March 24 Key Messages – Covid-19 Update


March 24, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

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

To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government announced they will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. The Province released a full list of essential workplaces that are permitted to stay open. The City is assessing the impact this will have on City services and encourages residents to visit the City’s website for the most up to date information on affected services:

The City of Toronto has 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. The City 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. The City also has Canada’s first dedicated isolation site for people experiencing homelessness who are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) will be flexible and work with market rent and rent-geared-to-income (RGI) tenants whose employment income has been impacted by COVID-19. For rent-geared-to-income households, TCHC will recalculate rent based on employment income changes owing to job loss or layoff incurred because of COVID-19. For market rent tenants whose income has been reduced as a result of a job loss or layoff because of the COVID-19 response, TCHC will consider various case-specific options to assist them.
Now that people are doing more cleaning and disinfecting at home including disposable wipes, everyone is urged to not flush disposable wipes down the toilet. Pipes can easily become clogged by non-flushable items such as sanitizing wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels. These can damage your plumbing and cause blockages in City sewer pipes — which can lead to basement flooding. When sewer blockages occur, it takes City staff away from other critical services. Please protect Toronto’s sewer system. The only thing that should be flushed down a toilet is a limited amount of toilet paper. Throw used wipes in the garbage bin.

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. The centres will be spread across Toronto in existing City-run child care facilities and be operated and staffed by the City of Toronto licensed child care workers. This is the first time a service of this type has ever been offered by the City of Toronto. The City is working to quickly establish an online system to assess needs. The centres will then open as quickly as possible.

For the health and safety of our communities, please remember the importance of physical distancing and minimizing contact between people. The best way for Torontonians to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home except to get essential supplies, practice physical distancing when outside the home, and self-isolate following travel or illness.

Support The Scarborough Health Network….They Need Supplies!
The Scarborough Health Network is calling for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its care teams and patients. If you or your business has PPE that could help, email: – Lets Help Our Heroes in the fight against COVID-19.

Ontario announced that the province will provide electricity relief to families, small businesses and farms during COVID-19. News Release here.

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

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at

All my Best,


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