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Ward 5 eNews & COVID-19 Update
-October 28, 2020-

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Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Today, the City announced that a targeted approach to curbing the spread of COVID-19 will be taken in areas with high reports of positive cases. This, as we are aware, includes neighbourhoods in York South-Weston. This is very welcome news, and details about what is currently planned can be found below.

As part of the approach, a pop-up COVID-19 testing centre will be operational on Thursday, October 29 from 3-7 PM at the Falstaff Community Centre (50 Falstaff Ave).

In other news, please read on to find out more about the opening of the new Mount Dennis Youth Hub as well as the calendar for mechanical leaf pickup this year. 
 
Sincerely,

Frances

Inside This Edition
 

Upcoming Virtual Meetings
News
Construction Notices
COVID-19 Updates
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Upcoming Meetings



Tuesday, November 3

Mount Dennis Planning Study Public Consultation 


The Mount Dennis Planning Study is finally underway! I requested the City to undertake an area-based study of the Mount Dennis neighbourhood several years ago to update the planning policy for the area. The Study aims to create a renewed vision for the Mount Dennis neighbourhood and leverage the investment in light rail transit (LRT) to support healthy and inclusive communities, local business activity and growth, while also preserving the historical fabric and defining attributes of the area. 
To learn more about the study, please click here
To view the public consultation notice, please click here
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Wednesday, November 4

Eglinton Crosstown Virtual Open House


Metrolinx are holding a series of virtual open houses for residents to learn about the progress of future Eglinton Crosstown stations and stops in their neighbourhoods. The Eglinton West open house will discuss progress on all the stations in York south-Weston, and will be held at 6:30 PM. For the full schedule of virtual open houses and to register for an event, click here
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Oct 29, Nov 5 & Nov 10

Public Consultation on Inclusionary Zoning


Inclusionary zoning is a planning tool that enables municipalities to require affordable housing in new residential developments. Inclusionary zoning is one policy solution identified in the HousingTO Action Plan to help address the housing needs of Toronto’s low-income and moderate-income households. City Planning staff will be hosting three virtual public meetings to consult on draft inclusionary zoning policy and zoning requirements and a proposed definition of affordable rental housing. These meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about inclusionary zoning and share ideas and feedback on how this new affordable housing tool should apply in Toronto.
Public meeting details are as follows: For more information, please contact the City Planning project manager Deanna Chorney Deanna.Chorney@toronto.ca or visit toronto.ca/inclusionaryzoning. View the public notice here
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Monday, November 9

2421 Eglinton Ave W Development Consultation 


An application has been submitted to construct a 4-storey townhouse development containing 7 residential units located at 2421 Eglinton Avenue West. The proposed development would have a gross floor area of approximately 902 square metres. No parking is proposed for the development. You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information here
Please join me at the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting from 7-8:30 PM on November 9 to hear more about the revised application and to have an opportunity to ask questions and provide your feedback. Login details for the meeting will be provided here shortly. View the meeting notice here
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Thursday, November 12

1860-1868 Keele St Development Consultation 


An application has been submitted to construct a 14 storey residential building with 216 dwelling units. A total of 99 parking spaces and 1 loading space are proposed to service the development. Vehicular access to the site would be provided via a driveway from Keele Street. You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information here
Please join me at the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting from 7-8:30 PM on November 12 to hear more about the revised application and to have an opportunity to ask questions and provide your feedback. Login details for the meeting will be provided here shortly. View the meeting notice here
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News



 

Mount Dennis Youth Hub Coming November 9!


