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Latest News and Updates for COVID -19 - Click Here


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Essential 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: @Councillor Paul Ainslie Scarborough-Guildwood 

·         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

Province of Ontario

Government of Canada

World Health Organization

Official Global Travel Advisor

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 and soup kitchens in the Ward 24

Please click here for a list of food banks in East Scarborough

Please click here for a list of food banks in Scarborough

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

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.

June 29, 2020

Scarborough-Guildwood Live Town Hall
Last Friday, June 26th Hon. John McKay MP, Mitzie Hunter MPP, special guest Liz Buller of Scarborough Health Network, and myself held another Scarborough-Guildwood Live Town Hall. I would like to thank everyone who submitted questions in advance and everyone who tuned in. In case you missed this Scarborough-Guildwood Live Town Hall you can watch a recording of the meeting here.

Virtual Canada Day Celebration
Toronto unites online this year for Canada Day. On July 1, join the all-day livestream of programs showcasing Toronto’s brightest talents. Enjoy music, dance, comedy, CN Tower Canada Light Show and much more on Canada’s 153rd birthday! Kick off the day with a Great Canadian Pancake Breakfast and end off with Canada Day’s Virtual Fireworks show via an AR mobile app.

More information can be found here. Livestream of Canada Day online events can be watched here.

Keep in mind: Fireworks on private property
Fireworks on private property may only be used without a permit on Victoria Day and Canada Day. To use fireworks on private property any other day of the year you must have a permit from Toronto Fire Services. More information can be found here.

Toronto Public Library Re-Opening Update
With Toronto moving to Stage 2 in the Provincial reopening plan, TPL will be extending its library service to provide in-branch computer, printer, photocopier, Wi-Fi and washroom access at 17 branches. You will be able to make a computer reservation starting TODAY, June 29. This service will expand to more branches over the next 4 weeks. The 17 branches include:

  • Agincourt, Albion, Barbara Frum, Brentwood, Bloor-Gladstone, Cedarbrae, Don Mills, Downsview, Main Street, Malvern, Maria A. Shchuka, North York Central Library, Parliament, Richview, Scarborough Civic Centre, Thorncliffe and Toronto Reference Library.

More details on Toronto Public Library’s re-opening update can be found here.

Toronto City Council unanimously ratifies collective agreements with CUPE Local 79
Today, City Council unanimously ratified the four (4) five-year agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79, the union representing the City’s 24,000 inside workers. This follows the ratification by CUPE Local 79 members on June 27.

The City and the union reached a negotiated settlement in March 2020, however the COVID-19 response efforts prevented ratification until now. CUPE Local 79 represents four bargaining units: Full-time; Unit B, Part-time; Long-Term Care Homes & Services, Part-time; and Recreation Workers, Part-time. More information can be read in the news release.

TTC Safety Update & Reminder of mandatory masks or face coverings on the TTC
The TTC has been preparing for the next stage of reopening. Here is what you need to know:

  • Effective July 2, 2020 masks of face coverings will be mandatory on the TTC. Children under two and those with medical conditions will be exempt. Information on where to get a mask on the TTC, instructions for wearing a mask is available here.
  • Customers will be able to board TTC buses through both front and rear doors
  • Cas, TTC tickets, token payment return to buses and paper transfers will be available. Consider purchasing a PRESTO card
  • The TTC has partnered with the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Office to distribute one million complimentary masks to TTC customers in the community. For the next month, you will see TTC ambassadors at busier stations and bus stops handing out masks and information post cards.

More information can be found here.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 14,270 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 62 cases since yesterday. There are 218 people hospitalized, with 55 in ICU. In total, 12,360 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,090 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Canada Student Service Grant
The new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) aims to encourage young people to take part in service activities that will help them support their communities’ COVID-19 response and gain invaluable experience.  

Administered by WE Charity, the CSSG is a one-time payment available at five levels, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The amount will vary based on the number of hours each volunteer completes, with $1,000 provided for each 100 hours completed, up to a maximum of $5,000 for 500 hours. More information here.

CampTO preparation and Washroom Services Update
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms and drinking water stations. In preparation for CampTO programs, the public washroom facilities at Scarborough Village Arena will be closed to transition out some changes to sanitation services. For up-to-date washroom and shower locations, operating hours and amenities, please visit this website.

REMINDER: Recovery & Rebuild public engagement survey closes TOMORROW June 30
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

ActiveTO Quiet Street Feedback Survey
Select streets around the city have been designated as a Quiet Streets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the City of Toronto's ActiveTO initiative. 'Shared Space' on Quiet Streets is intended to help residents maintain physical distancing while walking, running, using wheelchairs and biking. Tell us what you think about ActiveTO’s Quiet Streets Initiative HERE.

Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Soles and Steps Walkathon needs your support!
Amidst the ongoing worldwide conversations surrounding systematic racial barriers, Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough is raising donations to continue their work surrounding diversity and equity while enhancing the services and programs currently provided for the racialized families residing in underserved areas of East Scarborough.

The Club provides service to over 5,000 children in the East Scarborough community residing in priority neighborhoods, where 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, less than half completed post-secondary education, where 70% are visible minorities and a quarter of the population identifies as Black. If you would like to donate, please click on this GoFundMe link.


City of Toronto child care centres set to reopen beginning June 29
Beginning June 29, 11 of the 47 City of Toronto-operated Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Centres (TELCCC) will reopen to support parents returning to work and to help with the restart of the economy. The Province of Ontario announced that licensed child care services could begin to operate as of June 12 as part of the Province’s reopening plan. The 11 childcare centres set to reopen are the following:

  • Malvern Early Learning and Child Care, 1321 Neilson Rd.
  • Danforth Early Learning and Child Care Centre, 1125 Danforth Ave. 
  • Blake Street Early Learning and Child Care Centre, 84 Blake St.
  • Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care, 7 Berryman St.
  • City Kids Early Learning and Child Care Centre, 34 Bathurst St.
  • Metro Hall Early Learning and Child Care Centre, 55 John St.
  • Thomas Berry Early Learning and Child Care, 3495 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
  • Falstaff Early Learning and Child Care, 10 Falstaff Ave.
  • Berner Trail Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 120 Berner Trail 
  • Flemingdon Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 29 St Dennis Dr.  
  • Rowntree Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 2765 Islington Ave.

Childcare centres are required to follow strict operational requirements to help ensure the health and safety of children, their families and staff. The City is taking a careful and gradual approach to reopening centres with the majority of the remaining centres planned to reopen in July and August. For more information please read the news release.

This weekend: ActiveTO major road closures
The following ActiveTO major road closures will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, June 27 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, June 28 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

A cycling network map, including multi-use trails, is available here. Walking and hiking trails are available here

Recovery & Rebuild public engagement survey closes June 30
While the City of Toronto continues to work on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the delivery of essential and critical City services, it is also working to prepare for Toronto’s recovery in the weeks and months to come.
  
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Toronto Public Health Guidance Documents and Infographics
Toronto Public Health (TPH) has developed guidance documents to support the safe reopening of local businesses and community organizations. All businesses and organizations will need to adjust how they operate to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whether a business owner or operator, an employee, or a customer, it is important residents stay informed to understand what our new normal will look like in the months ahead.

There are range of documents available to address the unique circumstances of different types of workplaces and community settings in our city, available on the City’s website

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 14,094 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 65 cases since yesterday. There are 249 people hospitalized, with 62 in ICU. In total 12,127 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,070 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Boys’ and Girls Club of East Scarborough Friday Free Pick-Up Lunch
The Boys’ and Girls Club of East Scarborough Free Pick-Up Lunch this Friday June 26 @ 12:30-2:30PM at 100 Galloway Rd. This week’s menu: Mac & Cheese and Chicken Fingers (Halal and veggie options available). Register HERE. Please note this will be the last Pick-Up Lunch until July 17.
  
Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Soles and Steps need your support!
Amidst the ongoing worldwide conversations surrounding systematic racial barriers, Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough is raising donations to continue their work surrounding diversity and equity while enhancing the services and programs currently provided for the racialized families residing in underserved areas of East Scarborough.

The Club provides service to over 5,000 children in the East Scarborough community residing in priority neighborhoods, where 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, less than half completed post-secondary education, where 70% are visible minorities and a quarter of the population identifies as Black. If you would like to make a donation, please click on this GoFundMe link.

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Lane Swim Resumes July 4
With the City of Toronto moving to Stage 2 of the Ontario Government’s Reopening plan, training pools are now able to open for public access with specific health and safety measures in place. Public access to training pools will start on July 4. Lane swims are available to members, students, City of Toronto punch pass holders, or anyone who purchases a swimming day pass. More information can be found here.

2020 Property Tax Final Billing
In the City's ongoing effort to modernize City services and support property owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, Revenue Services partnered with Technology Services to develop an online application portal for the new temporary Property Tax Payment Deferral Program.  This digital service was developed and launched within weeks and property owners are now able to apply and upload supporting documents using a fully online application process.  Property owners are able to request additional time to pay property taxes without incurring late payment penalties or interest charges for a six-month period effective June 1 to November 30, 2020. Paper applications are available, however property owners are being encouraged to apply online to streamline and fast-track the approval process. 

The Property Tax Brochure is also available online for viewing. For property tax inquires, please reach out to propertytax@toronto.ca, call 311, or contact my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca or 416-396-7222.

EarlyON Virtual Workshop: Locating Resources for Health, Housing and Employment
Join the EarlyON Team for a virtual workshop on locating resources for health, housing and employment on Monday June 29, 2020 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Visit their website at www.esbgc.net to register. More information in the flyer here.


June 24, 2020

City of Toronto enters Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening
Today, the City of Toronto enters Stage 2 of reopening. This means the safe restart of some services and businesses including restaurants and bars with patios, personal care services, shopping malls and select recreational spaces such as splash pads and pools.

Businesses that can reopen today for modified services with appropriate public health measures in place and subject to conditions include:

  • close to 8,000 restaurants and bars for delivery, takeout, and outdoor dining only, including more than 1,400 restaurants with existing licensed patios, sidewalk cafés, or parklet permits
  • close to 3,500 personal service settings such as barber shops, hair styling, nails, tattoos and aesthetic services (but not for care of facials and beard trims)
  • drive-in cinemas and drive-thru concerts, theatrical productions, performance or artistic events.

Many recreational and cultural spaces can also reopen, subject to conditions:

  • water recreational services, including 140 splash pads (by June 27), 100 wading pools (beginning July 1) and 56 indoor and outdoor swimming pools (by June 27)
  • community centres for a very limited number of modified uses, including certain outdoor sports and recreational activities and more
  • campgrounds, museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and heritage institutions
  • libraries with limited on-site services. For more information, please read the news release

City of Toronto to resume limited Toronto Island Park ferry service with COVID-19 precautions starting June 27
The City of Toronto will resume its public ferry service to Toronto Island Park on June 27, as permitted by Transport Canada. The ferries will operate at 50% maximum capacity, with a number of COVID-19 guidelines and procedures in place to protect passengers and staff, developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health.

In order to allow for physical distancing on the ferries and in the terminal, ferry tickets will be limited to 5,000 per day and must be purchased online at toronto.ca/ferry. Visitors should purchase their tickets ahead of time. Passengers will be required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings. For more information, please read the news release.

City of Toronto announces two major downtown ActiveTO cycling network connections ready in time for Stage 2 reopening
Two major downtown ActiveTO cycling network connections, on parts of University Avenue/Queen’s Park Crescent and Bloor Street, will be installed before the weekend, shortly after Toronto enters Stage 2 of the Province of Ontario’s reopening plan.

There are now 2.3 kilometres of new, separated bike lanes along University Avenue/Queen’s Park Crescent, between Adelaide Street West and Bloor Street West, and by Friday, separated bike lanes spanning 1.45 kilometres will be nearly completed along Bloor Street between Avenue Road and Sherbourne Street. New, separated bike lanes (one kilometre) were also installed on Dundas Street East, between Sackville Street and Broadview Avenue, earlier this month. More information can be found here.

This weekend: ActiveTO major road closures
The following ActiveTO major road closures will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, June 27 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, June 28 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

 

A cycling network map, including multi-use trails, is available here. Walking and hiking trails are available here

Quiet Streets update
All planned and approved Quiet Streets locations are now in place, totalling more than 60 kilometres along neighbourhood routes across Toronto. Staff continue to actively monitor and adapt all locations, based on neighbourhood use, and have been returning to locations to address on-street issues as they arise. An online feedback survey is also being planned for those who are using Quiet Streets. More information on ActiveTO, including an online map of all locations, is available at toronto.ca/activeTO.

Recovery & Rebuild public engagement survey closes June 30
While the City of Toronto continues to work on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the delivery of essential and critical City services, it is also working to prepare for Toronto’s recovery in the weeks and months to come.
  
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

CaféTO online information session pre-registration for restaurant and bar operators
The City of Toronto will host an online information session to provide an overview of CaféTO as well as guidelines to participate. There will also be updates on permitting and licencing, education and enforcement strategy for 2020, and updates from Toronto Public Health as they relate to patios. Local restaurant and bar operators who are interested in the program can pre-register now. Date: Tuesday, June 30 | Time: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Toronto Public Health Guidance Documents and Infographics
Toronto Public Health (TPH) has developed guidance documents to support the safe reopening of local businesses and community organizations. All businesses and organizations will need to adjust how they operate to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whether a business owner or operator, an employee, or a customer, it is important residents stay informed to understand what our new normal will look like in the months ahead.

There are range of documents available to address the unique circumstances of different types of workplaces and community settings in our city, available on the City’s website

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 14,029 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 73 cases since yesterday. There are 253 people hospitalized, with 63 in ICU. In total 12,061 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,061 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes Unit would like to advise the public an "advance fee scheme" fraud investigation
The Toronto Police Service would like to warn the public of "advance fee schemes". An advance fee scheme occurs when victims are convinced into making advance or up-front payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that never materialize. If you have been a victim of fraud or have any information about this investigation, please contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 416-808-7300. More information can be read in the news release.

EarlyON Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Join the EarlyON Team as they share their plans and programs for the upcoming summer on Thursday June 25, 2020 from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. Visit their website at www.esbgc.net to register and look for EarlyON Virtual Town Hall Meeting. More information in the flyer here.

EarlyON Virtual Workshop: Locating Resources for Health, Housing and Employment
Join the EarlyON Team for a virtual workshop on locating resources for health, housing and employment on Monday June 29, 2020 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Visit their website at www.esbgc.net to register. More information in the flyer here.

 


June 23, 2020

News Release

Scarborough Restaurants Need to be in CafeTO - Increasing Outdoor Dining Space for Toronto Restaurants and Bars

Toronto – City Councillor Paul W. Ainslie, has requested the City of Toronto to work with local Scarborough restaurants for better financial support.  Many Scarborough eating establishments do not qualify under the new CaféTO Program because they are not represented by Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) or have property right to curbside...click here for the full news release

City of Toronto preparing residents and businesses for Stage 2 reopening on Wednesday
The City of Toronto is preparing to oversee the safe restart of some series and partial reopening of many businesses following today’s Province of Ontario announcement that Toronto can join the rest of the province in Stage 2 of the provincial reopening on June 24. Businesses that can reopen for modified services with appropriate public health measures in place and subject to conditions include:

  • restaurants and bars for delivery, takeout, and outdoor dining only
  • shopping malls, except for indoor dining spaces including any tables and seating in food courts
  • personal care services, such as barber shops, hair styling, nails, tattoos & aesthetic services (but not for care of a patron's face, such as facials and beard trims)
  • drive-in cinemas and drive-thru concerts, theatrical productions, performance or artistic events.

Many recreational and cultural spaces can also reopen, subject to conditions:

  • water recreational services, including splash pads, wading pools, indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • community centres for a very limited number of modified uses, including certain outdoor sports and recreational activities, day camp, pools, splash pads, spray pads and wading pools, and indoor activities and services other than non-aquatic indoor sports and recreational fitness activities.
  • Campgrounds, museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and heritage institutions
  • libraries with limited on-site services.

You can find the complete list of Stage 2 re-openings here.

Toronto Public Health Guidance Documents and Infographics
Toronto Public Health (TPH) has developed guidance documents to support the safe reopening of local businesses and community organizations. All businesses and organizations will need to adjust how they operate to reduce the spread of COVID-19. There are range of documents available to address the unique circumstances of different types of workplaces and community settings in our city, available on the City’s website

City of Toronto registration for CampTO programs begins TOMORROW
Registration for City of Toronto CampTO programs begins tomorrow for the Etobicoke/York and Scarborough districts. The City is offering summer camps across Toronto beginning July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative, following the Province of Ontario announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Province’s Stage 2 reopening.

CampTO programs details are available online: http://www.toronto.ca/camps.

City of Toronto announces funds for community services to do more for vulnerable populations
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that approximately $4.97 million will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund has been created from $2.81 million of the City’s allocation of the Social Services Relief Fund from the Province of Ontario and $370,000 from the Scheinberg Relief Fund through the Better Toronto Coalition Fund at Toronto Foundation. In addition, the City has an agreement in principle with the Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) for a $1.79 million allocation from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations, a collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). For more information please read the news release.

City of Toronto offering assistance to pet owners struggling to care for their pets due to COVID-19 thanks to community donations
Funded by PetSmart Charities® of Canada and donations from Toronto residents, the City of Toronto is providing assistance to pet owners in under-resourced communities and those facing homelessness, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A $30,040 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada has provided 240 pet owners with gift cards to purchase pet food and supplies, such as cat litter and pee pads for dogs.

Thanks to donations to Toronto Animal Services directly from residents worth nearly $36,000, the City is continuing to help pet owners affected by COVID-19. To apply for assistance, pet owners can contact Toronto Animal Services by doing one of the following:

Mayor John Tory helps launch Collision from Home to help restart and rebuild Toronto’s economy
Today, Mayor John Tory helped to launch Collision from Home to help restart and rebuild Toronto's economy. I’m glad to join the Collision from Home launch bringing 30,000 people who are reshaping the world together from June 23 to 25.

To build on the momentum of Toronto’s technology sector, the City partnered with Destination Toronto (formerly Tourism Toronto) and Exhibition Place to bring this sought-after conference to Toronto for three years starting in 2019. In its first year in the city, Collision surpassed its attendance target, welcoming 25,711 attendees from 125 countries. It was the first time that the conference was held outside of the United States. For more information please read the news release.

CaféTO online information session pre-registration for restaurant and bar operators
The City of Toronto will host an online information session to provide an overview of CaféTO as well as guidelines to participate. There will also be updates on permitting and licencing, education and enforcement strategy for 2020, and updates from Toronto Public Health as they relate to patios. Local restaurant and bar operators who are interested in the program can pre-register now.

Date: Tuesday, June 30
Time: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 13,956 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 63 cases since yesterday. There are 255 people hospitalized, with 62 in ICU. In total 11,960 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 81 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 1,052 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found
on the City’s reporting platform.

Invasive Species Alert: Dog-strangling Vine
Please watch out for an invasive plant species called dog-strangling vine and remove it from your property if found, the Ontario Invasive Plant Council advises.  Also known as pale or black swallowroot (vincetoxicum rossicum), this unwanted, stubborn perennial is spreading rapidly and causing damage to our ecosystem.  A shiny green-leaved climber, it chokes out desired native plants and is a threat to the monarch butterfly. To control, continually cut the stem back to the soil line. Target infected soil with vinegar to kill the root ball. Even better, dig out the hefty root ball entirely.  Do not compost DSV.  After the remnants bake in the sun in a plastic bag for a week, place in the garbage.

Sightings of dog-strangling vine may also be reported to the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or by email at info@invadingspecies.com.  Whether public or private, include a photo and exact location of the infestation. Learn more at www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.


June 22, 2020

City of Toronto preparing residents and businesses for Stage 2 reopening on Wednesday
The City of Toronto is preparing to oversee the safe restart of some series and partial reopening of many businesses following today’s Province of Ontario announcement that Toronto can join the rest of the province in Stage 2 of the provincial reopening on June 24. Businesses that can reopen for modified services with appropriate public health measures in place and subject to conditions include:

  • restaurants and bars for delivery, takeout, and outdoor dining only
  • shopping malls, except for indoor dining spaces including any tables and seating in food courts
  • personal care services, such as barber shops, hair styling, nails, tattoos & aesthetic services (but not for care of a patron's face, such as facials and beard trims)
  • drive-in cinemas and drive-thru concerts, theatrical productions, performance or artistic events.

Many recreational and cultural spaces can also reopen, subject to conditions:

  • water recreational services, including splash pads, wading pools, indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • community centres for a very limited number of modified uses, including certain outdoor sports and recreational activities, day camp, pools, splash pads, spray pads and wading pools, and indoor activities and services other than non-aquatic indoor sports and recreational fitness activities.
  • Campgrounds, museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and heritage institutions
  • libraries with limited on-site services.

Examples of activities that can resume, subject to conditions:

  • film and television production
  • tours and guide services
  • certain personal services.

The City of Toronto has published several guidance documents for businesses and service providers to ensure they are operating with the safety of staff, customers, and the community as a priority. Businesses should locate and implement the guidance for their industry found here. For more information read the news release.

Lifeguards set to return to six Toronto beaches today
As of today, lifeguards are set to return to six of Toronto’s swimming beaches. Lifeguards will supervise swim areas from 11:30am to 6:30pm daily. With the hot summer weather and extended closure of indoor spaces, it’s important for Torontonians to help opportunities to cool down outdoors. The six swimming beaches opening today are:

  • Bluffer’s Park Beach (Blue Flag)
  • Cherry/Clarke Beach (Blue Flag)
  • Kew-Balmy Beach (Blue Flag)
  • Marie Curtis Park East Beach
  • Sunnyside Beach
  • Woodbine Beach (Blue Flag)

For more information read the news release.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 13,893 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 37 cases since yesterday. There are 248 people hospitalized, with 62 in ICU. In total, 11,879 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 62 cases since yesterday. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism
Flags on official flagpoles at Toronto City Hall, Metro Hall, Etobicoke Civic Centre, York Civic Centre, North York Civic Centre, Scarborough Civic Centre, East York Civic Centre and Humber Bay park will be flown at half-mast tomorrow, June 23, to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. More information can be found here.

Toronto Zoo revel winning name for #BabyLongLegs
On Sunday, we celebrated World Giraffe Day and the announcement of the winning name for #BabyLongLegs! With over 20,000 people voting, one name emerged a crowd favourite. I’m excited to welcome Toronto Zoo’s Amani Innis Dagg! Watch the name reveal here.

Road Safety Campaign Geared to Motorcyclists June 22
Motorcycle safety will be the focus of a week-long traffic campaign by the Toronto Police Service. From Monday, June 22, 2020, until Sunday, June 28, 2020, the Toronto Police Service will be taking part in a week of enforcement and community engagement. Geared to motorcyclists' safety, officers will target “The Big 4” driver behaviours known to cause injuries to all road users - speeding, driving aggressively, driving while distracted and driving while impaired. More information here.
Know Your Rights – RenovictionsTO
A renoviction is when a landlord evicts a tenant by claiming they will complete major renovations. Landlords sometimes initiate a renoviction by giving tenants a notice to end their tenancy in the form of an N13. Often landlords will simply tell tenants they need to move out because of renovations. If you get an N13, you do not need to leave. If your landlord tells you they need to renovate your unit, you do not need to move. Tenants do not need to move unless given an eviction order by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

Your landlord needs a building permit from the City of Toronto if they want to do renovations that require you to vacate. You can see if a permit has been issued for your building by entering your address here. For more information on RenovictionsTO, click here.

Metrolinx Updates: Track Surfacing & Investigative Work
Service Updates: Metrolinx is adjusting its schedule and number of cars to better use its resources while ridership is low, please visit gotransit.com for the latest updates.

Scarborough Golf Club Updates: Geo-technical investigative work occurring the week of June 22, 9AM to 3PM. This work is west of Scarborough Golf Clube Road near the rail corridor.

Galloway Road Updates: There will be track surfacing work happening on June 22-23 near Galloway Road.

Service Canada Webinars
Service Canada is offering free webinars from July 7 to July 30, 2020 to provide information and services that could benefit your clients – including Indigenous peoples, seniors, persons with disabilities, families, youth, workers, employers and newcomers. Join from anywhere via WebEx. Webinars are held at 10am on the following dates:

  • COVID-19 support for workers July 9, 16, & 30
  • COVID-19 support for employers and service delivery partners July 7, 14, 21, & 28
  • Services for Seniors July 8, & 22
  • Services for Newcomers July 15, & 29

To register email: EDSC.SERVICECANADADIRECT-SERVICECANADALIVE.ESDC@servicecanada.gc.ca with the webinar topic of choice and date.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Second Career Information Session
Are you laid off and unemployed looking to transition into a new career? Join the East Scarborough Storefront Virtually on Wednesday Jun 24 from 11:30AM to 12:30PM. Register, by calling 416-208-9889 or info@thestorefront.org.


June 19, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

This Sunday, June 21st we celebrate Fathers Day! I would like to wish everyone an amazing and sweet Father’s Day Weekend!

City to open 15 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning
Environment and Climate Change Canada has declared a Heat Warning for Toronto for Saturday, June 20 through to Sunday, June 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on June 20, the City of Toronto will open 15 Emergency Cooling Centres (ECCs) for the duration of the Heat Warning.
See this interactive map to locate an Emergency Cooling Centre near you. Tips to protect yourself from the heat are available at toronto.ca/keepcool.

City to host virtual Sunrise Ceremony to Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day
The City of Toronto has created a virtual ceremony to commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day. All are welcome and encouraged to view the video ceremony at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 21, joining others across Canada in celebrating this important day to recognize and celebrate the unique culture, accomplishments and knowledge of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. The video will be posted at toronto.ca/indigenous-event. It will remain posted and be available online.

Canada Day goes virtual to bring Torontonians together
The City of Toronto will help Torontonians mark Canada’s 153rd birthday virtually on Wednesday, July 1 through a livestream show, Canada Day 2020. The show will engage local residents, connect diverse communities and honour COVID-19 frontline workers. Performers will include Haviah Mighty, Gordon Lightfoot, Jully Black, Kardinal Offishall, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Ali Hassan, Cris Derksen, The Next Generation Leahy and more. Program details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/canadaday. More information here.

Toronto Public Health Guidance Documents and Infographics
Toronto Public Health (TPH) has developed guidance documents to support the safe reopening of local businesses and community organizations. All businesses and organizations will need to adjust how they operate to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whether a business owner or operator, an employee, or a customer, it is important residents stay informed to understand what our new normal will look like in the months ahead.

There are range of documents available to address the unique circumstances of different types of workplaces and community settings in our city, available on the City’s website

City of Toronto resumes marriage licence service
Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto is resuming the issuance of marriage licences on an appointment-only basis beginning Monday, June 22. Toronto residents who wish to obtain a marriage licence must book an appointment online at www.toronto.ca/getting-married. They will need to complete an online application three days prior to an appointment. Applicants with appointments will need to travel to the North York Civic Centre. All other civic centre and City Hall service counters remain closed. More information here.

ActiveTO major road closures, Quiet Streets & Cycling Network Update
The following ActiveTO Major Road closures that will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, June 20 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, June 21 at 11 p.m. include:

  • Lake Shore Blvd W (eastbound lanes) from Windermere Ave to Stadium Rd. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Blvd W will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Blvd E (eastbound lanes) from Leslie St to just south of Woodbine Ave
  • Bayview Ave from Front St E to Rosedale Valley Rd, and River St from Gerrard S E to Bayview Ave.

An online map is available to residents with locations that have been installed as part of CurbTO for businesses (pickup zones and pedestrian zones) and installed ActiveTO locations for residents. Residents can view the map at http://www.toronto.ca/activeTO.

What’s open this weekend: Parks and Amenities
City parks and amenities

  • picnic shelters
  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks in parks
  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts
  • some public tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • lawn bowling and outdoor bocce
  • off-leash dog parks
  • BMX locations and skateboard parks
  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

If a resident arrives at a park that is crowded, they are advised to visit a different park or return at a later time when there are fewer people.

City Beaches Update
As part of the SwimTO plan, lifeguards will return to six of Toronto’s swimming beaches on Monday, June 22. Lifeguards will supervise each location daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Public washroom facilities
Park washrooms will be open to the public this weekend. Staff have worked with Toronto Public Health on guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities. In addition, the City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. Health guidelines for washrooms are available on the City Services webpage .

For more information on City of Toronto weekend update on services, amenities and ActiveTO visit this link .

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Second Career Information Session
Are you laid off and unemployed looking to transition into a new career? Join the East Scarborough Storefront Virtually on Wednesday Jun 24 from 11:30AM to 12:30PM. Register, by calling 416-208-9889 or info@thestorefront.org.

Metrolinx Updates: Track Surfacing & Investigative Work
Service Updates: Metrolinx is adjusting its schedule and number of cars to better use its resources while ridership is low, please visit gotransit.com for the latest updates.

Scarborough Golf Club Updates: Geo-technical investigative work occurring the week of June 22, 9AM to 3PM. This work is west of Scarborough Golf Clube Road near the rail corridor.

Galloway Road Updates: There will be track surfacing work happening on June 22-23 near Galloway Road.


June 18, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Free Pick-Up Lunch
The Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough’s Free Pick-Up Lunch this Friday June 19 @ 12:30-2:30PM at 100 Galloway Rd. This week’s menu: Spaghetti & meatballs (Halal and veggie options available). Register here.

Prime Minister announces new mobile app to help notify Canadians of COVID-19 exposure
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the upcoming launch of a new nation-wide mobile app to provide notifications of exposure to COVID-19 across Canada, with beta testing to begin in Ontario. The app will help Canadians and public health officials identify and isolate the spread of the virus more quickly. Use of the app will be voluntary. For more information please read the news release.

Ontario enhancing COVID-19 case and contact management
As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is enhancing case and contact management to quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus and prepare for any potential future waves. The government’s enhanced strategy focuses on strengthening and standardizing case and contact management by:

  • Ensuring all new cases and close contacts are identified early
  • Support public health units with additional staff from Statistic Canada
  • Improve technology tools by modernizing Integrated Public Health Information Systems
  • Launching a privacy-first exposure notification app to alert Ontarians when they may have been exposed to COVID-19

For more information please read the news release.

Temporary Commercial Eviction Moratorium
Yesterday, the Ontario government passed the Protecting Small Business Act, temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020. Learn more here.

Mandatory masks or face coverings on the TTC
Effective July 2, 2020 masks or face coverings will be mandatory on the TTC. Children under two and those with medical conditions will be exempt. Instructions for wearing a mask and making your own simple face covering are available here.

Registration for CaféTO
Registration is now open for CaféTO. The proposed new program aims to make it easier for many restaurant and bar operators to open patios, expand them, and access additional space for physical distancing, in accordance with public health guidelines, safety priorities, and accessibility requirements.

Restaurant and bar operators can visit toronto.ca/cafeTO to learn more about the proposed program, its requirements and how to register.

The CaféTO Placement Guidebook is now online. The CaféTO staff report that will be considered by Executive Committee on June 22, followed by Council on June 29 is now available.

ORHMA webinar for local restaurants and bars
The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is planning a complimentary 1-hour webinar for business owners to help prepare establishments for re-opening.

Registration for the webinar is now open.
Topic: Patio Opening & Extensions for establishments in the City of Toronto
When: Tuesday June 23 at 1 p.m.
Who: Representatives from ORHMA will be joined by representatives from the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and the City of Toronto's Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) who will offer their input and answer questions.

ActiveTO major road closures, Quiet Streets & Cycling Network
The following ActiveTO Major Road closures that will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, June 20 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, June 21 at 11 p.m. include:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

An online map is available to residents with locations that have been installed as part of CurbTO for businesses (pickup zones and pedestrian zones) and installed ActiveTO locations for residents. Residents can view the map at http://www.toronto.ca/activeTO.

CampTO programs start July 13
The City of Toronto will begin to offer summer camps across the city starting on July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative. CampTO is a new creative camp experience that offers outdoor and physical activities, active and quiet games, arts and crafts, and nature-based activities. This camp features additional staff for smaller camper to leader ratios to help maintain physical distancing in camp and ensure safe supervision of campers. Guidelines include lower ratios and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening and enhanced facility cleaning. CampTO is designed for maximum fun and safety for campers 6 – 12 years of age. Learn more at toronto.ca/camps.

