End of the Day COVID -19 Update

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:  

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

Please click here for a list of food banks and soup kitchens in the 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.

Please click here for a list of food banks in Scarborough

Essential Government Information for COVID -19

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 Advisory

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.

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

Website: www.paulainslie.com

You can also reach me by: telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

All my Best,