We are back in lockdown in Toronto. While this isn't easy on anyone, and certainly not on small businesses, it is unfortunately the necessary action to protect public health against the spread of COVID-19. The City has published a lockdown guide for Toronto residents online which is available in 51 languages.
I encourage you to take a look at the COVID-19 Updates section of this newsletter for all of the latest information on modified City services, enhanced supports for targeted neighbourhoods, and the new Winter Parks Plan.
The pandemic has made employment opportunities a significant challenge, but I am happy to say that there are still opportunities for youth to gain valuable employment training and paid work experience. Click here to jump to info on those programs.
Rockcliffe-Smythe & Runnymede Area Critical Incidents Update
Following three critical incidents of gun violence in the Rockcliffe-Smythe and Runnymede area between September-November, I have heard from members of the local community that they have been impacted by these events. Members of Toronto Police Service 12 Division will be available to provide updates on the following incidents:
Shooting - Tuesday Nov 10 - Runnymede Rd & Liverpool St
Shooting - Shots Fired - Friday Sept 18 - Alliance Ave & Rockcliffe Blvd
Shooting - Thursday Sept 10 - St. Clair Ave & Mould Ave (Homicide)
Staff from the City's Community Crisis Response Program will follow with a presentation on supports and resources that are available to individuals who are impacted by these events in their community. There will be an opportunity for Q&A.
The meeting will take place via WebEx Events from 6-7 PM and can be accessed by clicking here. Dial-in option is available: 416-915-6530, followed by access code 177 594 2297. I encourage you to submit questions in advanceat firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-392-4091. Please note that if you are dialing in, you will not have the opportunity to type questions in the chat box. Meeting notice available here. Back to Top
Wednesday, December 2
Rockcliffe-Smythe & Runnymede Area Community Healing Debrief
Staff from the City of Toronto's Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) will be facilitating a virtual community healing session for anyone who has been impacted by the incidents listed above. The CCRP works across Toronto providing support and resources to communities impacted by violent and traumatic incidents.
Please join the WebEx meeting from 6-7 PM by way of this link. Dial-in available: 416-915-6530, followed by access code 177 825 2919. Meeting notice available here. Back to Top
Upcoming Virtual Events
Friday, November 27
Small Art Activity on Remarkable Women
Join the North York Women's Centre for the Virtual Women's Lounge. This Friday, the event will feature a small art activity to reflect on characteristics that make women remarkable and unique. Only a pencil and paper is needed! Join the fun from 3-4 PM via Zoom at this link. Meeting ID is 895 1893 4915. Check out their flyer.
November 28 & 29
Virtual Tenant School
The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations routinely organizes training sessions for tenants. They are holding two virtual information sessions this weekend to teach tenants about the law and their rights, how to organize tenants effectively, and how City Hall operates. Free legal workshops for tenants via Zoom are taught by staff from community legal clinics and the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations on Saturday, November 28 from 2-3:30 PM and on Sunday, November 29 from 2-3:30 PM.
To register and receive your Zoom invite, go to https://forms.gle/KSPhnanN3cy5RYKW7 for the online registration form or contact Joeita Gupta at email@example.com or 416-413-9442. For more information: www.torontotenants.org.
Cannabis Retail Store Application: 1762 Weston Rd
An application has been submitted to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for a Cannabis Retail Store Authorization at 1762 Weston Rd by High Tea - Weston Rd. This location is south of Lawrence Ave W and just north of Wilby Cres.
The application is open to public comment until December 1 on the AGCO website.
An application has been submitted to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for a Liquor Sales License at 1215 Weston Rd in Mount Dennis by CULINARIUM, a culinary studio and event space. This new venue replaces the former 20 DONER BAR GRILL under new ownership.
The application is open to public comment until December 10 on the AGCO website.
Job Central is announcing a new Virtual Youth Collaboration Group that starts on Monday, November 30. Individuals participate in 3 weeks of paid, online Employment Skills Training, followed by a 10 week paid work placement. Persons on Employment Insurance are now eligible to participate. To qualify, participants must have access to internet, be between 15 and 30 years old, out of school, have a SIN and photo ID, and be able to commit to a 13-week full-time program.