City of Toronto records 1,000 deaths due to COVID-19
The City of Toronto today announced the 1,000th death due to COVID-19 and sends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends for their loss. This tragic milestone is a reminder that we must all continue our efforts to fight COVID-19 and protect people in our community. Learn more here.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases
There are 13,661 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 73 cases since yesterday. There are 276 people hospitalized, with 72 in ICU. In total, 11,501 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 104 cases since yesterday. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Residents are reminded of the importance of adhering to Toronto Public Health’s advice to wash their hands often, stay within their social circle of no more than 10 people, practise physical distancing, or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Youth Summit: Youth Impact 2020
The Boys’ and Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Presents a two-day fun filled youth conference through Zoom. Throughout the conference, participants enjoy a multitude of workshops where they can develop essential personal skills, and get educated on topics like financial literacy, goal planning, and personal development.
This Youth Summit includes 2-days of workshops (4 in total) two workshops on Tuesday June 23 and two workshops Wednesday June 24. You can sign up for the Morning Session from 11AM to 1PM or the Evening Session from 4PM to 6PM.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.


June 17, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders
The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province, while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19. For more information read the news release.

Today also marks the 3rd month since the Ontario Government declared an emergency. Read about Premier Ford’s statement here.

Prime Minister announces extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit by eight weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. The extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up total of 24 weeks. For more information read the news release. Learn more about CERB and how to apply here.

Data shows ActiveTO weekend road closures make room for thousands of people to enjoy physical activity along Toronto’s most popular trails
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that data shows ActiveTO major road closures are making room for people to be physically active along Toronto’s busiest and most popular trails. Each weekend, these closures make space for residents to be outside, physically active and practise physical distancing while enhancing their overall wellbeing. City staff collected and verified data from Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, the first weekend that all of the closures (Lake Shore Boulevard West and East, as well as Bayview Avenue) were put in place. The data confirmed that the routes are a very popular option for people walking, running and on bikes who need space along Toronto’s busiest trails. For more information please read the news release.

Toronto Public Health provides expanded guidance to help prepare more businesses and locations for a safe reopening
Toronto Public Health has expanded the number of guidance documents available to help local businesses and community organizations to prepare for safe reopening when the city received provincial approval for Stage2 reopening. More information on COVID-19 guidance for community and workplace settings is available here.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases and enforcement
As of June 16, there are 13,588 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 86 cases since yesterday. There are 284 people hospitalized, with 75 in ICU. In total 11,397 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 202 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 998 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting  platform.

Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough Youth Summit: Youth Impact 2020
The Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough Presents a two-day fun filled youth conference through Zoom. Throughout the conference, participants enjoy a multitude of workshops where they can develop essential personal skills, and get educated on topics like financial literacy, goal planning, and personal development.
This Youth Summit includes 2-days of workshops (4 in total) two workshops on Tuesday June 23 and two workshops Wednesday June 24. You can sign up for the Morning Session from 11AM to 1PM or the Evening Session from 4PM to 6PM.

Assistance for Taxi Industry and Businesses
If you require assistance to navigate government assistance during COVID-19 please visit the BusinessTO Support Centre at www.toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO. They can sign up to schedule a conversation with a business advisor by video or phone, and a business advisor will be in contact within 24 hours. Its main role is to help Toronto businesses apply for Fed and Prov assistance and support programs.

Help the Toronto Zoo name their new Masai giraffe calf
Your Toronto Zoo welcomed a healthy female Masai giraffe calf to mom, Mstari, and dad, Kiko, and we need YOUR help to give her a name! Vote here before *TONIGHT June 17* at 11:59 pm.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Webinar: Reopening Guidance for the Personal Care Service Sector
Join the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division on this webinar to learn more about government guidelines for re-opening safely and recently created City programs to support main street and personal care service businesses. It will include:
• An overview of government guidelines and requirements.
• Tools and resources to support your business re-opening.
• Other programs to support Main Street and personal care service businesses.
Register here.

Webinar: Updates from Toronto Public Health with EDC, TAPA and TAC on June 24
Please join a conversation for updates on regulations and requirements for artists and arts organizations considering live programming options and venue operations during the pandemic period. Please note: this webinar will be limited to 500 participants. To that end, we request that arts organizations limit their participation to one or two people. To secure your spot, please register here.


June 16, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

June is Pride Month! While we can’t have physical festivals during this challenging time, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Pride Month virtually. Check out Pride Toronto’s daily special events and show your support at www.pridetoronto.com/virtualpride

Ontario releases guide on how to develop a Workplace Safety Plan
The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province. For more information please read the news release.

City of Toronto update on emergency food access during COVID-19
Since March, the City of Toronto has been working with a variety of community partners to ensure that Toronto’s food programs stay open during the pandemic and continue to support Toronto’s vulnerable populations. Members of the Food Security Table – which consists of City staff and representatives from Daily Bread Food Bank, FoodShare, North York Harvest Food Bank, Second Harvest, Red Cross, Toronto Public Library, Salvation Army and the United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) – continue to meet regularly to discuss food access gaps in the community and how they can be filled. For more information please read the news release.

City of Toronto COVID-19 Response for People Experiencing Homelessness
Toronto has the largest shelter system in Canada with 75 shelter/respite sites sheltering approximately 7,000 people every night, including the almost 3,000 people already sheltered in hotel/family settings prior to the pandemic. The City has implemented an inter-governmental and sectoral response to COVID-19 involving the City, provincial/federal government, provincial healthcare sector, and community non-profit. For more information, please see the attached poster/infographic. For more information please read the news release.

City of Toronto issues inaugural social bond, a first in Canada’s public sector
The City of Toronto today issued an inaugural social bond offering of $100 million. Toronto is the first government in Canada to establish a Social Debenture Program, furthering its leadership in sustainable finance, and promoting positive and equitable socioeconomic outcomes. 

The proceeds from this issuance will be used to help fund Shelter, Support and Housing Administration’s George Street Revitalization project and 1,000 New Shelter Beds projects. For more information please read the news release.

CampTO Registration
The City of Toronto will begin to offer summer camps across the city starting on July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative. CampTO will offer more than 32,000 registered camp spaces for children between the ages of 6 and 12, over eight weeks of camps at approximately 150 locations across the city. For a list of CampTO programs and sites near you click HERE. Scarborough District registration begins on Wednesday June 24 at 7AM.

Register online HERE or by phone by calling 416-396-7378, option 1. More information on free and lower-cost recreation options here.

BikeShareTO in Ward 24
Last week the City announced the expansion of BikeShareTO. This expansion will add a total of 1,850 new bicycles, 160 stations and 3,615 docking points to the already expansive network. With this expansion, BikeShareTO also launched two satellite pilot areas in North York, Ward 6 York Centre, and Scarborough which covers our community, Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood, Ward 24 Scarborough-Rouge Park. Scarborough Guildwood Bike Share locations include:

  • Guildwood GO Station
  • Morningside Park to access Highland Creek
  • Highland Creek and Livingston Road North and Greenvale Terrace
  • Livingston Road and Guildwood Parkway

More information on Bike Share Toronto is available at www.bikesharetoronto.com

CaféTO registration now open
The City of Toronto is opening online registration for CaféTO. A City staff report on CaféTO, scheduled for consideration at Executive Committee on June 22, proposes the City take quick action to make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars.

A simple online registration form and guidebook for the proposed program is available at toronto.ca/cafeTO.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases and enforcement
As of June 14, there are 13,420 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 90 cases since yesterday. There are 296 people hospitalized, with 71 in ICU. In total 11,098 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 117 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 985 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 110 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued seven tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 4,600 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Help the Toronto Zoo name their new Masai giraffe calf
Your Toronto Zoo welcomed a healthy female Masai giraffe calf to mom, Mstari, and dad, Kiko, and we need YOUR help to give her a name! Vote here before June 17 at 11:59 pm.


June 15, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Happy National Public Service Week! This week, June 14th to 20th we celebrate the public service workers who play a key role in keeping us healthy and safe. Thank you for your ongoing contributions and commitment to serving our community.

More people can get back to work as additional businesses and services to reopen this week – Ontario moving more regions into Stage 2 on Friday
More people will be able to get back to work as additional businesses and services in certain regions across Ontario can begin reopening this Friday. The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health, is enabling more regions of the province to enter Stage 2 of the government's reopening framework. 
On Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 am, the following regions are allowed to move into Stage 2:

  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Health Department;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
  • York Region Public Health Services

The following regions will remain in Stage 1 under ongoing assessment until trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into stage 2:

  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

More in the news release.

Ontario develops additional learning materials for students and teachers
The Ontario government, in partnership with Science North and the Ontario Science Centre, is creating additional educational content for students and teachers during the school closures resulting from COVID-19. The province is providing up to $1.5 million to create made-in-Ontario videos and resources to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. The resources will align with the four science strands in the curriculum and will help students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. More in the news release.

City of Toronto reports on management of COVID-19 in its 10 long-term care homes
Toronto Mayor John Tory today released a report by City of Toronto staff from the Seniors Services and Long-Term Care division that outlines the response by staff prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, its actions during the pandemic, and recommendations on how best to adapt the City’s 10 long-term care homes post-COVID-19. More in the news release.  

Scarborough Health Network Enters Management Agreement with Extendicare Guildwood
I was happy to learn today that my request has been heard and that the Scarborough Health Network and Extendicare Guildwood have entered a formal management agreement to help the home more quickly move into COVID-19 stabilization and recovery. Scarborough Health Network (SHN) has been supporting Extendicare Guildwood over the past two months in a variety of ways, including infection prevention and control, environmental services and by providing additional clinical staff including physicians, registered nurses and personal support workers. More in the news release.

CaféTO registration now open
The City of Toronto is opening online registration for CaféTO. A City staff report on CaféTO, scheduled for consideration at Executive Committee on June 22, proposes the City take quick action to make way for additional safe outdoor dining spaces for local restaurants and bars.

Restaurants with existing patios can open them once provincial orders are lifted and as long as they follow public health guidelines. If approved by Executive Committee, followed by Toronto City Council later this month, the CaféTO recommendations would make it easier for many restaurant and bar owners to open patios, expand them, and access additional space for physical distancing, in accordance with public health guidelines. A simple online registration form and guidebook for the proposed program is now available at toronto.ca/cafeTO. More in the news release.  

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases and enforcement
As of June 13, there are 13,330 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 94 cases since yesterday. Currently, there are 303 people hospitalized, with 73 in ICU. In total, 10,981 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 150 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 982 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s new COVID-19 monitoring dashboard.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 32 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued eight tickets.

Native Child and Family Services Land-Based Program
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) is taking a regularly delivered program outdoors for critical land-based healing and wellness. The program will run at Eastview Park (33 Coronation Drive) Monday to Fridays and last 4 weeks starting TODAY, June 15. Check out the schedule here.

Basement Flooding Prevention
Basements can flood for many reasons. While the City of Toronto is working to improve its complex system of underground pipes, sewers, and catch basins, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding. With increasingly heavy rain storms taking place, it is important that homeowners take steps to help protect their home from basement flooding. For basement flooding prevention tips, and related programs and services, please visit www.toronto.ca/basementflooding 

Help the Toronto Zoo name their new Masai giraffe calf
Your Toronto Zoo welcomed a healthy female Masai giraffe calf to mom, Mstari, and dad, Kiko, and we need YOUR help to give her a name! Vote here before June 17 at 11:59 pm.


June 12, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

Today is the 121st anniversary of Philippines Independence Day and the month of June is celebrated as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada. I’d like to wish our Filipino community a Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

Metrolinx Updates
Service Updates: Metrolinx is adjusting its schedule and number of cars to better use its resources while ridership is low, please visit gotransit.com for the latest updates.

Galloway Road Construction Updates: There will be overnight track surfacing work happening June 22-23 near Galloway Road. This work will be carried out during off-peak times when train traffic is reduced, between 10pm to 6am.

Geotechnical and hydrogeological investigation work will take place near the Lakeshore East Corridor at Galloway Road and Poplar Park area on Monday June 15, from 9am to 5pm, this work is expected to take 3 days (until June 18).

Scarborough Golf Club Road Construction Updates: Geotechnical and hydrogeological investigation work will take place west of Scarborough Golf Club Road near the rail corridor, occurring the week of June 22, 9am to 3pm.

Ontario Lifting 30-Day Supply Limit on Prescriptions
With the supply of many drugs and medications having stabilized in the province, the Ontario government is liftin the 30-day supply limit for dispensing Ontario Drug Benefit program medications effective June 15. More in the news release.

Toronto Public Health launches COVID-19 monitoring dashboard
The City of Toronto has launched a new COVID-19 monitoring dashboard. The COVID-19 monitoring dashboard will provide the public with a current summary on how the city is progressing in the response to COVID-19, as Toronto moves to recovery. It will also help Toronto Public Health to carefully monitor COVID-19 activity and adjust actions if the local situation changes. The dashboard is available here.

City of Toronto working to reopen farmers' markets across the city, St. Lawrence Market outdoor market opens Saturday
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto is working with market organizers to safely reopen farmers' markets usually located on 22 City sites.

Farmers’ markets are valued members of the food supply chain and provide Torontonians with access to fresh fruits and vegetables, encourage residents to get outside and be physically active, and support the local agriculture sector.

The decision to reopen City-permitted farmers' markets has been made in consultation with Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. Toronto Public Health has developed a guidance document to help organizers, staff and vendors reduce the spread of COVID-19. It provides recommendations on public health measures such as crowd control, physical distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and is available here.

The City usually hosts 22 farmers' markets on the following directly operated City sites:

  • Civic Squares: Albert Campbell Square, David Pecaut Square, East York Civic Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Mel Lastman Square and Nathan Phillips Square
  • Parks: Dufferin Grove Park, East Lynn Park, Flemingdon Park, Humber Bay Park West, Jonathan Ashbridge Park, June Rowlands Park, Lakeshore Village Park, Masaryk Park, Riverdale Park West, R.V. Burgess Park, Sorauren Avenue Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Underpass Park, Withrow Park, Wychwood Barns
  • Toronto Museums and Historic Sites: Montgomery Inn. For more information please read the news release.

ActiveTO Major Road Closures this weekend
More than 10 kilometres of ActiveTO Major Roads will again be closed this weekend, from Saturday, June 13 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 14 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Residents planning to use Major Road Closures should access them by bike or as a pedestrian as nearby parking is limited and there is no site parking available.

The City also announced that 65 kilometres of Quiet Streets are now available to local residents throughout the city in time for this weekend. Quiet Streets are shared neighbourhood streets for walking, running, biking and slow-moving local traffic only.

An online map is available to residents with locations that have been installed as part of CurbTO for businesses (pickup zones and pedestrian zones) and installed ActiveTO locations for residents. Residents can view the map at http://www.toronto.ca/activeTO

City of Toronto takes top spot as fastest growing city in Canada and U.S.
The city of Toronto is the fastest growing city and the Toronto CMA is the fastest growing metropolitan area in all of Canada and U.S. in terms of population growth, according to the latest research Opens in new window from the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development at Ryerson University. For more information on Toronto’s economy, visit toronto.ca/business-economy/.
                            
City of Toronto update on COVID-19 enforcement
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 77 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued 10 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 3,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

World Refugee Day
The TAMOGO Foundation is hosting a World Refugee Day Event in Nathan Philips Square on Saturday June 20th from 1pm to 5pm. The TAMOGO Foundation is an organization that assists Refugees & Asylum Seekers with Immigration Services, and Employment Assistance.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari Tickets
The Toronto Zoo’s Scenic Safari tickets are now on sale for June 22 to June 28 at www.torontozoo.com/scenicsafari. Please note that tickets are released in a limited capacity and must be pre-purchased online before arrival.  

Help the Toronto Zoo name their new Masai giraffe calf
Your Toronto Zoo welcomed a healthy female Masai giraffe calf to mom, Mstari, and dad, Kiko, and we need YOUR help to give her a name! Beginning TODAY through June 17 at 11:59 pm vote here.

Upcoming Progress Career Planning Institute Programs


June 11, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Federal and Provincial governments partner to expand City of Toronto’s Digital Main Street program across Ontario to help more local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
Today, the federal and provincial governments announced a $57 million investment to help small businesses across Ontario go digital by building on Toronto’s investments into Digital Main Street and, most recently, ShopHERE powered by Google.

This announcement represents an investment of $50 million from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and $7.6 million from the Province of Ontario.

For Toronto businesses, this additional investment will fund a $2,500 Digital Main Street grant to help small businesses purchase technology. It will also provide funding for additional students and staff to deliver the City’s innovative ShopHERE powered by Google program to help small businesses and artists open their own Shopify store. More information can be found on the City's website. More in the news release.

SSHA update on encampments
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, encampment clearing had not been happening due to the City's focus on creating safe physical distancing within the Shelter system. Since mid-March through June 11, in addition to the 75 shelter and respites sites the City and its partners operate, the City has opened 33 new, temporary sites for physical distancing in hotels, community centres and expanded facilities and is also securing interim housing and permanently housing for individuals. The City is working around the clock to secure additional inside spaces so everyone sleeping outdoors is offered a place inside (shelter, hotels or interim housing). As more spaces open, clients will be provided options to move inside and will be supported to do so with their belongings, and abandoned belongings will be cleared, and that encampment site cleaned.

As of April 29, 2020, SSHA (Shelter, Support & Housing Administration) began to work with individuals living in encampments to access available options of shelter, respite sites and transitional housing. As of June 11, 2020, almost 270 individuals have been moved from encampments to safer spaces inside that include shelter, respite, hotels and interim housing.  As a result, 20 encampments have been cleared.

ActiveTO Major Road Closures this weekend
More than 10 kilometres of ActiveTO Major Roads will again be closed this weekend, from Saturday, June 13 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 14 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue. More in the news release.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 enforcement
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 76 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued 4 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to nearly 2,900 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Boys’ & Girls’ Club of East Scarborough Drive-Thru Lunch
The Boys’ & Girls’ Club of East Scarborough’s FREE Drive-Thru lunch this Friday June 12, at 12:30-2:30pm at 100 Galloway Road. This weeks menu: Stir Fry (Halal and veggie options available) Register HERE.
Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference
Join us this Thursday June 11th, at 6:30 PM for the Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference. City council is opening back up and there are important votes coming up for our Internet for All, Rent Control, and Affordable Housing and we need to plan out how to increase the pressure to win our demands!

By computer or smartphone, just click this link. | By phone: join the call by dialing 647 374 4685, and then enter meeting ID 217 763 0191, press # and then press # again. Please RSVP by email or by calling 416 461 9233.


June 10, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Update on temporary food banks
Nine of the 11 temporary food banks that were at Toronto Public Library (TPL) branches, including Cedarbrae Branch Pop-Up at 545 Markham Road, are now closed so TPL can begin their curbside drop-off and pick-up service.

In partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank and Second Harvest, the majority of the temporary food banks have been relocated to other sites in the neighbourhoods that were formally served by the TPL branches. In total, there are now 17 food bank locations, established as replacements for the previous TPL sites. Two new sites were also opened at YMCA locations in these areas, and temporary food banks at three City arenas continue to operate.

Residents that were utilizing the Cedarbrae Pop-Up Food Bank can visit the newly-opened food bank located at 50 Tuxedo Court (north of Markham and Ellesmere), operating Thursdays from 1:30-3PM. Pre-registration is required: dailybread.link2feed.ca or 647-762-4670. For the full list of food banks in Ward 24, click here.

As well, residents are encouraged to call 211 or visit their website at www.211toronto.ca to get information about these temporary food banks or if they are struggling to get access to food. 211 is the best source for up-to-date information on food program availability.

Mitzie Hunter M.P.P’s Restaurant Recover Consultation
Join Mitzie Hunter M.P.P to discuss how you and your business is doing, complete a short survey that will help inform the province’s COVID-19 recovery.
Friday, June 12 9am to 10am
Register HERE to receive a Zoom invitation prior to the call at the registered email address.

Ontario Government proposes temporary ban on commercial evictions
The Province announced its intention to protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized by their landlords due to COVID-19. If passed, the proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act would temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. More in the news release.

Ontario unveils a plan to reopen post-secondary education
Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. This first phase will allow institutions to reopen to provide in-person instruction to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions. Thousands of students across the province could benefit from this summer's reopening. More in the news release.

ActiveTO delivers 65 kilometres of Quiet Streets along 32 neighbourhood routes across Toronto
The City of Toronto, through ActiveTO, has now delivered 65 kilometres of Quiet Streets along 32 neighbourhood routes across Toronto.

Quiet Streets are shared space to allow residents to maintain physical distancing, while getting around on neighbourhood streets. Signage and temporary barricades are placed at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so the roadway can be a shared space that welcomes people who walk, run or bike as an alternative to riding transit. Quiet Street locations were prioritized based on several factors including population density, equity and access, access to greenspace, nearby attractions, traffic volumes and other considerations.

More information on ActiveTO, including an online map of all locations, is available at http://www.toronto.ca/activeTO.

City of Toronto launches SwimTO plans to help Torontonians cool down this summer
SwimTO is a quick-start program that will expedite the opening of the City’s beaches, outdoor pools, wading pools and splash pads. City staff are preparing now so that outdoor aquatic amenities can be opened when Toronto enters Stage 2, to help people cool down during hot summer temperatures.

The plan will help ensure that all Torontonians can safely access outdoor aquatic recreation and cool down during hot summer temperatures as Toronto begins to reopen. With the approach of hot summer weather and the extended closure of many indoor public spaces, it’s vital that Torontonians to have opportunities to cool down outdoors. More in the news release.

City of Toronto to offer CampTO programs starting July 13
The City of Toronto will begin to offer summer camps across the city starting on July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative, following the Province of Ontario announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Province’s Stage 2 reopening.

CampTO will offer more than 32,000 registered camp spaces for children between the ages of 6 and 12, over eight weeks of camps at approximately 150 locations across the city. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, CampTO programs will meet health guidelines designed in consultation with Toronto Public Health and in alignment with provincial health guidelines for day camps. Guidelines include lower ratios and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening and enhanced facility cleaning. Programs will be available for viewing on Saturday, June 13 at http://www.toronto.ca/camps. More in the news release.

ActiveTO Major Road Closures this weekend
More than 10 kilometres of ActiveTO Major Roads will again be closed this weekend, from Saturday, June 13 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 14 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue. More information here.

ActiveTO Cycling Network update
The cycling network is being expanded quickly through temporary installations by repurposing curb lanes along several key corridors. The first kilometre of new, safe temporary bikeway was installed last week along Dundas Street East, between Sackville Street and Broadview Avenue. The next locations that staff are immediately planning for are along University Avenue/Queen’s Park Crescent, between Adelaide Street West and Bloor Street West, on Bayview Avenue between River Street and Rosedale Valley Road, and on Bloor Street, between Avenue Road and Sherbourne Street.
                                               
City of Toronto update on COVID-19 enforcement
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 79 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued 20 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 2,800 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Customer Service Centre at 1900 Yonge St Now Open
The Customer Service Centre at 1900 Yonge St above Davisville Station has reopened with modified hours of operation. It is strongly suggested that customers wear face covering or masks if visiting the office. Only two customers will be permitted in the office at a time. Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Online Survey: Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild 
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is seeking feedback from individuals, businesses and community groups on how Toronto can recover, rebuild and emerge from this pandemic even stronger.  An online survey, as well as tips and tools for hosting your own discussion, is now available at toronto.ca/RecoveryRebuild. The survey is open until June 30, 2020.

Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference
Join us this Thursday June 11th, at 6:30 PM for the Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference. City council is opening back up and there are important votes coming up for our Internet for All, Rent Control, and Affordable Housing and we need to plan out how to increase the pressure to win our demands!

By computer or smartphone, just click this link. | By phone: join the call by dialing 647 374 4685, and then enter meeting ID 217 763 0191, press # and then press # again. Please RSVP by email or by calling 416 461 9233.


June 9, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Bike Share Toronto announces program expansion which will bring Bike Sharing to 20 of Toronto’s 25 Wards
The 2020 expansion will add a total of 1,850 new bicycles, 160 stations and 3,615 docking points to the already expansive network. After today’s announcement, the system will grow to a total of 6,850 bikes, 625 stations, 12,000 docking points. This year, the expansion includes the launch of two satellite Bike Share pilot areas – one in North York and one in Scarborough with up to eight new stations in each area. The pilot areas cover Ward 6 (York Centre), Ward 7 (Humber River-Black Creek), Ward 24 (Scarborough-Guildwood), and Ward 25 (Scarborough-Rouge Park). TPA will monitor the stations to assess their use and performance over a determined period of time to ensure that it is serving residents as best as possible.

Another new feature of this year’s expansion is the launch of an e-bike pilot program that will be launched later this summer. The 300 pedal assist e-bikes and 10 e-bike charging stations for the pilot are included in the total expansion numbers. Further details on the e-bike pilot program will be announced in the near future. For more information please read the news release.

City of Toronto planning for restart of City services and reopening of economy
The City of Toronto has, since April, been hard at work planning for the eventual restart of City services and the reopening of the economy. Last month, under the leadership of Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the City’s Office of Emergency Management, the Emergency Operations Centre created a “restart roadmap” to help guide the restarting of City operations and to support businesses in their safe reopening. Yesterday's announcement by the Province of Ontario, outlining the next phase of provincial reopening plans, supports the work the City has completed to date. Read the full news release.

City opens 14 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warnings
With the arrival of warmer temperatures and with a Heat Warning called by Environment and Climate Change Canada for today and tomorrow, the City of Toronto is opening 14 Emergency Cooling Centres to help residents who do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher. All the centres will operate during Heat Warnings only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Metro Hall, which will run 24 hours during Heat Warnings.

The 14 Emergency Cooling Centre are:

  • Metro Hall, 55 John St.
  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
  • Domenico Di Luca Community Recreation Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.
  • Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Sports Complex (Arena), 155 Culford Dr.
  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Recreation Centre, 30 Sewells Rd.
  • Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre, 48 Thorncliffe Park Dr.
  • Elmbank Community Centre, 10 Rampart Rd.
  • Ourland Community Centre, 18 Ourland Ave.

An interactive map is available here to help those who need to locate an Emergency Cooling Centre near them.

Tips for keeping cool during extreme heat
Actions you can take to beat the heat, keep cool and stay safe include:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water even before you feel thirsty.
  • Check on others. Call, text or video chat with family, friends and neighbours (especially older adults living alone) to make sure they’re staying hydrated and keeping cool.
  • Take cool showers or baths or use cool, wet towels to cool down.
  • Use a fan near an open window to bring in cooler air from outside.
  • Avoid the sun. Stay in the shade or use an umbrella.
  • Dress for the weather. Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and, if outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Block the sun. Keep blinds or curtains closed during the day.
  • Protect people and pets. Never leave a person or pet inside a parked car.
  • Avoid using the oven or stove; they make your space hotter.
  • Consult with your doctor or pharmacist on medications that increase your risk to heat.
  • In an emergency, always call 911. Call 911 if you have or someone you are with has a high body temperature, is confused, is unconscious, or has fainted.

More tips to protect yourself from the heat are available at https://www.toronto.ca/keepcool. When a Heat Warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries can call 311.

Ontario Helping Parents Return to Work: Province Reopening Child Care with Strict Protocols to Keep Kids and Staff Safe
Today, the Ontario government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. Developed in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children. For more information, please read the provincial news release.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
As of June 8, there are 12,828 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 121 cases since the day before. There are 335 people hospitalized, with 77 in ICU. In total, 9,907 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 952 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference
Join us this Thursday June 11th, at 6:30 PM for the Toronto ACORN citywide campaign conference. City council is opening back up and there are important votes coming up for our Internet for All, Rent Control, and Affordable Housing and we need to plan out how to increase the pressure to win our demands!

By computer or smartphone, just click this link: https://bit.ly/2V35FJi | By phone: join the call by dialing 647 374 4685, and then enter meeting ID 217 763 0191, press # and then press # again. Please RSVP by email or by calling 416 461 9233.

Notice of Application: First Party Sign Variance at 300 Painted Post Drive
An application for a sign by-law variation has been submitted for a proposed illuminated gas sign at the Pioneer gas station at Markham Road and Painted Post. If you are in the area and have any comments you would like to submit to the Sign By-Law Unit for consideration, please phone or email them at signbylawunit@toronto.ca and copy my office.

The last day to submit comments is June 12. More information here.


June 8, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Province of Ontario announces regional approach for Stage 2 reopening
Today, the Ontario government announced that it is moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province. Toronto and many GTA regions are currently excluded from the list but will move onto Stage 2 as soon as the Province’s public health criteria are met.

The following regions will remain in Stage 1 until it's safe to move into Stage 2:

  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • York Region Public Health

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, including Toronto, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers. More in the news release and visit this website.

City to open 14 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warnings
With the arrival of warmer temperatures and with a Heat Warning called by Environment and Climate Change Canada for June 9 and 10, the City of Toronto is opening 14 Emergency Cooling Centres to help residents who do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher. All the centres will operate during Heat Warnings only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Metro Hall, which will run 24 hours during Heat Warnings.

The 14 Emergency Cooling Centre are:

  • Metro Hall, 55 John St.
  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
  • Domenico Di Luca Community Recreation Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.
  • Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Sports Complex (Arena), 155 Culford Dr.
  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Recreation Centre, 30 Sewells Rd.
  • Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre, 48 Thorncliffe Park Dr.
  • Elmbank Community Centre, 10 Rampart Rd.
  • Ourland Community Centre, 18 Ourland Ave.

An interactive map is available to help those who need to locate an Emergency Cooling Centre near them here

Tips for keeping cool during extreme heat
Actions you can take to beat the heat, keep cool and stay safe include:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water even before you feel thirsty.
  • Check on others. Call, text or video chat with family, friends and neighbours (especially older adults living alone) to make sure they’re staying hydrated and keeping cool.
  • Take cool showers or baths or use cool, wet towels to cool down.
  • Use a fan near an open window to bring in cooler air from outside.
  • Avoid the sun. Stay in the shade or use an umbrella.
  • Dress for the weather. Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and, if outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Block the sun. Keep blinds or curtains closed during the day.
  • Protect people and pets. Never leave a person or pet inside a parked car.
  • Avoid using the oven or stove; they make your space hotter.
  • Consult with your doctor or pharmacist on medications that increase your risk to heat.
  • In an emergency, always call 911. Call 911 if you have or someone you are with has a high body temperature, is confused, is unconscious, or has fainted.

More tips to protect yourself from the heat are available at https://www.toronto.ca/keepcool. When a Heat Warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries can call 311.

City of Toronto update on enforcement
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 72 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued four tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 2,500 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

FOPL Statement of Solidarity with Black Community Against Systemic Racism
The Federation of Ontario Public Libraries joins with our community of library associations in condemning racism of all kinds. We must fight against systemic or structural racism towards Black Lives in our society.  While this is fundamentally a moral and human rights issue, there are mindset, social, political, institutional, and process solutions that can and must be addressed.  Public Libraries stand ready to be part of the solution. More in the news release.

TDSB Update on retrieval of belongings, real-time learning, report cards, summer school and online surveys
See this update from the Toronto District School Board on the retrieval of belongings, real-time learning, report cards, summer school and online surveys.

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre’s (TPASC) Transition to ZOOM for Virtual Fitness Classes
Starting Today, TPASC’s virtual fitness classes will be transitioning to Zoom. You can access the Zoom classes here.

Open Air Burning Reminder
It has been brought to my attention that some neighbourhoods may be burning wood and leaves while at home in their gardens. I would like everyone to please keep in mind that open air burning is not allowed in the City of Toronto as this increases the risk of fire, as well as air quality issues. More information on Open Air Burning can be found here.


June 5, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

This Sunday is Armed Forces Appreciation Day, thank you to the brave men and women who don the uniform and proudly serve our country. Whether deployed or abroad or at home on Operation Laser, we appreciate all that you do for our country.

Today we celebrate World Environment Day, a global day of action to raise awareness around environmental issues impacting our world.

Take Ontario’s Survey on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19
The Ontario Ministry of Finance is asking for input on how COVID-19 has affected you, and has launched a broad public survey gathering input from individuals and businesses on the economic impacts of COVID-19. The deadline for the survey is August 31st. Complete the survey here

Prime Minister announces supports for Canadians with disabilities to address challenges from COVID-19
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic. This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows: $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate; $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments. More in the news release.
ActiveTO closures this weekend
The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, June 6 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 7 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Residents can view the map with locations part of CurbTO here. More information and details about ActiveTO are available at toronto.ca/activeTO.

