Support Benefit has been set in place which is delivered through CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and who are facing unemployment. 

The government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of the remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. 

The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.

The Government is proposing placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals in the process of repaying these loans. 

Find complete information on direct supports and how to qualify here.  

Canadian Big Banks also move to allow a six-month mortgage deferral. Please contact your appropriate representative at your bank for more information. 

Please see the following list of grocery stores, markets and pharmacies in and near Ward 24 with their addresses and phone numbers. As well, some are offering earlier availability exclusively to seniors and those with disabilities to help protect those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Moore's Valu-Mart – 83 Guildwood Parkway
(416) 261-6273

  • 7-8AM for seniors and those with disabilities + honouring 10% off during that time.

Metro – 3221 Eglinton Ave E
(416) 261-4204

Skyland Food Mart – 3715 Lawrence Ave E
(416) 431-3388

Joseph's No Frills – 4473 Kingston Road
1 866-987-6453

Food Basics – 255 Morningside Ave
(416) 284-2158

Food Basics - 2900 Ellesmere Rd 
(416)284-5320 

Jian Hing Foodmart – 678 Markham Road
(416) 289-3999

Shoppers Canada 

  • 9am to 10am - Senior priority hour
  • Every Thursday 20% for seniors throughout the entire day 

Shoppers Drug Mart - 255 Morningside Ave 
(416) 282-1129 

Shoppers Drug Mart - 629 Markham Rd 
(416) 439-2121

Shoppers Drug Mart - 1235 McCowan Rd 
(416) 412-1353 

Real Canadian Superstore - 1755 Brimley Rd 
(416) 279-0802 
Tuesday and Friday, 6am to 7am for seniors and those with disabilities


March 17, 2020

A lot of vital information has been circulating in the news today, be sure to keep up to date by regularly checking these resources: 

Some key messages from news updates from today: 

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is recommending social distancing as a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community. Social distancing measures include: 

    • keeping 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others
    • avoiding mass gatherings 
    • avoiding crowds 

The City of Toronto is scaling back and/or modifying the delivery of all non-essential services until April 5 to prioritize critical services while safeguarding employee health. The full list of service impacts is available online: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19. Essential and/or critical services remain operational and includes those that are: 

    • required to meet legislative requirements
    • support employee and public health, safety and security
    • enable critical community services and supports, including COVID-19 mitigation and recovery
    • support services necessary to essential services operating 
    • protect and operate vital infrastructure 
    • fulfil contractual, legal and financial obligations 

Effective tomorrow, March 18, 2020 City Hall, Metro Hall and all civic centres will be closed to public access. 

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. Prevention measures include: 

    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
    • avoid close contact with people who are ill and stay home when you are ill and minimize time spent in your community 

March 16, 2020

Today, the Government of Ontario announced that it is declaring a province-wide State of Emergency as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This declaration is to help protect the health of our residents and further prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

This declaration legally requires all bars and restaurants, except to the extent of those that provide takeout food and delivery; all theatres; all facilities holding indoor recreation programming; all public libraries; all private schools as defined in the Education Act; and all licensed child care centres to close immediately. 

In addition, all public events hosting over fifty people are also prohibited, which includes parades and events and communal services within places of worship. 

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed that the government will announce its financial supports, both for Canadian citizens who have been forced to miss work and for temporarily shuttered businesses tomorrow, March 18, 2020. 

Canadian citizens in need of information and resources to get back can email sos@international.gc.ca for more information and/or can fill out this emergency contact form. More details can be found here. 

Please remember to stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to practice good hygiene. If you need information on COVID-19, check the Q&A section of their webpage: www.toronto.ca/COVID-19 before picking up the phone. 


Metrolinx Announces Temporary Service Changes - Schedules Available Online

Starting Wednesday, March 18, there will be a selective reduction in GO train and bus and UP Express service. UP Express will run every 30 minutes, and revised GO schedules are available here: 
·        Train Routes: gotransit.com/trainschedulechanges
·        Bus Routes: gotransit.com/busschedulechanges


City of Toronto to cancel programs and close facilities as COVID-19 precaution

Based on recommendations from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to help slow the rate of COVID-19 infection in Toronto and protect vulnerable populations including seniors, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals experiencing homelessness, the City of Toronto is cancelling all programs and closing a number of its facilities as of 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.

Impacted programs and facilities:

  • City-operated March Break camps are cancelled
  • All licensed child care centres
  • Community and recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, arenas, pools, fitness centres, and ski hills are closed
  • Libraries are closed
  • City-operated museums and galleries are closed
  • Council and Committee meetings are suspended for the current meeting cycle
  • Public consultations are suspended
  • All event permits for City facilities, including civic centres, recreation facilities, and parks are cancelled (wedding ceremony permits for civic centre Wedding Chambers will be honoured)
Reimbursements for cancellations will be processed as soon as possible. The tentative date for services to resume is April 5, 2020.

If you have a medical question call Telehealth number 1-866-797-0000 or look up your local public health unit
Self-isolate if they have any symptoms.

Government COVID-19 Information Web pages
Toronto Public health: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/diseases-medications-vaccines/coronavirus/
Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Province of Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus?_ga=2.170601568.1329076925.1584042591-232053887.1584042591
Public Health Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resources


Volunteer Opportunities in Your Neighbourhood!
Interested in volunteer opportunities? Do you need volunteer hours for school, or just want to be active in your community? There are many events throughout the year where you can help. Volunteer for any of the following!

  • Community BBQ's

  • Canada Day Parade

  • Environment Days

  • The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival

  • Halloween Haunt

  • New Year's Levee

  • Movie Nights

  • Town Hall Meetings

  • Community Notification Deliveries

If you or someone you know might be interested, click below to sign up.

If you want to get further information about events, feel free to contact my City Hall Office at 416-392-4008 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca


Councillor Ainslie's Constituency Mobile Office

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Toronto City Budget

Scarborough Business Association

UTSC - Draft Secondary Plan

Metrolinx GO Expansion (Guildwood to Pickering)

Scarborough Transit Planning Update

Morningside Park

Guild Park and Gardens

Toronto Walking

Toronto Public Library’s What's On

Community Bus


 
 
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