To those celebrating the Lunar New Year, I wish you a year of good luck and prosperity. Gong Xi Fa Chai!
This coming Monday is also Family Day, normally a time to enjoy with our extended families and friends. However, this year it is still important to continue to follow public health guidelines. I know this is very challenging for everyone. Nonetheless, we are making progress, and with increased vaccinations coming soon, we need to follow the guidelines and work together for a while longer to defeat this pandemic. I know it has been challenging for families, as they try to balance life and work, remaining at home as much as possible. However, as a reminder, if you need to go outside for exercise or your mental health, the City offers many outdoor activities you can enjoy safely with your family. I also encourage you to reach out to someone you know who is living alone. Your call or online connection can mean so much to them.
Today, my colleagues and I on the City's Executive Committee met to approve the 2021 City Budget in advance of its final review at City Council. There is no doubt that continued financial pressures in 2021 have created unprecedented budgetary challenges. Not just here in Toronto, but in municipalities across the country. Still, I believe this budget's fundamental guiding principles of managing Covid19 Impacts, maintaining existing services with no cuts, and providing investments focusing on equity reflect the priorities of communities across Toronto.
Further to what was recommended from Budget Committee, today Executive Committee added another $8 million in funding to critical areas: $3 million for a special youth job and training program targeted to underserved, COVID hot spot neighbourhoods; $2 million in additional 2021 support for community-based hot spot neighbourhoods; $2 million for the expansion of internet access to underserved communities (this will build on the recently approved ConnectTO Plan) and $1 million in additional funds to promote main street businesses.
The budget will now go to Council for discussion and a final vote on February 18.
On Tuesday, I hosted my annual Budget Town Hall – unfortunately not in person as in previous years - with the City's Executive Director of Financial Planning to inform community members of this year's budget and investments we are making in our local community to hear your views and recommendations. I am pleased to share that between 2021-2025, Davenport will be receiving over $353 million in capital funding for local projects, ranging from park improvements to the expansion of the West Toronto Rail Path. Beyond the $353 million, we have secured funding for developing the three Smart Track Stations in Ward 9 and multiple annual transportation improvements.
This week we have also received welcoming news from the Government of Canada with the announcement of a $15 billion investment in public transit over eight years. Permanent and predictable funding is crucial for the future of public transit. More details will be known over the coming weeks, but this is an important contribution to our economic recovery, transit expansion and upgrades, and a greener City.
Lastly, I want to share with you that the City has announced its nine City-Operated Immunization clinics' locations. The City wants to ensure that we will be ready to open once the Province of Ontario provides direction, and vaccine supply is secured by the Government of Canada.
As you can read in our e-newsletter, a lot is happening, and our team continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at 416.392.7012.
Table of Contents
- Question from the Community!
- CafeTO Returning in 2021
- Geary Works – Upcoming Public Consultation
- West Neighbourhood House - Call for Volunteers
- Haven Toronto Sock Drive
- Children’s Breakfast Clubs – Celebrating Black Community Members
- Permit Parking Expansion Project - Bloem Avenue and Day Avenue
- Aangen’s All Dried Up Series
- UrbanArts Free Community Arts Programming and Services
- Save the Date! the Toronto Virtual Seedy Saturday is on Sat February 27, 10 am to 2 pm
- TTC 5-Year Fare Policy Engagement and Survey
- Learn about the City's Snow Maintenance Programs
- The Rooster of Barcelos Project
- Federal Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
- Round Two of the TO360 local map consultation will be live from February 5 to 26, 2021
- Park People Grant
- Beautifying Laneways in Carleton Village
- Lansdowne Station – Entrance Closure for Accessibility Work
- TTC Construction – Dovercourt and Queen
- Upcoming Infrastructure Improvements at the Intersection of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR)
- Metrolinx Caisson Drilling
- Recent Announcements
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 [email protected].