First ActiveTO bikeway is now ready
The City of Toronto has already delivered the first new cycling route as part of the ActiveTO cycling network report that was approved by City Council last week. Dundas St E, from Sackville St to Broadview Ave, now has a temporary, separated cycle track that spans one kilometre and supports a more connected cycling network in Toronto as well as Toronto’s Vision Zero safety priorities. This new section along Dundas St E provides a connected cycling route into the downtown core, via the existing River Street and Shuter St bike lanes, the only protected, accessible and connected cycling route over the Don Valley Parkway (south of Bloor St and north of the waterfront), and connects people on bikes to essential services.

City of Toronto weekend update on services and amenities
With nice weather approaching, residents are encouraged to head outside in their local neighbourhood for fresh air and exercise, but are reminded to follow public health advice to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

City parks and amenities
City park amenities open this weekend include:

  • Approximately 50 washrooms
  • picnic shelters
  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks in parks
  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts
  • some public tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • lawn bowling and outdoor bocce
  • off-leash dog parks
  • BMX locations and skateboard parks
  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

More information here.

Physical distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods Park
The City added painted physical distancing circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles roughly 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet apart. Each circle is large enough for two adults from the same household laying down or three adults from the same household sitting cross-legged.

City beaches
Toronto beaches remain open. Beaches are not closed under Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Toronto beaches are open, there are no lifeguards on duty. Swimming without a lifeguard is not recommended.

Just like in other public spaces, when at the beach please practice proper physical distancing by staying two metres or six feet from others and gathering with no more than five people from your household.

Public washroom facilities
The City of Toronto is starting to open park washrooms following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Approximately 50 washroom sites will be open by tomorrow, June 6, with the remaining locations open by mid-June. A list of locations and health guidelines for washrooms are available on the City Services webpage.

City of Toronto advises two large business sectors – restaurants and personal service settings – to prepare for safe reopening
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto, led by Toronto Public Health, is providing guidance to safely reopen restaurants for indoor and outdoor dining, and personal service settings for personal care services once provincial orders are lifted for these sectors of the economy. 

The city’s close to 8,000 restaurants and 3,500 personal service settings (including hair salons and barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons and aesthetic services) have been closed or had their service delivery severely impacted since March due to provincial orders and public health recommendations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners are advised to begin preparing for reopening but are not permitted to begin operating until the revised order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act is announced by the Government of Ontario and comes into effect. For more information please read the news release.

Short-term rentals must continue to comply with City of Toronto bylaw as Province of Ontario lifts emergency order
Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced that short-term rentals would be allowed to resume operations beginning today, following an amendment to an order under the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and are now considered an essential business. In Toronto, short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s Zoning By-laws and Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals Bylaw and any resumption of operation must be in accordance with these bylaws. Under the City’s bylaws:

  • People can host short-term rentals in their principal residence only – both homeowners and tenants can participate.
  • Short-term rentals (any rental that is for a period of less than 28 consecutive days) are permitted across the city in all housing types in residential zones and the residential component of mixed-use zones.
  • People who live in secondary suites and laneway suites can also participate, as long as the secondary suite/laneway suite is their principal residence.
  • Short-term rental companies will be required to be licensed with the City of Toronto in order to carry on business.
  • Short-term rental operators (people renting their homes on a short-term basis) will be required to register with the City of Toronto.

More information can be found here.

City of Toronto to commemorate D-Day tomorrow
As part of the City of Toronto’s commemoration of the end of the Second World War, and to mark D-Day on June 6, 1944, we pause to remember again those who fought and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Veterans who were a part of this historic invasion share their stories. Tomorrow, Mayor Tory will raise the City of Toronto flag that flew at Juno Beach and proclaim D-Day in Toronto. Please visit toronto.ca/lestweforget to learn about the significance of D-Day and its history. If you or your family members have any photos, videos and stories from the Second World War, please consider sharing them on social media using the hashtag #TorontoRemembers.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
As of June 4, there are 12,033 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 198 cases since the day before. There are 352 people hospitalized, with 86 in ICU. In total, 9,304 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 890 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.


June 4, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

The East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club will offer Free Pick-Up Lunch this Friday June 5 @ 12:30-2:30PM at 100 Galloway Rd. This week’s menu will be: Burgers (Halal and veggie options available). Register here.

Pride Month Toronto
It’s Pride Month in Toronto! Pride Toronto’s 2020 Virtual Festival runs from June 1 to 28 celebrating Pride in a new, creative and unique way to showcase the history, courage and diversity of LGBTQ2S+, while ensuring the safety of residents and proper physical distancing. More at www.pridetoronto.com

National Indigenous Month
Mayor Tory proclaimed June as National Indigenous Month for the first time in Toronto. National Indigenous Month provides an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous heritage, diversity and vibrant culture while acknowledging and reflecting on the achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. The City of Toronto encourages all residents to take time to educate themselves about Indigenous histories, strengths, and contributions. For more information, please click here

Celebrating Seniors Month
The month of June is celebrated as seniors' month here in Ontario and across Canada. We celebrate the achievements of all seniors who helped build our province and country. During this crisis, we want to make sure that seniors living in our community are celebrating safely and can communicate through innovative mediums with their loved ones. If you want to recognize a remarkable senior in our community, please nominate them for an Ontario Senior Achievement Award. More information can be found here.

To our seniors, thank you for all the work you’ve done, and continue to do, to build our community and our country.​

Canadian seniors to receive special payment in early July
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive their special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6. Through this measure and others, the government is providing nearly $900 more for single seniors and more than $1,500 for senior couples, on top of their existing benefits, to help these vulnerable Canadians with extra costs during the pandemic. More in the news release.

Street food vendors, food and ice cream trucks resume operations just in time for summer
Street food vending and food trucks allow for a broad range of food in Toronto that is safe, healthy, affordable and culturally diverse. Yesterday, Mayor Tory announced that these businesses can now resume operations – just in time for this year's summer vending season.

For everyone's safety, all operators must adhere to physical distancing requirements for the public and provide proper health and safety measures for their staff. Residents visiting street food vendors, food or ice cream trucks should maintain a distance of two metres or six feet from others while waiting in line. Food is for take away and can be enjoyed at home or in the park. 

All street food vendors who wish to operate on public or private property require a valid business licence. Vendors who wish to operate on city streets or sidewalks or in City parks also require a vending permit. More information can be found on the City's Food Trucks, Food Carts & Ice Cream Trucks page.

Toronto Public Health COVID-19 case and contact management work critical for re-opening Toronto
Since January, the City of Toronto has faced the most significant and complex infectious outbreak our city has ever experienced. As our local response to the spread of the virus continues, Toronto Public Health’s case and contact management program remains one our most critical tools to curb this virus spread. Read more.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
As of June 3, there are 11,835 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 183 cases since yesterday. There are 365 people hospitalized, with 82 in ICU. In total, 9,131 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 883 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 82 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued one ticket. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 800 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Pop-Up COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute
Scarborough Health Network is teaming up with Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health to open a one-day COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate.
Friday June 5th 9AM to 5PM at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute (145 Guildwood Pkwy)
Details on Scarborough Health Network’s Pop-Up Locations here.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


June 3, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

It’s Pride Month in Toronto! Pride Toronto’s 2020 Virtual Festival runs from June 1 to 28 celebrating Pride in a new, creative and unique way to showcase the history, courage and diversity of LGBTQ2S+, while ensuring the safety of residents and proper physical distancing. The month-long festival will culminate with the Virtual Pride Festival Weekend from June 26 to 28. Information about Pride Toronto and the Virtual Pride Festival is available at www.pridetoronto.com

Pop-Up COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute
Scarborough Health Network is teaming up with Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health to open a one-day COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate.
Friday June 5th 9AM to 5PM
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute (145 Guildwood Parkway)
Details on Scarborough Health Network’s Pop-Up Locations here.

Ontario extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way. The extension, under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature yesterday, June 2. More in the news release.

Street food vendors, food and ice cream trucks resume operations just in time for summer
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto street food vendors, food trucks and ice cream trucks can resume operations just in time for this year's summer vending season.  For everyone's safety, all operators must adhere to physical distancing requirements for the public and provide proper health and safety measures for their staff.

As Chair of the General Government and Licensing Committee, I'm excited to welcome food trucks and street good vendors back to Toronto neighbourhoods. City staff are ready to renew or process new licenses and permits to get these businesses back in operation as quickly as possible, so that they can provide safe and affordable food options to our communities. For everyone's safety, we remind customers to maintain a distance of two metres or six feet from others at all times while waiting in line, use hand sanitizer and wear a mask or cloth face covering, especially when physical distancing is difficult. More in the news release.

City of Toronto announces more than 10 kilometres of major weekend road closures for ActiveTO this weekend
Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto will close sections of three major roads this weekend, in total making more than 10 kilometres of roadway available for walking, running and biking, as part of ActiveTO. This weekend, the closure on Lake Shore Boulevard West will return and the Lake Shore Boulevard East closure will be extended east to Leslie Street.

ActiveTO provides residents with more space to physically distance while getting exercise outdoors, which helps stop the spread of COVID-19.
The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, June 6 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 7 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

More information and details about ActiveTO are available at toronto.ca/activeTO.

Toronto Public Library reopening more drop boxes
This week, Toronto Public Library (TPL) reopened 53 additional library branch drop boxes to accept the return of library materials, the next step in its rollout of curbside drop-off and pick-up service. Library customers can continue to place holds online, through the TPL website at tpl.ca, and will be able to pick up their materials through the curbside pick-up service starting next Monday, June 8. While all library branches remain closed to the public for in-branch services, many online library services continue to be available. More in the news release.

Toronto Public Health COVID-19 case and contact management work critical for re-opening Toronto
Public health’s case and contact management process begins when we receive a positive lab confirmation of a COVID-19 case with complete information. Public health investigators act on the information immediately to:

  • Confirm that the person is isolating;
  • Get a list of their contacts, to notify those people;
  • Ask questions to understand how the patient might have contracted the virus; and,
  • Follow up with the person for 14 days to ensure they are continuing to isolate and monitor symptoms as they recover.

Case and contact management can be complex and time-intensive. The number of contacts for each COVID-19 case can vary depending on the individual's living, work and social situations. As our local response to the spread of the virus continues, Toronto Public Health's case and contact management program remains one our most critical tools to curb this virus spread. More in the news release.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
There are 11,652 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 139 cases since yesterday. There are 378 people hospitalized, with 83 in ICU. In total, 8,948 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 165 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 845 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 76 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued one ticket for physical distancing. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 600 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

United Nations 2020 World Environment Day: Time for Nature, Biodiversity in the City
ClimateFast Webcast on Friday, June 5th

Speakers will share Indigenous knowledge, gardening, urban agriculture, trees, protecting our green spaces for a post-COVID world. Register here on Eventbrite!

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


June 5, 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 physical distancing bylaw!

This Sunday is Armed Forces Appreciation Day, thank you to the brave men and women who don the uniform and proudly serve our country. Whether deployed or abroad or at home on Operation Laser, we appreciate all that you do for our country.

Today we celebrate World Environment Day, a global day of action to raise awareness around environmental issues impacting our world.

Take Ontario’s Survey on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19
The Ontario Ministry of Finance is asking for input on how COVID-19 has affected you, and has launched a broad public survey gathering input from individuals and businesses on the economic impacts of COVID-19. The deadline for the survey is August 31st. Complete the survey here

Prime Minister announces supports for Canadians with disabilities to address challenges from COVID-19
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced support to help Canadians with disabilities deal with extra expenses during the pandemic. This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows: $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate; $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Combined with the special payments of $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the OAS pension and the additional $200 for those eligible for the GIS, all seniors with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate will receive a total of $600 in special payments. More in the news release.
ActiveTO closures this weekend
The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, June 6 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 7 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Residents can view the map with locations part of CurbTO here. More information and details about ActiveTO are available at toronto.ca/activeTO.

First ActiveTO bikeway is now ready
The City of Toronto has already delivered the first new cycling route as part of the ActiveTO cycling network report that was approved by City Council last week. Dundas St E, from Sackville St to Broadview Ave, now has a temporary, separated cycle track that spans one kilometre and supports a more connected cycling network in Toronto as well as Toronto’s Vision Zero safety priorities. This new section along Dundas St E provides a connected cycling route into the downtown core, via the existing River Street and Shuter St bike lanes, the only protected, accessible and connected cycling route over the Don Valley Parkway (south of Bloor St and north of the waterfront), and connects people on bikes to essential services.

City of Toronto weekend update on services and amenities
With nice weather approaching, residents are encouraged to head outside in their local neighbourhood for fresh air and exercise, but are reminded to follow public health advice to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

City parks and amenities
City park amenities open this weekend include:

  • Approximately 50 washrooms
  • picnic shelters
  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks in parks
  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts
  • some public tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • lawn bowling and outdoor bocce
  • off-leash dog parks
  • BMX locations and skateboard parks
  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

More information here.

Physical distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods Park
The City added painted physical distancing circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles roughly 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet apart. Each circle is large enough for two adults from the same household laying down or three adults from the same household sitting cross-legged.

City beaches
Toronto beaches remain open. Beaches are not closed under Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Toronto beaches are open, there are no lifeguards on duty. Swimming without a lifeguard is not recommended.

Just like in other public spaces, when at the beach please practice proper physical distancing by staying two metres or six feet from others and gathering with no more than five people from your household.

Public washroom facilities
The City of Toronto is starting to open park washrooms following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Approximately 50 washroom sites will be open by tomorrow, June 6, with the remaining locations open by mid-June. A list of locations and health guidelines for washrooms are available on the City Services webpage.

City of Toronto advises two large business sectors – restaurants and personal service settings – to prepare for safe reopening
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto, led by Toronto Public Health, is providing guidance to safely reopen restaurants for indoor and outdoor dining, and personal service settings for personal care services once provincial orders are lifted for these sectors of the economy. 

The city’s close to 8,000 restaurants and 3,500 personal service settings (including hair salons and barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons and aesthetic services) have been closed or had their service delivery severely impacted since March due to provincial orders and public health recommendations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners are advised to begin preparing for reopening but are not permitted to begin operating until the revised order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act is announced by the Government of Ontario and comes into effect. For more information please read the news release.

Short-term rentals must continue to comply with City of Toronto bylaw as Province of Ontario lifts emergency order
Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced that short-term rentals would be allowed to resume operations beginning today, following an amendment to an order under the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and are now considered an essential business. In Toronto, short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s Zoning By-laws and Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals Bylaw and any resumption of operation must be in accordance with these bylaws. Under the City’s bylaws:

  • People can host short-term rentals in their principal residence only – both homeowners and tenants can participate.
  • Short-term rentals (any rental that is for a period of less than 28 consecutive days) are permitted across the city in all housing types in residential zones and the residential component of mixed-use zones.
  • People who live in secondary suites and laneway suites can also participate, as long as the secondary suite/laneway suite is their principal residence.
  • Short-term rental companies will be required to be licensed with the City of Toronto in order to carry on business.
  • Short-term rental operators (people renting their homes on a short-term basis) will be required to register with the City of Toronto.

More information can be found here.

City of Toronto to commemorate D-Day tomorrow
As part of the City of Toronto’s commemoration of the end of the Second World War, and to mark D-Day on June 6, 1944, we pause to remember again those who fought and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Veterans who were a part of this historic invasion share their stories. Tomorrow, Mayor Tory will raise the City of Toronto flag that flew at Juno Beach and proclaim D-Day in Toronto. Please visit toronto.ca/lestweforget to learn about the significance of D-Day and its history. If you or your family members have any photos, videos and stories from the Second World War, please consider sharing them on social media using the hashtag #TorontoRemembers.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
As of June 4, there are 12,033 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 198 cases since the day before. There are 352 people hospitalized, with 86 in ICU. In total, 9,304 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 890 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.


June 2, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

#BlackoutTuesday
Today is Blackout Tuesday a movement intended to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept across the globe. Share a black screen with the hashtag #blackouttuesday and to refrain from posting from the rest of the day to show that you stand with your community. Remember, DO NOT tag #BlackLivesMatter as this blocks out information needed to keep people tapped in.

Pop-Up COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate Institute
On Friday, June 5th, Scarborough Health Network is teaming up with Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health to open a one-day COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate.
Friday June 5th 9AM to 5PM
Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate Institute (145 Guildwood Parkway)
More in the news release. Details on Scarborough Health Network’s Pop-Up Locations here.

City of Toronto Modular Housing Initiative progressing quickly; initial site locations identified
Within a month of receiving Council approval, the plan to expedite delivery of Phase 1 of the City of Toronto’s Modular Housing Initiative is well underway and the program is on track to provide stable, affordable, high quality housing and support services to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness by the fall of 2020.

A key component of the expedited delivery is site identification. City and CreateTO staff have been evaluating City-owned land across Toronto using criteria that included local demand for affordable housing, development potential of the site, local infrastructure, access to public transit, access to health and other community services, as well as zoning and other bylaw considerations. Following the rigorous evaluation process, the following two sites are being recommended for Phase 1 of the Modular Housing Initiative:

● 150 Harrison St. (Ward 9): 44 bachelor apartments. This is the former site of the 14 Division Police Station.
● 11 Macey Ave. (Ward 20): 56 bachelor apartments. Near Victoria Park and Danforth.

More in the news release.

Ontario Moves Forward with Signature Subway Project
Today, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), announced the Ontario government is moving forward with the next step in building the Ontario Line, the signature project in the largest subway expansion in the province's history. The government is issuing the first two public-private partnership (P3) Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) to identify and qualify those who will design, build and maintain the subway line. The Ontario Line is being built under three separate P3 contracts. More in the news release.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


June 1, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

All waste Drop-Off Depots now open to the public
All Drop-Off Depots (Transfer Stations) have reopened to the general public. The sites are operating under regular hours, with the exception of the Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-Off Depots, which are only open to the public on weeknights and Saturday mornings. Get current hours for all Drop-Off Depots.

Residents are asked to limit visits to Drop-Off Depots and practice physical distancing when visiting. Cash will not be accepted at Drop-off Depots; payment must be made by debit or credit card. Compost will not be available for pickup at any Drop-off Depots. A face mask is recommended when one is unable to maintain a two-metre (six feet) distance from others. At Drop-off Depots, this includes interacting with staff at weigh scales or dropping off household hazardous waste. More information here.

City and UWGT partner to develop a COVID-19 Shelter Interim Recovery Strategy
The City and United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) have partnered to develop a COVID-19 Shelter Interim Recovery Strategy. When complete, the strategy will guide City and partner agency response to homelessness over the next six- to 12-month interim recovery period.
The City and UWGT have launched a new task force of key homeless sector stakeholders, and from now until June 30 will engage with community providers, Indigenous communities, heath sector partners, regional municipal partners and the public about the actions needed to shape the next phase of our COVID-19 response for the shelter system in Toronto.

Over the course of the month, the City and UWGT will host virtual meetings, conduct surveys, and lead discussions with our partners in the health, housing, and shelter sectors. The interim recovery strategy will be developed in a consultative process with stakeholders who will play a central role in implementation. The input and feedback gathered will shape the development of a COVID-19 Shelter Interim Recovery Strategy that equips the City, led by the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) division, and community partners to continue to deliver the next phase of our homelessness response through 2020 into spring 2021. More in the news release.

­­­­­­­City reopening washrooms in parks
The City will begin to open some of its approximately 200 parks washrooms this week, following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The reopening will occur in two phases. The first phase will have roughly 50 washroom sites opening by June 6, followed by the remaining locations by mid-June.

Residents using park washrooms should maintain a distance of two metres or six feet from others at all times while waiting in line, and should wash hands both upon entering the washroom and when leaving. It is also recommended that cloth face coverings are worn when entering.

The City already opened a number of City-operated facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. These sites are listed on the City’s website under the Washroom and Sanitation Services section. More in the news release.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 and enforcement
As of May 30 at 3 p.m. there are 11,174 cases of COVID-19 in the city. There are 386 cases in hospital, with 88 in ICU. In total, 8,446 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 823 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 94 complaints related to parks use and physical distancing. Officers have spoken to or cautioned nearly 7,300 people this month. Bylaw officers issued eight tickets yesterday.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


May 29, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

Reminder: Gardiner Expressway closure and accelerated road construction
This weekend, the Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Hwy 427 for annual maintenance and improvement activities, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street is fully closed for construction, and there will be closures in place for people to practise physical distancing while being physically active on Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.

The Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed starting at 11 p.m. on Friday, May 29 until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 1 for important annual maintenance and improvements. The City asks residents to plan essential travel ahead, leave plenty of extra time and be patient. More information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/gardiner.

ActiveTO and Quiet Streets
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 while allowing for residents to be outside and get exercise, vehicle access on parts of some major roads will be closed for walking, running and biking again this Saturday and Sunday. The following major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, May 30 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 31 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

A new online map is available to residents that shows locations that have been installed as part of CurbTO for businesses (pickup zones and pedestrian zones) and ActiveTO locations for residents (Quiet Streets and Major Weekend Road Closures only).

City of Toronto opens applications for Community Crisis Response Fund with updated COVID-19 criteria
Today, the City of Toronto opened applications for its Community Crisis Response Fund to help communities to respond to the impact of violent incidents and associated crises during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of $200,000 is available through the Community Crisis Response Fund. There are two funding streams: general, and youth-led. In 2020, Toronto City Council allocated $2 million for youth violence prevention grants and an additional $100,000 to fund the creation of this new youth-led Community Crisis Response Fund. More information in the news release.

City parks, beach and amenities this weekend
The City of Toronto continues to safely and gradually open services and amenities for residents to enjoy this weekend, following guidance from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. City park amenities open this weekend include:

  • picnic shelters
  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks
  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts
  • some public tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • off-leash dog parks
  • BMX locations and skateboard parks
  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

If a resident arrives at a park that is crowded, they are advised to visit a different park or return at a later time when there are fewer people.

Toronto beaches remain open. Beaches are not closed under Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff are working with public health officials on how the supervised swim program (i.e. lifeguards) could operate at Toronto beaches and the City will share more information when it becomes available. Swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard at the City’s beaches is not recommended.

Washrooms at Trinity Bellwoods Park will open this weekend, followed by a phased approach with the aim of opening all park washrooms over the next several weeks. Staff are working with Toronto Public Health on guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities.

Most parking lots in City parks are open this weekend. Three lots will remain closed: Sir Sir Casimir Gzowski, Sunnyside and Woodbine. High Park is closed to cars on weekends.

Physical distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods Park
Yesterday, the City of Toronto began adding painted physical distancing circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles roughly 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet apart. Each circle is large enough for two adults laying down or three adults sitting cross-legged.

If the park is crowded when people arrive and if no circles are available, people should visit a different park or come back later. Parks near Trinity Bellwoods Park include Stanley Park and Alexandra Park. Bickford Park, Art Eggleton Park, Christie Pits Park and Dufferin Grove Park are also close.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. As of May 27 at 3 pm. there are 10,901 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 175 cases since the previous day. There are 372 cases in hospital, with 83 in ICU. In total, 8,086 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 810 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.

This week, the City released geographic information on COVID-19 cases in Toronto to help fight the spread of this virus in the city. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Enforcement update
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 62 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued one ticket. Enforcement officers have spoken to more than 6,200 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 34 complaints about gatherings – no tickets were issues.

The Story of Plastic
The Story of Plastic, created by The Story of Stuff, takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.

Sign-up to receive a link to watch the documentary on your own time. And then join our team on Thursday, June 4 as we discuss the film and answer some of your questions about plastics and how we can move toward a zero plastic waste environment.

Ontario Nonprofit Network Webinar
The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is creating engaging and informative webinars for the non-profit sector. Topics for upcoming webinars range from scenario planning and cash flow management to how lessons from previous crises can help us prepare for a post-COVID-19 world. You can find more details on each webinar and register for free by clicking on the links below.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.

Prime Minister announces additional funding for health, economic, and social support for indigenous peoples and communities
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new funding to provide critical support to indigenous families and communities during this crisis. Based on needs that have been identified. The Indigenous Community support of $650 million: $285M to boost health-care resources, $270M to supplement on-reserve income assistance program, $85M towards shelters for women and children feeing violence and ongoing financial support, and more.
More information in the news release .

Support for small business tenants and landlords now available
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The province is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses across Ontario during this difficult time.  To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit Ontario.ca/rentassistance .

Toronto City Council approves property tax relief to help sustain live music venues
Yesterday, Toronto City Council approved recommendations to help address the unprecedented challenges threatening live music venues in Toronto. Council expanded the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclasses to provide property tax relief for live music venues. The new category will apply to live music venues that meet specific eligibility criteria. 

Toronto’s live music venues make a vital contribution to the city's economic, social and cultural life and these businesses need critical support in the face of ongoing pressures that threaten to close dozens of local venues – pressures that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information in the news release .

Volunteers NEEDED for Emmanuel Life Management Centre COVID-19 Emergency Food Bank
Emmanuel Life Management Centre will he handing out, hampers with groceries to residents and communities in need. Food delivery is also available for seniors, elders and person/s with disabilities. Compliance with physical distancing rules will continue and remain 6ft apart while being served.
Date/Time: Every Thursday from 4PM to 6PM
Location: 142 Chester Le Community Corner
Contact: Interested in VOLUNTEERING call Janel at 437-886-4694 9AM to 6PM Mon – Fri or Email elmc2010@hotmail.ca

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic is assisting where needed in Canada’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. The University of Toronto Scarborough and the City of Toronto are supporting the recruitment of volunteers who are able to be a part of these events and support GlobalMedic in addressing food insecurity issues for those in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


May 28, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

I would like to wish all those celebrating a Happy Shavuot to you and your family!

Update on City parks and beaches
The City’s coordinated enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place if necessary.

Toronto beaches and parks provide many opportunities for recreation, a break from the daily routine, and for enjoying the calming effect of nature. Toronto beaches are open in the same way green spaces in parks have been open. Beaches are not closed under Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff are working with public health officials in regard to how the supervised swim program (i.e. lifeguards) could operate at Toronto beaches and the City will share more information when it becomes available.

While visiting a beach or park, you must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding. Under the City’s physical distancing bylaw, any two people who don't live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a City park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket. Under the Province's Emergency Order, a social gathering or organized public event of more than five people is prohibited, unless everyone gathered together live in the same household.

If residents arrive at a park and find that it is overcrowded, the City encourages them to visit a different park or return at a later time when there are fewer people.

Washrooms at Trinity Bellwoods Park will open this weekend, followed by a two-week phased approach for the remainder of the parks.

Physical distancing circles pilot at Trinity Bellwoods Park
Starting today, the City of Toronto is adding painted circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. Known as physical distancing circles, the City’s pilot at Trinity Bellwoods Parks follows recent and well-received examples from other prominent cities including San Francisco and New York.

When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles – 8 feet wide and 10 feet apart – across popular areas of the 14.6-hectare Queen West park. The circles painted on grass should contain no more than five people, all from the same household. If a park is crowded when people arrive and if no circles are available, people should visit a different park or come back later. Parks near Trinity Bellwoods Park include Stanley Park and Alexandra Park. Bickford Park, Art Eggleton Park, Christie Pits Park and Dufferin Grove Park are also close.

New assistance to property owners impacted by COVID-19
Today, Toronto City Council approved a temporary deferral of property tax payments, without property owners having to incur late payment fees or penalties. City of Toronto property owners with a good payment history – those up-to-date on their tax payments as of March 2020 – can request additional time to pay their taxes without incurring interest and late fees for a six-month period effective June 1 to November 30, 2020. Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19, including a prolonged suspension of pay or loss of employment, excessive business revenue loss or business closure, or a pending business insolvency or bankruptcy. For more information, please visit toronto.ca/propertytaxhelp.

City of Toronto opens eighth emergency child care centre for essential and critical service workers
Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto has received authorization from the Province of Ontario to open another licensed child care centre to provide care for the children of essential and critical service workers. Like the first seven centres, this new centre is in an existing City-run licensed child care facility and staffed by City of Toronto child care workers. The new child care centre is now open and is located at Blake Street Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 84 Blake St. in the East York community.

Gardiner closure, accelerated road construction and ActiveTO this weekend
This weekend, the Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Hwy 427 for annual maintenance and improvement activities, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street is fully closed for construction, and there will be closures in place for people to practise physical distancing while being physically active on Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.

The Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed starting at 11 p.m. on Friday, May 29 until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 1 for important annual maintenance and improvements. The City asks residents to please plan your essential travel ahead, leave plenty of extra time and be patient. More information is available at toronto.ca/gardiner.

City of Toronto releases geographic information on local COVID-19 cases
Yesterday, the City released geographic information on COVID-19 cases in Toronto to help fight the spread of this virus in the city. By knowing where those impacted by COVID-19 live, and by assessing other important risk factors, Toronto Public Health is better able to inform preventive actions, identify where proactive testing can be helpful and take action to reduce virus spread.

The maps reflect where individuals live, and do not necessarily reflect where they were initially exposed to this virus. Areas with lower rates of COVID-19 cases are not necessarily safer and do not pose less of a risk of infection. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Waste bin exchanges
As part of our phased approach to resuming services, 311 will now begin taking requests for waste bin exchanges, which were initially suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. Requests to upsize or downsize a recycling or garbage bin can now be made by calling 311. Requests for a new garbage, recycling or green bin, additional bin or bin repair can also be made by calling 311.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. As of May 27 at 3 pm. there are 10,726 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 201 cases since the previous day. There are 367 cases in hospital, with 82 in ICU. In total, 7,944 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 800COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. The latest case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Enforcement update
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 109 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police and bylaw officers issued 10 tickets. Enforcement officers have spoken to more than 6,100 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 64 complaints about gatherings and police issued two gathering-related tickets.

ACORN’s Virtual Protest to Stop Rent Debt
Join ACORN members for a virtual protest to demand the government take action to stop us from accumulating rent debt by creating a rent break. Tenants all across Canada are scared about what's going to happen on June 1st. We're already hearing of landlords harassing tenants, giving fake eviction notices, and ignoring basic repairs. Meanwhile CERB is not enough to cover average rent in Toronto, or it barely leaves enough for food and other bills.
Join ACORN this Friday May June 29th at 1:00 PM to take action and demand the government listen to renters.

Please RSVP by replying to this email. You can join by phone or by computer. More details here: https://acorncanada.org/civicrm/event/info?id=2243

By phone: to dial in call 647 374 4685 then enter meeting ID 932 2171 9466 followed by #
By computer https://zoom.us/j/93221719466 

East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club (ESBGC) FREE LUNCH FRIDAYS!
The ESBGC will be giving away free lunch to the members in our community from the ESBGC parking lot (100 Galloway Rd) this Friday, May 29! Drive-Thru or Walk-Thru and grab a warm lunch from 12:30pm-2:30pm. This weeks menu? Chili and Bread! (Halal and veggie options available). Register HERE.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic is assisting where needed in Canada’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. The University of Toronto Scarborough and the City of Toronto are supporting the recruitment of volunteers who are able to be a part of these events and support GlobalMedic in addressing food insecurity issues for those in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.

The opening of TRCA’s conservation area parks, golf facilities and seasonal campgrounds
Conservation Areas
I am pleased to inform you that effective Saturday, May 30, 2020 we will be ready to open our Conservation Areas and parking lots for passive use, walking, and hiking. Glen Haffy, Albion Hills, Heart Lake, Bruce’s Mill and Petticoat Creek Conservation Areas will be open to members of the public, for paid access, from 9am-6pm this weekend, and weekdays in June from 9am-7pm, and weekends from 9am-9pm. TRCA’s www.trca.ca/ will be updated with information on park re-openings beginning this Friday.

Golf Facilities
With the successful re-opening of Bathurst Glen Golf Course and Burce’s Mill Driving Range experienced last weekend, full season hours are looking to begin as early as possible next week. Again, TRCA’s www.trca.ca/ will be updated next week with this information.

Seasonal Camping
The Government of Ontario’s update List of Essential Workplaces gave permission for campsites to be made available to trailers and recreational vehicles. we will be opening both Albion Hills and Indian Line Campgrounds to those who qualify under the updated Order. This opening is dependent on bringing in a small number of staff next week to support the goal of opening to seasonal campers again beginning early June.

Kortright Centre for Conservation and Black Creek Pioneer Village
While TRCA’s education centres, including the Kortright Centre for Conservation and Black Creek Pioneer Village, remain closed to the public, staff are exploring opportunities to reopen these attractions in ways that engage local residents in natural and cultural heritage learning activities while also ensuring visitor safety. In the meantime, we are encouraging families to take part in TRCA’s #AtHomeWithNature and #VillageAtHome series on Facebook, along with other virtual programming, which are all listed on our website: www.trca.ca/events-calendar/.

Governments and international organizations come together to address economic challenges and sustainability
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, will convene world leaders and international organizations today in a joint initiative to sharpen and accelerate our global response to the significant economic and human impacts of COVID-19, and advance concrete solutions to the development emergency.

