Use of Benches in City Parks – April 19, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

I wanted to bring some clarity to the use of park benches…..

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.

If you have any questions or concerns about this or anything else I can be reached at 416-396-7222 or by email at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

All my Best,

Paul

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 theCity’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.  




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! 0001
Managing Stress and Psychological Wellbeing is as Important as Managing your Physical Health   96b1-COVID-19-Taking-Care-of-Your-Mental-Health-and-Well-being-Infographic-page-001 Where to find Mental Health help:  City of Toronto Mental Health 211 Tips on managing your stress and well-being World Health Organization The Psychological Foundation of Canada – Stress Strategies Canadian Mental Health Association
FoodBanks 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
How to contact me:
Toronto City Hall 100 Queen Street West Suite C52 Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2 Tel: 416-392-4008   Scarborough Civic Centre 150 Borough Drive Scarborough, Ontario M1P 4N7 Tel: 416-396-7222 Fax: 416-392-4006  I am continuously updating my social media platforms and my website with up to date information:    cid:image012.png@01D22620.64ACA250cid:image013.png@01D22620.64ACA250Instagram, Insta Logo, New Images   Website: www.paulainslie.com You can also reach me by: telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca  
public health The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check www.toronto.ca/COVID19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline 416-338-7600 or 311 Call Telehealth Ontario if you develop symptoms. Telephone: 1-866-797-0000   All my Best, Paul
SUBSCRIBEUNSUBSCRIBE
All my Best,

Paul

April 17, 2020 Mid Day Update

April 17, 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 in the City of Toronto: 

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 

Where to find Mental Health help: 

See this link for tips on managing your stress and well-being: http://www.paulainslie.com/FILES/2020/COVID_AnxietyTips.pdf

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

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.

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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

Evening Update for April 16, 2020

April 16, 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 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. You may also refer to this page for details on supports: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-financial-social-support-for-people/covid-19-seniors-vulnerable-people/ 

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.

City Hall Live Online

City Hall Live Online, a showcase of Toronto musicians, kicked off today at noon and featured a performance by The Weather Station, introduced by Mayor John Tory. The series will run Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m., with two shows per day until the end of June. This series will directly compensate more than 100 local artists for 30-minute performances from their homes, livestreamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/City-Hall-Live-106149534367134/. Toronto-based musicians can apply for City Hall Live and other City of Toronto Music Office programs at http://www.toronto.ca/music. More details here: https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/industry-sector-support/music/support-opportunities/artist-opportunities/ 

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). The City recently resumed yard waste collection for a two-week trial period from April 6 to 17 and has determined that it can continue to provide the service for an additional two weeks.

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.

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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

April 16, 2020 Morning Update on COVID-19

April 16, 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 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 at https://www.facebook.com/City-Hall-Live-106149534367134/. Toronto-based musicians can apply to be considered for City Hall Live and other City of Toronto Music Office programs at http://www.toronto.ca/music. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3bfZGqr 

Is Your Agency Collecting Data to Assist with COVID-19 Response Efforts? 

Let covidupdates@211ontario.ca know of any programs and services being offered in your community that your organization is tracking!

211’s Service Navigations are using this data to assist the hundreds of people from across the GTA who are calling 2-1-1 everyday for support and resources during this pandemic. To update your organization’s 211 record, fill out this form: https://211ontario.ca/tell-211-about-changes-in-services/.

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.

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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

April 16th, 2020 City of Toronto… Doing It All to Stop CoVid-19!

April 15, 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 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”

Landlordshttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID-19landlordsurvey

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
  • 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: https://www.torontohousing.ca/residents/community-services/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19-information.aspx 

Other information

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 covidupdates@211ontario.ca to share the data you’ve collected! 

Do you know of other organizations that might be collecting this kind of data? Let covidupdates@211ontario.ca 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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

Mid-Day April 15, 2020 COVID-19 Update

April 15, 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 in the City of Toronto: 

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 covidupdates@211ontario.ca to share the data you’ve collected! 

Do you know of other organizations that might be collecting this kind of data? Let covidupdates@211ontario.ca 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. 

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) COVID-19 outbreak response update 

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.

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 

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 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.

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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

End of Day Update – April 14, 2020

April 14, 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: 

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.

Canadian Blood Services Events 

Making donations safe for you and for those who receive your blood. Upcoming Canadian Blood Services events can be found here: https://bit.ly/2VnoupL 

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.

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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

April 14, 2020 COVID-19 Update

April 14, 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:
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.
More information on supports for individuals experiencing homelessness is available at https://www.toronto.ca/ho…/covid-19/covid-19-social-support/. If you or someone you know needs street outreach, call 311 or Central Intake at 416-338-4766.
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.
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 councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca
All my Best,
Paul

April 13, 2020 City of Toronto Update

April 13, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

City of Toronto continues to encourage residents and businesses to practise 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 Service 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.

Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 2,362 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Of the cases, 2088 cases are confirmed and 274 are probable, 210 are in hospital with 80 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 92 deaths to-date. 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. The most up-to-date COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s new reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/media-room/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.

The City’s Enforcement Team is focused on stricter enforcement in City parks and squares. This weekend, the team moved from issuing warnings to almost exclusively issuing tickets in order to convey the seriousness of the City’s measures and increase compliance.

Yesterday, Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) officers issued 40 tickets for the use of closed park amenities and not practising physical distancing. This brings the total to 107 tickets issued over the long weekend, which accounts for 56 per cent of the total tickets issued since April 4. 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.

While officers reported lighter use of some busy parks this weekend, tickets were issued for using park amenities such as lingering on Muskoka chairs and benches. Individuals who need to physically rest while out on walk are permitted to use benches to recover, however lingering and use of benches beyond necessary resting purposes is prohibited.

In an effort to stop the community spread of this deadly virus, Toronto Public Health is visiting essential businesses to provide these open businesses with advice, recommendations, and instructions on physical distancing, cleaning, and disinfection. These visits are currently for education purposes to raise awareness of the important practises essential businesses must take to help protect workers and patrons as a result of orders under the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

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.

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. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit http://www.toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.

If you have any questions on this or anything else, please feel free to call me at 416-396-7222 or email councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

All my Best,

Paul