COVID-19 - July 9 Update

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Green Line meeting this week. It was a productive discussion with a lot of great ideas shared to creatively use the hydro corridor to create a new community green space. For those unable to make the meeting, you are able to review all the documents and provide feedback here, until July 25.

This week, Mayor Tory was in Scarborough to announce the acceleration bus only lanes across the city, beginning with Eglinton Avenue East. The proposed plan anticipates that the improved speed, reliability and increased capacity of the new priority bus-only lanes will result in a faster and more reliable commute. Included in this plan is Dufferin Street from Dufferin Gate to Wilson Avenue. As our city continues to grow, we need to invest in efficient means of transportation, to improve travel times for all commuters. I will be monitoring this work closely to ensure the unique needs of our community are included in the implementation plan.

Many of our residents have written to our team in support of quiet streets. While we are all supportive of this program, we acknowledge that it could be improved. The City wants to hear your ideas and experiences with the program, to see how we can make additional improvements to it, keep people safe and give them the space they need to enjoy their communities. You can provide your feedback here.

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.

You can learn more about these new requirements including best practices 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.

When will playgrounds and other equipment open in parks?
The decision to close playgrounds and other park equipment like fitness structures was made as part of the provincial government's emergency declaration closure order. These were included along with many other amenities like basketball courts, bmx tracks, etc. Many of these restrictions have been lifted such as with respect to playing fields, running tracks, etc. However, the province has maintained their closure order in place with respect to playgrounds. The City is required to comply with this provincial closure order but we are expecting that this will change soon most likely as part of the stage 3 phase of the provincial government's re-opening process which should be announced soon. Below is a link to the original provincial order for reference where they closed playgrounds.
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-extends-emergency-declaration-to-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19.html

Do condominiums and apartment buildings have the right to restrict use of outdoor pools?
The provincial government has permitted outdoor swimming pools to open as part to their stage 2 process of recovery. As with the other re-openings, outdoor swimming pools can re-open but only with appropriate public health considerations in place. The City of Toronto has provided guidelhttps://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/9076-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Recreational-Water-Facilities.pdfines (link pasted below) however many multi-residential buildings have established their own guidelines in excess of those outlined below to allow for fair and safe access to their swimming pools. As long as the minimum guidelines are adhered to as noted management of these multi-residential buildings can set out their policies to ensure safe access. One example is that some buildings are requiring residents to register by booking times or limiting the length of time people are swimming to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use swimming pools if they wish. So, yes, individual buildings can set out guidelines as to how they will safely operate their pools.
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-moving-toronto-and-peel-region-into-stage-2.html
https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/9076-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Recreational-Water-Facilities.pdf

Local Updates

Planning and Housing Committee – July 13
There are a number of important items on the upcoming Planning and Housing Committee 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.

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 need in light of the provincial 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.

MPAC Property Reassessment Update
The Ontario government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. They have indicated that property assessments for the 2021 property tax year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values.

This means your property assessment for the 2021 property tax year will be the same as the 2020 tax year, unless there have been changes to your property.

You can find more detailed information via this link - https://www.mpac.ca/en.

Digital Transformation Grants now available for Toronto businesses
Toronto businesses can now apply for a $2,500 grant to help implement new technologies to support their businesses. The program is delivered by Digital Main Street thanks to funding from the Federal and Provincial governments.

Clean Air Partnership Webinar Series
Clean
Air Partnership has partnered with the City of Toronto's BetterHomesTO team to present a weekly webinar series that will guide Toronto homeowners through renovations to make their homes more comfortable, healthy and reduce harmful emissions to the environment.

The weekly webinars will run throughout the summer, where homeowners can learn from leading industry experts on how to plan a renovation, the rebates and incentives available to homeowners, and an overview of the top home upgrades that will make homes more comfortable and climate-friendly.

Homes and buildings account for over 50% of Toronto's greenhouse gas emissions. Clean Air Partnership and BetterHomesTO are here to help!

Register today!

5th Annual Community Safety Form
The City’s community Safety and Wellbeing Unit will be hosting their fifth community safety form, discussing topics such as community violence, youth engagement, community healing and more.

Register here if you wish to participate!

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto stepping up enforcement, restricting evening parking at beaches this weekend
Over the last several weekends, the City of Toronto has seen a significant increase in the number of people at Toronto beaches late into the evening who are not practising physical distancing, or who are setting up DJ equipment, lighting bonfires, drinking excessively and leaving large amounts of litter behind.

Starting tomorrow, parking restrictions will be in place at Toronto beaches starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

New zoning order allows local restaurants to use more available space for outdoor dining in Toronto
The City of Toronto, at the direction of City Council, requested and has now received a new Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) from the Province of Ontario that will help ease zoning restrictions on outdoor patios while allowing for expanded patios on private property, including parking areas.

City of Toronto updates on Stage 2 reopening progress
The City of Toronto is entering its third week in Stage 2 of the provincial reopening framework. Over the past two weeks, great progress has been made – helping people get active, businesses reopening, gradually resuming City operations, and exploring new, safe ways to offer services.

Stage 2 accomplishments are listed via the link.

City of Toronto launches online business licensing and permit application
The City of Toronto has launched a new online Business Licences & Permits Application so businesses can apply for new licences and permits virtually. The new application process allows business owners or operators requiring new licences or permits to fill out an application, submit documentation, and complete payment in one convenient online space.

Provincial

Ontario Starting Down the Path to Growth, Renewal and Economic Recovery
The Ontario government is taking what it describes as the first step in a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. Today, the province introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, proposed legislation that lays the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province. 

Federal

Protecting Canadians and Their Families
Through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada has taken strong, immediate, and effective action to protect Canadians from the impacts of the pandemic, prevent layoffs, and provide emergency income support to families.

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