With more than 50 Heads of State and Government participating, the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond is the most inclusive gathering of countries to focus on the socio-economic recovery and financing needs from the pandemic. We must continue to coordinate these efforts to avoid a devastating impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. More information in the news release.

Ontario takes further action to protect seniors and staff in Long-Term Care Homes during COVID-19 outbreak
To further protect seniors and staff in long-term care homes, the Ontario government announced today that it is extending the mandate of the Incident Management System Long-Term Care Table. This table is composed of health care professionals who make immediate decisions to deal with issues related to staffing levels, infection management and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In April, an Incident Management System (IMS) structure was established to coordinate operational support to long-term care homes. The IMS table meets daily to organize efforts across multiple providers and government to make rapid decisions that support long-term care homes in need. Homes identified for support are those struggling to control outbreaks, complete infection prevention and control assessments, ensure appropriate staffing levels, have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and complete the testing of all long-term care home residents and staff. More information in the news release.

East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club (ESBGC) FREE LUNCH FRIDAYS!
The ESBGC will be giving away free lunch to the members in our community from the ESBGC parking lot (100 Galloway Rd) this Friday, May 29! Drive-Thru or Walk-Thru and grab a warm lunch from 12:30pm-2:30pm. This weeks menu? Chili and Bread! (Halal and veggie options available). Register HERE.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic
GlobalMedic is assisting where needed in Canada’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. The University of Toronto Scarborough and the City of Toronto are supporting the recruitment of volunteers who are able to be a part of these events and support GlobalMedic in addressing food insecurity issues for those in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.


May 27, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that there are now over 45,000 jobs available for young people on https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home .

Toronto City Council meeting to occur virtually May 28
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto City Council will meet virtually tomorrow, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. The first virtual Council Meeting was held on April 30.

City Council will meet using an online video conferencing platform. The public can view the live stream of the meeting at youtube.com/TorontoCityCouncilLive . The full agenda, which includes urgent items only, can be found online at toronto.ca/council .

Waste bin exchanges
As part of our phased approach to resuming services, 311 will now begin taking requests for waste bin exchanges, which were initially suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. Requests to upsize or downsize a recycling or garbage bin can now be made by calling 311. Requests for a new garbage, recycling or green bin, additional bin or bin repair can also be made by calling 311.

Reopening of all closed waste Drop-Off Depots
As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, waste Drop-Off Depots (Transfer Stations) were closed to the general public. Recently, three of the City’s Drop-Off Depots (Transfer Stations) were reopened to the public on Saturday mornings and two Drop-Off Depots were also opened on weeknights.

Beginning Monday, June 1, all Drop-Off Depots will reopen to the general public. They will operate on regular hours, with the exception of Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-Off Depots, which will only be open to the public on weeknights and Saturday mornings.
The hours for these will remain as follows:  
Bermondsey: Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a half-hour closure from 11:30 pm to midnight, Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Ingram: Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a half-hour closure from 11:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Registered account holders can continue to bring material at any time during operating hours. All locations will accept the regular list of materials including household hazardous waste. Compost pickup will not be available at any Drop-Off Depot. Please keep in mind: wait times may occur, cash will not be accepted. Face mask/covering is recommended, and practice physical distancing.

PPE and community-based agencies
The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has received numerous inquiries over the last number of weeks with respect to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), requests for community-based agencies. In response to these requests and the dynamic status of donations, the City, in partnership with the United Way, has developed a community coordination plan – ten geographic clusters and three additional clusters have been established and are supported by cluster coordinators.

The EOC asks that any community agencies in need of supplies and/or services, including PPE, communicate those needs to their established cluster coordinator. The requests will be shared with the Toronto Office of Partnerships to identify potential donation matches and coordinate delivery of any available supplies. 

Digital Main Street program
The City of Toronto has expanded the Digital Main Street program to help local businesses develop or expand their online services during COVID-19 pandemic. Digital Main Street offers online tools, connections to trusted digital vendors, structured online learning and a Digital Service Squad who provide one-on-one assistance to help businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.

Local businesses can complete the Digital Main Street onboarding process and receive their free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/toronto/

City of Toronto opens eighth emergency child care centre for essential and critical service workers
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto has received authorization from the Province of Ontario to open another licensed child care centre to provide care for the children of essential and critical service workers. Like the first seven centres, this new centre is in an existing City-run licensed child care facility and staffed by City of Toronto child care workers. The new child care centre is now open and is located at Blake Street Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 84 Blake St. in the East York community.

Gardiner closure, accelerated road construction and ActiveTO this weekend
This weekend, the Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Hwy 427 for annual maintenance and improvement activities, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street is fully closed for construction, and there will be closures in place for people to practise physical distancing while being physically active on Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.

The Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed starting at 11 p.m. on Friday, May 29 until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 1 for important annual maintenance and improvements. More information at toronto.ca/gardiner

Access to public washrooms and showers
The City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services.

Starting at the end of day Thursday, May 28, Commander Recreation Centre/Arena and Malvern Recreation Centre/Arena will be transitioned out and staff from these centres will begin preparation to open the Amesbury Arena. This facility will open on May 31 and will offer access to washrooms, showers and water. For up-to-date locations, operating hours and amenities, please visit this site .

City of Toronto releases geographic information on local COVID-19 cases
Today, the City released geographic information on COVID-19 cases in Toronto to help fight the spread of this virus in the city. By knowing where those impacted by COVID-19 live, and by assessing other important risk factors, Toronto Public Health is better able to inform preventive actions, identify where proactive testing can be helpful and take action to reduce virus spread.

The maps reflect where individuals live, and do not necessarily reflect where they were initially exposed to this virus. Areas with lower rates of COVID-19 cases are not necessarily safer and do not pose less of a risk of infection. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform here .

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. There are 10,525 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 152 cases since yesterday. There are 356 cases in hospital, with 84 in ICU. In total, 7,814 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 187 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 780 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform here .

Enforcement update
The COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and proactively patrol parks and other public spaces, in an effort to ensure public understanding of the need to maintain physical distancing. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place as necessary.

Yesterday, the City received 217 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police and bylaw officers issued 17 tickets. Enforcement officers have spoken to nearly 6,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 64 complaints about gatherings and police issued 13 gathering-related tickets.

Volunteer with GlobalMedic

GlobalMedic is assisting where needed in Canada’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. GlobalMedic will be packing hygiene kits and emergency food nearly every weekday to support vulnerable people and front-line healthcare workers across Canada. The University of Toronto Scarborough and the City of Toronto are supporting the recruitment of volunteers who are able to be a part of these events and support GlobalMedic in addressing food insecurity issues for those in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up to volunteer with GlobalMedic visit this link.

Guildwood Extendicare 
Toronto Public Health response from the evening of May 26 regarding Guildwood Extendicare:

The Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) team is aware of the concerns raised.  The manager assigned to this facility along with our Associate Medical Officer of Health, met with the Local Health Integration Network, the Scarborough Health Network and the home’s management this afternoon to review outbreak control measures and requirements.  Toronto Public Health representatives brought forward the concerns raised below (confidentially), specifically the improper disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE).  The facility’s management acknowledged they are aware of the issue and confirmed they are addressing the matter by providing additional training to staff and by having the ground crews and cleaning staff clean up any debris around the property including improperly discarded PPE. 

In addition to our LTCH Team raising the concerns directly with the facility during the meeting this afternoon, we also sent a COVID-19 Inspection and Enforcement Inspector to Guildwood Extendicare facility at approximately 330pm to assess and observe the situation (exterior).  There was no protest taking place and no PPE debris observed on the grounds.  The Inspector circled the property and observed a grounds crew working on the facility's landscaping, including general cleanup/maintenance of the property.

Toronto Public Health, along with key health partners will continue to work with the facility on outbreak management to reduce the risk of further spread of the virus.  We will recommend that the facility remind employees of infection prevention and control best practices including not wearing soiled work uniforms when visiting public places.  

Please share that TPH welcomes on-going feedback, and encourages anyone who has concerns to call our COVID-19 hotline at: 416-338-7600 (between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., 7 days a week).  Concerned parties can also send us an email at:  publichealth@toronto.ca.  Concerns or complaints are treated as confidential and we will be happy to assess, review and take appropriate action. 

Toronto City Council meeting to occur virtually May 28
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto City Council will meet virtually tomorrow, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. The first virtual Council Meeting was held on April 30.
City Council will meet using an online video conferencing platform. The public can view the live stream of the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/TorontoCityCouncilLive

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s At Home with Nature series
Join the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s At Home with Nature series. On May 28 at 2pm, they will be broadcasting live from The Meadoway. A leading expert in restoration, Katie Turnbull, will take us on a tour to visit a section of the project that is just getting underway. From oats to machines, we’ll look beneath the Gatineau hydro corridor to see what it takes to create a thriving meadow.

Cooling Centres during Heat Relief
Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Heat Warning for Toronto for Tuesday, May 26, and Wednesday, May 27. Starting today, six locations will offer a publicly accessible air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Infection prevention and control measures will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Cooling Centres will be open at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 26 and 27:

  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd
  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.
  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

Read more in the news release.


May 26, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Cooling Centres during Heat Relief
Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Heat Warning for Toronto for Tuesday, May 26, and Wednesday, May 27. Starting today, six locations will offer a publicly accessible air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Infection prevention and control measures will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Cooling Centres will be open at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 26 and 27:

  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd
  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.
  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

Read more in the news release.

Second Phase of the Housing Now initiative released
The release of the Phase Two sites of Housing Now was announced today, a signature initiative to increase the supply of new affordable rental housing within mixed-income, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities on City-owned lands across Toronto. This second phase of the Housing Now initiative is expected to create between 1,455 to 1,710 new residential units.

Housing Now is a key component of the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO) and contributes towards the City's target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes over the next 10 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an even greater number of residents experiencing housing challenges while also underscoring the importance of having a home in order to practice physical distancing and self-isolation. More details on Phase Two of the Housing Now Initiative can be found in the staff report. Read more in the news release.

Access to public washrooms and showers
The City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services.

Starting May 24, the following three new facilities opened to the public: Lamport Stadium, Demenico DiLuca Community Centre and Albion Arena, all providing access to washrooms, showers and water.

Service transition: Starting at the end of day Thursday, May 28, Commander Recreation Centre/Arena and Malvern Recreation Centre/Arena will be transitioned out and staff from these centres will begin preparation to open the Amesbury Arena. This facility will open on May 31 and will offer access to washrooms, showers and water.

For up-to-date locations, operating hours and amenities, please visit this site.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. There are 10,373 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 161 cases since yesterday. There are 365 cases in hospital, with 89 in ICU. In total, 7,627 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 118 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 768 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Enforcement update
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Yesterday, the City received 134 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police and bylaw officers issued 11 tickets. Enforcement officers have spoken to almost 5,500 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 71 complaints about gatherings and police issued three gathering-related tickets.

Canada Student Emergency Benefits and Pandemic Pay Webinar
West Scarborough Legal Services is hosting a webinar on the topic of Canada Student Emergency Benefits and Pandemic Pay. The webinar will be held on Monday June 1st, 2020 from 2-3PM. Register here.

Expanded eligibility for Canada Emergency Business Account
The Government of Canada announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account program to include many owner-operated small businesses. More information on this can be read in this news release.

Information on financial supports and other COVID-19 related matters in multiple languages
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship has translated 10 questions and answers about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) into multiple languages so that people can get the information they need, in the language they are most comfortable with. This link also includes some information regarding the Canada Child Benefit in 10 common languages other than English and French. Public Health Agency of Canada also has a list of resources related to COVID-19, many of which are available in multiple languages. Fact sheets, infographics and videos with key public health advice on COVID-19 are added and updated regularly.


May 25, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Heat Relief 2020
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) today issued a Heat Warning for Toronto for Tuesday, May 26, and Wednesday, May 27. ECCC issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.

The City’s Heat Relief Strategy has been updated for the 2020 hot weather season, in response to COVID-19, to ensure that emergency heat relief opportunities are available and accessible to those who may need it. Many facilities that were part of the City’s 2019 Heat Relief Network of cool spaces across Toronto are closed due to COVID-19. For this reason, the City’s plan for heat relief this year has been modified and includes a select number of Emergency Cooling Centres that will open across Toronto during Heat Warnings.

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, May 26) six locations will offer a publicly accessible air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Infection prevention and control measures will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Cooling Centres will be open at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 26 and 27:

  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd
  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.
  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

Help residents keep cool: Toronto Heat Bylaw
The Heat Bylaw states that all landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1. However, there are periods during spring when unseasonably warm weather can cause the indoor temperature of units to rise above this temperature without additional heat. Landlords can turn off the heat in rental units, if the weather outside means that the building is 21 degrees Celsius without heat. More information about the heat bylaw is available at toronto.ca/heatbylaw .

Paramedic Services Week 2020
May 24-30, 2020 is Paramedic Services Week in Canada. This celebration is held each year to recognize the contributions of these vital public servants who help maintain a safe and healthy city for all Torontonians. Today, we acknowledge the staff of Toronto Paramedic Services including those on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who ensure that when any member of the public calls 9-1-1 for medical assistance, they receive superior and compassionate paramedic-based health care, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Waitlist for businesses requiring licenses and/or permits from the City of Toronto
In March, following advice from the Medical Officer of Health and in support of the City of Toronto’s coordinated response to COVID-19, the City suspended a number of City services to ensure the continued delivery of critical services and protect the health of City staff and residents. The issuing of new business licences and renewal of existing licences by the City of Toronto has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) understands the anxiety business owners are experiencing and is making plans to resume licensing activities as part of the City’s recovery and rebuild efforts. A waitlist has been created for businesses requiring licences and/or permits from the City of Toronto. Businesses that are on the waitlist will be contacted directly by MLS staff, in order of registration, with information about next steps in online licensing and resumption of services. Businesses wishing to be added to the waitlist can email mlsapplication@toronto.ca . More information on business licensing and application requirements is available at https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/permits-licences-bylaws/ .

Non-emergency bylaw enforcement and investigation services remain suspended, including service requests related to enforcement of bylaws governing licensed businesses. Information on City services can be found online: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/ .

Last Pothole Blitz of May
Yesterday, City of Toronto crews repaired 6,807 potholes and addressed 168 requests for pothole repairs during the last of three weekend pothole blitzes planned in May.

Reminder: Face coverings or non-medical masks strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

Toronto Public Health partnering with COVID-19 Near You
Toronto Public Health is partnering with COVID Near You to monitor the frequency of COVID-like symptoms in Toronto. COVID Near You relies on voluntary participation from the general public, asking you to take a few seconds to report if you or your family members have been healthy or sick.

Toronto Public Health is asking residents to help them learn how symptoms of COVID-19 may be moving through our community by completing a short survey about their current symptoms. A link to the COVID Near You survey can be found on the Reduce Virus Spread page.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. There are 10,212 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 177 cases since yesterday. There are 377 cases in hospital, with 91 in ICU. In total, 7,509 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 112 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 761 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/ .

Enforcement update
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place if necessary.

Yesterday, the City had a greater number of bylaw and police officers at Trinity Bellwoods Park throughout the day educating residents about physical distancing and proper use of the park. This strategy was successful, and although many people enjoyed the park, there was not a repeat of Saturday. If a park is crowded when residents arrive, we encourage them to visit a different park, or come back later.

To assist residents with physical distancing, the City is exploring the use of circles painted on the grass, as has been successful in other jurisdictions. This will be piloted in Trinity Bellwoods Park, and staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this measure and may expand it to other destination and high traffic parks in Toronto.

No public ferry access to Toronto Island Park
There is no public ferry access to Toronto Island Park. New federal regulations limit the number of individuals on a ferry in order to reduce crowding and limit the potential for virus transmission. The ferry will continue running for Island residents only.

Online Webinar for Retail Businesses, May 28, 2020
The City’s Economic Development division is working with Toronto Public Health on a number of resources to assist businesses as they work to re-open. Part of that work includes guidelines and best practices for various sectors. This Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the City is hosting a free webinar about government guidelines and recently created City programs to support main street and retail businesses. Register for the event here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that applications are now being accepted for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75% for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50% of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25% and the property forgiving at least 25%. For more information please read the full news release .

COVID-19 Local Assessment centres
If you or someone you know would like to be tested, you're asked to visit one of the local testing centres closest to you. For a list of available locations, click HERE

Guildwood Extendicare
COVID-19 outbreak at Guildwood Extendicare.  Since the outbreak was declared at this facility, Toronto Public Health (TPH) assigned an investigator to work with the home to provide guidance and recommendations on outbreak control measures, in accordance with provincial guidelines.  These measures include, but are not limited to:

    • Posting outbreak notification signs at the entrance and on outbreak affected units
    • Ensuring droplet contact precautions in place, meaning staff wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when providing direct care residents
    • Testing all residents and staff on outbreak affected floors /units, including staff and residents not displaying symptoms (asymptomatic), in accordance with the provincial directive on COVID 19 testing
    • Ensuring COVID-19 positive residents are isolated with COVID-19 positive residents on the affected outbreak floors/units
    • Conducting daily screening of staff (twice a day)
    • Restricting admissions, readmissions and visitations (some exceptions for essential visitors)
    • Increased surveillance and enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection
    • Physical distancing measures are in place, and the cancellation of all communal activities

Toronto Public Health is also investigate all outbreak associated positive cases of COVID-19 and close contacts, and provide the facility with COVID-19 test swabs.  With respect to testing at this facility, please note that universal/mass testing of all residents and staff has been conducted twice (April 23, 2020  and May 15, 2020).

To further assist with bringing this outbreak under control, local health care partners including the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) have joined TPH in supporting this facility.  Specifically, the SHN has conducted infection prevention and control (IPAC) online and onsite training with all staff; and performed an IPAC assessment, an environmental assessment and a health and safety assessment. The LHIN is providing staffing support at this facility, and as of May 21, 2020, Public Health Ontario also conducted an additional IPAC assessment.  

Toronto Public Health will continue to support this long-term care home through the outbreak and remains engaged with local health care partners who are also involved.  These are extraordinary times and we appreciate the desire for more information. Please be assured our focus is managing this pandemic and supporting our healthcare partners in managing institutional outbreaks, especially because this affects our most City’s vulnerable – our parents, grand-parents and loved ones.  This is why we also continue to remind people to stay home to protect our essential workers so that they can continue to protect us and our loved ones.

If you require further information please contact your Provincial Member of Parliament for further updates. Mitzie Hunter MPP mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

City of Toronto ActiveTO cycling network plan proposes 40 kilometres of expanded and accelerated routes
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that a City of Toronto staff report scheduled for consideration by City Council later this week proposes that key parts of the cycling network be expanded, through accelerated installation of routes in the council-approved Cycling Network Plan, as part of the ActiveTO program.

During the April 30 Toronto City Council meeting, staff were requested to look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the city’s COVID-19 restart and recovery and in anticipation of changes in traffic patterns. For more information please read this news release.

Full Closure of Markham Road at Hwy 401
Please be advised that as part of the Ministry of Transportation’s ongoing construction project, Markham Road Northbound and Southbound will be fully closed at Highway 401 from May 30, 2020 at 10:00PM to May 31, 2020 at 10AM for Markham Road Bridge deck removal.

During the full closure, Markham Road Southbound traffic planning to access Highway 401 Eastbound Collectors will be detoured to Markham Road Northbound on-ramp via Progress Avenue-Detour 25.

During the full closure, Markham Road Northbound traffic planning to access Highway 401 Westbound Collectors will be detoured to Markham Road Southbound on-ramp via Progress Avenue- Detour 24.

Please see this map for more details. 

Toronto Zoo Scenic Drive-Thru Now Open!
This weekend, the Toronto Zoo officially opened to public the new Scenic Drive-Thru experience. With a sell-out crowd of over 700 cars expected on its first day of full operations, a number of VIPs were on hand to officially open and welcome the eager Zoo guests. The new Scenic Safari driving route will allow guests to see the Zoo’s animals from the comfort and safety of their own vehicle along a 3.4 kilometres route which takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Check out http://www.torontozoo.com/scenicsafari/ for details.

Guests must pre-purchase their tickets by booking their drive-thru time online at torontozoo.com. Tickets are currently SOLD OUT.  New dates/tickets will be available soon, watch torontozoo.com for updates and ticket information.

May 25, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Heat Relief 2020
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) today issued a Heat Warning for Toronto for Tuesday, May 26, and Wednesday, May 27. ECCC issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.

The City’s Heat Relief Strategy has been updated for the 2020 hot weather season, in response to COVID-19, to ensure that emergency heat relief opportunities are available and accessible to those who may need it. Many facilities that were part of the City’s 2019 Heat Relief Network of cool spaces across Toronto are closed due to COVID-19. For this reason, the City’s plan for heat relief this year has been modified and includes a select number of Emergency Cooling Centres that will open across Toronto during Heat Warnings.

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, May 26) six locations will offer a publicly accessible air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Infection prevention and control measures will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Cooling Centres will be open at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 26 and 27:

  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St.
  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd
  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.
  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

Help residents keep cool: Toronto Heat Bylaw
The Heat Bylaw states that all landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1. However, there are periods during spring when unseasonably warm weather can cause the indoor temperature of units to rise above this temperature without additional heat. Landlords can turn off the heat in rental units, if the weather outside means that the building is 21 degrees Celsius without heat. More information about the heat bylaw is available at toronto.ca/heatbylaw .

Paramedic Services Week 2020
May 24-30, 2020 is Paramedic Services Week in Canada. This celebration is held each year to recognize the contributions of these vital public servants who help maintain a safe and healthy city for all Torontonians. Today, we acknowledge the staff of Toronto Paramedic Services including those on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who ensure that when any member of the public calls 9-1-1 for medical assistance, they receive superior and compassionate paramedic-based health care, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Waitlist for businesses requiring licenses and/or permits from the City of Toronto
In March, following advice from the Medical Officer of Health and in support of the City of Toronto’s coordinated response to COVID-19, the City suspended a number of City services to ensure the continued delivery of critical services and protect the health of City staff and residents. The issuing of new business licences and renewal of existing licences by the City of Toronto has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) understands the anxiety business owners are experiencing and is making plans to resume licensing activities as part of the City’s recovery and rebuild efforts. A waitlist has been created for businesses requiring licences and/or permits from the City of Toronto. Businesses that are on the waitlist will be contacted directly by MLS staff, in order of registration, with information about next steps in online licensing and resumption of services. Businesses wishing to be added to the waitlist can email mlsapplication@toronto.ca . More information on business licensing and application requirements is available at https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/permits-licences-bylaws/ .

Non-emergency bylaw enforcement and investigation services remain suspended, including service requests related to enforcement of bylaws governing licensed businesses. Information on City services can be found online: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/ .

Last Pothole Blitz of May
Yesterday, City of Toronto crews repaired 6,807 potholes and addressed 168 requests for pothole repairs during the last of three weekend pothole blitzes planned in May.

Reminder: Face coverings or non-medical masks strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

Toronto Public Health partnering with COVID-19 Near You
Toronto Public Health is partnering with COVID Near You to monitor the frequency of COVID-like symptoms in Toronto. COVID Near You relies on voluntary participation from the general public, asking you to take a few seconds to report if you or your family members have been healthy or sick.

Toronto Public Health is asking residents to help them learn how symptoms of COVID-19 may be moving through our community by completing a short survey about their current symptoms. A link to the COVID Near You survey can be found on the Reduce Virus Spread page.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. There are 10,212 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 177 cases since yesterday. There are 377 cases in hospital, with 91 in ICU. In total, 7,509 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 112 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 761 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/ .

Enforcement update
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place if necessary.

Yesterday, the City had a greater number of bylaw and police officers at Trinity Bellwoods Park throughout the day educating residents about physical distancing and proper use of the park. This strategy was successful, and although many people enjoyed the park, there was not a repeat of Saturday. If a park is crowded when residents arrive, we encourage them to visit a different park, or come back later.

To assist residents with physical distancing, the City is exploring the use of circles painted on the grass, as has been successful in other jurisdictions. This will be piloted in Trinity Bellwoods Park, and staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this measure and may expand it to other destination and high traffic parks in Toronto.

No public ferry access to Toronto Island Park
There is no public ferry access to Toronto Island Park. New federal regulations limit the number of individuals on a ferry in order to reduce crowding and limit the potential for virus transmission. The ferry will continue running for Island residents only.

Online Webinar for Retail Businesses, May 28, 2020
The City’s Economic Development division is working with Toronto Public Health on a number of resources to assist businesses as they work to re-open. Part of that work includes guidelines and best practices for various sectors. This Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the City is hosting a free webinar about government guidelines and recently created City programs to support main street and retail businesses. Register for the event here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that applications are now being accepted for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75% for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50% of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25% and the property forgiving at least 25%. For more information please read the full news release .

COVID-19 Local Assessment centres
If you or someone you know would like to be tested, you're asked to visit one of the local testing centres closest to you. For a list of available locations, click HERE

Guildwood Extendicare
COVID-19 outbreak at Guildwood Extendicare.  Since the outbreak was declared at this facility, Toronto Public Health (TPH) assigned an investigator to work with the home to provide guidance and recommendations on outbreak control measures, in accordance with provincial guidelines.  These measures include, but are not limited to:

    • Posting outbreak notification signs at the entrance and on outbreak affected units
    • Ensuring droplet contact precautions in place, meaning staff wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when providing direct care residents
    • Testing all residents and staff on outbreak affected floors /units, including staff and residents not displaying symptoms (asymptomatic), in accordance with the provincial directive on COVID 19 testing
    • Ensuring COVID-19 positive residents are isolated with COVID-19 positive residents on the affected outbreak floors/units
    • Conducting daily screening of staff (twice a day)
    • Restricting admissions, readmissions and visitations (some exceptions for essential visitors)
    • Increased surveillance and enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection
    • Physical distancing measures are in place, and the cancellation of all communal activities

Toronto Public Health is also investigate all outbreak associated positive cases of COVID-19 and close contacts, and provide the facility with COVID-19 test swabs.  With respect to testing at this facility, please note that universal/mass testing of all residents and staff has been conducted twice (April 23, 2020  and May 15, 2020).

To further assist with bringing this outbreak under control, local health care partners including the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) have joined TPH in supporting this facility.  Specifically, the SHN has conducted infection prevention and control (IPAC) online and onsite training with all staff; and performed an IPAC assessment, an environmental assessment and a health and safety assessment. The LHIN is providing staffing support at this facility, and as of May 21, 2020, Public Health Ontario also conducted an additional IPAC assessment.  

Toronto Public Health will continue to support this long-term care home through the outbreak and remains engaged with local health care partners who are also involved.  These are extraordinary times and we appreciate the desire for more information. Please be assured our focus is managing this pandemic and supporting our healthcare partners in managing institutional outbreaks, especially because this affects our most City’s vulnerable – our parents, grand-parents and loved ones.  This is why we also continue to remind people to stay home to protect our essential workers so that they can continue to protect us and our loved ones.

If you require further information please contact your Provincial Member of Parliament for further updates. Mitzie Hunter MPP mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

City of Toronto ActiveTO cycling network plan proposes 40 kilometres of expanded and accelerated routes
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that a City of Toronto staff report scheduled for consideration by City Council later this week proposes that key parts of the cycling network be expanded, through accelerated installation of routes in the council-approved Cycling Network Plan, as part of the ActiveTO program.

During the April 30 Toronto City Council meeting, staff were requested to look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the city’s COVID-19 restart and recovery and in anticipation of changes in traffic patterns. For more information please read this news release.

Full Closure of Markham Road at Hwy 401
Please be advised that as part of the Ministry of Transportation’s ongoing construction project, Markham Road Northbound and Southbound will be fully closed at Highway 401 from May 30, 2020 at 10:00PM to May 31, 2020 at 10AM for Markham Road Bridge deck removal.

During the full closure, Markham Road Southbound traffic planning to access Highway 401 Eastbound Collectors will be detoured to Markham Road Northbound on-ramp via Progress Avenue-Detour 25.

During the full closure, Markham Road Northbound traffic planning to access Highway 401 Westbound Collectors will be detoured to Markham Road Southbound on-ramp via Progress Avenue- Detour 24.

Please see this map for more details. 

Toronto Zoo Scenic Drive-Thru Now Open!
This weekend, the Toronto Zoo officially opened to public the new Scenic Drive-Thru experience. With a sell-out crowd of over 700 cars expected on its first day of full operations, a number of VIPs were on hand to officially open and welcome the eager Zoo guests. The new Scenic Safari driving route will allow guests to see the Zoo’s animals from the comfort and safety of their own vehicle along a 3.4 kilometres route which takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Check out http://www.torontozoo.com/scenicsafari/ for details.

Guests must pre-purchase their tickets by booking their drive-thru time online at torontozoo.com. Tickets are currently SOLD OUT.  New dates/tickets will be available soon, watch torontozoo.com for updates and ticket information.


May 21, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Prime Minister announces additional support for Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. This funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis. Full news release can be read here .

Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough Community Lunch Tomorrow
In partnership with Children's Charity by Presidents Choice we will be 'feeding hungry minds.' Our club will be giving away free lunch to the members in our community from the ESBGC parking lot this Friday! Drive-Thru or Walk-Thru and grab a warm lunch from 12:30pm-2:30pm. This week’s menu? Soups and Sandwiches! (Halal and veggie options available). More information here .

Toronto Public Library starting curbside drop-off and pick-up service
Toronto Public Library (TPL) today announced details about the rollout of its curbside drop-off and pick-up service. Starting Monday, May 25, Research & Reference Locations and District Branch locations, including Cedarbrae Library in Ward 24, will open their drop boxes to accept the return of library materials. On Monday, June 1, drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns. TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan. For a full map of library locations, click here .

The introduction of these services will follow the reopening framework provided by the Province of Ontario, the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, and incorporates best practices within library and retail industries for the safe delivery of curbside service. For more information please click here .

More than 850 park amenities to reopen this week
City of Toronto will open more than 850 park amenities this week, following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

Five BMX locations, 14 skateboard parks and four-disc golf locations opened yesterday. Park amenities scheduled to open in time for this upcoming weekend include:

  • picnic shelters
  • more than 300 soccer and multi-use outdoor fields
  • more than 300 baseball diamonds and
  • 150 basketball courts.

The reopening of parks amenities will continue into next week, as staff work with Toronto Public Health to open lawn bowling facilities and outdoor bocce.

Update about tennis courts:

  • When the Province amended its emergency order, staff developed COVID-19 guidelines for public use as well as club use in consultation with Toronto Public Health. These guidelines will be posted on the City's website.
  • Guidelines include bringing one's own tennis balls, no doubles, self-screening prior to attending the court, physical distancing, and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Signage is in production and will be installed this weekend.
  • Tennis courts are being prepared by staff for opening now, including removal of boards, installation of nets, and repairs.
  • Courts will begin to open for public use early next week.
  • Staff have been in communication with tennis clubs, and will be issuing new permits shortly. Clubs are being provided with access for setup effective May 22. We expect a start date for club play next week.

Update about parking:

  • All parks parking lots will be open by this weekend, with the exception of:
  • Sunnyside and Sir Casimir in the western beaches due to the ActiveTO Lakeshore closure this weekend – these will open next week.
  • In order to allow for physical distancing on busy weekends, High Park will be closed to vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Concrete barriers at Ashbridges Bay and Cherry Beach will be removed by this weekend and Transportation Services will manage access through ActiveTO.
  • Locations with concrete barriers need special equipment for removal. These will be removed next week. These locations are:
      • North York: Leaside Park
      • South: Underpass Park; Kiwanis Pool at Stan Wadlow Park; Haldon Avenue parking lot for Taylor Creek Park; Riverdale East Park, North entrance to Pool/Rink
      • East: Malvern C.C.; Burrows Hall C.C.; Major Ali Abbas Park/Scott Westney House
      • West: Sunnyside; Sir Casmir

St. Lawrence Market: Outdoor season of the Saturday Farmers Market begins this weekend
The outdoor season of the Saturday Farmers Market will begin on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Outdoor farmers will be located on Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street. Other farmers will continue to operate inside the Temporary Market. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers will continue to start on Market Street for entrance to both areas. Visitors who are not from the same household are required to maintain a physical distance of two metres. All visitors are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. Please visit stlawrencemarket.com for more information.

Face coverings or non-medical masks strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

Major Road Closures this weekend
The following three major road closures are planned this weekend for ActiveTO from Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Traffic will be actively managed during these closures through signal timing adjustments on adjacent routes, as well as roadway signage to alert drivers.  Motorists who normally travel these roads on weekends should plan alternate routes. Those expecting to use the major road closures to cycle, run or walk should access them by bike or as a pedestrian, since nearby parking is limited and site parking is not provided.

