COVID-19 July 13 Update

Today the provincial government outlined their plan to move the province to stage three of the recovery process. While 29 public health regions will move to stage 3 on Friday of this week, 5 large areas including Toronto, Peel, Durham, York and Niagara Falls will remain in stage two for at least another week while public health data is reviewed. While we all want to move forward it is critical that public health be the first priority.

I chaired the Planning and Housing Committee today where we dealt with a number of important items. This included dealing with the expansion of planning permissions to allow for more housing options across our City and efforts to protect tenants in view of recent legislation put forward by the provincial government.

The expansion of planning permissions is an initiative I introduced which aims to permit increased gentle densification in areas of the City known as the "missing middle" or "yellow belt" (for the colour on City zoning maps) where currently zoning regulations are stringent and don't allow for more housing options.

We also saw the start today of CampTO. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic regular City run camps could not proceed so the City created CampTO that allows thousands of kids across Toronto to still enjoy a reduced camp experience over the summer in a way that is safe for them to participate.

 

On July 20 at 5:30PM, I will be hosting my fourth Davenport Virtual Town Hall for people in our community, so we can connect to discuss local and City concerns. If you wish to attend this event, you can register here.

Our office continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or by phone at 416.392.7012.

In community,

Ana

Questions from the Community!

Each day, we are working to answer important questions from our community. To keep you all informed, we will feature some of these questions each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

Is there a central place where I can find out about volunteering my time?

Yes, there are many volunteer opportunities across the City and volunteering especially at this challenging time is an excellent way to give back to others and to our community. Volunteer Toronto maintains a list of volunteer opportunities as well as considerable information on volunteering in our City. Below is a link to the Volunteer Toronto site.

https://www.volunteertoronto.ca/

Is it true that Canadians can travel to Europe this summer?

Yes, the European Union has issued a list of countries from which travel is not permitted to members states. Canada has been included in this list. Below is a link to the European Union's web page on this issue. It is very important to understand that there may be challenges in securing flights overseas and also there remains in place a quarantine requirement upon return to Canada. There is a link below that provides information on these requirements.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/travel-and-transportation-during-coronavirus-pandemic/travel-and-eu-during-pandemic_en

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Local Updates

Planning and Housing Committee met today. There were are a number of important items on the agenda, including expanding housing options in neighbourhoods, Toronto Building Division requirements for laneway suites, and the City’s submission on Bill 184, the provincial government's new law that weakens tenant protections.

Highlighting PH15.6 Expanding Housing Options in Toronto Neighbourhoods

The expansion of housing options in areas of the City where zoning regulations are too stringent is an initiative I introduced and have been leading since last summer along, working with Mayor Tory and Councillor Bradford. This initiative is critical to our City as we meet our housing challenges and will allow for gentle densification in areas where this is currently not permitted. Policies which will be worked on in the coming months and brought in stages for implementation will look to create more gentle density across our city's neighbourhoods areas, adding much needed housing stock to our communities. These neighbourhood areas, many of which are actually shrinking in population, are located near our parks, schools, libraries and community centres. This important initiative will help create vibrant neighbourhoods and allow for a diversity of housing options to meet the contemporary housing needs of a dynamic and growing global city. Click on the image above or this link to watch my comments at Committee today. Furthermore, click these links to read the report and/or view City Planning’s presentation

Open_Expanding_Housing_Option_in_Neighbourhoods_-_FINAL_AODA.png

We want to hear your experience with missing middle housing!

A large section of Davenport permits this type of housing in our R-zoned residential areas. We invite those of you receiving this E-newsletter who are either live in a duplex, triplex, quad, townhouse, stacked town or 3-4 storey apartment building to share your experience with fellow Torontonians. In areas where these housing types are not currently permitted, I think it might be helpful to hear from fellow Torotonians who have first-hand experience! Tell us what it’s like to live in this form of housing, in our neighbourhood. What does it mean to you to have this housing choice available?

Write to councillor_bailao@toronto.ca with the subject I Live in Davenport “Missing Middle" with your story for us to share!

West Neighbourhood House – Call to Action for Our Community

If you can sew cloth masks or if you know someone who does, please share this call for help. West Neighbourhood House mutual aid group is launching a drive for masks for vulnerable people and neighbours in light of the public health directive that masks should be worn in enclosed public spaces. If you can help, please contact lauraboast@bell.net.

MOCA Reopening
I am happy to hear that on July 16, MOCA will be re-opening their doors for visitors. This art Museum is in the heart of our community and features fantastic work by both local and international contemporary artists. I encourage you to pay them a visit.

Health Canada Provides Update on Healthy Eating During This Period
One of the biggest challenges many people have experienced during the Covid-19 public health emergency was trying to eat in a healthy way. The Government of Canada through Health Canada has created a web portal that helps Canadians make healthier eating choices during this time. The link above will take you to Health Canada's web page on healthy eating during Covid-19.

Recent Announcements

City of Toronto Updates

COVID-19 Update

There are 14,897 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 120 cases since Friday. There are 151 people hospitalized, with 31 in ICU. In total, 13,148 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 120 cases since Friday. To date, there have been 1,120 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

CampTO marks its first day of the program by welcoming nearly 2,500 campers today

This morning, the City welcomed close to 2,500 campers to their first day of summer camp. The City of Toronto is offering summer day camps across the city as part of its CampTO initiative, following the provincial government’s announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Stage 2 reopening.

City of Toronto launches DriveInTO to bring entertainment experiences across the city

Today, the City launched DriveInTO which will allow for temporary drive-in entertainment experiences across Toronto this summer. From films to concerts to sports broadcasts, drive-in entertainment will offer an opportunity for Torontonians to re-engage with their city... The City has partnered with local film festivals to provide free programming to the public at Ontario Place and CityView Drive-In at 20 Polson Pier this summer.

Province Announces Stage Three Re-opening

The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

Federal Update

There have been 107,590 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,783 deaths. 66% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 3,212,000 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 38,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive. - Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Public Health Officer, issued on behalf of Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. For all the COVID-19 announcements federally, click here

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