City of Toronto taking action to protect individuals experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

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.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures.

Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

If you have any further questions or concerns please call my office AT 416-396-7222 OR by email at

All my Best,


City of Toronto taking action to help vulnerable tenants who need it most March 24, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

Today, Mayor John Tory calls on private landlords to put policies in place to help unemployed tenants and communicate them 

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the City is taking action to help Toronto’s most vulnerable tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After consulting with Mayor Tory and City staff, who approved both the form of the help and the financial implications for Toronto Community Housing, TCHC confirmed today that it 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, which make up about 90 per cent of TCHC tenants, the housing corporation will recalculate their rent based on employment income changes owing to job loss or layoff incurred because of COVID-19. Rent will be adjusted or deferred in order to respond to the economic impact 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, which may include arranging for payment deferment plans that suit their situation over the next few months. 

The City 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 due to the current emergency. 

These actions follow the teleconference on Monday with major private residential landlords as part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force. On the call, the Mayor surveyed how landlords plan to help tenants who may have lost their job due to the recent economic turmoil and have rent due soon. Many of the companies pledged to help tenants who need it. A number of companies have detailed policies in place to assist tenants whose income has been diminished by the health crisis, but far too many have not communicated anything to reassure anxious tenants who in the ordinary course have rent payments due on April 1. 

While the City has no power to direct landlords, the Mayor strongly urges all property owners to find ways to help tenants who need it to stay in their homes during these unprecedented times. The Mayor also made it clear yesterday that he expects landlords to proactively communicate with their tenants with respect to policies they have in place which are available to tenants financially displaced by COVID-19. 

If you have any questions or concerns please call my office at 416-396-7222 or email me at

All my Best,




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 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.

I hope you find this information useful?

All my Best,


List of Essential Service Work Places

Dear Neighbours,

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

If you have questions about a service on this list, or not on this list please visit  For up to date information on the current status of COVID-19 visit

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;


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;


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;


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;


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

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. 

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

All my Best, 

Paul W. Ainslie 

March 21, 2020 Update

March 21, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

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

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 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. 

All my Best, 

Paul W. Ainslie 

Corona Virus 19 Tips From City of Toronto

March 18, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

Residents are strongly encouraged to visit and for information.  Public Health’s information line & 311 are experiencing high call volumes which can be helped by getting the information you need online.

If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or in close contact with someone who has, use Government of Ontario’s online self-assessment tool to determine if you need to seek further care or access testing

911 is for use in emergency situations, requiring response by Toronto Police, Toronto Paramedics or Toronto Fire Services only. Do not call 911 when seeking information about COVID-19 or city services.

Residents are strongly encouraged to visit and for information. The City’s website has a tool that can translate pages into 51 different languages, which is anchored at the bottom of every web page.

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:

Dr. de Villa is strongly encouraging all residents & visitors to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in Toronto from any country, including the United States. Public Health Ontario’s guidelines for self-isolation are available online:

The City’s website will be updated with information as we receive it, including service changes that involve meal programs, shelters, and drop-ins.

All my Best,


CityofTO Update: March Break, Toronto Public Health and More

Dear Scarborough-Guildwood Residents

I hope everyone is doing well. March Break officially starts next week! Museums, cultural centres and other attractions will be hosting fun filled opportunities across the city – check out the City’s exhibits and events calendar, visit your local Toronto Library Branch or visit the Toronto Zoo for your March Break activities.

Toronto Public Health is currently monitoring 18 positive cases of the novel coronavirus: COVID-19 in Toronto. To date, there have been four other confirmed cases reported in Toronto with all four having since recovered from their illness. Keep updated on news on the virus, how to protect yourself, and how to recognize possible symptoms here.

Follow @TOPublicHealth to receive notification of updates. You can also visit the Toronto Public Health website or call 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

On Monday March 9th, the General Government and Licensing Committee (GGLC) held its 12th meeting. At this meeting, Municipal Licensing and Standards reported on identifiable and measurable performance standards for Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS).

The General Government and Licensing Committee requests that the Executive Director of MLS report to the GGLC in the first quarter of each year on performance standards and timelines in relation to the Minimum Investigation Process and Timeline for Investigation Services’ Top Service Requests:

–          Property Standards (Emergency);

–          Property Standards (Non-Emergency);

–          Littering and Dumping;

–          Grass and Weeds;

–          Zoning By-Law; and

–          Signs

More information on this item can be found here.

On Thursday March 12th, the Scarborough Community Council gathered for its 14th meeting. At this meeting the request for a Traffic Control Signal Review at Kingston Road and Brinloor Boulevard was adopted. Further information on the installation and activation of this Traffic Control Signal will be made available as soon as possible.

More information on this item can be found here.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy weekend!

All my Best,

Paul W. Ainslie


Dear Scarborough-Guildwood Neighbours

Happy Toronto Day! Today we celebrate 186 years since the official incorporation of the City of Toronto. Toronto Day is an opportunity to learn more about the City of Toronto’s history and significant symbols.

The Toronto Flag and The Coat of Arms are official symbols of the City of Toronto. The City of Toronto Motto, Diversity Our Strength, refers to the multicultural dimensions of the city and the seven municipal governments that now form the City of Toronto. History on the Toronto Flag, Coat of Arms and more can be found here.

With March Break, right around the corner, museums, cultural centres and attractions will be hosting fun filled opportunities across the city. Check out the City’s exhibits and events calendar, register for Recreation Programs, visit your local Toronto Library Branch or visit the Toronto Zoo for your March Break activities.

Some fun facts about the City of Toronto:

–          The PATH is the largest continuous underground shopping mall in North America, featuring over 1200 stores

–          There are approximately 7500 restaurants in the City of Toronto

–          Over 180 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto, with 79 multi-lingual publications published in Toronto

–          Toronto has more than 1500 parks covering 8000 hectares

–          There are 100 Toronto Public Library branches

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities.

Happy Toronto Day Everyone!

All my Best,

Paul W. Ainslie