ActiveTO includes a plan for 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets across the city. Work on installing and planning Quiet Streets on neighbourhood roads is continuing. Quiet Streets are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, are placed at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas are not impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, continue as normal.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. As the City safely and gradually reopens select park amenities and businesses, residents are urged to continue following public health advice to help stop the community spread of the virus. There are 9,357 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 228 cases since yesterday. There are 411 cases in hospital, with 96 in ICU. In total, 6,885 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 150 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 732 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

Everyone has a role to play to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to adhere to the advice of Toronto’s Medial Officer of Health:

  • practise physical distancing by keeping two metres (six feet) from others
  • wear a face covering or non-medical mask in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • wash hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and
  • stay home if feeling unwell and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Enforcement update
The City’s physical distancing bylaw and the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders remain in effect. Yesterday, the City received 90 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued six tickets for physical distancing. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 4,100 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.


May 20, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

City of Toronto reopening more than 850 park amenities this week
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the City of Toronto will open more than 850 park amenities this week, following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The City of Toronto closed all parks amenities in March, based on public health advice and ahead of the provincial order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

Dog Off-Leash Areas are now open
The City’s more than 70 dog off-leash areas opened today following the Province’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. While visiting, people must continue to practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) or three happy dogs apart.

City of Toronto reopening waste Drop-off Depots to the public  
The City of Toronto, under the guidance of the Medical Officer of Health, is gradually reopening City facilities and restarting operations where it is safe to do so. As part of the City’s phased resumption of services, Drop-off Depots (Transfer Stations) are now partially reopening to the public.

Starting on Tuesday, May 19, at 6 p.m., Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-off Depots will open to the public on weeknights for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste. Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Bermondsey: Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Ingram: Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 am to 6 a.m.

In addition, Bermondsey, Ingram, as well as Scarborough Drop-off Depots will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste, as well as household hazardous waste. For more information please read the news release or view the COVID-19: Changes to City Services COVID-19: Changes to City Services web page .

Toronto Zoo reopening this weekend
The Toronto Zoo will open for a drive-through experience starting Saturday. Visitors can tour around the Zoo from the comfort of their car for a 45-minute safari adventure starting May 23. Tickets will be on sale starting May 22 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, please visit torontozoo.com/scenicsafari

City of Toronto strongly recommends face coverings or non-medical masks be worn when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, today Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommended that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Toronto Public Health advises that wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs. However, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. 

City of Toronto expands ActiveTO major road closures this weekend
Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures footprint this weekend to provide residents with more space to physically distance while outdoors and getting exercise, while helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Vehicle access on parts of more major roads will be closed for walking, running and biking this Saturday and Sunday.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
With additional park amenities reopening today, residents are reminded of the importance of adhering to public health advice to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

There are 9,129 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 263 cases since yesterday. There are 413 cases in hospital, with 92 in ICU. In total, 6,735 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 119 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 716 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

Enforcement update
The COVID-19 enforcement team will continue responding to complaints and proactively patrolling parks and other public spaces, in an effort to ensure public understanding of the need to limit social interactions. Officers are out educating residents on the City’s physical distancing bylaw and the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders, and only issuing tickets in circumstances where education efforts have failed. Yesterday, the City received 64 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued three tickets for physical distancing. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 4,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Today, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Officer recommended the use of non-medical masks as an additional layer of protection when practicing physical distancing is difficult or you cannot keep a 2-metre distance from others. Dr. Tam noted that her recommendation to wear masks has changed due to the more evidence of asymptomatic symptoms.

Prime Minister announces opening of program to protect jobs and help businesses
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25. Read more information in the news release here.

Government announces support program for large employers is open for applications
Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, announced the opening of the application process for the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going. Read more information in the news release here.

Metrolinx announces train service change and closure of Bay East teamway
Starting Monday, May 25, there will be more weekday morning and afternoon rush hour trips on the Lakeshore East line to provide more options for our customers. Schedules will also be adjusted with some departures up to 15 minutes earlier.

  • New weekday morning westbound trips will depart Oshawa GO at 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m., arriving at Union Station at 7:10 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.
  • New weekday afternoon eastbound trips will depart Union Station at 3:43 p.m., 4:43 p.m., and 5:43 p.m. from platforms 25 and 26, arriving at Oshawa GO at 4:43 p.m., 5:43 p.m. and 6:43 p.m.

More information on train schedule changes can be found here.

Property Tax Questions
The City of Toronto has issued its 2020 interim property tax bills – the first of two tax bills mailed annually. The 2020 final tax bill will be mailed in May.

For property owners enrolled in the Pre-Authorized Tax Payment (PTP) program, the 2020 interim tax due dates are:
• Two-instalment plan: March 2
• Six-instalment plan: March 2, April 1, May 1
• Eleven-instalment plan: February 18, March 16, April 15, May 15, June 15

If you have any further questions you can call 311 or contact my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca or 416-396-7222


May 19, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Prime Minister announces expansion of support for workers and small businesses
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on. Read more details in the news release here.

City of Toronto statement on interim settlement re: continued physical distancing measures in City’s shelter system
The City of Toronto has reached an interim settlement with respect to a motion for an injunction regarding the City’s unprecedented response to protect those experiencing homelessness in Toronto.

The interim settlement confirms the City's commitment and on-going work since March to physical distancing in shelter and respite sites of at least two metres of lateral separation between beds or alternate sleeping arrangements, and no use of the upper bunks of bunk beds in any setting. The City is also ensuring that all alternative indoor space offered to anyone living outside meets physical distancing measures.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Physical distancing remains crucial as Toronto Public Health continues to report new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. There are 8,866 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 263 cases since yesterday. There are 416 cases in hospital, with 90 in ICU. In total, 6,616 cases are resolved, an increase of 123 cases since yesterday (data as of May 18, 4 p.m.). Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

Enforcement update
While healthy residents are encouraged to get fresh air and exercise, provincial orders and the City bylaw on physical distancing remain in effect, requiring people who are not from the same household to maintain a physical distance of two metres in a park or public square. The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city, educating residents on the bylaw and provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders. This month, the enforcement team has issued 53 tickets related to the use of amenities or gatherings in parks or squares and spoken to 3,725 people.

Program for retailers re-opening for curbside pickup
The City has created a plan to support retailers as they re-open for curbside pickup and delivery. This includes a program to establish temporary parking pick-up zones and curb lane pedestrian zones. All businesses should follow advice from public health experts and can learn more about government guidelines for street entrance retailers reopening for pickup services at a webinar on May 21 or May 28 at 11 a.m.

City of Toronto encourages businesses to sign up for Ritual ONE this month to access free service for life
The City of Toronto, earlier this week, announced a new partnership with Toronto start-up Ritual to help local businesses accept digital orders online and onsite. The partnership is one of many initiatives to help businesses, led by Mayor Tory’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force. Toronto businesses can sign up for Ritual ONE at https://ritual.co/partners .

Businesses enrolled in the City's ShopHERE program are eligible for Ritual ONE and a lifetime exemption from commission and subscription fees. Toronto independent businesses and artists can sign up for their free online ShopHERE store at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere/ .

On Sunday, a Canadian Forces Snowbird crashed in Kamloops, British Columbia. Two members were aboard the aircraft. The pilot, Captain Richard MacDougall survived with minor injuries and Captain Jennifer Casey tragically lost her life. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Captain Jennifer Casey and my wishes for a speedy recovery for Captain MacDougall.

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced details regarding the remainder of the school year. After consulting with health experts, Premier Ford announced that schools cannot be opened at this time. Premier Ford also ensured that they do have a plan in place so that children can continue with at home learning as well as plans to support parents as they return to their job. The province has ensured that students, kindergarten to Grade 12 will receive their report cards and that students expecting to graduate will still have the opportunity to do so. Additionally, the Premier announced that overnight summer camps will remain closed. While this was a tough decision to make it is the right direction to move into. Full details can be found here .

Dogs Off-Leash Areas

The City’s more than 70 dog off-leash areas are open following the Province’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. While visiting, people must continue to practise physical distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) or three happy dogs apart. More information can be found here.

City of Toronto statement on interim settlement re: continued physical distancing measures in City’s shelter system
The City of Toronto has reached an interim settlement with respect to a motion for an injunction regarding the City’s unprecedented response to protect those experiencing homelessness in Toronto.

The interim settlement confirms the City's commitment and on-going work since March to physical distancing in shelter and respite sites of at least two metres of lateral separation between beds or alternate sleeping arrangements, and no use of the upper bunks of bunk beds in any setting. The City is also ensuring that all alternative indoor space offered to anyone living outside meets physical distancing measures. Full news release can be found here.

City of Toronto reopening waste Drop-off depots to the public
Starting on Today, May 19, at 6 p.m., Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-off Depots will open to the public on weeknights for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste. Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Bermondsey: Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Ingram: Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 am to 6 a.m.

In addition, Bermondsey, Ingram, as well as Scarborough Drop-off Depots will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste, as well as household hazardous waste.

Compost pickup will not be available at any Drop-off Depot and all other Drop-off Depots remain closed to the public. Drop off location link here . The latest information about Solid Waste Management services is available here .

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari Drive-Thru Experience Will Open This Weekend
The Toronto Zoo is excited to announce that its new Scenic Drive-Thru Experience is open to the public on Saturday May 23, 2020. Tickets for the new experience go on sale on Friday, May 22nd at 11 am and must be purchased in advance. Guests will see the Zoo from a whole new perspective as they drive on staff-only roads, pedestrian walkways through the Zoo site, and even through the lion cave in the African Savanna! Keep your eyes peeled at every turn, like you are on a real-life safari – only this time, it’s with a variety of animals from around the world! More information on the New Scenic Safari can be found at www.torontozoo.com/scenicsafari/

Summer Camp 2020 Survey
As the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough (BGCES) continue to navigate through these difficult times as a Country, City, and Community we are continuing our day to day work in a different capacity. Although we do not know what Summer Camp 2020 will look like BGCES are planning for alternative options to deliver a summer camp experience for your child/children.

Please take moment to complete the survey, which will assist with our planning.
Click Here for Survey

Canada Emergency Student Benefits and Pandemic Pay – For Frontline Workers
You are invited to a zoom meeting to discuss Canada’s Emergency Student Benefits and Pandemic Pay for Frontline Workers on May 22, 2020 at 11AM. Register in advance for this meeting here.

Toronto Public Library Curbside Pick-Up
Toronto’s chief librarian is working on a plan to open libraries for curbside pickup. Toronto readers may be able to get their hands on a new library book soon. Premier Doug Ford recently announced that libraries around Ontario will be permitted to reopen for curbside pickup. For up to date information visit www.torontopubliclibrary.ca and follow the Toronto Public Library on Twitter at @torontolibrary and Instagram at @torontolibrary


May 15, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Today marks the start of the May long weekend and although it may be different than what you had planned, we can still have fun, be active & enjoy the outdoors in our city.

City of Toronto extends cancellation of permits for major festivals and launches recovery program for events
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted major festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. The resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events is not included in this decision. Today's announcement includes festivals, conferences and cultural programs held in facilities managed by City divisions or public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares. Issued permits are now cancelled and permits that have been applied for will not be issued.

Planned City of Toronto summer camps cancelled due to COVID-19, work underway for CampTO alternative
The City of Toronto is cancelling all planned 2020 summer camps and preparing an alternative program to get children safely back to camp through a new CampTO program. Details of the program are being developed and are dependent on the lifting of current provincial orders and recommendations from Toronto Public Health.

CampTO would provide children with a high-quality camp experience, inclusive of traditional camp activities, that incorporate public health measures designed to reduce the risk of virus spread, including physical distancing, smaller group sizes, daily health assessments and more extensive cleaning and hygiene measures. If permitted to operate, CampTO will provide 5,300 camp spaces per week for children ages 6 to 12 representing approximately 50 per cent of the typical City of Toronto camp capacity.

Registration details for the CampTO program will be announced once the Province is able to safely remove restrictions on day camps, and an estimated four weeks to prepare for their opening.

City of Toronto golf courses to open this weekend
Following the Province of Ontario’s announcement that golf courses can reopen this weekend, the City of Toronto will open all five of its golf courses for the 2020 season.

Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods and Tam O'Shanter courses will open this Saturday, under the guidance of the Medical Officer of Health. To ensure the City’s golf courses operate safely, both for the benefit of those using the courses and for the general public, the City has created guidelines which include details on infection prevention and control measures, including parameters for physical distancing and the cleaning and disinfection of commonly used equipment and surfaces.

More information is available at the COVID-19: Changes to City Services under the Parks tab.

Update on use of parks
City parks are important for respite, serenity, and as an escape to nature and green space. While park amenities remain closed, many activities are permitted.
At this time, City parks are open for the following activities:

  • Walking, running, and biking in parks and ravine green spaces and along beaches, trails, and boardwalks
  • Resting or reading a book in green space
  • Picnicking in the park or sitting on a blanket and enjoying the park setting with members of your household while remaining two metres away from others
  • Walking dogs on-leash
  • Fishing with a licence
  • Boating, kayaking and canoeing

While those who are not ill are encouraged to use parks, provincial orders and the City bylaw on physical distancing remain in effect, requiring people who are not from the same household to maintain a physical distance of two metres in a park or public square.

More information is available at the COVID-19: Changes to City Services under the Parks tab.

Select drop-off depots to reopen this weekend
Beginning this Saturday, May 16, three Drop-off Depots – Bermondsey, Ingram and Scarborough – will reopen to the general public on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for drop-off of recycling, garbage, yard waste and household hazardous waste.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-off Depots will also be open to the general public on weeknights for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste (household hazardous waste will only be accepted on Saturdays). Outside of the above, all other Drop-off Depots remain closed to the general public.

More details including drop-off opening hours are available at toronto.ca .

Information about fireworks over the long weekend
The City of Toronto has suspended issuing firework vendor’s permits, permitting the sale of fireworks, at this time.

Family fireworks may be discharged on your private property without a permit on Victoria Day. Family fireworks displays/discharges must still comply with the City of Toronto Fireworks by-law and the requirements to be aware of your surroundings and not discharge fireworks where they may be a nuisance, or pose a risk of fire or injury or damage to any person or property. Fireworks are not allowed to be discharged in City parks by members of the public.

Please contact 311 to report any illegal sale or possible misuse of fireworks.

Reminders for residents over the long weekend
Over the May long weekend, the City is urging residents to continue following provincial orders and public health recommendations. By practising physical distancing, avoiding group gatherings and limiting travel, leaving only for essential reasons and exercise, residents can help stop the further spread of the virus and save lives.

ActiveTO program launching with 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets and Victoria Day weekend major road closures
The ActiveTO program developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services will start to be rolled out this weekend across the city to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the City's restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The City is installing 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets across Toronto. These are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, will be put in place at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas will not be impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, will continue as normal. The list of current and planned Quiet Streets is available at toronto.ca/activeTO and will be updated when locations are added.

Construction update: Gardiner Expressway eastbound Jarvis on-ramp to close Monday, May 18
On Monday, May 18 at 12:01 a.m., the Gardiner Expressway eastbound on-ramp at Jarvis Street will be fully closed for replacement and will reopen once the project is completed in 2021. This construction is the second to last phase of work to rehabilitate the expressway between Jarvis and Cherry Streets and will use an innovated construction technique, accelerated bridge construction, to remove sections of the ramp and replace it with custom built pre-fabricated sections.

During this construction, drivers should consider using alternate routes such as the eastbound Bay Street on-ramp, Lakeshore Boulevard East or the Don Roadway to the Don Valley Parkway.

Further details about the Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation and the work to replace the eastbound Jarvis Street on-ramp is available at toronto.ca/jarvistocherry .

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 8,257 people infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 160 since yesterday. There are also 6,034 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 183 since yesterday. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

COVID-19 Enforcement
The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city, educating residents on the City's physical distancing bylaw and provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders. This month, the enforcement team has issued 97 tickets related to the use of amenities or gatherings in parks or squares and spoken to more than 2,800 people.

Eglinton GO Station
Work to daylight Bell360/CN cables and to relocate a GO Signal Cable on the south side of the Eglinton Station has been confirmed to start from Tuesday May 19 to Friday June 5. This work is for the planned Eglinton GO Accessibility Upgrades Project, to relocate and verify utilities which potentially can be in conflict with the planned Project infrastructure. The scheduled working hours will be 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Horizontal directional drilling will be done below the pathway and is not expected to impact the walkway. Therefore no impacts are expected to customers using the station or nearby residents during this time. 

Public Safety Alert, Boat and Water Safety
With a return to seasonal weather and the lifting of various restrictions around marinas, the Toronto Police Service would like to remind the public of their responsibilities on the water.

  • Prepare Your Boat and have a Plan
  • Prepare Yourself
  • Be Responsible

Full news release can be found here .

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .

I, Hon. MP John McKay and MPP Mitzie Hunter held our second Scarborough-Guildwood Live Town Hall on Wednesday May 13th. I want to thank everyone who joined, submitted their questions during the stream and in advanced.

In case you missed Scarborough-Guildwood’s live town hall this Wednesday, you can watch the meeting here.

Today marks the start of the May long weekend and although it may be different than what you had planned, we can still have fun, be active & enjoy the outdoors in our city.

Fireworks and Victoria Day Long Weekend
Family fireworks displays/discharges must still comply with the City of Toronto Fireworks by-law and the requirements to be aware of your surroundings and not discharge fireworks where they may be a nuisance, or pose a risk of fire or injury or damage to any person or property, more information here .

Gatherings of more than five people who are not members of the same household are not permitted by provincial order. More information can be found here .

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit
The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit opens today and will provide $1250 or $1750 if you have a disability and/or dependent. This is to help students and graduates who will not have as many job opportunities this summer. More information on the benefit can be accessed here .

Eglinton Avenue East at Cedar Drive, Arrests Made and Person of Interest Sought
On Thursday, May 14, 2020, at approximately 11:49 a.m., police responded to a call for a fail to remain personal injury collision that occurred at Eglinton Avenue East and Cedar Drive, in Toronto. See full release here .

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a fourth person in relation to this investigation. The person of interest is described as a man in his 20s, last seen walking away from the Deekshill Drive and Budworth Drive area.

The investigation is ongoing by Traffic Services and investigators are asking for assistance from the public and to recall any information they have about the two separate locations of Eglinton Avenue East and Cedar Drive and Deekshill Drive and Budworth Drive . 

Police are also urging local residents, businesses, and drivers, who may have security or dash camera footage of the areas or incidents, to contact investigators.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1900, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com , online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

Mental Health Support Plan
COVID-19 has made life more challenging for all of us. Sometimes the sadness, worry and stress of the current situation can get overwhelming.

Partnering with mental health organizations, the City’s Mental Health Support Plan responds to the mental health needs of children and youth, seniors, frontline workers and populations with intersectional identities, such as Indigenous, Black, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S, who are struggling with isolation, stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 measures.

In addition to connecting residents to free telephone, text and online mental health support from psychologists, peers and counselors, the site provides access to resources, tips, and tools to help navigate support for yourself, your staff, a family member or friend.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES IN THE CITY OF TORONTO
FOR IMMEDIATE CONNECTION TO SUPPORT- DIAL 211

Our KGO Update
Read about East Scarborough’s latest roundup of key neighbourhood resources, virtual results, and up to date information through The East Scarborough Storefront’s crowd-sourced e-newsletter “Our KGO Updates.” Check out their latest issue to see what’s new at the Toronto Zoo, find new job opportunities, student financial supports, and more, HERE. SUBSCRIBE HERE .

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .


May 14, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

I, Hon. MP John McKay and MPP Mitzie Hunter held our second Scarborough-Guildwood Live Town Hall last night! I would like to thank everyone who joined us and submitted questions during the stream and in advance. If we didn’t get to your question, please email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

Service at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre resumes today
Child care service at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre, one of the licensed child care centres that provides care for the children of essential and critical service workers, resumed today. The centre suspended service at the end of April due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst some staff and children. Full news release can be found here .

ActiveTO Quiet Street Locations
Councillors have been asked to send in recommendations for Quiet Street locations in their Wards. The list of initial ActiveTO locations in Ward 24 include

  • Military Trail from Highcastle Road to Bonspiel Drive
  • Highcastle Road

I have confirmed that additional locations will be considered based on established prioritization criteria and Councillor feedback.  Please send me your suggestions at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca. 
You may continue to submit areas of concern using the established 311 procedure for physical distancing complaints. A public-facing map that details the locations of all ActiveTO interventions is in progress and this will be shared with your office when available. More details on the ActiveTO program can be found here .

The CurbTO program continues to be rolled out to address sidewalk crowding and temporary parking concerns around active businesses. Please continue to direct your inquiries to my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca or 311 regarding Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones and Temporary Parking Pick-Up Zones.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 8,097 people infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 153 since yesterday. There are also 5,851 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 196 since yesterday. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

COVID-19 Enforcement
The COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city, educating residents on the City's physical distancing bylaw and provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders. The City received 23 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, 134 tickets and 279 notices have been issued to non-essential businesses. There have been no complaints related to new retail business curbside pickup.

Yesterday, the City received 85 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police officers issued one ticket for physical distancing and 24 parking violation notices – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 84 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 2,600 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

As the May long weekend approaches, the City is urging residents to continue following provincial orders and public health recommendations. By practising physical distancing, avoiding group gatherings and limiting travel, leaving only for essential reasons and exercise, residents can help stop the further spread of the virus and save lives.

Additional Community Information and Resources

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .

Province of Ontario announces details of Stage 1 of reopening the economy
Today, Premier Doug Ford announced details of stage 1 of reopening the economy. As of Saturday, May 16 at 12:01am, private parks, campgrounds, boat clubs and golf courses and businesses that board animals can open.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the Province of Ontario will enter Stage 1 of reopening the economy which entails the reopening of the following:

  • retail stores with street entrances not located in shopping malls
  • sports fields, tennis courts and off leash dog parts
  • pet groomers and veterinary services are also allowed to reopen by appointment only
  • health services such as non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries
  • measures have been taken so that all construction services can resume

Businesses are strongly advised to only reopen if they are ready. Monitoring and tracing numbers and trends is vital in our process to move forward. Full news release can be found here.

Today, a workplace PPE supplier directory webpage has been launched by the Province of Ontario to help businesses find suppliers for PPE, which is vital in the reopening of our economy. The directory can be accessed through www.ontario.ca/PPE. Additional health advice, tips and posters can be found at www.ontario.ca/COVID.  

COVID-19 Emergency Benefit for People Receiving Social Assistance
The COVID-19 Emergency Benefit which was introduced as a one-time benefit in April 2020, has been extended and is now available in each month up to and including July 2020. This benefit is available for people receiving assistance from Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) who may have had additional costs related to COVID-19. This benefit will help cover the additional costs of emergency needs such as hygiene and personal protective supplies, cleaning supplies, non-medical transportation, or additional costs for staple foods. The amount is $100 for a single person and $200 for a family. For more information, please see this fact sheet .

City of Toronto partners with Ritual to support Toronto restaurants and food services
Ritual ONE provides restaurants and food services, such as grocers, butchers and bakeries with an easy way to accept digital orders from their own website and social media accounts. Businesses that sign up for Ritual ONE by June 1 will receive the service free for life and will not pay any commission or monthly subscription fees on Ritual ONE orders. Businesses enrolled in the City's ShopHERE program – which was launched Monday – will also be eligible for Ritual ONE and a lifetime exemption from commission and subscription fees. Toronto independent businesses and artists can sign up for their free online ShopHERE store at digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere . For more information on Ritual ONE please read the news release .

City of Toronto provides update on key construction projects
Over the next couple weeks, the City of Toronto will begin construction on a number of key projects to renew and improve aging infrastructure. With traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City recently announced that construction is moving forward this year and work will be accelerated on as many important projects as possible. More information can be found in this news release .

City Hall Live performances move online to support artists
City Hall Live Online, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund , is working to support Toronto artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the music series, which features two performances a day, Monday to Friday from noon to 1 p.m., until June on Facebook Live . More than 100 local artists will be compensated for their 30-minute virtual performances.

City of Toronto statement on collision involving a City vehicle
A pedestrian has died following a collision that involved a City vehicle. The City extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim that has passed away. A City employee was injured in the incident and has been taken to hospital. The City is fully cooperating with the Toronto Police and Ministry of Labour investigations. It will also conduct its own internal investigation to better understand what took place. The City remains committed to ensuring the safety of the public and its employees.

The Regional Relief and Recover Fund
The federal government released applications for its new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RFFF), which totals a $962M investment through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). The RRRF provides funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to access the government’s existing support measures, and access to capital for rural businesses and communities.
  
FedDev Ontario
FedDev Ontario is delivering $252.4 million in funding through the RRRF in southern Ontario, including $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure, and $39.4 million through the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs). For full eligibility criteria and additional information, please visit FedDev Ontario’s RRRF page .

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit
The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit opens this Friday and will provide $1250 or $1750 if you have a disability and/or dependents. This is to help students and graduates who will not have as many job opportunities this summer. More information on the benefit can be accessed here .

Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough Drive-thru Lunch: May 15th
Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough will be giving away free lunch to the members in our community from the ESBGC parking lot this Friday! Drive-Thru or Walk-Thru and grab a warm lunch from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Register here.

Student’s Guide to Navigating COVID-19
A Student’s guide to schooling during COVID-19 to help students understand their rights and expectations during remote earning. See the Student Guide here .

How to Balcony Garden: Grow All You Can Webinar
Brought to you by Park People Sparking Change Program with facilitation by Lara Mrovsky, professional gardener, artist, and author of Grow Without A Garden: 101 Plants for Containers. Thursday, May 14th at 7 pm – Free! -- Register here!

S2S Learning Exchange Employment Program
An Accenture developed career training resource called Learning Exchange for youth. It includes good examples of soft skills curriculum that is employer’s recognized / informed / validated. More information on how to participate here .

Youth Employment Services offering pre-employment programs online
The Youth Collaboration program assists youth 15-30 who are not in school, unemployed and not receiving Employment Insurance by providing 3 weeks of paid skills training and a 10 week paid work placement. The program starts on June 1st, more information can be found here .

The Job Central program assists youth 15-30 who are not in school, unemployed and not receiving Employment Insurance by providing 3 weeks of paid skills training and a 10 week paid work placement. The program starts on June 1st, more information can be found here .

The 2020 Annual Human Library
A Human Library is an event where individuals share their stories and experiences with the community. The Mind & Spirit Youth Leadership committee is looking for story tellers to join in a community story telling virtual event! This event will be held online via Zoom. See flyer here .

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.


May 13, 2020 

Declaration of Emergency extended while Ontario gradually reopens the economy
Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario Legislature yesterday, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2. The declaration will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people. Since the emergency was first declared on March 17, the government has taken over 150 actions to help protect individuals, families, and businesses from the impacts of COVID-19.

A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Full news release can be accessed here.

York U business students help Toronto businesses go online to fight impacts of COVID-19
Students from York University’s Schulich School of Business will help small businesses struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19 quickly gear up for online commerce. The students will participate in the City of Toronto’s Digital Main Street (DMS) ShopHERE program, a major new initiative that is supported by a team of leading global technology companies committed to helping Toronto's main street retailers survive the COVID-19 crisis.

The new work-integrated learning program was developed to support the DMS ShopHERE effort and is possible thanks to $500,000 from the City and Magnet, a social innovation platform with a mission to accelerate inclusive economic growth in Canada. See full news release here.

Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth Endangered Masai Giraffe Calf
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Mstari, a six-year-old female Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at the Toronto Zoo, gave birth to a healthy calf. This is the first offspring for both mother Mstari and father Kiko, a seven-year-old male who came to Toronto Zoo from Greenville Zoo in South Carolina in 2015. The pairing of Kiko and Mstari was at the recommendation of the AZA Masai giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program among accredited zoos. Both mom and calf are doing well and Wildlife Care Keepers continue to monitor Mstari and calf closely to ensure calf continues to nurse from Mstari regularly. To catch a glimpse of the giraffe calf click here.

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .


May 12, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Allotment gardens are open for the 2020 season
The City’s community gardens and allotment gardens are open for the 2020 season as the Province of Ontario has amended its emergency order. Plans for the safe operation of these gardens include COVID-19 public health guidelines. This week, permit holders were notified that their allotment is available. All permit holders must sign the provided permit and declaration forms before they can attend an allotment garden. Visit the City’s website for more information about allotment and community gardens.

Stay, Play & Learn at Home
If you’re looking for ways to stay active and engaged while practicing social distancing or self-isolating at home, visit the City’s new Stay, Play & Learn at Home web page to find a listing of free recreational and fitness programs, fun virtual learning and leisure activities. You can sort activities by type, time commitment and audience. There’s something in the listing for every age group and the page will continue to be updated with more virtual resources.

2020 Canadian National Exhibition is cancelled
Canada’s largest fair, and an iconic Toronto celebration, will not light up this summer.   The Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA) announced today, that this year’s CNE will not move forward with its 18-day event slated for August 21 to September 7, 2020 at Exhibition Place. The event is cancelled this year out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the health of CNE employees, volunteers, visitors, vendors and artists; and its shared responsibility in protecting public safety during this unprecedented health crisis. For more information, please visit the CNE website.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 7,775 people infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 218 since yesterday. There are also 5,449 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 109 since yesterday. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform. Get the latest health advice on the City’s website.

COVID-19 Enforcement
The COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city, educating residents on the City's physical distancing bylaw and provincial Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders. The City received 24 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, 132 tickets and 269 notices have been issued to non-essential businesses. There have been no complaints related to new retail business curbside pickup. Yesterday, the City received 78 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 55 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to 2,141 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

Local businesses surveyed on COVID-19 impact
The City of Toronto surveyed over 20,000 businesses and Business Improvement Associations in an effort to hear directly from local businesses about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. The results of the survey help understand the implications of COVID-19 on local businesses and what information and support businesses need at this time. Find a range of business and sector supports offered by the City at toronto.ca/covid19.

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .

Prime Minister announces additional support for Canadian seniors
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a series of additional measures to help Canadian seniors and provide them with greater financial security in this time of crisis. These measures include, additional financial support of $2.5 billion for a on-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). See the full news release for more details here.

Inside Housing Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC): If you need help, we are here.
Call 416-981-5500 or email help@torontohousing.ca at any time to talk to a Client Care agent. During the COVID-19 emergency. Toronto Community Housing staff are at work in their buildings and offices delivering essential and critical services.

Latest newsletters
The current issues of TCHC’s quarterly tenant newsletters Tenant LOOP and Seniors Speak also feature important information about COVID-19. Both newsletters are available of on TCHC’s website.

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .

Arctic Wolf Pups Spotted at the Toronto Zoo
Arctic wolf pops have been spotted at the Toronto Zoo emerging from the den. Although the number of pups there are in total has not yet been confirmed, the Toronto Zoo anticipates that there could be up to eight. Catch a glimpse of the Arctic wolf pups here for the latest pupdate. 


May 11, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

National Nursing Week
In honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (May 12), the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This year, National Nursing Week is May 11 to 17. The theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health. It was developed by the International Council of Nurses to showcase how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges.

The City has approximately 1,660 employees in nursing positions and we’d like to thank them for the remarkable service they provide, during the COVID-19 pandemic and every day!

City of Toronto launches ShopHERE to help local businesses and artists open free online stores
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the launch of ShopHERE, a new initiative to help Toronto’s independent businesses and artists set-up their online stores with the help of volunteer web developers, business students and corporate partners. The free program provides businesses one-on-one support with building an online store to start selling their goods and services right away. The ShopHERE program is open to any business or artist that meets the eligibility requirements.

ShopHERE is part of the Digital Main Street program, which offers tools, resources, connections to trusted digital vendors, online learning, and a Digital Service Squad that provides one-on-one virtual assistance. Digital Main Street was created by the City of Toronto and Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas in 2016 and was recently expanded as part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’s short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses. Read news release.

Toronto Rent Bank Update
The City of Toronto has made recent program enhancements to the Toronto Rent Bank in response to COVID-19. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an economic impact on the livelihoods of Toronto residents. Many are facing financial hardship, including the inability to pay rent. The Toronto Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to low-income households in Toronto who are experiencing rental arrears or require help with a rental deposit in order to prevent homelessness.

The City of Toronto has made an investment of $2M to the Toronto Rent Bank to support approximately 800 additional low-income households to remain housed.