The Mount Dennis Youth Hub is coming to the Mount Dennis Library on November 9! Youth Hubs are spaces for teens to access resources, relax, and grow. While some services are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain a safe environment, they will still be offering access to laptops and free printing for youth aged 13-19. Click here to check out their evening hours on Monday-Friday. 
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Mechanical Leaf Collection


Mechanical leaf collection in York South-Weston is scheduled to take place on November 23 - December 6. A map of the streets that receive mechanical leaf collection is available here. As a reminder, composting is the best solution to managing leaves, and leaves can always be placed in in approved containers for pick-up by Solid Waste. For residents who receive mechanical leaf collection, a day or two prior to the start of scheduled pick-up, leaves should be raked to the edge of, but not onto the travelled portion of the roadway.
Please kindly note that mechanical collection is still a month away. Leaves that are raked up to the edge of a lawn too early will just blow around the neighbourhood. It may be advisable to collect some yard waste bags of leaves for pickup by Solid Waste before mechanical collection occurs a month from now.
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Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras Issue Over 15,000 Tickets in Second Month of Operations

 

The City of Toronto’s 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) devices issued a total of 15,175 tickets between August 6 and September 5, the second month of issuing tickets to vehicles travelling in excess of the posted speed limit. The program began enforcement on July 6.

During this period, the ASE device on Renforth Drive near Lafferty Street (Ward 2 – Etobicoke Centre) issued the most tickets at 1,534, or 10 per cent of all tickets.

The highest fine of $682 was issued to four vehicles travelling at 86 km/h in 40 km/h speed limit zones by the devices on:

  • Royalcrest Road, near Cabernet Circle (Ward 1 – Etobicoke North)
  • Renforth Drive, near Lafferty Street (Ward 2 – Etobicoke Centre)
  • Jameson Avenue, south of Laxton Avenue (Ward 4 – Parkdale-High Park)
  • Caledonia Road, north of Rogers Road (Ward 9 – Davenport)

According to the data, the number of repeat offenders during the second month of issuing tickets was 1,198. The three most frequent repeat offenders each received seven tickets for speeding at Bicknell Avenue, south of Avon Drive (Ward 5 – York South-Weston); Caledonia Road, north of Rogers Road (Ward 9 – Davenport) and Murison Boulevard, near Curtis Crescent (Ward 25 – Scarborough-Rouge Park).

During the first month of enforcement, the ASE devices issued a total of 22,301 tickets to speeding vehicles and detected 2,239 repeat offenders.
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Toronto Police Public Consultation on Body-Worn Camera Policy


This past August, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) approved a contract for the procurement and deployment of body-worn cameras (BWCs) to front-line Toronto Police Service Officers. BWCs are being deployed as a tool to improve accountability, address systemic racism, and build public trust in our city's Police Service. A draft Policy has been put forward and the TPSB would now like to hear from residents on this draft Policy.
Click here to find out more about the draft policy and the public consultation process.  
Click here to reach the online comment form (deadline for comments is November 5). 
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COVID-19 Updates
 

 

Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Facility at Falstaff Community Centre

 

A pop-up COVID-19 testing facility will be operating tomorrow, Thursday, October 29 from 3-7 PM at the Falstaff Community Centre (50 Falstaff Avenue). There is no appointment needed and there is no cost for getting tested. Click here to see the flyer. 
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City Taking Targeted COVID-19 Prevention Approaches in Northwest Toronto 

 

As residents of York-South Weston are acutely aware, several neighbourhoods in our ward, and in other parts of northwest Toronto, are currently experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, lower testing rates and higher positivity rates for the virus, compared to other neighbourhoods in Toronto. York South-Weston alone accounted for 6.9 per cent of positive cases in Toronto over the past three weeks.

I have been advocating at City Council and to Toronto Public Health about the need for targeted activities to address the imbalance of COVID-19 cases in Toronto for the past several months. I am pleased that the City announced today that several actions are being taken to fight the social detriments of health in at-risk communities:

Pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics
The City is collaborating with provincial colleagues at Ontario Health and community health organizations to provide space for community health clinic pop-up COVID-19 testing sites at City recreation facilities. The temporary COVID-19 testing sites offer walk-in and low-barrier testing for residents, including those who are experiencing homelessness.  Three testing clinics have taken place at Gord & Irene Risk Community Centre, Elmbank Community Centre and Falstaff Community Centre. Planning for additional locations is underway.