Now that some areas in Eastern and Northern Ontario have been moved to green zones, are people in areas like Toronto or Peel Region allowed to travel to these areas for day trips or longer?
No, Toronto, York and Peel Regions remain under a stay at home order until at least February 22nd, 2021 and announcements will be coming soon on this but the provincial government's public health officials have directed that residents in the lockdown areas must remain within these areas to assist in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
CafeTO Returning in 2021
Last Friday, City Council approved an improved CafeTO program to provide space for expanded outdoor dining areas for restaurants and bars and give residents a safe way to get out of the house and support their local eateries. This year, the first cafés will be allowed to be installed in May, earlier than last year. This program played an important role in supporting the restaurant industry, which the pandemic has significantly impacted.
Geary Works – Upcoming Public Consultation
The third consultation on Geary Works will be held on March 3 at 6:30 PM. Geary Works is a study to determine how to best support businesses and creative enterprises and improve the public realm on Geary Avenue. Register and learn more through the link above.
West Neighbourhood House (formerly St. Christopher House) has been working to support the community in Toronto’s west end for over 100 years.
Now they have launched a special project —the West Downtown Neighbourhoods Community Reference Panel— to work with community members to plan for the future.
They are looking for volunteers to take part in this project. The deadline to volunteer is February 25, 2021.
The Community Reference Panel will consist of 28 randomly selected volunteers representing the community. The panellists will learn from experts about the present and future challenges facing the community, deliberate on options, and create recommendations that will make West Neighborhood House —and the community— better prepared for the future.
The Panel is an intensive, one-off process that will take place over a weekend and one additional Saturday. The project team will work with and support participants throughout the process. If needed, a stipend will be offered for participation. Our team will also provide further support if needed, including but not limited to lending tablets to enable internet access and providing individual learning assistance.
To learn more or volunteer, please:
Visit westnh-checkin.ca | Email [email protected]tnh-checkin.ca | Call 1-866-508-1435.
Haven Toronto Sock Drive
Did you know that socks are one of the most requested items from people using shelters? Haven Toronto has partnered with Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, Toronto Police 11 and 22 Divisions, and the Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts for a sock drive between February 15 and 28. New socks can be dropped at any of their locations to help someone in need.
Children’s Breakfast Clubs – Celebrating Black Community Members
In celebration of Black History Month, Children's Breakfast Clubs reached out to communities and asked them to identify Black community members who have made a difference. They created the poster linked above to give these community members recognition and show appreciation for all they do to better our cities and communities. This poster is just a small representation of all the contributions made by Black Canadians in communities across our great country in the past and present. Among those featured is Sheldon Taylor, the Executive Director of the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club in our community.
Permit Parking Expansion Project - Bloem Avenue and Day Avenue
Bloem Avenue and Day Avenue (north of Rogers Road) have remained "street specific" where permit holders on each of these streets can only park on their respective streets. Staff are planning on converting both Bloem and Day Avenue from "street specific" to allow permit holders on these streets to park on any other street in the permit parking catchment (such as Sellers Avenue north of Rogers Road) and vice versa. This provides more flexibility for permit holders in the immediate area.
For more information on this change, please email Michael Jacoby on my team at [email protected].
Aangen’s All Dried Up Series
All Dried Up is a dehydrated meal product developed to support seniors' nutrition and ensure adults with physical or cognitive barriers can access healthy, nourishing meals that are safe to prepare and easy to serve. Created in consultation with a geriatric nutrition specialist, All Dried Up is heart-healthy, supports digestion and contains antioxidants that address joint pain and swelling. One cup of hot water added to our pre-portioned soups is all that is needed to prepare and serve a delicious meal. It's as simple as toast and tea!
UrbanArts Free Community Arts Programming and Services
UrbanArts is hosting the Beats.Mind.Movement, a virtual free program learning about music development. It takes place every Wednesday at 6 PM on Zoom. Register through the link above!
