COVID-19 - May 25 Update

This week is Paramedic Service Week, I know you all join with me in sharing our appreciation for our paramedics who work tirelessly every day to keep us healthy and safe.

With the weather heating up, the City is preparing Emergency Cooling Centres for those who need to seek relief from higher temperatures. While this program has existed for some time, it is even more important this year, with fewer options than usual available due to the shutdown. In our community, Wallace Emerson Community Centre will operate as an Emergency Cooling Centre from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find more details in the local update section below.

With Toronto City Council meeting this Thursday, the agenda was published today. Included in the agenda was the ActiveTO cycling network plan, stretching over 40KM of expanded and accelerated routes across the City. In our community, I am pleased to share that we will be moving forward with the Bloor Bikeway Extension. This is a project we have been working on with the local community, having completed consultation and design. As we begin initial steps towards restart and recovery, we need to recognize increased cycling needs in the City. We need safe, connected and convenient routes for people to travel safely. You can read my press release here. I am also pleased to see a number of other important initiatives included in this report, including University Avenue, Bloor Street East and Dundas Street East. You can watch a video from the Mayor, my colleagues and myself sharing our support for this initiative here.

On Thursday, June 4 at 7pm, I will be hosting my third Virtual Davenport Town Hall to bring our community together, share updates from the City and hear from you about how we can support our community further. You can register for this event here, or by calling our office at 416.392.7012. I look forward to connecting with you.

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.

I was planning to travel to Europe this summer and understand that some European countries have authorized travel again. What do I need to know before I book?
While changes may come in the coming months, the Government of Canada is currently advising against any non-essential travel. It is extremely important that you check with your destination country to determine if travel is permitted and if upon arrival you would have to self-isolate for 14 days. With respect to Canada, if you do decide to travel and can arrange the transportation, it is important to note that upon your return you would still be required to quarantine for 14 days. There is no indication on when this requirement will be eased. Below is a link to the federal government's web page on travel that should be thoroughly reviewed before any travel is booked or undertaken for the foreseeable future.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#_Travellers_departing_Canada

I have just been notified that following changes by the provincial government to their emergency order I am able to return to work. Where can I find information regarding safe practices at work?
The provincial government has allowed specific workplaces to re-open as part of stage one their strategy to re-open. When this change was announced, the provincial government emphasized that it was crucial, and legally required, that all workplaces permitted to reopen had to follow very strict public health and safety guidelines. The City has created a webpage (pasted below) that outlines public health and safety requirements for workplaces and community settings. For those returning to work, it is legally required that your employer has in place safety protocols and that you follow public health directives.
https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/community-settings-workplaces/

Local Updates

Emergency Cooling Centres – Wallace Emerson Community Centre
The City’s Heat Relief Strategy has been updated for the 2020 summer season, in response to COVID-19, and to ensure that emergency heat relief opportunities are available and accessible to those who may need them. The Emergency Cooling Centres are offered to residents if they do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.

Starting tomorrow at 11 a.m., six locations will offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place.

In our community, Wallace Emerson Community Centre, located at 1260 Dufferin Street will operate as an Emergency Colling Centre from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional Emergency Cooling Centres will operate at the following community centres from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
  • Malvern Community Centre Arena, 30 Sewells Rd.
  • Scarborough Village Community Centre Arena, 3600 Kingston Rd.
  • Amesbury Arena, 155 Culford Dr.
  • Domenico DiLuca Community Centre, 25 Stanley Rd.

TTC Utility Chamber Rebuild – Lansdowne Avenue south of Bloor Street West
TTC will be rebuilding an existing underground utility chamber on the east side of Lansdowne Avenue, just south of Bloor Street. Activities will include sidewalk excavation to expose the utility chamber, rebuilding the concrete chamber and restoring the sidewalk. Some equipment and materials will remain onsite overnight.

The work will begin on June 1 at 7 a.m., crews will begin setting up a safe work zone and pedestrian detour.

Planned Construction Work on Lisgar Street from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West
The City of Toronto will replace a section of the sanitary sewer and watermain and resurface portions of the road on Lisgar Street, from Queen Street West to Dundas Street West. The sanitary service lateral is the pipe connecting your home's plumbing to the City's sewer. The water service is the underground pipe that brings water to your water meter and is owned by you and by the City. The part you own is from your house to the end of your property, the part the City owns is from the end of your property to the watermain. Work is expected to be conducted between June 15 and July 31, 2021.