Check out the flyer for more details. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-504-5516 ext. 249. Back to Top
Community Healing Project
The Community Healing Project is currently accepting Healer Applications from youth ages 18-29 from communities across Toronto, including Falstaff and Trethewey in York South-Weston. These paid volunteers (Healers) will complete Peer Support Worker certification and be eligible to apply for 12 weeks of workshop delivery with youth focused on trauma and healing in your community. An $800 stipend is provided for completing the training and after the training you can be compensated $150 per week for workshop delivery. The deadline to apply is December 4and the application is available here. Check out the flyer for more info here. Back to Top
Completing the Circle Program
The Career Foundation is looking for youth under the age of 30 to apply for the Completing the Circle program. Through the program, youth participants are empowered to find employment, equipped with tools, supports, new skills, and the confidence to start and maintain work. This includes paid workshops and paid full-time work placement leading to full-time permanent employment. The next CTC intake schedule begins on Monday, December 14. I encourage motivated potential participants to apply early as spaces are limited.
To learn more about Completing the Circle program and to apply, please visit https://careerfoundation.com/completing-the-circle/. Back to Top
Following the request that I made at City Council last year, the Toronto Ombudsman has conducted an investigation into the how the City handles homeowner third-party liability claims for basement flooding and sewer backups. The report is now available here.
The report was presented on today's City Council agenda as Item CC26.1. I have held this Item down so that it can be heard at the General Government and Licensing Committee. By referring it to Committee, residents will have the opportunity to make a virtual deputation and provide their comments on the report. I will provide updates once the Report has been scheduled at the Committee. Back to Top
Feasibility Study for Internet Access to All TCHC Households Approved
At yesterday's meeting of the Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) Tenant Services Committee, the Board approved authorization of a study to determine the feasibility of providing access to the internet in all TCHC buildings (the inclusion of townhouses and individual homes to be determined depending on the technology available) and to bring the findings back to the Board for consideration.
This is great news and I would very much welcome this initiative to provide internet access in our TCHC buildings. The details about the Item and all the recommendations are available here. Back to Top
Weston Park Baptist Church Food Bank Support
For the 32nd year, Weston Park Baptist Church is seeking to assist our local Weston Area Emergency Service (WAES) food bank. This year your help is needed more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant increase in the need for access to food services. The church will be assisting the food bank in the following ways, and could use everyone's support:
-A GoFundMe page in support of WAES at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/waes-to-care.
-A collection of non-perishable items will be ongoing at the Weston Go/Up Station from Nov 30 - Dec 5.
-A drop off at Weston Park Baptist Church for residents looking to drop off donations on December 7 (unfortunately this year the church is unable to pick up the food items and they must be dropped off at the church). Back to Top
Children's Christmas Gift Pick-Up
Spice Isle Association is organizing a 'Children's Christmas Party.' Unfortunately, this year there won't be an actual party setting, but registered children can still come by to pick up a holiday gift on November 28 and 29! Check out this flyer for details. Registration is required, please call Maria at 647-706-7254 or Tanya at 647-238-6268. Back to Top
Fundraiser for Toronto Humane Society
Some of you might remember Marc Chrus when his team at We-Haul did a major Humber River embankment cleanup in April this year. He has recently partnered with Magneta Marketing to raise $5000 for the Toronto Humane Society before the year ends. All donations go to the animal shelter and receive a tax receipt. More info is available and donations can be made on this GoFundMe page. Back to Top
5th Annual Mount Dennis Coat Drive
The TTC Mount Dennis Yard, together with Toronto Police Service 12 Division and the Learning Enrichment Foundation, are running the annual Mount Dennis Coat Drive once again! Clean, gently used coats can be brought to Weston King Neighbourhood Centre (2017 Weston Road) on Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8 AM-3 PM. The Entrance is on Weston Rd adjacent to the Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot. Monetary donations are also welcome; e-transfers can be sent to email@example.com or cheques can be made out to TTC Mount Dennis Recreation and mailed to 121 Industry St, York M6M 5B6. Monetary donations can also be dropped off in the Coat Drive donation box at supercoffee (1148 Weston Rd).
For more info, please email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Flyer available here. Back to Top
Lockdown Guide for Toronto Residents
The City's COVID-19 website now features a guide with information on what is required during the provincial “Grey – Lockdown” period, which began in Toronto on November 23. This guide is organized by “Dos” and “Dont’s”.