Pop-up flu shot clinics
This year, getting a flu shot is more important than ever as getting vaccinated against the flu may reduce the number of individuals who need COVID-19 testing, as the symptoms are very similar. The annual flu vaccine is also important to protect vulnerable residents from more severe illness.
The City has collaborated with community health organizations to run flu shot clinics at recreation facilities. To date, 17 clinics have been confirmed at community centres across Toronto with more planned for November and December, including five dates at Humber Bay Park, Silver Creek Park and Angela James Arena.

More information on flu prevention for the 2020/21 flu season is available on toronto.ca/flu.


Self-Isolation Site
The ability to effectively self-isolate can be complicated for people living in multi-generational homes, homes with multiple people or people living together in small spaces – common living situations for low-income individuals and families.
 
In September, the City opened a voluntary self-isolation centre and is now working to increase awareness of the site through community groups. The site was created to provide a safe place for people to be able to safely keep apart from others when they live in a setting where effective isolation is difficult. A stay at the centre is offered by Toronto Public Health case managers and the decision to accept a stay at the centre is entirely voluntary. Toronto Public Health staff identify those who qualify for a stay through the case and contact management process based on the individual’s needs.
 

Outreach and public education
Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Outreach Rapid Response Team, which started in August, has provided information and referrals to more than 3,000 residents in Northwest Toronto through 42 online presentations, in-person canvassing and pop-up information tables in grocery stores, malls, places of worship, food banks, drop-in centres and apartment building lobbies.
 
A targeted public education campaign has now been launched by the City and Toronto Public Health to increase accessibility of public health education materials. Materials are being redesigned and simplified and translated into 30 languages spoken in neighbourhoods with the highest rates of COVID-19. Materials will be available next week and posted to the toronto.ca COVID-19 webpages: https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ as well as distributed via grassroots and community agencies
 

Support with Internet connectivity
To help residents in northwest neighbourhoods access online information during the pandemic, the City received donations to connect 25 large apartment buildings with free Internet access for up to one year. The first six buildings slated for the project are located in York South-Weston and together represent 900 apartment units.
 
Free Wi-Fi access also continues to be available inside and outside all Toronto Public Library locations and the Toronto Public Library Foundation continues to support distribution of free laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots through community agencies in Northwest Toronto including Jane Finch Centre, Rexdale Community Health Centre, Unison Health & Community Services and Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre.
 

Addressing food insecurity
Since the onset of the pandemic, the City has been working with United Way Greater Toronto to provide strategic coordination of community agencies via Community Cluster Tables. The tables have allowed the City to focus efforts and provide needed services on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis, including to Northwestern Toronto communities. Working with the tables, through the TO Supports Investment Fund established to address social detriments of health, the City has provided:

  • $283,000 to local agencies serving mainly Black Torontonians in Northwest Toronto to provide family support, mental health, social connection and community safety services.
  • $820,000 in local food security programs in Northwest Toronto, including food banks, emergency food delivery, prepared meals, emergency food vouchers, and food handling certification. A priority for this funding was to ensure culturally-appropriate food staples and meals are available to residents.

The City continues to work with North York Harvest Food Bank to offer food bank service weekly from Toronto Public Library branches Albion and Jane/Sheppard. The City is now working with North York Harvest to expand food distribution throughout recreation facilities, with a focus on neighbourhoods.
 
More information on food access is available on toronto.ca: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-financial-social-support-for-people/covid-19-seniors-vulnerable-people/. Residents in immediate need of food can call 211 for information on food program availability or view a map of local food service providers on the 211 website: https://211ontario.ca/211-topics/food/free-low-cost-meals/.
 

Streamlined employment and social services
As administrators of the Ontario Works program, the City has continued to provide both ongoing and emergency income support to residents during the pandemic. The process for accessing these supports has now been streamlined to better support mail-in and online services and minimize travel to Toronto Employment & Social Services local offices. Caseworkers continue to conduct service planning appointments and regular wellness checks with clients over the phone. Based on identification of client needs, caseworkers refer clients to local City and community-based partners that address issues of food security, housing stability, social isolation, health concerns and financial empowerment. Caseworkers now also help clients navigate pandemic-related federal benefits.
 

