April 15, 2020
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:
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”
Tenants/Small Business: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID-10tenantsurvey
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
- 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:
- Calling our 24-hour Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500
- Sending an email email@example.com
- Downloading the forms at torontohousing.ca/covid-19
- Watching for a package TCHC is mailing to all households
More information can be accessed through the following links:
- Rent payment options fact sheet
- Rent flexibility frequently asked questions
- Rent adjustment request form for RGI tenants
- Rent deferral request form for market and affordable rent tenants
More updates can be found on TCHC’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) support and resources page which can be accessed here: https://www.torontohousing.ca/residents/community-services/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19-information.aspx
A friendly reminder to all residents to dispose of all garbage properly. You can find out more about litter and garbage on the City’s website here. Illegal dumping takes time and resources away from our city staff who are working very hard to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. To report illegal dumping, please contact 311 and follow up with my office.
A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV
Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.
Is Your Agency Collecting Data to Assist with COVID-19 Response Efforts?
Is your organization already keeping track of programs and services being offered in your community? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share the data you’ve collected!
Do you know of other organizations that might be collecting this kind of data? Let email@example.com know and they’ll follow up!
To update your organization’s 211 record, fill out this form: https://211ontario.ca/tell-211-about-changes-in-services/
211’s Service Navigations are using this data to assist the hundreds of people from across the GTA who are calling 2-1-1 every day for help with food security, housing assistance, mental health, and other problems exacerbated by this pandemic.
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 Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All my Best,