City of Toronto reopens services and amenities for residents
The City of Toronto is safely and gradually opening a number of services and amenities for residents to enjoy, following the Province of Ontario’s orders and guidance from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Residents are encouraged to head outside in their local neighbourhood for fresh air and exercise to support physical and mental well-being, but are reminded to adhere to public health advice to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

 Below is a guide to which City services and amenities are open and which remain closed:

 Parks and amenities

City park amenities re-opening include:

  • picnic shelters
  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks
  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts
  • some tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • off-leash dog parks
  • BMX locations and skateboard parks
  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

If a resident arrives at an amenity that is crowded, they are advised to wait until there is enough space to physically distance or return at another time. No team sports or organized group sports are permitted at this time.

 Park amenities that remain closed include lawn bowling facilities, outdoor bocce, playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, swimming pools, fixed barbecues and splash pads. Farmer’s markets, greenhouses, nurseries and conservatories, High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm also remain closed.

 Park washrooms remain closed at this time. Staff are working with Toronto Public Health on guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities.

The City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. For locations and operating hours visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/?accordion=washroom-and-sanitation-services. 

No public ferry access to Toronto Island Park
There is no public ferry access to Toronto Island Park. New federal regulations limit the number of individuals on a ferry in order to reduce crowding and limit the potential for virus transmission. The ferry will continue running for Island residents only. 

Construction starting Today
On Monday, May 25, two major construction projects will begin work that will have traffic impacts in the downtown area.

  • From May 25 to the end of December 2020, Bathurst Street from Fort York Boulevard to Front Street West will be fully closed to vehicular and cycling traffic as crews work to rehabilitate the Bathurst Street bridge and replace the TTC streetcar tracks. During this time, only one sidewalk will be available for pedestrian access through the work zone and cyclists may dismount to also use the sidewalk.
  • From May 25 until the end of June, the intersection of Church Street and Richmond Street East will be fully closed to all traffic until the end of June as crews work to replace the TTC streetcar tracks. During the closure, westbound traffic on Richmond Street East is advised to divert at Sherbourne Street and use Queen Street East or King Street East to travel westbound through Church Street.

 More information about both these projects is available at toronto.ca/downtownconstructionprojects.

 Help residents keep cool: Toronto Heat Bylaw
The Heat Bylaw states that all landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1. However, there are periods during spring when unseasonably warm weather can cause the indoor temperature of units to rise above this temperature without additional heat. Having the heat on during these warm days can make it uncomfortably hot for tenants. With warmer weather forecasted for the next few days, the City is encouraging landlords to use their judgement when it comes to heating their rental units. Landlords can turn off the heat in rental units, if the weather outside means that the building is 21 degrees Celsius without heat. More information about the heat bylaw is available at toronto.ca/heatbylaw.

Face coverings or non-medical masks strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto ActiveTO cycling network plan proposes 40 kilometres of expanded and accelerated routes
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that a City of Toronto staff report scheduled for consideration by City Council later this week proposes that key parts of the cycling network be expanded, through accelerated installation of routes in the council-approved Cycling Network Plan, as part of the ActiveTO program.

City to open Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning
The City’s Heat Relief Strategy has been updated for the 2020 hot weather season, in response to COVID-19, to ensure that emergency heat relief opportunities are available and accessible to those who may need them. Many facilities that were part of the City’s 2019 Heat Relief Network of cool spaces across Toronto are closed due to COVID-19. For this reason, the City’s plan for heat relief this year has been modified and includes a select number of Emergency Cooling Centres that will open across Toronto during Heat Warnings. The Emergency Cooling Centres are offered to residents as a last resort, if they do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.

Starting tomorrow at 11 a.m., six locations will offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place.

City of Toronto launches last of three pothole repair blitzes in May
The last of three scheduled pothole repair blitzes for the month of May is already underway in the city of Toronto. Crews have been repairing potholes since early this morning on Toronto's expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 10,212 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 177 cases since yesterday. There are 377 cases in hospital, with 91 in ICU. In total, 7,509 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 112 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 761 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto.

Provincial

Volunteers and Small Businesses Step Up to Help Those in Need
Ontario's volunteers and small businesses are rising to the challenge and helping seniors and other vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of people are generously giving their time and resources to make and deliver food, run errands, and check in on those who are self-isolating.

Hospitals Assume Management of Two Long-Term Care Homes
The Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued Mandatory Management Orders appointing local hospitals to temporarily manage two long-term care homes for 90 days. Southlake Regional Health Centre will temporarily manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton and Humber River Hospital will temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care in North York. The orders may be extended beyond the 90 days, if necessary.

Federal

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.

Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 per cent of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 per cent and the property owner forgiving at least 25 per cent.

Minister Ng announces hotline to provide small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that the Government of Canada will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of today, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

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