Supporting children
Nine City-run child care centres are currently operating in Northwest Toronto, with two more scheduled to open in November. The City is now providing additional funding and in-person mentor visits to child care operators in COVID-19 hotspots to support implementation of sound health and safety practices. The City has also revised child care fee subsidy policies to help families affected by COVID-19 by extending the allowable time for families to receive child care while searching for a job, ensuring Province of Ontario reopening stages do not negatively impact clients’ entitlement to a subsidy and increasing the number of days children can be absent from care due to illness. Children’s Services is now also providing in-person service by appointment to clients who are not able to access services online.
 
The City is also sharing information, training and resources to community child care and early years program providers across the city before they reopen and throughout operations to ensure staff and children are healthy and safe. More information about City child care and subsidies is available online: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/children-parenting/children-programs-activities/licensed-child-care/.
 

Supporting seniors
In Northwest Toronto, the City operates the 337-bed Kipling Acres long-term care home as well as a 54-person supportive housing site promoting independent living. As in all City facilities, residents have been provided with face masks and information materials and screening and testing for COVID-19 and infection prevention and control has been prioritized. The City’s Homemakers and Nurses Service program, which provides homemaking services to more than 3,000 individuals in Northwest Toronto who have limited financial resources and require assistance with household activities, also continues to operate.
 
While the Adult Day Program run out of Kipling Acres for seniors in the wider community has been suspended due to the pandemic, staff have been conducting wellness checks with clients throughout this period. The program has now launched further outreach through friendly visit calls and virtual calls, virtual programs, virtual family support groups, preparing and mailing activity packages to clients and creating and distributing resources to clients. The City has also supported seniors through webinars, presentations and direct emails to seniors and caregivers, seniors-serving agencies, and more than 100 housing providers.
 
As the City continues to work to support vulnerable residents and communities hardest hit by COVID-19, all people in the city have a part to play. Individuals should only consider leaving their homes for essential activities like work, education and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents should limit contact with people not in the same household, keep at least six feet apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.
 
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
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City Council Extends Winter Patio Program 


Toronto City Council has unanimously approved Mayor John Tory’s key item that will extend its winter patio program to provide more outdoor dining options to support local restaurants this winter and into the spring.
The successful CaféTO program has been extended and will allow some restaurants to occupy sidewalk space along the curbside, to serve customers and generate revenue. In addition, City Council is extending zoning bylaw amendments, through spring 2021, that will increase the maximum size of outdoor patios on private property and remove restrictions that might prevent an outdoor patio located in front of buildings (frontage café). Council has also voted to waive all fees and charges for Winter CaféTO locations.
Restaurant operators interested in creating a winter sidewalk café must first register. More information, including new guidelines, will be available at the start of November at toronto.ca/CafeTO.
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Public Health Advice for Halloween 

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health has announced that traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties;
  • Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household;
  • Carving pumpkins;
  • Having a movie night or sharing scary stories; and
  • Decorating front lawns.

It is also critical that families not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.
To have a safe and happy Halloween, residents should follow some simple steps:

  • Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household;
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill, even if you have mild symptoms, or if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19;
  • If you live outside the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions and are going to go out to trick or treat:
    • Only go out with members of your household;
    • Only trick or treat outside;
    • Both trick or treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe;
    • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects;
    • Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer; and
    • Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.

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List of Pharmacies Providing COVID-19 Testing

Please click this link below for the list of pharmacies that are providing COVID 19 testing for people across Ontario.
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For the latest updates from the City of Toronto, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Federal Government, please click here
For the latest updates from the Province of Ontario, please click here
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Councillor, Ward 5 York South-Weston · City Hall, 2nd Flr · 100 Queen St. W, Suite C49 · Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2 · Canada