Like all pages on the City’s website, the guide can be translated automatically into 51 languages. The translate feature is at the bottom of every web page. Click here to check it out! Back to Top
Enhanced COVID-19 Supports for Targeted Neighbourhoods
I have been advocating for the City to develop an enhanced plan to provide targeted support to neighbourhoods experiencing higher COVID-19 case rates. As we are aware, communities in York South-Weston have been hit harder by the virus than other parts of Toronto. This week, the City announced an updated and enhanced set of targeted COVID-19 measures to help our most vulnerable residents during the lockdown.
These targeted COVID-19 equity measures, which build on protections already implemented, include sharing public health information, improving access to COVID-19 testing, and providing critical supports to individuals and their families during this lockdown. These new initiatives include:
Measures to expand testing sites – Increasing testing in neighbourhoods experiencing higher COVID-19 case rates, expanding the number of provincial testing sites using City facilities, using buses for mobile testing, providing more transportation to testing sites and extending testing site hours.
Measures to intensify community outreach and engagement – Targeting outreach, case management and providing support to residents who face multiple barriers (i.e. food support, income services, etc.), and providing relevant public education to residents and employers. Residents will also receive masks to support their efforts to stay safe. Strong community partners, trusted by residents in neighbourhoods experiencing higher COVID-19 case rates, are critical to ensuring that these measures are implemented effectively.
Measures for those who test positive and are unable to work due to mandatory isolation – Addressing the threat of eviction and improving access to emergency assistance is important and this includes advocating for residential eviction protection, income supports, and newcomer access to COVID-19 services and supports.
City staff will begin implementing parts of this plan this week while City officials continue to reach out to the provincial and federal governments about additional resources and support for expanding testing sites, education and engagement, and resources for eviction and emergency services. Education and outreach activities, food access, mental health support, engaging community partners on their role in this plan, and the purchase of masks for distribution is now underway.
City Services Modified to Adhere to Provincial Lockdown
Please refer to this page on the City's COVID-19 website for regular updates on changes to City services throughout the pandemic.
As the City moved into the Grey - Lockdown category of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework this Monday, a number of services and facilities have been impacted. Many divisions are looking at alternative program delivery models, including virtual options, which will be added to the page linked above as details become available; residents are encouraged to check back often.
Current impacts include:
City-operated child care centres (Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Services) remain operational in adherence with Toronto Public Health guidance for child care settings.
Provincial Offence Act proceedings have resumed remotely. Court services remain available to the public, including access to court forms, making a payment, looking up court case status and requesting an early resolution meeting. Services are available online, via email, phone and mail and in-person service by appointment only. Toronto Local Appeal Body, Administrative Penalty Tribunal and Toronto Licensing Tribunal hearings will be conducted remotely by audio or video conference.
Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt By-Election
Nominations for the January 15, 2021 Ward 22 by-election continue to be accepted at the 89 Northline Rd. Toronto Elections Office only until Tuesday, December 1 at 2 p.m. Information about the nomination process is available online: toronto.ca/byelection.
Access to 82 Toronto Public Library branches will continue for contactless pick-up of holds, drop boxes, access to computers by appointment and drop-in, access to Wi-Fi, photocopiers, printers and fax machines and access to washrooms. All branches will be closed Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24 to allow staff to reconfigure library spaces to further promote physical distancing and comply with regulations. More information on library services is available at tpl.ca/covid19 .
Parks and playgrounds remain open. People are strongly encouraged to get fresh air and exercise with members of their own household only. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff are reaching out to impacted permit holders whose permits have been cancelled. Compliance will continue to be required with the City’s physical distancing bylaw which applies to parks and squares.
Recreation and Community Centres
All indoor recreation facilities, including arenas, gymnasiums, walking tracks, indoor sport courts, pools and arenas are closed due to the provincial order. Community centres and multi-purpose facilities are open for limited activities, including child care, After-school Recreation Care (ARC) programs, food bank services and public access to washrooms. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff are reaching out to impacted program participants, permit and lease holders to advise of impacts and cancellations. General gathering limits of 10 people apply to outdoor sports, classes and use of amenities.
All museums are closed.
City’s Senior Services and Long-Term Care Homes
Visiting remains restricted to essential visitors (end of life) and essential caregivers only. All essential caregivers, to a maximum of two per resident, must be registered with the long-term care home and comply with screening and personal protective equipment requirements. Adult Day Programs at Bendale Acres, Cummer Lodge and Kipling Acres remain suspended.