Program changes have also been implemented to be more responsive to the needs of low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

  • Increasing the maximum allowable loan from $3,500 to $4,000 for up to 3 months of rental arrear loans.
  • Automatically deferring all loan repayments for up to a period of 12 months
  • Eliminating the eligibility requirement that households demonstrate a steady income on a go-forward basis
  • Moving from original copies to electronic document verification

For more information on how to apply, residents may call 416-397-RENT(7368),
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of operating hours, callers may leave a message and a representative will return their call. More information about the Toronto Rent Bank is available on their website.

City of Toronto supporting retail business reopen for curbside pickup and delivery today
On May 8, the City of Toronto announced a plan to support retail business reopen for curbside pickup and delivery today. Staff and customers can be kept safe by following these physical distancing tips and resources.

High Park partial reopening
This morning, the City completed removal of fencing around High Park (read Mayor’s message). As of last night, the park’s greenspace and trails can again be used to get exercise and fresh air. Park amenities are still closed, and the physical distancing bylaw remains in effect. Enforcement officers will be in the park to ensure physical distancing and prevent crowding near lingering cherry blossoms.

Regular updates are being made to the COVID-19: Affected City Services & Facilities webpage.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Dr. de Villa stated that, while we are making progress in Toronto’s battle against COVID-19, Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 7,557 infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 144 since yesterday. There are also 5,340 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 148 since yesterday. Unfortunately, today Dr. de Villa reported the first COVID-19 death within the city’s emergency shelter system. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform. Get the latest health advice on the City’s website.

COVID-19 Enforcement
The COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city educating residents on the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders. Enforcement is ongoing, where necessary. Yesterday, the City received 28 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police issued seven tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 51 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 2,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City received no complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Three tickets were issued to non-essential businesses yesterday. Since March 24, 132 tickets and 267 notices have been issued to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

FCM is now on Instagram
FCM is excited to announce the launch of their Instagram channel. Follow them at @FCMgram. Stay connected with other municipalities, get the latest updates on how communities are responding to COVID-19, and learn how FCM continues to advocate for local governments at the national level.

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. See full news release here .

COVID-19: FCM welcomes CMA Foundation donation to support vulnerable populations
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities welcomes this unprecedented philanthropic contribution from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) that will directly support vulnerable populations struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations will empower municipalities across Canada to better reach, protect and assist the most vulnerable among us—including those experiencing homelessness or grappling with mental health and substance use challenges. 

With a $10 million donation from CMAF, designated cities and communities will receive funding to identify and target urgent local responses to COVID-19 that improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. This will complement funding provided through federal homelessness programs, allowing municipalities to target additional needs and improve the resiliency of efforts to support vulnerable populations through the pandemic. See full news release here.

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) Ride for Front Line Workers
The Scarborough Chapter of H.O.G to raise money for the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund and to express gratitude to the front-line essential workers helping our communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Front Line Workers Gratitude Ride will take place on Saturday, May 16th departing from the Tam Heather Curling Club (730 Military Trail) and The Corner Bank Sports Bar & Grill (925 Warden Ave.) at 12:00noon. In keeping with social distancing measures, there will be no meetings or stops during or after the ride.

Minimum donations of $25 per rider and $10 per passenger will be collected from participants. Non-riders are welcome to support this cause with a donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund . See full news release here .

Meadoway Marvels: Ready, set, Bioblitz!
Ready, set, Bioblitz! Have you always wanted to explore your own natural space and document living things? One of our education experts will show you how with the help of the iNaturalist app. Join us Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m. on Toronto and Region Conversation Authority Facebook page as Emily walks you through organizing your own Bioblitz with step-by-step instructions.

COVID-19 Spread the Word
Check out information cards and posters to help the City amplify the messages about how to stay safe during COVID-19 on this website . You can also access some colouring pages and windows signs you and your families can print out.


May 8, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

This Sunday, May 10th we celebrate Mother’s Day! I would like to wish everyone an amazing and sweet Mother’s Day Weekend!

City of Toronto announces plan to support retail stores re-opening for pickup and delivery service
As the Province of Ontario moves towards re-opening businesses, services and public spaces in stages, the City of Toronto today announced its plan to support retail stores as they re-open for curbside pickup and delivery on Monday.

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases. On Monday, May 11, all retail stores with a street entrance can also begin to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Garden centres and nurseries are already permitted to be open for in-store payment and purchases and are operating under the same guidelines that grocery stores and pharmacies have been following. For more information including examples of how business owners can help keep employees and customers safe, please read this news release .

In April, the City of Toronto launched CurbTO to identify sidewalk hot spots and pinch points to help reduce sidewalk crowding in front of essential businesses and support increased demand for pickup and delivery services. This program will be expanded to support additional retail locations throughout Toronto. Learn more about CurbTO at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO . Curbside pick-up during COVID-19 tips for businesses can be found here .

Update on City's Development Review, Permit and Inspection Services
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the City of Toronto has worked hard to support development in Toronto, while protecting the health and safety of residents and employees. The City has rapidly implemented a broad range of business process changes including technology deployment, staffing placement and work flow measures as well as actively monitoring application backlog and intake, to be able to safely deliver the services that the development industry counts on now and in the future. Please find attached the most recent update provided to the development industry.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of yesterday afternoon, there are 7,114 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, including 4,717 recovered cases and180 new COVID-19 cases. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; as of yesterday, 532 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform . Residents are reminded that the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face as much as possible, and maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others. In a retail environment where physical distancing cannot be maintained and individuals are in close contact, a cloth mask or face covering is strongly recommended to keep germs from spreading to others.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 103 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw and police officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 36 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 1,800 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

Enforcement officers continue to encounter individuals with off-leash dogs in parks. Off-leash dog parks are a park amenity that are closed by provincial order. Dog owners are reminded that dogs should be kept on-leash at all times until off-leash areas reopen. The City also received 15 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. No tickets were issued to non-essential businesses yesterday. Since March 24, 127 tickets and 247 notices have been issued to non-essential businesses.

Second COVID-19 recovery site to open for homeless
A second COVID-19 recovery site is opening today for individuals experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive through a unique partnership between the City of Toronto, University Health Network (UHN), Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) and community health partners. The new downtown site has a capacity for up to 250 individuals who test positive for COVID-19. More information is available is the City’s news release as well as in the attached Councillor Update on the second recovery site for homeless individuals.

Arts@Home brings Toronto’s arts sector to your home
The City is a proud partner of Arts@Home, a vibrant new hub connecting Torontonians to arts and culture. Arts@Home brings Toronto’s arts sector together for you, delivered straight to your home. Whether your goal is creation, recreation, learning or appreciation, visit artsathome.ca to explore and engage with meaningful artistic experiences across many forms of expression.

What’s On at the Library: Home Edition
Since library brances are closed, and we’re all staying home as much as we can, Toronto Public Library wants to make sure that you can continue to access the services you want and need, and stay connected to your library, even if you can’t come into a branch. Check out their latest news here .

Justice for Children and Youth COVID-19 By-law & Enforcement Webinar
Know where you stand on Emergency Orders, Police Engagement and COVID-19. In response to recent public health concern, Justice for Children and Youth and the Ontario Justice Education Network are offering a free online session for frontline youth workers that provides information about the legal implications of emergency orders, legal rights and obligations during this time. Thursday, May 14 from 10:30am to 12:00PM. More details can be found here .

Scarborough East EarlyON Centre Virtual Workshops
Virtual May 2020 Calendar can be accessed here.
Virtual Parenting Workshop June 2020 schedule can be accessed here.

VE Day 75 – May 8
Today marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which commemorates the official end of the Second World War in Europe on May 8, 1945. It was a joyful day celebrated by many in Canada, Europe and other Allied Nations around the world.

Toronto residents are encouraged to commemorate this day as a day of celebration and resilience by remembering the veterans and raising or displaying the Canadian flag at home.

More information about the City’s virtual commemoration can be found at: https://www.toronto.ca/VEDay75.

Details on Public Washroom and Sanitation Services at City-Operated facilities
The City opened several City-operated facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. Detailed information on these services is now available on the COVID-19: Changes to City Services web page, under ‘Washroom and Sanitation Services’.

Bylaw enforcement updates
New changes have been made to the ‘Bylaw Enforcement’ section of the COVID-19: Changes to City Services web page.

Toronto Catholic District School Board Internet Access
The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is supplying 9000 computer/devices to students who need them, including ones with internet embedded for families with no internet. TCDSB is also supplying $50/student/month gift cards to disadvantaged communities. Schools in Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood that are eligible for these gift cards are:

  • St. Boniface
  • St. Columba
  • St. Dunstan
  • St. Joachim
  • St. Maria Goretti
  • St. Martin de Porres
  • St. Barbara and
  • St. Mother Teresa

Parents/students should contact their school principals for more information, be it regarding computers or grocery cards. Visit the TCDSB Learning Resources page here

TCDSB would like to remind you to visit their COVID-19 webpage at www.tcdsb.org/covid19 where all the latest parent communications are posted, TCDSB learning resources as well as FAQs that are regularly updated.

New Survey for BIAs and Small Businesses
This survey was developed to obtain feedback on the Canadian Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. There are two surveys – one for commercial tenants and one for commercial landlords. This survey will close on Monday May 11 at 12 noon.

Tenant Survey available here.
Landlord Survey available here.


May 6, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

I am writing to Premier Doug Ford regarding the economic vitality of our active business communities. May 1st has passed and many of our small businesses have not been able to pay rent. They have made it clear that the current Federal/Provincial CERCA program for small businesses will not work for most. I am asking for an immediate moratorium on commercial evictions and further rent subsidies. Please see my letter here .

Today, we honour the 6 fallen Canadian Armed Forces members who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash while deployed on Operations reassurance and went down in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece. The repatriation ceremony, which took place at Canadian Forces base in Trenton, can be viewed here. Following the ceremony, the motorcade proceeded to Toronto, via the Highway of Heroes. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the members lost.

City of Toronto launches ActiveTO plan to provide more space for physical distancing as part of the city's restart and recovery
Today, the City of Toronto announced high-level details of the ActiveTO plan that will provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists as well as transit riders to allow for better physical distancing as part of the city's restart and recovery from COVID-19.

ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get outside, get around while respecting physical distancing, and - when it comes to the larger bike lane projects - that we have a safety valve when it comes to the TTC. Initiatives under the program include:
-       Creating quiet streets – identifying local routes with traffic calming measures that would enable local car traffic only and opening up space for pedestrians and cyclists,
-       Active transportation on major streets – closing some major roads adjacent to major trails or recreational attractions where crowding on weekends and holidays has been observed, and
-       Expanding cycling network – expanding the cycling network and installing temporary active transportation lanes, as well as expanding and accelerating key parts of the council-approved Cycling Network Plan, that connect the cycling network, as well as bikeways that mirror major TTC routes.

More information is available in the City’s news release , and further details about the ActiveTO plan will be announced next week.

City to distribute PPE to frontline shelter staff and second COVID-19 recovery site to open for homeless
Today, the City announced that starting next week, we will distribute 35,000 masks weekly to City and sector partners for frontline shelter staff. This is on top of personal protective equipment (PPE) we’ve already distributed and $6.1 million for PPE, infection control & wages for partner agencies.

As well, the City of Toronto with University Health Network, Inner City Health Associates and other partners are opening a 2nd recovery site for homeless who are COVID-19 positive. This site opens Friday with up to 250 spaces along with current 200-bed recovery site. Wrap-around health, harm reduction and peer supports are provided. This program is unique integrated model of care for City’s most vulnerable to recover in dignified way. It isn't a hospital because they do not require acute care. And it isn't a shelter because additional medical supports are provided.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of this afternoon, there are 6,665 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 6,019 confirmed cases and 646 probable cases. There are 391 cases hospitalized, with 99 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 504 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform . Full news release here .

The decreasing number of COVID-19 cases represents residents’ commitment to public health measures and protecting the community, but we need to continue remaining diligent and continue to practise physical distancing when outside.

Update on enforcement activity
The fight against COVID-19 continues and the majority of Toronto residents are doing their part to help stop the spread of this virus. Yesterday, the City received 210 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued one ticket – bringing the total number of tickets issued under City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to 621 since April 3. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 14,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

The City also received 27 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 113 tickets and 236 notices to non-essential businesses.

City of Toronto reminds residents of proper waste disposal
Keep in mind that all personal hygiene/sanitary products, including tissues, napkins, paper towels, wipes, masks and gloves should be disposed of in the garbage. Diapers can continue to be disposed of in the Green Bin. All material placed in garbage bins should be bagged, specifically cleaning products such as wipes, tissues/napkins/paper towels and other sanitary/hygiene products. Find more information here .

Wildlife in Toronto
The public is reminded to never interfere with, handle or feed wildlife in Toronto. Wildlife that lose their fear of humans can pose dangers to people, as well as themselves. Dog owners are also reminded to keep their dogs on a leash at all times. If you see injured, sick or very young wildlife, call 311. More information is available at toronto.ca .

Mental health support during COVID-19
Many people may be feeling anxious, unsure and even scared at this time. These are normal and healthy responses to unexpected or stressful situations. Being taken out of our regular daily routines, and distanced from our support groups and family is hard and many are struggling as a result. Reach out to friends by phone or video chat, stay active while staying at home, and do your best to eat well and get lots of rest. More information including tips and mental health support services can be found on the City's website .

Ontario further eases restrictions on retail stores and essential construction during COVID-19
The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners. Full news release here .

Ontario extends electricity rate relief during COVID-19
The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days. Full news release here .  

East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club (ESBGC) Free Pick-Up Lunch on Friday
In partnership Children’s Charity by Presidents Choice, ESBGC has launched weekly Free Lunch Drive Through to have a meal with the local community weekly, starting this Friday, May 8 from 12:30PM to 2:30PM. Register here .

Additionally, ESBGC currently offers the following Emergency Access Services:

  • Weekly Family Meal Kits (delivered 2x weekly)
  • Prepared meals for families and individuals in crisis (delivered daily)
  • Hygiene personal care kits (female, male, family)
  • Educational, and craft kits

Sign up with this form .

BusinessTO Digital resources, webinars and events
Ask an Accountant - Applying for COVID-19 Support Programs webinar (Free) - Wednesday, May 13, 3:30 p.m. - Register

Coming Together in Times of Uncertainty Webinar (Free) - Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. - Register  

Elevate Live 13-week Event Series (Free) - Wednesdays, 12 p.m. - Register  

MaRS COVID-19 Collection - Browse a collection of tools and tactics startups can use to respond to the business impacts of COVID-19. Learn More .


May 5, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Revised due dates for City of Toronto property tax and utility bills
The 60-day grace period for property tax, utility bill payments and late penalties extended by the City during the COVID-19 response ends on May 15. There are important changes to instalment amounts and due dates for customers on all payment schedules. All customers will receive a mailed notification of their revised interim bill due dates. Final tax bills will be mailed in mid-May as usual.

Property taxes for the remainder of 2020 will be due on the following dates: 

  • Two-instalment plan: August 4
  • Six-instalment plan: June 1, July 2, August 4, September 1 and October 1 
  • Eleven-instalment plan: June 15, July 15, August 17, September 15, October 15, November 16 and December 15.

Customers on the 11-instalment plan will have their original May and June interim instalment amounts combined with the final billing and spread evenly over July through December payments. Customers who are already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically on the new due date. Customers who have sent the City post-dated cheques do not need to re-send cheques for the revised due dates, as any cheques previously submitted will be processed on the new due dates. Any cheques received after April 1, 2020 will be cashed according to the date on the cheque.
Further details can be found in this news release.

Resuming of Toxic Taxi service
The Toxic Taxi service for pickup of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) has been resumed. Pickup must be prearranged by calling 311 to make an appointment. There is a maximum of 50 litres/kilograms and minimum of 10 litres/kilograms per pickup (equivalent to 10 full standard household paint cans). Details about what is accepted and how to properly set it out are available on the Household Hazardous Waste web page under “Proper Disposal Options.”

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of yesterday afternoon, there are 6,448 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 5,809 confirmed cases and 639 probable cases. There are 394 cases hospitalized, with 105 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 469 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Today, Dr. de Villa explained preliminary findings suggesting COVID-19 may be disproportionately affecting certain people in our city. Toronto Public Health preliminary analysis suggests that people living in areas that have the highest proportion of low income earners, recent immigrants and high unemployment rates had higher rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. To better understand and strengthen capacity to address these issues, Toronto Public Health is adding socio-demographic questions to the case and contract tracing management process. Beginning soon, staff will be asking all people who test positive for COVID-19 about their race, income, household size, Indigenous identity, and First Nation status.

City of Toronto to begin opening community gardens and allotment gardens 
The City will follow a phased approach in opening its 81 community gardens and 12 allotment gardens to ensure public safety while providing access to an essential source of fresh food. Community gardens will begin to open this week on a location-by-location basis. Allotment gardens will begin to open during the week of May 11. More information in this news release.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open have fallen, with only 20 complaints yesterday. No tickets or notices were issued yesterday for the operation of a non-essential business. Toronto Public Health continues to visit essential businesses to provide advice, recommendations and instruction on physical distancing, cleaning, and disinfection to protect workers and patrons.

Complaints involving people gathering, using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares continue, with the City receiving 163 complaints about use of amenities and lack of physical distancing in parks or squares and 21 complaints related to gatherings yesterday. Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Police Service officers issued 10 tickets for behaviour in parks. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to almost 1,124 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. For the most part, where officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour.

Mental health support during COVID-19
Many people may be feeling anxious, unsure and even scared at this time. These are normal and healthy responses to unexpected or stressful situations. Being taken out of our regular daily routines, and distanced from our support groups and family is hard and many are struggling as a result. Reach out to friends by phone or video chat, stay active while staying at home, and do your best to eat well and get lots of rest. More information including tips and mental health support services can be found on the City's website.

In addition, starting today, the Ontario government is expanding virtual mental health services to help thousands of Ontarians experiencing anxiety and depression, including frontline health care workers, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs were developed in partnership with MindBeacon and Morneau Shepell and will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs to Ontarians across the province. More information can be found on the Government of Ontario website.


May 5, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Giving Tuesday Now
Today is Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving and unity to help support #COVID19 emergency relief efforts. There are many ways you can support your community during these unprecedented times. Learn how you can help during the #COVID19 pandemic here.

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) annual Mental Health Week
This week is Mental Health Week from May 4-10, 2020! As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, many people may be feeling anxious, unsure, and even scared during these difficult times. It is important that we focus on what we can control and take care of our mental health and well-being. Remember it’s OK to not feel OK. More resources on taking care of your mental health and well-being can be found here . More details on CMHA’s Mental Health week can be found here.

Supporting Canada’s farmers, food businesses, and food supply 
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announce important measures within agriculture programs and an investment of more than $252 million to support farmers food businesses, and food processors who provide essential services to Canadians every day by ensuring a safe and reliable food supply. He also announced that the government intends to propose an additional $200 million in borrowing capacity for the sector. Full news release can be found here.

The Reading Partnership: KidsReadTO
Kids ReadTO is a virtual book club connecting children across the GTA through good books. Meet-ups, led by professional facilitators, allow kids to safely socialize on-line. Guided reading activities, discussions, and games strengthen literacy skills and build confidence. We select titles by diverse authors – stories from around the world that kids can relate to, delivered to your doorstep.

Click Here to Register

Application Deadline: May 11, 2020

If you have any questions, or would like more information please contact Jasmine Burke- Ishmael at projects@readingpartnership.com or 647-981-5290. 

UPS Road Code Program
The Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough is hosting a UPS Road Code Program that will be held virtually on Thursday May 7th and Friday May 8th from 4:00PM to 5:30PM via zoom. This is an opportunity for youth between the ages of 14-18. For registration, contact Onyx at 416-254-3066 or oduggan@esbgc.ca. See event flyer here.

Public Safety Alert, Protecting Vulnerable People
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Police Service has not experienced an increase in reports for crimes against vulnerable people, however, crimes often go unreported. If you are a victim of any kind of abuse or if you believe someone you know is being victimized, please see the following community resources available below:
Child Abuse
Kids Help Phone - 1-800-668-6868
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto – 416-924-4646
Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto - 416-395-1500
Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto - 416-638-7800
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto - 416-969-8510

Intimate Partner Violence
Victim Services Toronto - 416-808-7066
Assaulted Women Helpline - GTA: 416-863-0511 - T/F 1-866-863-0511

Elder Abuse   
Toronto Seniors Helpline – 416-217-2077
Seniors Safety Line – 1-866-299-1011
Advocacy Centre for the Elderly - 1-855-598-2656 or 416-598-2656

Ontario Nonprofit Network Webinar
The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is creating engaging and informative webinars for the non-profit sector. Topics for upcoming webinars range from scenario planning and cash flow management to how lessons from previous crises can help us prepare for a post-COVID-19 world. 
You can find more details on each webinar and register for free by clicking on the links below.

All registered participants will receive a recording of the webinar and slide deck. Should you have any questions regarding the webinars, feel free to reach out to Melanie from the ONN team at melanie@theonn.ca


May 5, 2020

Dear Neighbours,
The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is creating engaging and informative webinars for the non-profit sector. Topics for upcoming webinars range from scenario planning and cash flow management to how lessons from previous crises can help us prepare for a post-COVID-19 world. 
You can find more details on each webinar and register for free by clicking on the links below.

All registered participants will receive a recording of the webinar and slide deck. Should you have any questions regarding the webinars, feel free to reach out to Melanie from the ONN team at melanie@theonn.ca


May the 4th be with you, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Practise physical distancing today and everyday by staying apart 2metres (6feet), or about the length of two lightsabers. May the Fourth be with you!

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) annual Mental Health Week
Today is the start of Mental Health Week – May 4-10, 2020! As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, many people may be feeling anxious, unsure, and even scared during these difficult times. It is important that we focus on what we can control and take care of our mental health and well-being. Remember it’s OK to not feel OK. More resources on taking care of your mental health and well-being can be found here . More details on CMHA’s Mental Health week can be found here.

Toronto Water warns of fraudulent City of Toronto letter to residents
A letter from the City’s “Department of Water” is being delivered to residents telling them the City will be conducting lead pipe replacement to their property in Fall 2020 that will result in a significant charge to the utility bill; e.g. half of $38,000. This is fraud and we are asking anyone who receives this letter to report it to the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. Anyone with questions about Toronto Water operations can contact 311.

City of Toronto to begin opening community gardens and allotment gardens 
On April 25, the Province of Ontario announced amendments to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens. To help increase the resiliency of and food security for Toronto’s residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto will open its community and allotment gardens for the 2020 gardening season. The City will follow a phased approach in opening its 81 community gardens and 12 allotment gardens to ensure public safety while providing access to an essential source of fresh food. More information in this news release .

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of yesterday afternoon, there are 6,278 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 5,641 confirmed cases and 637 probable cases. There are 387 cases hospitalized, with 105 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 449 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform .

Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 184 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw and police officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 11 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to almost 1,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

The City also received 19 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Toronto Public Health issued seven tickets to non-essential businesses yesterday. Read news release .

Experience virtual cherry blossom bloom during closure of High Park
During the High Park closure, residents can enjoy the cherry blossom bloom virtually. Throughout the closure period, the City will provide a continuous livestream of the cherry tree grove in High Park, plus multiple live events and videos featuring virtual walk-throughs of the blossoming Sakura (cherry blossom) trees. Learn more at toronto.ca/cherryblossoms .

Canada and international partners launch the Coronavirus Global Response
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response. This online pledging event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Full news release can be found here .

Ontario continues to support mental health needs during COVID-19
Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues, released this statement to acknowledge Mental Health Week.

Applications for Youth Community Violence Prevention Grant
Applications are now being accepted for the City of Toronto’s Youth Community Violence Prevention grant. The Youth Violence Prevention Grant was established in 2020 to provide agencies with funding to support the de-escalation of youth violence. Agencies can apply for up to $200,000 in funding for projects aimed at programming that is responsive to violence prevention and intervention. Information on eligibility and letter of intent can be found here.

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Live Classes
Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre is now hosting live classes on their website and Facebook page

Sod Repair program questions
If your lawn was damaged by a sidewalk plow during the winter and have requested or wish to request sod repairs, the Sod Repair program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents who have already submitted their names for repairs will remain on the list and serviced at a later date.

Toronto Hydro Rate Update
The Time-of-use (TOU) rates are set provincially. Toronto Hydro will continue to apply rates as they are set for Ontario. Toronto Hydro is committed to helping customers manage their electricity bills during this challenging time. For more information regarding rates and to access the range of supports available to customers, we urge residents to visit this webpage.


May 3, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

Experience virtual cherry blossom bloom during closure of High Park
During the High Park closure, residents can enjoy the cherry blossom bloom virtually. Throughout the closure period, the City will provide a continuous livestream of the cherry tree grove in High Park, plus multiple live events and videos featuring virtual walk-throughs of the blossoming Sakura (cherry blossom) trees. Today, the City is going live at 5 and 6 p.m. for a live tour of the cherry blossoms at High Park. Learn more at toronto.ca/cherryblossoms.

Regular yard waste collection resumes
The City is resuming regularly scheduled yard waste collection. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, Blue Bin (recycling) and Green Bin (organics). The City recently resumed yard waste collection for four weeks and has determined that it can continue to provide the service on a regular basis.  

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. If yard waste is not picked up the day it is put out, the City is asking residents to leave it out until its collected and refrain from calling 311 to report a missed collection. If possible, residents should use a yard waste bag. Otherwise a rigid open-top container can be used. Brush and branches should be secured in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (two feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs). For more information, visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/?accordion=garbage-recycling-and-organics.

City of Toronto begins pothole repair blitz
Three pothole repair blitzes are planned in May to help keep roads safe and in a good state of repair. The first was this past Saturday and more than 7,700 potholes were repaired. The next repair blitzes are scheduled for May 9 and 23, weather permitting. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs. Please read the news release for more information.

Weekend COVID-19 Enforcement
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 73 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued six tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 594. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 13,675 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 26 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 100 tickets and 215 notices to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

Families to receive increased support through the Canada Child Benefit
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted that families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May to help them deal with the added pressures of COVID-19.

Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply for this one-time increase. This increase will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families with the high cost of taking care of their kids during this challenging period. See the full news release here.


May 2, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

City of Toronto launches first of three pothole repair blitzes planned for May
The City of Toronto has planned three pothole repair blitzes in May to help keep roads safe and in a good state of repair. The first blitz is today, Saturday, May 2, followed by repair blitzes on Saturday, May 9 and 23, weather permitting.

Crews have already been busy all spring repairing as many potholes as possible on Toronto's expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets. City staff will work a 12-hour shift today with appropriate physical distancing measures in place.

Traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads are down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month of April, staff fixed more than 12,000 potholes while making daily pothole repairs. Today’s event will see up 48 crews and 146 people repairing potholes throughout the city. People driving or biking for essential travel today are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs. Please read the news release for more information.

Toronto Public Health warns of callers posing as TPH staff
Yesterday, Dr. de Villa warned that there may be people calling residents in our community who are falsely claiming to be Toronto Public Health staff. In one instance, the individual was asked to provide their banking information and their social insurance number. Dr. de Villa stressed that Toronto Public Health would never request this information because it is not relevant to public health work. Anyone who receives a suspicious call requesting financial information should not give out any personal information and call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. Anyone with questions about public health operations can contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.

Experience virtual cherry blossom bloom during closure of High Park
During High Park closure, residents can enjoy the cherry blossom bloom virtually. Throughout the closure period, the City will provide a continuous livestream of the cherry tree grove in High Park, plus multiple live events and videos featuring virtual walk-throughs of the blossoming Sakura (cherry blossom) trees. BloomCam, the continuous live stream, is now live: toronto.ca/cherryblossoms

The use of city parks during COVID-19
As nicer weather approaches, the City wants to leave parks open for residents to enjoy for respite, serenity, and as an escape to nature and green space in our city. However, at this time, the park is not meant to be a destination and all park amenities remain closed. Residents may walk, run or bike through park and ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks. Dogs can continue to be walked on-leash. Fishing (with a licence), boating, kayaking and canoeing is also permitted.

Property tax and utility bills
The 60-day grace period for property tax and utility bill payments and late penalties ends May 15. Customers already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically after the grace period ends. Property owners will be receiving a letter in the mail regarding payment due dates. Please visit Property Tax and Utility Bills section of the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage for more information.

Residential permit parking renewal
The May 31 deadline for residential permit parking renewal applications has been extended until further notice. Toronto Police will continue to use discretion when enforcing permit parking areas. Learn more at toronto.ca/covid19 under Parking.
Regular updates are being made to the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19 cases and enforcement
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Residents are reminded of the importance of reducing all contact with others as much as possible and staying home except for essential outings to help stop the community spread of the deadly virus. As of this afternoon, there are 5,967 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 5,366 confirmed cases and 601 probable cases. There are 375 cases hospitalized, with 112 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date 398 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 116 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued one ticket – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 588. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 13,500 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 43 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 99 tickets and 210 notices to non-essential businesses.

Targeted spring cleanup across the city
Targeted spring cleanup is taking place across the city over the next few weeks. Spring cleanup activities include:
·         Illegal dumping cleanup
·         Boulevard and laneway cleaning
·         Litter and debris removal in parks
·         Fence-line litter clearing
·         Street sweeping to clean up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets.

During the pandemic, the City has been working hard to keep public spaces clean and safe. Staff are out each day picking up litter, emptying street and park waste bins and sweeping streets. The public can do their part to help keep Toronto clean and safe by properly disposing of items in available street bins and not littering. You can also report litter hot spots to 311. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the City does not want the public handling items that have been discarded on the ground in Toronto's public spaces or organizing community cleanup events. If residents find personal protective equipment or other trash discarded on their property, they are advised to use gloves to pick it up and to discard it in the garbage, along with the gloves and then wash their hands.

Pride will be celebrated virtually in Toronto this year 
Pride Toronto has announced that, in lieu of its annual Pride Festival Weekend in June, this year’s celebration will run virtually. Virtual Pride 2020 can be accessed through Facebook here.


May 1, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Ontario Government release workplace guidelines for businesses to reopen
As of Monday May 4, the following businesses can reopen: garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only; lawn care and landscaping; additional essential construction projects; site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development; automatic and self-serve car washes; auto dealerships, open by appointment only; golf courses and marinas can prepare for the upcoming season, but not open to the public. Ontario government releases guidelines for businesses to reopen, details can be found here.

City Council extends the declaration of the State of Emergency in Toronto
Yesterday, Toronto City Council unanimously voted to extend Mayor John Tory’s State of Emergency declaration in the city of Toronto until the COVID-19 municipal emergency has ended, in accordance with advice from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. This includes extending the new physical distancing emergency bylaws, to retain physical distancing regulations in parks and public squares for the duration of the COVID-19 municipal emergency. Please read the news release for more information.

City of Toronto accelerates important planned construction and continues maintenance to renew aging infrastructure
This construction season, with traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto will accelerate as many important construction projects as possible. City-led construction is considered an essential service by the Province of Ontario. This year, the planned construction will make repairs to Toronto's major and local roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure, improve public transit infrastructure, replace and rehabilitate watermains and sewers, and build and improve major water infrastructure that will help improve Toronto’s waterways and stormwater systems. For more information, please read today's news release.

City of Toronto to celebrate a virtual Canada Day 
Based on the recommendations of the Medical Officer of Health, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, the City of Toronto will join other municipalities across Canada in celebrating a national virtual Canada Day on July 1, 2020. The City is cancelling all in-person Canada Day events. For more information, please read the news release.

City of Toronto statement on encampment fire fatality
Just before 8:30 this morning, Toronto Fire Services responded to a fire in an encampment near Mount Pleasant Road and Bloor Street East. Tragically, one occupant was found deceased by firefighters. A comprehensive investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances associated with this fire is underway in collaboration between Toronto Fire Services, the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and the Toronto Police Service. The City extends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the deceased individual. This is the seventh fire fatality in an encampment in Toronto since 2010, and the first since 2018. For more information, please read the news release.

The use of City parks during COVID-19
As nicer weather approaches, the City wants to leave parks open for residents to enjoy for respite, serenity, and as an escape to nature and green space in our city. However, at this time, the park is not meant to be a destination and all park amenities remain closed. Residents may walk, run or bike through park and ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks. Dogs can continue to be walked on-leash. Fishing (with a licence), boating, kayaking and canoeing is also permitted. Please see this Parks Fact Sheet for more information.

Property tax and utility bills
The 60-day grace period for property tax and utility bill payments and late penalties ends May 15. Customers already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically after the grace period ends. Property owners will be receiving a letter in the mail regarding payment due dates. Please visit Property Tax and Utility Bills section of the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage for more information.

Residential permit parking renewal
The May 31 deadline for residential permit parking renewal applications has been extended until further notice. Toronto Police will continue to use discretion when enforcing permit parking areas. Learn more at toronto.ca/covid19 under Parking.
Regular updates are being made to the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage.

Update on enforcement
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 279 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued five tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 587. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 13,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

The City also received 35 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 95 tickets and 200 notices to non-essential businesses.

City of Toronto launches youth violence prevention grant
Mayor John Tory today announced that the City of Toronto will launch a youth violence prevention grant to support the de-escalation of youth violence in Toronto communities. The grant, which was approved by Toronto City Council on February 19, 2020, will see $2 million in funding allocated to community agencies for youth violence prevention projects in nine communities.

The nine communities identified for funding are:

  • Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown (Priority: Pittsboro/Orphington)
  • Lawrence Heights (Priority: Neptune)
  • Regent Park (Priority: Regent Park, St. James Town, Yonge & Gerrard and the Esplanade)
  • Flemingdon/Thorncliffe
  • Malvern/Morningside/Woburn (Priority: Empiringham, Orton Park, Cedarbrae and Danzig)
  • Rexdale/Kingsview Village (Priority: Willowridge, Capri, East Mall and West Mall)
  • Dorset Park (Priority: Glenmorgan, Canlish)
  • Steeles L'Amoureaux (Priority: Glendower, Bay Mills and Chester Le)
  • Oakwood Village (Priority: Eglinton West, Little Jamaica, and Vaughn Road)

To be eligible for a grant, the:

  • projects should be aimed at programming that is responsive to violence prevention and intervention for youth ages 10 to 29
  • agency must have a proven track record (three or more years) of working with youth most vulnerable to being involved in serious violence and crime
  • agency must display success with violence intervention and de-escalation strategies
  • lead agency must be a Toronto-based, incorporated for public benefit organization with audited financial statements for the last fiscal year.

See full news release here.

311 for Household Hazardous Waste Pick Up
Residents can now contact 311 in order to schedule household hazardous waste pick up. Information on household hazardous waste can be found on the City’s website here

The 2020 Annual Human Library
A Human Library is an event where individuals share their stories and experiences with the community. The Mind & Spirit Youth Leadership committee is looking for story tellers to join in a community story telling virtual event! This event will be held online via Zoom. If you are interested in being a ‘Living Book’, please send in your story by Monday, May 11th, 2020 to msyleadership@gmail.com or call 647-521-5755/ 647-382-9193. Storytellers will be compensated.


April 30, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s Virtual Town Hall with myself, MP Hon. John McKay and MPP Mitzie Hunter. In case you missed the meeting, you may access the video on my Facebook page here, or if you are not a Facebook user you can access the video here. Plans to host future meetings are in process.     

Today, Toronto City Council held its first ever virtual meeting using online conferencing platforms. You can watch the meeting at this link.  

Yesterday, a Royal Canadian Air force helicopter deployed on Operation Reassurance went down in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece. Six members were onboard, one casualty was recovered and the mission to find the other five are still ongoing. My deepest condolences go out to family and friends of Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough as well as the brave crew onboard HMCS Fredericton. 

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

Community Supports and Resources 
The Toronto District School Board is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and families, while continuing to support students learning at home in a variety of ways. To ensure access to information on essential services and supports, we have developed a list of external community-based resources that we hope can offer assistance during this period. 
For the most updated list, please visit the TDSB webpage for Community Supports and Resources. 

Update on Labour Negotiations 
The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) and the Government of Ontario have reached a tentative agreement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) at both the teacher/occasional teacher and education worker central bargaining tables. OSSTF has indicated that the new contract will be put to a ratification vote in May. 
An agreement between the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), OPSBA and the Government of Ontario has also been reached. This agreement was ratified on April 28.  
For more information, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/labour. 

COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platformThe advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: To stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible. Stay home, except for essential outings. 


April 29, 2020

City of Toronto and partners help connect vulnerable populations with internet access during COVID-19 pandemic
The City has partnered with technology and telecommunications companies to provide free temporary internet access for many vulnerable Torontonians. These partnerships will provide free access for residents in lower-income neighbourhoods, seniors in long-term care homes and clients in many City-operated shelters. These initiatives will allow more people to connect online to social supports and vital services while still complying with directives to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about this important initiative, please read the news release.

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration: Three-tier response to COVID-19
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration has implemented a three tier strategy focused on prevention, mitigation, and recovery to respond to COVID-19. We have implemented this significant response because we know that many people experiencing homelessness have underlying chronic medical conditions that increase their risk from COVID-19 and this is a particularly vulnerable population. This is why the City has taken swift and decisive action to mobilize an unprecedented response to protect people who are homeless.

The strategy is built on a foundation of strong communication and partnerships. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration has been working closely with Toronto Public Health, other City Divisions, provincial and federal governments and the community non-profit sector on strategies and solutions to protect our homeless population as quickly and effectively as possible.

The attached infographic highlights key metrics and actions undertaken to implement our three-tier response and will be updated regularly to keep the public informed of our progress in implementing this strategy. The infographic includes the following key metrics:

  • Funding: Amount of funding provided to shelters, 24-hour respites and drop-ins for Infection Prevention and Control, Personal Protective Equipment and wage increases.
  • Sites/Spaces Opened: Number of sites and spaces opened for isolation and to increase physical distancing in the shelter system.
  • Hotel Rooms: Number of hotel rooms activated
  • Moves for Physical Distancing: Number of people moved for physical distancing
  • Isolation: Number of clients provided space for isolation while waiting for test results
  • Recovery: Number of COVID-19 positive clients provided with isolation spaces to recover
  • Moves to Permanent Housing: Number of people moved into permanent housing through the Rapid Housing Initiative

Non-essential services: Landscaping
Landscaping and grass-cutting businesses remain non-essential businesses under the Province’s amended Emergency Order and list of essential workplaces. Paragraph 20 of the amended list of essential businesses applies to maintenance businesses that are strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of residential and institutional, commercial, and industrial properties. Grass cutting and landscaping businesses do not qualify as essential businesses.

City of Toronto updates total COVID-19 cases
As of this afternoon, there are 5,360 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 4,845 confirmed cases and 515 probable cases. There are 354 cases hospitalized, with 111 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 347 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform. The advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: To stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible. Stay home, except for essential outings.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 441 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 16 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 555. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to almost 12,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 41 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 76 tickets and 159 notices to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

How to dispute a ticket
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new legislation and bylaws have been put in place which have not existed in the past. If you feel that you were wrongly ticketed, you have the option of requesting an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor and challenging it in court. You can do this by requesting early resolution meeting, or requesting a trial. For more information is available on the City's website.

City of Toronto Plans for Recovery and Opening of City Services
Work is already underway, led by the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force, to begin the rebuilding efforts after the City transitions into the recovery phase, with a focus on growth and building resiliency. City staff across the organization are prioritizing COVID response and recovery, and working with the provincial and federal governments to do so.

The City’s webpage on Affected Services continues to be updated with information on the opening of City services.

If you have questions regarding the closure of a particular City service please call 311.  If you have specific emergency concerns related to the COVID-19 restrictions and pandemic please contact my office.

Keep in mind
When walking on roadways where there are no sidewalks, or they are obstructed, please exercise caution and look in both directions for vehicles and other dangers, especially when going between parked vehicles.

BusinessTO Support Centre provides one-on-one virtual support
The recently launched BusinessTO Support Centre is available to help businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis with a focus on completing applications for government assistance such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Work-Sharing and Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) programs as well as providing general business advice.

To get started:

  • Schedule a one-on-one meeting with a business advisor who will help navigate the government application processes and provide information on other City programs. 

Upcoming Webinars:
Asking an Accountant – Applying for Government COVID-19 Support Programs (FREE)
Wednesday, May 6, 3:30 p.m. - Register  

How to be Productive Working from Home & Plan during COVID-19 Crisis (FREE)
Friday, May 1, 10-11 a.m. - Register


April 28, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

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

Public Safety Alert, Online Scams & Safety
Over the last several weeks, investigators with the Toronto Police Service have noted an increase in online scams associated to COVID-19. These include:

Text messages requesting banking information for:
- Processing government payments for Emergency Benefits or Canada Revenue Agency
- Fines for leaving the house too many times in a day
- Demands for immediate payment with threats of cancelled services (i.e. streaming sites)

Emails with fraudulent or corrupt links on topics such as:
- “Delivery details” for those most likely to be using delivery services
- “Special offers” for COVID-19-related products/services

Websites claiming:
- Sales of COVID-19-related products and services, such as testing kits, cleaning products or remedies
- Information from “health officials”, requesting information and/or links to other sites
With more residents spending time at home, online, investigators are reminding the public to take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Do not click on random links
- Do not provide your personal information – including banking information
- Do not install unknown applications, even if you’re asked to via email/text/etc.
- Use two-factor authentication for online payments
- Do not use links sent via email/text to access online accounts
- Set up strong passwords for new or existing online accounts
- Back up your work regularly and work offline, when possible
- Use software to protect yourself from malware and viruses

To learn more, watch this video. Full news release here.


April 27, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

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

CurbTO to re-allocate road space to support physical distancing and access essential businesses
Although pedestrian traffic has dropped across the city as people follow to stay home, there are hot spots on some sidewalks in some areas where it is difficult to physically distance. CurbTO is a common-sense approach to addressing sidewalk hot spots to help encourage physical distancing in areas where it is challenging to avoid the creation of lineups and to support increased demand for pickup and delivery services near essential businesses. Known sidewalk hotspots have been identified by Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto staff in Transportation Services, and Councillors, and more locations will be identified in a measured way based on evidence so that physical distancing can be achieved. CurbTO aligns with the current directive from the Medical Officer of Health that the public should continue to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essential needs such as food and medicine. Businesses can apply and learn more about eligibility criteria and program guidelines for CurbTO at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO.

Help save lives by staying home- Promising signs public health measures are working
As Toronto moves into week seven of this pandemic, officials are seeing promising signs that public health measures are working. Dr. de Villa stressed the need to continue to practise social distancing and only leave the house for essential reasons, noting restrictions will be eased sooner if people continue to heed public health advice.
As of this afternoon, there are 4,973 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. This includes 4,493 confirmed cases and 480 probable cases. There are 308 cases hospitalized, with 104 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths: to date 297 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform. The advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: To stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible. Stay home, except for essential outings.

COVID-19 Enforcement Team continues important work across the city
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 40 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued three tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 536. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 11,500 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 46 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 76 tickets and 159 notices to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

What can you do in a park?
At this time, the park is not meant to be a destination like it used to be. People can walk/run, get some exercise and then keep moving. While visiting a park, people must practise physical distancing. Under the City’s physical distancing bylaw, 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. For more information visit the City’s website.

Guild Inn Landslides Clean-Up to Begin
I would like to inform you that the Guild Inn Landslides Clean-Up was successfully completed as of last Friday. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority crews were onsite for clean-ups in early April.

Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy. Full news release here.

Workers’ Mourning Day – National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace
In honour of persons killed or injured in the workplace, all flags on official flagpoles at Toronto City Hall, East York Civic Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Scarborough Civic Centre, and Metro Hall will be flown at half-mast on Tuesday April 28 to mark Worker’s Mourning Day – National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace.

Toronto Public Library Digital Card
The Toronto Public Library has launched a new initiative where residents that do not have a library card can now access Overdrive, our largest collection of ebooks and audio books using the new instant digital card. These digital cards will expire September 1, 2020. This service available for individuals 13 years and older.
For more information and to access the library digital services, please click on this link.

The List: Great Reads for Youth 2020 
Great Reads for Youth 2020 is now available online with 100 title recommendations and 13 video reviews by our teen readers. This resource was created by the Youth Materials Selection Committee (YMSC). 92 of the 100 recommended titles are available digitally. The List: Great Reads for Youth 2020 magazine will be available at branches after we reopen. The magazine can be downloaded as a pdf from the link below. Have fun reading! List Website: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/teens/the-list.jsp

Excess Recycling
Place excess recycling in a large clear bag beside your Blue Bin. Flatten excess cardboard, cut into small pieces and bundle with string or twine. More details here.


April 26, 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!

In celebration of Ramadan during the COVID-19 outbreak, Mosques may mark sundown each night by broadcasting the call to prayer over their speaker throughout the month of Ramadan (until May 23). 

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

Statement on notice of application regarding City emergency shelters

The City of Toronto is in possession of the notice of application with respect to its unprecedented, determined and expedited action to protect those experiencing homelessness in Toronto. Toronto’s Shelter, Support & Housing Administration has worked tirelessly with Toronto Public Health, other City divisions, provincial and federal governments, and the community non-profit sector to rapidly tailor solutions for the city’s most vulnerable. Nothing on this scale has ever been experienced by Toronto. The City of Toronto has declared an emergency for the first time in its history to respond to this pandemic and save lives. The City will respond to this notice of application through appropriate court channels. Read the statement on the City’s website.

City reminds residents of the importance of reducing contact with others

As of yesterday, there are 4,628 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. This includes 4,176 confirmed cases and 452 probable cases. There are 305 cases hospitalized, with 112 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths: to date 253 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform. Residents are reminded of the importance of reducing all contact with others as much as possible and staying home except for essential outings to help stop the community spread of the deadly virus.

Update on enforcement activity

Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 354 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 18 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 505. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 11,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 44 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 71 tickets and 149 notices to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website

Ontario Allows the Redeployment of Staff to Better Care for Vulnerable People During COVID-19 

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is introducing new and amending some emergency orders under subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to better support Ontario's long-term care homes and deafblind community. The orders would allow for the redeployment of staff to ensure they can work where they are needed most during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The government is also amending an emergency order to help ensure food security for some individuals and families during the pandemic. Full news release can be accessed herehttps://bit.ly/352FhTs 

Property Tax Questions

My office has received questions regarding property tax due dates and clarification on extensions. After reaching out to staff, I have been advised that for property owners on the regular three-instalment payment plan, the April 1 property tax instalment due date would be extended to June 1, 2020. Customers will be advised in advance of any rescheduling of revised withdrawal due dates and amount following the 60-day grace period. The City is providing a grace period for payments and payment penalties for 60 days. For more information please visit this website


April 24, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

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

City of Toronto begins targeted spring cleanup across the city
Targeted spring cleanup will be taking place across the city over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, the annual Clean Toronto Together community cleanup campaign was cancelled due to COVID-19. The public can do their part to help keep Toronto clean and safe by properly disposing of items in available street bins and not littering. You can also report litter hot spots to 311. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the City does not want the public handling items that have been discarded on the ground in Toronto's public spaces or organizing community cleanup events. If residents find personal protective equipment or other trash discarded on their property, they are advised to use gloves to pick it up and to discard it in the garbage, along with the gloves and then wash their hands.

Saad Rafi appointed to lead the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild to begin planning post-COVID-19
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the start of Toronto's Recovery and Rebuild Strategy including the establishment of an office led by Mr. Saad Rafi, with a public health strategy led by Dr. David Mowat. While the City’s priorities remain on reducing the spread of COVID-19, minimizing demand on the health care system, and ensuring the delivery of essential and critical City services, preparing Toronto for recovery and rebuild in the weeks and months to come must begin now. Decisions about timing of re-opening and relaxing current measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 have not been determined and will be guided by advice from public health officials. For more information, please read the news release.

Sing for Canada this Sunday
The Canada Together initiative is asking everyone to sing the anthem on Sunday at 12 p.m. Visit canadatogether.com/en for more information.

City urges residents to stay focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19
As of this morning, there are 4,480 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 4,048 confirmed cases and 438 probable cases. There are 300 cases hospitalized, with 113 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date 238 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform. As the weekend approaches, residents are reminded of the importance of staying home and remaining focused on fighting COVID-19.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 483 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued five tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 489. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to close to 11,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 39 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 65 tickets and 141 notices to non-essential businesses.

How to Dispute a Ticket
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new legislation and bylaws have been put in place which have not existed in the past. If you feel that you were wrongly ticketed, you have the option of requesting an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor and challenging it in court. You can do this by requesting early resolution meeting, or requesting a trial. For more information is available on the City's website.

Eglinton GO Station 
At Eglinton GO Station, the overnight drilling work that was scheduled for Sunday, April 26 and Monday, April 27 is cancelled. Drilling work can be expected during the daytime next week, however this overnight work is canceled. The purpose of this work is to install groundwater monitoring wells to collect and monitor groundwater quality information needed for the planned Eglinton GO Station Accessibility Upgrades Project.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation “Violence at Home Signal for Help
The social isolation measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic are making it more difficult for those who are at risk of abuse or violence to safely reach out for help. “Signal for Help” is a simple one-handed sign someone can use on a video call. It can help a person silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way. Details can be found here:

Resources to protect against COVID-19 Digital Scams

Public Safety Alert, Hijacking of Virtual Meeting Spaces
Over the last several weeks, the Toronto Police Service has noted an increase in reported occurrences involving the hijacking of virtual meeting spaces.

Active investigations of meetings being interrupted by uninvited guests who share hate-related content or child sexual abuse material are underway.

For those organizing virtual meetings, the following steps are strongly recommended:
- if possible, do not make your meeting ID public,
- create a unique meeting ID for each session,
- require a meeting password that is known only by invited guests,
- preview meeting attendees in a virtual waiting room before having them join the session,
- if possible, only have the host stream video and do not allow file transfers during the meeting

Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy “Zoo Food For Life” Fundraising Campaign Raises over $500,000 to help feed the animals 
The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy launched it’s Zoo Food For Life fundraising campaign just one week ago. The campaign was launched to offset revenues lost from parking and admission due to the Toronto Zoo’s closure on March 14th, which normally goes towards supporting the nutrition needs of the more than 5000 animals. The response from the public was overwhelming. Donors have very generously given over $500,000 to the campaign, which is enough to cover six months of food costs. More details can be found here:

City of Toronto beings targeting spring clean up across the city 
The City of Toronto will have a targeted spring cleanup taking place across the city over the next few weeks.

Spring cleanup activities include:

  • Illegal dumping cleanup
  • Boulevard and laneway cleaning
  • Litter and debris removal in parks
  • Fence-line litter clearing
  • Street sweeping to clean up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets.

Unfortunately, the annual Clean Toronto Together community cleanup campaign was cancelled due to COVID-19.

During the pandemic, the City has been working hard to keep public spaces clean and safe. Staff are out each day picking up litter, emptying street and park waste bins and sweeping streets.

Toronto Public Library has launched "38 Ways to Use the Library from Home”


April 23, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Ramadan Mubarak starts tonight after sunset, Ramadan marks a sacred time of the year for the Muslim community. Wishing the Muslim community a Happy Ramadan, may this Ramadan bring joy, happiness and wealth to you and your families. 

Normally an opportunity to spend time with family and faith-based communities, the City urges everyone to continue to follow provincial orders closing places of worship and limiting gatherings as well as the public health recommendations to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons. The holidays are important spiritually and emotionally for many and to support this people are encouraged to connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone. Residents should also check with their place of worship for information on online services and other innovative ways to connect while staying physically apart.

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 COVID-19 key information and resources in the City of Toronto: 

Prime Minister announces new support for COVID-19 medical research and vaccine development 
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced more than $1-billion in support of a national medical research strategy to fight COVID-19 that includes vaccine development, the production of treatments, and tracking of the virus. This new funding builds on the $275-million investment for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures announced in March. 

Separately, the Government of Canada is providing over $675,000 through the Stem Cell Network to support two new research projects that will generate critical information about cells in the airway and brain are affected by the virus and a clinical trial which will evaluate the safety of a potential cell therapy to reduce the impacts associated with COVID-19. Full news release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2S3uzqi 

TTC reducing costs while maintaining service in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic 
The TTC today announced a number of cost-saving measures aimed at maintaining critically important transit service in the city. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an 85 % drop in monthly revenue — money that is essential to sustain operations. Included in the savings is a temporary staff reduction of approximately 1,200 employees over the coming months

Given these financial challenges, the following cost-saving measure are being implemented: 

  • Significant reductions in expenditures including pausing all salary increases for non-unionized employees, reducing overtime across the organization, reviewing current vacancies and forgoing hiring all seasonal hires.
  • Matching service capacity to system demand by temporarily laying off up to 1,000 transit operators, subject to negotiations with ATU Local 113, and 200 non-union staff positions will also be impacted.
  • Delaying all non-essential capital projects in accordance with provincial guidelines.

Service will be maintained at roughly 70-80% of regular levels which is in line with current demand 

The TTC continues to work with the City of Toronto and transit agencies across Canada to ensure public transit is given proper consideration in any provincial and federal assistance program. Full news release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2yFKuEl 

One month since State of Emergency declaration
Today marks one month since Mayor John Tory declared a State of Emergency in the City of Toronto following advice from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. Over the past month, the City has acted and responded quickly to the pandemic, working together with other levels of government, agencies, corporations, businesses, and community organizations to ensure that the City is best positioned to stop the spread of COVID-19, while providing support to those who need it most. The Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health and the City have taken a number of critical actions during this time. For more information, please read the news release.

Today is the start of Ramadan
As we begin the month of Ramadan, we would like to wish all who observe a healthy and blessed Ramadan. Please find creative ways to stay connected with family, friends and faith-based communities without visiting in person. Learn more on the City's website.

Toronto Public Library has launching “38 Ways to Use the Library from Home”
https://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/digital-services/2020/03/38-ways-to-use-the-library-from-home.html.

Bookmark www.tpl.ca and check in often.
Starting in May TPL will also begin to update their homepage www.tpl.ca with highlights of new and interesting things to read, watch, listen to, learn and do!

Tonight: Virtual Commemoration of the Yonge Street Tragedy
Tonight, community groups We Love Willowdale and the Willowdale Interfaith Coalition, will lead a virtual vigil to bring together the community, provide support for those impacted and offer a space for people to interact and leave messages. More information is on the City’s website. Earlier today, the City live streamed a statement by Mayor John Tory, in remembrance of the people who lost their lives, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 459 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued five tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 477. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 10,650 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 44 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 64 tickets and 133 notices to non-essential businesses. As the weather warms, we're urging residents to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons. To continue stopping the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible.

City of Toronto media briefings
The City’s media briefings are available on the City’s YouTube channel

Opportunity for High School Students via East Metro Youth Services 
East Metro Youth Services are calling on High School students interested in working on projects addressing community violence. This project will be hosted online on Thursdays at 2pm. For further information please contact Oleg at ovalin@stridestoronto.ca and visit www.emys.on.ca 


April 22, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Today we are celebrating our beautiful planet and its 50th Earth Day! Let’s help keep our city clean and safe by not littering. Properly dispose of masks, gloves, tissues and any other litter in park and street litter bins. 

Ramadan Mubarak starts later this week, which marks a sacred time of the year for the Muslim community. Wishing the Muslim community a Happy Ramadan, may this Ramadan bring joy, happiness and wealth to you and your families. 

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 COVID-19 key information and resources in the City of Toronto: 

The City launches BusinessTO Support Centre to help support businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
Today, the City launched the BusinessTO Support Centre to provide virtual one-on-one support to Toronto businesses during this unprecedented time. 
BusinessTO Support Centre is now available for all sectors, including not-for-profit, creative/cultural, manufacturing, technology, retail, hospitality, tourism, main street businesses and consulting services. The centre will help businesses apply for government support programs, offer a weekly webinar series to provide information about available government programs and offer general business advice. Businesses can sign up to schedule a conversation with a business advisor by video or phone, and a business advisor will be in contact within 24 hours. The BusinessTO Support Centre is available at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO.

Today is Earth Day
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Typically, it’s a day where individuals and companies around the world take steps to clean up the environment, conserve energy and recycle. Although the activities we normally see taking place are not possible this year, you can still help the environment even without community clean-ups. Some ideas on safely celebrating Earth Day this year:
·         Turn off all electronic devices not being used to help reduce energy usage at home.
·         Experience nature by taking a walk, while maintaining physical distancing.
·         Reduce food waste by using up what’s already in your fridge.
·         Lower your thermostat by a degree.
Visit earthday.org, where they’ve taken Earth Day digital for the first time in their history. For more tips, check out Earth Day Canada’s 2020 campaign encouraging Canadians to take simple yet positive action for the environment as part of their daily lives.

High Park cherry blossoms going virtual during park closure
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto will make the High Park cherry blossoms available online during the upcoming park closure. The blossoms typically last between four and 10 days, depending on weather, with peak bloom period typically from late April to early May. This year, High Park will be closed during the pre-bloom and peak bloom period of the cherry blossom trees, as maintaining proper physical distancing will not be possible. The City will offer a virtual walk-through of the blossoming trees instead with multiple livestream events and videos. The park closure dates are weather-dependent and will be announced when the bloom period is determined. In addition, the cherry blossoms area at Trinity Bellwoods Park will be enclosed by fencing. City bylaw officers and the Toronto Police Service will ensure residents are complying with the closures and may patrol other smaller sites of cherry blossoms in Toronto.

What can you do in a park?
At this time, the park is not meant to be a destination like it used to be. People can walk/run there, get some exercise and then keep moving. While the City will no longer be issuing tickets to people simply because they are using park benches, these benches are not destinations to congregate. Tickets will be issued to those who are not following public health direction and provincial orders on social and public gatherings of more than five people, and the City’s physical distancing bylaw, including to those who are using park benches. Benches are not sanitized. People may unknowingly spread the virus by sneezing or touching the bench. For more information visit the City’s website or see the attached updated fact sheet.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 408 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 472. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to nearly 10,500 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 57 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 53 tickets and 131 notices to non-essential businesses.

Tomorrow: Virtual commemoration of the second anniversary of the Yonge Street Tragedy
This year’s commemoration will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety. In remembrance of the people who lost their lives, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy, the City will live stream a statement by Mayor John Tory at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. In the evening, here will be a virtual vigil led by community groups, We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition. More information is on the City’s website

Nova Scotia Virtual Book of Condolences
On April 19, Nova Scotia experienced an unimaginable tragedy, in already difficult times. Nova Scotia government has now established a virtual book of condolences for you to share your condolences online and on social media.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit 
Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit for post-secondary students whose education and job prospects are disrupted by the pandemic. The CESB will add up to $9-billion, and post-secondary students can receive $1,250 per month from May to August. The CESB can increase to $1.750 for people with disabilities or who care for others. 

Additionally, eligible students will soon be eligible to receive monthly payments of $1,000 and $5,000 for volunteering in their communities to reward them for their efforts. Details can be found in this news release: https://bit.ly/3bwv4kq 

TDSB Nutrition Program 
Students from some additional Ward 19 TDSB Schools are eligible for a $50 grocery card. If you know a student who attends one of the schools listed here, please tell them to apply for their grocery card online here: surveymonkey.com/r/WD2G23X 

List of eligible Ward 19 (Scarborough-Guildwood) Schools: 

  • Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute
  • Cedar Drive Junior Public School
  • Maplewood Highschool 
  • Scarborough Village Public School
  • Eastview Public School 
  • Galloway Public School 
  • Native Learning Centre East
  • St. Margaret’s Public School 
  • Willow Park Junior Public School 
  • Military Trail Public School
  • Woburn Junior Public School 
  • Ben Heppner vocal Music Academy 
  • Tecumseh Senior Public School 

Clean Reusable Bags After Every Use 
Public health officials report that the coronavirus is still viable on hard surfaces such as plastics after 72 hours. If shoppers continue to reuse bags, they need to wash and sanitize their reusables to reduce the risk of spreading the pathogen. See cleaning tips below
Reusable Polypropylene Bags – The Most Common Reusable: Do not put them in the washing machine or dryer. They will melt. Wipe both the inside and outside by hand with warm soapy water or use a sanitizer and air dry completely. Don't forget the inner and outer seams. 

Polyester and Canvas Bags: Toss them in the washing machine, launder in hot water with detergent, then, put them in the dryer.

Nylon bags: Flip them inside out and wash them by hand in warm soapy water. If you prefer to machine wash them, use the gentlest cycle to prevent the bag from coming apart. Then, allow them to air dry


April 21, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

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

Tax Deferrals and Automatic Withdrawals
I have received inquiries on whether you must defer paying your tax or if you can pay immediately. The City has suspended all pending automated withdrawals. If you have a direct arrangement with the City, it will be deferred automatically. If you have an arrangement with the bank, you will need to follow up directly with your bank, where you can opt to pay your property tax and utility payments on your regular installment date.

For more information please visit the City website on Bills & Tax Relief.

Summary of COVID-19 Cases in Toronto
Dr. de Villa shared insights into Toronto’s outbreak during today’s media briefing and compared the situation in the city to other jurisdictions, including the provincial and national outbreak curves. The presentation looks at number of cases, hospitalizations, and demographics. The full presentation is available on the City’s website

The TTC and Toronto Paramedics are partnering to repurpose decommissioned buses for emergency transport
To support the evolving medical needs of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC and Paramedic Services have repurposed five decommissioned TTC buses to safely transport both ambulatory and stretcher-bound patients, including those on ventilators. The converted buses represent a key component of the City's contingency planning to support seamless, efficient, and timely patient care, while also providing important surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vehicles will be driven by TTC drivers with paramedics seeing to the medical needs of patients.

The City of Toronto received shipment of three million surgical masks primarily for long-term care homes and shelters
The City of Toronto has received its order of three million ATSM Level 2 surgical masks, purchased from Canadian distributor AMG Medical Inc. The new masks have passed inspection by City staff and are confirmed to be as ordered. Surgical masks are used extensively by staff in the City's emergency shelters and long-term care facilities.

City of Toronto will virtually commemorate the second anniversary of the Yonge Street Tragedy
This year’s commemoration will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety. In remembrance of the people who lost their lives, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy, the City will live stream a statement by Mayor John Tory at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. Later in the evening, there will be a virtual vigil led by community groups, We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition. More information is on the City’s website

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 345 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 32 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 468. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 10,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.  The City also received 57 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 48 tickets and 126 notices to non-essential businesses.

What can you do in a park?
At this time, the park is not meant to be a destination like it used to be. People can walk and run there, get some exercise and but then keep moving. While the City will no longer be issuing tickets to people using park benches, these benches are not destinations to congregate. Benches are not sanitized. People may unknowingly spread the virus by sneezing or touching the bench. For more information visit the City’s website.

City of Toronto to virtually commemorate second anniversary of the Yonge Street Tragedy

The City of Toronto will virtually commemorate the second anniversary of the Yonge Street Tragedy that happened on April 23, 2018. This year’s commemoration will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety. The City of Toronto will live stream Mayor John Tory’s commemorative statement on the City of Toronto YouTube channel.

In remembrance of the people who lost their lives, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy, the City will live stream a statement by Mayor John Tory at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. Later in the evening, there will be a virtual vigil led by community groups, We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition.

To mark the time of the incident, flags on Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square at North York Civic Centre will be lowered to half-mast at 1:30 p.m. for the remainder of the day. The Toronto Sign will also be dimmed just before sunset.

We Love Willowdale and Willowdale Interfaith Coalition, two community groups in North York, will lead a virtual vigil at 6 p.m. on the We Love Willowdale Facebook page. This vigil will bring together the community, provide support for those impacted and offer a space for people to interact and leave messages.

As this commemoration may bring back painful and traumatic memories, those who require support or counselling are advised to call 211 to access support from the Ontario Psychological Association who is offering free mental health services.

To help keep our community safe during the COVID-19 crisis, residents are respectfully requested to adhere to public health orders and refrain from gathering to lay flowers or other memorabilia at the incident sites.

The City recognizes the challenges the current pandemic and physical distancing measures poses to individuals experiencing trauma as a result of this tragedy. People are encouraged to continue to take care of one another and connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone who may be impacted.

City of Toronto receives shipment of three million surgical masks primarily for long-term care homes and shelters

The City of Toronto is committed to ensuring our frontline staff, including emergency responders, those working with individuals experiencing homelessness, and staff in long-term care homes, have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to stay safe and protect their health and the health of the community.

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto has received three million ATSM Level 2 surgical masks. The masks, ordered from Canadian distributor AMG Medical Inc. in late March, arrived in two shipments with the final shipment of two million masks delivered to the City earlier today. The new masks have been inspected and staff have confirmed masks are as ordered and have passed inspection.

Surgical masks are used extensively by staff in the City's emergency shelters and long-term care facilities. Prior to receiving the shipments, as of April 14, the City of Toronto had enough surgical masks for 52 days at current consumption and 25 days in the worst-case scenario. This new inventory adds approximately 127 days of stock at current consumption and would provide 60 additional days of protection in the worst-case scenario.