St. Lawrence Market
The St. Lawrence Market will remain open.
High Park Zoo, Riverdale Farm and the Toronto Zoo are closed to visitors due to the provincial order. The Toronto Zoo is exploring options for a safe drive-through experience.
The City continues to issue marriage licences by appointment only; however, couples should review their wedding plans considering reduced attendance limits and closures of event spaces. Marriage licences are only good for 90 days from date of issue and are non-refundable. Only those who need to marry urgently or have firm plans for an upcoming date should be seeking a licence at this time.
Home and Social Visits
Having anyone – including family or friends – that is not a member of your household in your home for a social visit is discouraged by public health officials. Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are permitted. Individuals who live alone may have exclusive contact with only one other household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation. Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged.
Residents are asked to stay home, except for essential trips, such as groceries and other necessities, like medicine, healthcare appointments, exercise, school, child care and work that cannot be done from home. By reducing the number of people who are out in the community, we reduce the number of potential contacts and exposures to COVID-19, which will drive down case counts. When leaving for essential trips, residents must 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. Back to Top
City Launches Welcome T.O. Winter Parks Plan
To help people stay active this winter season, the City is highlighting its offering of new and enhanced exercise-based recreation activities in parks locations across Toronto.
The City continues to urge people to stay at home as much as possible but recognizes public health officials have encouraged people to get exercise outside on their own and with members of their household.
The Welcome T.O. Winter plan provides safe ways for people to get outside in Toronto's parks, including at our 54 artificial ice rinks and five golf courses.
Residents are encouraged to stay active this winter with members of your household at:
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 at City outdoor ice rinks, participants must maintain a physical distance of six metres from people other than their household members at all times. The City is strongly recommending that masks or cloth face coverings be worn on and off the ice surface and masks are mandatory while waiting in line. Leisure skate times will run in 45-minute sessions and skating on the City’s outdoor ice rinks is only permitted during supervised hours. Capacity for all skating rinks is limited to 25 people per ice pad. This restriction is in place to ensure people can participate safely and continued compliance with orders from the Province of Ontario. Indoor washroom access will be available, however, change rooms are closed and skaters should come ready to skate. Customer service representatives will be onsite at City rinks to facilitate health screening, provide information and help with line management.
Participants should plan ahead to play as reservations are encouraged for outdoor Walk Fit and skating at the City’s outdoor rinks. A small number of spots will be reserved for people who are not able to make a reservation online. Reservations can be made online at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/recreation-reservations/. In order to make a reservation, people are required to register with eFun and obtain at client and family PIN number by calling 416-396-7378. As ice-making and maintenance is weather-dependent and registrants will not receive cancellations by phone or email, people should check rink status online before heading out to skate.
Registration is ongoing for holiday CampTO programs. This year, the City has expanded its offering with camps available at 42 locations. CampTO is a new day camp program developed this year that offers games, arts and crafts, and indoor and outdoor activities, featuring smaller group sizes and aligning with health guidelines. More information and registration details are available at toronto.ca/camps.
ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant
The ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program will support Toronto's main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during the coldest months of the year. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online at: https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-improvement-areas/bia-financial-incentives/winter-activation-grant-program/
ShowLoveTO Partnership Program
The ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is intended for community activations in Toronto between January 1 and December 31, 2021. Registered not-for-profit organizations, community groups and charities that serve Toronto residents and promote opportunities for the community to give back are eligible to apply. Activations may be online or in person and may include performing arts, dance, drama, comedy, virtual-online events, music, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, photography, craft, design, as well as expressions of history and heritage. All activations must demonstrate the capacity to follow current provincial and municipal public health guidelines. Applicants can apply for one-time support of up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications are now available at http://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/showloveto/showloveto-partner-activation-grant-program/ and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m.
Mayor Tory issued a plea for Torontonians to support small, independent businesses as they start holiday shopping. He continues to urge retailers who remain open under the provincial regulations and residents to avoid in-person Black Friday sales – these sales are not worth the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. People are strongly encouraged to give their business to local stores offering curbside pickup or online sales. The Mayor also encouraged residents who are able to resume “Take Out Wednesday,” and order take-out or delivery from local restaurants that have shifted their business to take-out and delivery to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
All people in Toronto should be adopting steps for self-protection. Dr. de Villa recommends individuals only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, education and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact to people 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 http://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311. Back to Top
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.