Yesterday, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa explained that while Toronto is currently in the peak period for reported COVID-19 cases, the situation in congregate facilities is very different with higher-rates of COVID-19 infection expected to continue. This new influx of PPE will ensure staff can continue to help the most vulnerable Torontonians in our shelters and long-term care facilities.

The City is continuing to source PPE to support frontline workers responding to COVID-19. The Emergency Operations Centre includes a PPE Task Force responsible for monitoring and allocating the City’s PPE, projecting PPE needs, implementing PPE conservation strategies, and investigating alternative PPE options and procurement strategies.

April 20, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Today, on Yom HaShoah we remember and honour the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We must never forget. 

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

City of Toronto media briefings
The City’s media briefings are available on the City’s YouTube channel.

City of Toronto seeing progress in fight against spread of COVID-19
Today Dr. de Villa confirmed Toronto is currently in the peak period for reported cases but there is cause for cautious optimism. She noted that the only way we will continue to be successful is if we maintain the measure that help reduce virus spread for more time. All residents are asked to stay home as much as possible and practise physical distancing whenever possible. The City’s announcement followed the Province’s release of updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. While health experts suggest the COVID-19 outbreak has likely peaked in Ontario, the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is also ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 59 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 24 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 433. For a second day in a row, nearly 200 vehicles were turned away from Bluffer’s Park, where the parking lot remains closed.  The City also received 38 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 46 tickets and 126 notices to non-essential businesses.

Report non-compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic
To help manage public complaints and concerns to 311, there is an online form where the public can share their concerns about large gatherings, use of parks amenities, businesses in non-compliance and price gouging.

Use of benches in City parks
At this time, the park is not meant to be a destination like it used to be. People can walk or run there, get some exercise and fresh air, and then must keep moving. The variety of prohibitions have been set in place by the Province and the City on the advice of public health officials. This advice has been clear and consistent: to stop the community spread of COVID-19, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible, by staying home except for essential outings.

Right now, benches are not destinations where people can begin to congregate. Benches are not sanitized. People may unknowingly spread the virus by sneezing or touching the bench when the next person comes along, sits down and touches the bench. Use of a bench is prohibited by order under the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, that is being enforced by the coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team. The use of a bench or other outdoor amenities is subject to a set fine of $750.

The enforcement team has been asked to exercise discretion when enforcing the order as it relates to benches to allow temporary respite for those that need it. Staff are ensuring people use benches for a short period of time only as needed and do not congregate on these structures in violation of provincial orders, physical distancing directives, and the City’s physical distancing bylaw


April 18, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

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

City of Toronto media briefings
The City’s media briefings are available on the City’s YouTube channel and will resume on Monday as per the regular schedule.

City’s COVID-19 Enforcement Team continues important work across the city
Education and enforcement are essential to keeping our community safe. The enforcement team continues to see troubling behaviour as weather improves and people become frustrated with restrictions. People continue to build fire pits at Bluffers Park and gatherings were observed at the boat launch in King’s Mill Park. People are still removing signage and barriers at many locations. Long lines without proper social distancing continue to form outside businesses. Most disturbing, yesterday while performing his duties, an enforcement officer was assaulted in a park. An arrest has been made in relation to the assault.

Yesterday, the City received 440 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 19 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 338. The City also received 30 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 41 tickets and 117 notices to non-essential businesses.

Toronto Public Health continues to monitor COVID-19 transmission
As of this afternoon, there are 3,346 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 3,013 confirmed cases and 333 probable cases. There are 274 people hospitalized, with 98 in intensive care units. In the city, 162 people have died of COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform here. An earlier upload delay impacting provincial case reporting has been resolved.

April 17, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

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

Ontario establishes key partnerships to make home learning more accessible
The province has formed an agreement with Rogers to provide 21,000 iPads with free wireless data to families in need to help with at-home learning.
Ontario offers emergency child care to more front line staff
The Ontario government is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive emergency child care. This will help additional frontline staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Domestic violence supports available
Ontario continues to take decisive action to protect the health and safety of all people and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. While physical distancing and self-isolation are strongly encouraged, this may not be feasible for women experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The Province of Ontario lists supports and programs available for domestic violence on their website.
City of Toronto media briefings
The City’s daily media briefings are available on the City’s YouTube channel and provide an update of the current situation and the City’s response to COVID-19 in Toronto. Reporters can call in ask questions of City officials, allowing them to participate remotely to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The City’s media briefings include live ASL interpretation and are closed captioned to ensure this information is accessible to as many people as possible.
City of Toronto provides update on financial impacts of COVID-19
Toronto Mayor John Tory provided an update to the City finances as the City continues to monitor and address the impacts of COVID-19, as the pandemic emergency continues to exert major financial stresses locally, nationally and globally. The City is experiencing financial pressure estimated at $65 million per week. The pressure is driven primarily by lost revenues due to the pandemic lockdown, coupled with increased costs responding to the emergency. In early April the City assembled a COVID-19 financial impact working group, which continues to assess the financial implications that may result from this emergency and focused on a plan for stabilization and rebuilding. Through research and modelling, the group has created impact projections under various scenarios.

Ongoing enforcement activities
Enforcement continues to be an essential part of keeping our community safe and remains a priority for the City. Yesterday, the City received 530 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued 17 tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 319. The City received 54 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 35 tickets and 105 notices to non-essential businesses.

Zoo Food For Life 
For more than 45 years, the Toronto Zoo has been committed to saving and protecting endangered wildlife and species at risk in Canada and around the world. The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy, established in 2019, works to secure financial resources for the Zoo, and has launch new fundraising campaign in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The cost of food for the Zoo’s 5,000 animals is $1 million per year and is normally funded by parking and admission revenues. The new "Zoo Food For Life" campaign will raise funds to offset these revenues. Our goal is to raise $50,000 (initially $20,000) on Facebook to go towards the overall goal of $100,000 to assist in feeding the animals in our care. Zoo Food For Life page can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3eu6QJB

Follow Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and visit: https://bit.ly/2KdAswW to learn more about the Zoo’s nutrition program and how the public can help during this time.
  
Senior Focused Grocery Store Hours:
Many grocery stores across Toronto are offering dedicated hours for seniors to complete their shopping. These hours are usually early in the morning, like 7:00am-8:00am, 8:00am to 9:00am, or the first hour of the store's operation.

More information has been covered in the media:
These stores are reserving shopping hours for seniors
Coronavirus: Major Canadian grocers to offer special hours for seniors to stock up
These are the grocery stores in Toronto now offering dedicated hours for seniors

Managing Stress and Psychological Wellbeing is as Important as Managing your Physical Health
As we adapt to our current circumstances, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. It’s important, however, to avoid feelings of isolation as we work to change our behaviours from wanting to connect and be physically close to one another as social beings to respecting social distancing. 

Here are some tips for staying emotionally healthy and resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • It's OK to not be OK. Notice what your emotions and your body are telling you, acknowledging these feelings may lessen and become more manageable. 
  • By helping others you may benefit from focusing on their needs. 
  • Ensure self-care. Be sure to take care of yourself, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise. 
  • Find ways to stay connected, emotionally when we cannot be physically close. This can reduce your sense of isolation. 
  • Setting a routine for yourself can provide some structure in your day can be helpful to maintain positive habits. 

Know when one should seek professional help for COVID-19 relation stress or anxiety. Some warning signs may include: 

  • Persistent anxiety, worry, insomnia or irritability 
  • Taking excessive or unnecessary hygiene precautions, such as wearing a facemask at home when you have no symptoms of the virus 

See this link for tips on managing your stress and well-being

SPARK Ontario Connects Volunteers to Your Organization 
SPARK Ontario is partnering with the Ontario government to connect volunteers with opportunities to support seniors, people with disabilities and other Ontarians requiring assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All not-for-profit organizations supporting the response to COVID-19 can post volunteer opportunities at sparkontario.ca so potential volunteers can be put to work quickly. 

Need help posing your opportunities click here: https://bit.ly/3eurUjc Interested in volunteering? Sign up here: sparkontario.ca  

Many of our community and neighbourhood agencies rely on volunteers to help deliver their services. Many Torontonians have expressed an interest in helping vulnerable, isolated residents and families during this emergency period.

Residents interested in volunteering should register with Spark Ontario and/or with Volunteer Toronto 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.

DonateTO
The City of Toronto is working hard with its partners to support everyone impacted by COVID-19. Your gifts help us to enhance much needed services and supports, especially for the most vulnerable. If you’re interested in donating, please visit this website for more information: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-how-you-can-help/covid-19-donateto/

Gardiner Expressway's westbound Sherbourne/Jarvis off-ramp to reopen this weekend; Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp to close 
The Gardiner Expressway's westbound Sherbourne/Jarvis off-ramp will reopen on Sunday, April 19, at 12:01 a.m. The off-ramp, closed since October 2019, was replaced as part of Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation Plan. News release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3cpgMSQ


April 16, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

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

City of Toronto media briefings

The City’s daily media briefings are available on the City’s Youtube channel youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto and provide an update of the current situation and the City’s response to COVID-19 in Toronto. Reporters can call in ask questions of City officials, allowing them to participate remotely to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The City’s media briefings include live ASL interpretation and are closed captioned to ensure this information is accessible to as many people as possible. 

Supports for Toronto Seniors
The City and its many partners are working hard to protect and support vulnerable individuals, including older adults, throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Many are facing challenges related to food security, mental health, access to information, tenant supports, and more. Please contact my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca or 416-396-7222 for any questions.

Significant changes to City of Toronto COVID-19 web page

The toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ web pages are the City's primary communication channel to provide up-to-date and helpful information to the public. Details are updated every day. You may have noticed today that the COVID-19 pages have a new look. Strategic Communications has revised the page layouts and content has been mapped to clear topic areas to help the public find key information more easily. We're now using a bullet menu template, a limited number of graphics, and concise content in plain language. Special consideration has been given to mobile users (who currently account for more than 50% of web visits).

Ongoing enforcement activities
Yesterday, the City received 397 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers cautioned 409 individuals regarding the closure of outdoor park amenities and the requirement for physical distancing and issued 30 tickets – bringing the totals to 294 tickets, 290 Notices and 8,962 cautions since April 3.  The City received 47 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing and Standards has issued 19 tickets and 73 notices to non-essential businesses.

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses

The City is expanding its Digital Main Street program to help local businesses develop or expand their online services during this unprecedented time. The program includes online tools, connections to trusted digital vendors, structured online learning and a Digital Service Squad, who provide one-on-one assistance to help businesses grow and manage their operations. The expansion of the Digital Main Street program is a part of the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force's short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto's businesses. Local businesses can complete the Digital Main Street onboarding process and receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/toronto/.

New Toronto Public Health data system enhances local COVID-19 response

Today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) launched a new technology solution, CORES, to enhance case and contact tracing work. Case and contact tracing are critical components of TPH’s COVID-19 response and work to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Case and contact tracing information provides insight into how COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, the extent of community spread and how long the virus can incubate. CORES will allow TPH to quickly and easily document each individual case investigation efficiently and share data with the provincial Ministry of Health. It will allow TPH to better keep up with the volume of new reports and prioritize individual cases that require urgent follow-up, such as healthcare workers, as the local COVID-19 evolves.

City of Toronto continues to protect staff, residents in its long-term care homes The City of Toronto began measures when COVID-19 was first identified to protect staff and residents in its long-term care homes. Despite best efforts and proven measures to contain outbreaks, this virus has had a devastating impact on those who work and reside in long-term care homes, nursing homes and other institutions where our most vulnerable receive care. The City of Toronto operates just 10 of the more than 80 long-term care homes in Toronto, providing care for approximately 2,600 residents. To date, there are outbreaks in three of the 10 homes operated by the City.

In mid-March, the City of Toronto’s Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) division asked staff to choose the City as their primary employer in order to limit work locations and, therefore, minimize COVID-19 exposure for both themselves and residents. SSLTC also stopped all non-essential services and redirected resources to the essential long-term care operations, maximizing part-time frontline staff and using overtime to meet staffing needs during outbreaks. The City has also hired 50 nursing students and Personal Support Worker-certified individuals to support and backfill positions. More than 80 City employees from across the organization have been redeployed to SSLTC, and another 80 will be starting soon, with additional staffing support requested from the Emergency Operations Centre.


April 16, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

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

City of Toronto to continue yard waste collection for another two weeks

The City of Toronto will continue yard waste collection for another two weeks from April 20 to May 1 to accommodate residents. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics).

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. If yard waste is not picked up on collection day, residents are asked to leave it out until it’s collected. It is not necessary to call 311 to report a missed collection. 

If possible, residents should use a yard waste bag. Otherwise, a rigid open-top container can be used. Brush and branches should be secured in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (two feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs). Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3cmJAeB 

City of Toronto's City Hall Live performances move online to support artists during COVID-19 pandemic

To help support Toronto artists and lift the spirits of residents during this outbreak, the City of Toronto, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is moving its City Hall Live performance program online.

Under the necessary restrictions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, artists will take their show online. The first City Hall Live Online livestreamed event is today, April 16 at noon and will feature The Weather Station. The series will run Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m., with two shows per day until the end of June. More than 100 local artists will be directly compensated for 30-minute performances from their homes, livestreamed via Facebook Live


April 15, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

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

Great news from the Toronto Public Library!!!

Torontonians who don't have a Toronto Public Library card can now access OverDrive, our largest collection of ebooks and audiobooks, with the new Instant Digital Card. This temporary card is available to people age 13 and older with a Toronto cell phone that can receive texts. New customers can enjoy this access until September 1, 2020. The link to access the temporary library card is here.

Update on lawn signs for residents
The City will not proceed with producing or distributing lawn signs for residents following distribution and logistics issues. The City will be providing additional types of signs for residents to download, including ones for children to colour.

DonateTO: COVID-19 portal to support pandemic relief efforts

Today, the City launched the DonateTO: COVID-19 portal which helps businesses and residents make donations of products, services and funds in support of the City’s pandemic relief efforts. To date, more than $1.5 million of goods and services have been donated to the City.

The City of Toronto is working hard to support everyone impacted by COVID-19 and there are many ways people can support their community, including donations of personal protective equipment, other goods and services, food and financial. All donations help the City, in coordination with our community partners to enhance needed services and supports, especially for the most vulnerable and those who support them. Visit DonateTO to learn how you can help.

Street sweeping begins this week
Beginning this week, street sweepers will be busy cleaning up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets to help keep roadways clean and safe. Street sweeping will take place during the day and in the evenings, servicing both neighbourhood and main roads throughout April. Street sweeping helps to remove dust, dirt and other contaminants, assists in improving overall air quality and is an important part of Toronto’s flood prevention strategy, since it removes litter and debris from roadway catch basins.

City urges drivers to obey rules of the road

The City of Toronto is urging drivers to slow down, stay alert and obey the rules of the road to save lives, keep streets safe and accessible, prevent traffic-related collisions and reduce the strain on the city’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the City has seen a dramatic drop in traffic volumes, Toronto Police report that from March 15 to March 31, there was a 35 per cent increase in speeding tickets and an almost 200 per cent increase in stunt driving compared to the same period last year. Starting this week, officers from the Toronto Police Service’s Vision Zero Enforcement Team will begin patrolling daily for motorists who are speeding or stunt driving. All red light cameras in Toronto are active and tickets are being issued to motorists who disobey traffic signals.

Ongoing enforcement efforts
The City’s COVID-19 Enforcement Team continues to focus on stricter enforcement, monitoring popular parks around the city and issue tickets to individuals and groups using closed park amenities and not practising physical distancing. The team continues to observe prohibited activity and yesterday the City received 396 complaints involving people using amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and Police Officers cautioned 470 individuals regarding the closure of park amenities and physical distancing and issued 35 tickets – bringing the total to 252 tickets issued since April 3.

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. In addition, failing to identify oneself (correct name, date of birth and address) to an officer investigating a matter under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act carries a set fine of $750.

BIA Survey for Small Businesses & Landlords

TABIA (Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas) with the help of the Broadview-Danforth BIA have created a quick survey to get an idea of which businesses are able to make April’s rent and what challenges they foresee in the coming months. They are asking for as much input as possible to help us understand how Toronto small businesses and landlords are doing, and so they can push for the right recommendations.

As the needs of landlords and small business owners are different, two similar but separate surveys have been created.

If you do not belong to a BIA – choose "Other"

Landlords

Tenants/Small Business

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) COVID-19 outbreak response update 

Please click here for TCHC's Access Guide to food/groceries for senior tenants.

Please click here for an information sheet for TCHC residents, including information regarding TCHC's changes and additional measures for the COVID-19 emergency.

Community Gardens: In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, TCHC has closed all outdoor recreational amenities until further notice. This applies to community gardens, including those beds that have been assigned for tenant use. Please see the notice here, which has been posted in buildings to advise tenants.

Paying Rent: During the COVID-19 emergency, Toronto Community Housing is not accepting walk-in rent payments at its offices. Tenants still have five options for paying their rent: 

  • drop-box at their Superintendent’s office or local Operating Unit office 
  • send by mail
  • online banking
  • telebanking
  • pre-authorized payment 

Rent Flexibility: Toronto Community Housing is offering flexibility to market rent and rent-geared-to-income (RGI) tenants whose employment income has been impacted by COVID-19.

To request a rent adjustment (RGI) or a deferral (market), tenants need to fill out a form (attached) and return it to TCHC.  Tenants can obtain the form by:

More information can be accessed through the following links:

More updates can be found on TCHC’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) support and resources page which can be accessed here..


April 14, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

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

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

Today, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Read the full news release here.

City of Toronto supports launch of Distantly.ca to help main street businesses

Today, Mayor John Tory highlighted the launch of an online donation platform that allows community members to make direct donations to small businesses to help lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This platform allows customers to continue to support local main street businesses impacted by non-essential closures, such as coffee shops, restaurants and hair salons. Read the full news release.

City of Toronto provides update on personal protective equipment supply

The City of Toronto is committed to ensuring our frontline staff, including emergency responders, those working with individuals experiencing homelessness, and staff in long-term care homes, have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to stay safe and protect their health and the health of the community. Chief Pegg provided a detailed updated on the City’s PPE supply and projections for City PPE use. The City’s Emergency Operations Centre includes a PPE Task Force responsible for monitoring and allocating the City’s PPE, projecting PPE needs, implementing PPE conservation strategies, and investigating alternative PPE options and procurement strategies. Read the full news release.

Grass cutting and landscaping

As a reminder, grass cutting and landscaping businesses are not listed as essential under the Provincial order. The long grass and weeds bylaw continues to apply during the COVID-19 emergency, so members of the public are asked to do their best to maintain their property. Where residents are unable to cut their own grass due to age or health concerns, bylaw officers will use discretion and not enforce the bylaw unreasonably. Neighbours are also encouraged to lend a helping hand if possible.

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. Walking, jogging, and other physical activities are healthy and okay to do, so long as you follow the social distancing guidelines. This includes not gathering with more than 5 people (excluding people who live together) and staying 2 metres away from others.


Dear Neighbours, 

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

Today, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, General Manager of the City’s Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA), Mary-Anne Bédard, University Health Network Executive Director of Health and Social Policy, Dr. Andrew Boozary, and Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) Medical Director, Dr. Andrew J. Bond, provided an update on existing and forthcoming actions taken to protect individuals experiencing homelessness from COVID-19.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to respiratory infections, including COVID-19. There are currently 30 confirmed client cases of COVID-19 in the city’s emergency shelter system. Given the scale of this pandemic, additional cases are expected. The City, with the help of our community and heath sector partners has put measures in place for active screening, testing and providing isolation spaces to slow transmission and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our emergency shelter system.

SSHA continues to lead the City’s three-tiered approach to protecting vulnerable people experiencing homelessness. The three tiers – prevention, mitigation and recovery – allow the City, community partners, and healthcare providers to respond to each stage of the pandemic. The City has implemented an inter-governmental and sectoral response to COVID-19 involving the city, provincial/federal government, provincial healthcare sector, and community non-profit sector. We have moved over 1,000 people to programs that meet a range of client needs, including spaces in community centers, hotel rooms, and permanent housing and we are on track to move another 1000 into new spaces by April 30.

Weeks ago, before the virus was spreading within the community, SSHA engaged community partners in prevention. In partnership with Toronto Public Health, SSHA provided updated guidance, training and resources to the sector to initiate enhanced Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures. Ongoing screening for illness and travel history began by phone during intake and in-person and, in the following weeks, a new screening tool for homeless service settings was shared widely. The City has distributed $1.2 million among shelters, 24-hour respites, and drop-ins for cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and wage increases for frontline staff.

Physical distancing remains one of the best ways to prevent spreading COVID-19. To enable people within our emergency shelter system to physically distance, since March 16, 11 new facilities have been mobilized with more than 470 spaces to allow for physical distancing.

The City has also secured more than 1,200 spaces at 12 hotel locations to further enable physical distancing and provide isolation space. Eight of these sites are active and we are working quickly to activate the others. One of the additional hotel sites has been activated as an isolation program with 200 spaces to respond to the increasing number of people undergoing COVID-19 testing. SSHA staff are working with ICHA to identify those most vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly and those with health conditions, to move into new spaces or add measures to protect them in pace.

As of today, 176 shelter clients have been transported for testing and isolation related to COVID-19. Clients are transported directly to provincial assessment centres. Following testing, clients are brought to a dedicated isolation space with medical and harm reduction supports as they await test results.

The clearing of encampments has been suspended since the start of the pandemic. Street outreach has been enhanced to increase safety, cleaning and garbage removal, provide advice on public health recommendations and hygiene kits, and help screen for symptoms. Portable washrooms and handwashing stations have been deployed at locations across the city.

With prevention and mitigation strategies in place, the City is working with partners to strengthen recovery supports. The interim recovery site operated by the City in partnership with ICHA and the wider healthcare sector is now operational.

Regardless of this pandemic, the best and only solution to homelessness is to provide people with permanent housing. The new Rapid Housing Access Initiative, introduced at the start of the pandemic, has helped to prioritize access to housing for individuals in the shelter systems. More than 250 vacant Toronto Community Housing units have been identified for the initiative and, by the end of the week, 50 people will have been housed. Housing referrals are made through the Coordinated Access system and people matched with housing are provided with housing stability supports and home furnishings. Units are being prioritized for particularly vulnerable individuals, including seniors.

The City is also looking beyond the current extreme situation and this unprecedented expansion of our service system into new locations, and considering the opportunity to leverage investments to secure properties through purchase or long-term lease to secure for future affordable and supportive housing.


April 13, 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 COVID-19 key information and resources: 

Premier Doug Ford says that he plans on extending the province’s state of emergency by 28 days when the legislature resumes tomorrow. Members of Provincial Parliament will return to Queen’s Park for a single day to pass the emergency act and to discuss a bill on education, childcare and municipal housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City of Toronto to open two emergency child care centres for essential and critical service workers 

The two new child care centres will be downtown where the City has seen the most demand. The first centre, located at 34 Bathurst St., opens today and the second centre, located at 1125 Danforth Ave., will open later this week.

Child care spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. Once eligible workers complete and submit the online application, they will be contacted by Toronto Children's Services staff if space is available. For details on eligibility and application, visit 

City of Toronto continues to encourage residents and businesses to practice physical distancing and help stop the spread of COVID-19 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Enforcement Team — a partnership between Toronto Police Services and the City — continues to carry out stricter enforcement in parks across the city. Toronto Public Health is also educating essential businesses on physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection on their premises. See full news release here: https://bit.ly/3b7bGui 

No Public Access to locations along the Scarborough Bluffs and Lake Ontario Waterfront 

Toronto and Region Conversation Authority (TRCA) is warning of risks due to landslides along the Scarborough Bluffs. The risk to public safety is a significant and real concern. Therefore, access to the shoreline has been and will continue to be PROHIBITED for public safety reasons. Signs are posted at access locations where landslide have already occurred and impacted roads and trails. Full notice can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2K48aVr 

Scarborough COVID-19 Response for Vulnerable Seniors 

Starting today you can now reach Carefirst, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, Senior Persons Living Connected and Transcare for access and referrals to essential supports to keep seniors home and out of hospital through one line at 416-736-9372 or 1-888-834-8776! Eligible: 

    • Vulnerable and frail older adults and seniors at risk of isolation 
    • Persons that have recently been discharged from hospitals or at risk of returning to hospitals 
    • Persons in quarantine and self isolation with limited access to community supports

April 11, 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 COVID-19 key information and resources from the City of Toronto: 

City of Toronto and partners providing essential food support for vulnerable residents this holiday weekend 

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. Several recently launched programs have already helped hundreds of residents and their families.

The City is partnering with United Way Greater Toronto, 211, Second Harvest, Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank, Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The City has made resources such as facilities, staffing and equipment available to partners. Efforts to improve food access include: 

  • Food delivery for seniors: Responding to the Province of Ontario’s recommendation for everyone over the age of 70 to self-isolate, the City is working with the Red Cross and other partners to provide food hamper delivery to seniors and others in need unable to leave their homes. Since April 6, the Red Cross has been accepting calls at 1-833-204-9952 for those who require this service – with 376 clients qualifying as of April 9. With support from United Way Greater Toronto, this service is made available for qualifying clients that do not have alternative access to food and are not receiving assistance from another community food program. The call centre is closed this weekend but will be reopen Monday, April 13.
  • Access to food banks: Nine food banks are now open at Toronto Public Library locations, in partnership with the North York Harvest Food Bank and the Daily Bread Food Bank. As of April 9, approximately 2,400 individuals in need have used these new locations.
  • Food for kids: The City is working with student nutrition program partners to support the Food for Kids program which is sending grocery gift cards to families of children in need who attend school in Toronto and were previously enrolled in the program. The $50 food card for these children and each of their siblings represents the approximate value of 30 healthy breakfasts for each child. To date, 28,000 children have been invited to register to receive the gift cards. 

The City is asking multi-residential buildings, such as condos and apartments, to allow grocery and food deliveries inside buildings to permit those who are self-isolating or COVID-19 positive to remain inside their units. Full news release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2wxaa5v


April 9, 2020

Dear Neighbours. 

I would like to wish everyone celebrating an Easter holiday full of peace, joy and plenty of blessings. For all groups celebrating please be sure to follow the guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health. This includes suspending or greatly reducing the size of services, using virtual or online methods, and ensuring social distancing rules are maintained. For the Fact Sheet please click here: https://bit.ly/2xZ0gtY 

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

City of Toronto announces mental health support strategy for residents

The City of Toronto has developed a mental health support strategy to support the mental health needs of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures put in place over the past three weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 have created stress and anxiety for many individuals, which may be compounded by financial loss and loss of critical supports. 

Residents can call 211 to access support and get connected to one of seven primary mental health service partners for direct phone support. Mental health service information is also available at http://www.211toronto.ca/. Full news release: https://bit.ly/2JUU9cN

Municipal Licensing & Standards Service Update 

The City is committed to doing everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19, based on the expert advice of our Medical Officer of Health.

As part of the City's efforts to protect the health and safety of Toronto residents and our staff, we are practicing social distancing to help reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

At this time, Municipal Licensing & Standards' services will be responding to emergency calls on a priority basis. All non-essential service requests are suspended pending the outcome of the COVID-19 emergency. If this is an Emergency request, please contact 311.

For more information on COVID-19 related City cancellations and closures, please visit toronto.ca/covid19.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

OW/ODSP COVID-19 Benefit 

OW and ODSP clients are able to access an additional benefit for COVID relief for $100. I believe it is a one-time benefit, that must be requested. One would need to contact a worker and request it before it is issued. This benefit will be released through DBD or Reloadable card. Additionally, starting from May there will be NO physical cheques being issued. Everyone will need to get their cheques through DBD or reloadable card. 

Additional COVID-19 Resources and Supports 

Applications for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit is now available You can also apply over the phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. This services is available 21 hours per day, closed between 3am and 6am for maintenance. The Canadian Government announced that more plans were coming for Canadians who work 10 hours a week or less, and for those essential workers who make less than the CERB amount of $2,000 per month.

  • City of Toronto’s Housing Stabilization Fund 

This fund provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program in the City of Toronto. Details here: https://bit.ly/34qPcSA 

  • Food delivery for seniors 

As of April 7, call Red Cross at 1-833-204-9952 for seniors who have had to self-isolate and do not have alternative access to food through family, friends, or other food delivery services and are not receiving assistance from another community food program. 

  • CAA Food Delivery 

CAA is providing Transportation and delivery services to support COVID-19 response for agencies. They will deliver only the following items: Food (uncooked and cooked; Medicine; Pharmaceuticals; Medical equipment (size limitations will apply). If you are interested in using this service please email and share your organization name, contact name, phone # and address and the type of pick-up.delivery required. 


Dear Neighbours, 

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

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on the release of national modelling on the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada

“Today, the Government of Canada released national-level modelling on the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada. The modelling attempts to show how the epidemic might unfold over the coming months based on our knowledge of how to virus behaves and the potential impact of public health measures. 

It is important to be aware of the limitations and benefits of modelling. Models are not crystal balls and we cannot predict the future with them. However, they do help us to plan and they tell us that our collective actions can have a direct and significant impact on the epidemic trajectory” 

Full news release can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2y5BoAs  

Modelling on the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3aZutaW 

Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Survey 

We are encouraging those who may have had symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection or have reason to suspect they had a COVID-19 infection, but did not meet the eligibility requirement for testing to fallout a survey that TPH created. This additional data helps Toronto Public Health better understand our COVID-19 epidemic curve. The survey can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2yNNJtF 


April 8, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

I would like to send my condolences to the family, friends and staff at the Seven Oaks Long-Term Care Home. I am sending love and prayers to the family and friends of those patients who have died as a result of COVID-19. I wish all the residents and staff who have confirmed cases a speedy, healthy recovery.

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 information for pet owners and professional dog walkers: https://bit.ly/2xY86DZ . If walking more than one dog, it would be prudent if the dogs were from the same home.

If you are over the age of 70 and self-isolating because of COVID-19? The City, Canadian Red Cross and other partners are providing food hamper delivery to seniors and others in need and unable to pay. Please call Red Cross at 1-833-204-9952 for eligibility and registration information.

If you are looking for services but are not sure what is and isn't open, please visit 211toronto.ca, where you can find services by topic and community.

City reminds residents to maintain physical distancing over the holidays

This evening at sundown, the Jewish community will begin the eight-day celebration of Passover, and with Easter, and the start of Ramadan also here soon, many will want to spend time with family and faith-based communities. However, the City urges everyone to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons. The holidays are important spiritually and emotionally for many and to support this, people are encouraged to connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone. Residents should also check with their place of worship for information on online services and other innovative ways to connect while staying physically apart. Plan ahead for grocery shopping and consider donating to a local food bank. Learn more here.

City enforcement of orders and bylaws continues

While many are complying with the Orders and Bylaws, yesterday the City received 34 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 39 non-essential businesses.

Enforcement activity in Toronto continues to focus on locations with the most activity and will continue through the weekend. Yesterday, the City received 482 complaints about people using park amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw officers spoke to 629 people regarding the closure of park amenities and distancing and issued 37 written cautions and 33 tickets – bringing the total to 53 tickets since April 4. Officers also intervened to respond to a large group congregating at Smythe Park; people continuing to trespass and play golf at Don Valley Golf Course and people using cricket, baseball and off-leash dog amenities at Cedarvale Park.

Public Health guidance on home-made masks and other facial coverings

Today, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. de Villa spoke about steps people can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. While the best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid close contact with others, Dr. de Villa discussed the use of home-made masks while stressing the importance of keeping medical masks for healthcare workers and first responders.

Yesterday, the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health Communication released a statement on the use of non-medical masks (or facial coverings) by the public.


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! 

Tonight at sundown, Jewish communities will celebrate the beginning of Passover. I would like to take the opportunity to extend my best wishes to everyone celebrating Passover!

For faith groups and attendees of religious celebrations including Passover, Easter, and all other faith-based events, please make sure you follow the guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health. This includes suspending or greatly reducing the size of services, using virtual or online methods, and ensuring social distancing rules are maintained. For the Fact Sheet please click here.

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. This program will help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years of age.

Canada’s small businesses increasingly depend on the employment of young Canadians. The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.

The temporary changes to the program for this year include:

·         an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee

·         an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021

·         allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services

·         allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

The full news release can be viewed here.


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.


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.

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: 

“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, 

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.

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: 


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.

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. 

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. 


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 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.

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. 

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 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.

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.


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

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.

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.


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


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
1 866-987-645

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.

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




 

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