Brought to you by Seeds of Diversity Canada, Toronto Urban Growers and Toronto Seedy Saturday organizers, this Virtual Seedy Saturday promises to be full of great gardening and growing advice. There will be links to seed and gardening companies, a resource library, webinars by gardening experts, a live question/answer forum, kids activities and info re local seed exchanges.
Webinars include Balcony/Container Gardening, Starting Seeds Indoors, Garden Planning, Saving Seeds and many more! If you have extra seeds, please consider contributing them to the local seed exchanges! (see website for drop off points)
No sign up required! Visit ongoing and day of http://www.seedysaturday.ca/toronto to connect to info, webinars and live chats For questions mailto:[email protected] And like their event page for updates https://www.facebook.com/events/879640102868936
The TTC would like you to help shape their 5-year fare policy by completing this survey before February 18.
You can read the full background on the TTC and York Regional Transit Authority's 5-Year Fare Policy Project here.
More opportunities for public consultations in the coming months will include Focus Groups and Virtual Town Halls, which are currently being planned and scheduled for the first half of 2021.
Learn about the City's Snow Maintenance Programs
Have questions about City snow services? Use the link above to access the City plow map, learn about snow removal, salt management and more.
The Rooster of Barcelos Project
The Rooster of Barcelos Project will be located in Little Portugal at Dundas Street West & Lakeview Avenue (1212 Dundas St. W, at the Lakeview Ave. Parkette). A rooster statue has been gifted by the Municipality of Barcelos, Portugal, to the City of Toronto to be designed, painted and displayed in Little Portugal.
The City of Toronto is seeking artist submissions according to one or both of the guiding themes.
Apply here by February 14, 2021.
Federal Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
Applications are open for the Federal Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program. This program can help your business with day-to-day operating costs. Applications are open until February 15.
Round Two of the TO360 local map consultation will be live from February 5 to 26, 2021
TO360 is the pedestrian wayfinding system central to the City's ambition to make Toronto a more walkable, welcoming, and understandable place for residents and visitors. TO360 provides consistent wayfinding information through a unified signage and mapping system delivered by the City and project partners.
The City's Transportation Services has prepared some draft wayfinding maps for St. Clair West and Eglinton West and is looking for feedback from people in Ward 9 (Davenport) who are passionate about their neighbourhood and want to make walking in their community better.
Go to www.to360survey.com to learn more about TO360 and the ways to get involved!
Park People Grant
TD Park People Grants will provide $2,000 to groups from the Greater Toronto Area to help build vital connections between people and city parks. Enhance green spaces by hosting three online or in-person activities such as nature webinars, scavenger hunts or photo contests.
Applications close on March 1st. Visit the website to get all of the details, helpful event ideas and application forms for the TD Park People Grants program.
Laneway Park-ing is a project to improve a local laneway in Carleton Village, running from Connolly to Davenport between Osler and Gillespie. It will transform the laneway into a people-friendly space for everyone to use and enjoy - on foot, on bikes and in cars - by adding gardens, public art and lighting to the laneway edges of neighbouring properties, at the request of property owners and in collaboration with community members.
If you live beside the laneway on Osler or Gillespie and would like to request a new mural, garden or light on the laneway edge of your property, let them know! Send an email to [email protected] by February 15 to have your laneway improvement included in the project.
For more project information anytime, visit www.thelanewayproject.ca/carletonvillagepark-ing.
Lansdowne Station – Entrance Closure for Accessibility Work
The main entrance to Lansdowne station will be closed until May, as the TTC is installing elevators to make Lansdowne Station accessible. The station will also be getting additional enhancements, including a new canopy for the main entrance.
TTC Construction – Dovercourt and Queen
TTC will be rebuilding an existing underground utility chamber and duct bank on the east side of Dovercourt Road just north of Queen Street West. The utility chamber is located at the north-east corner of the Queen/Dovercourt intersection, and the duct bank runs along the east curb lane and connects to a utility chamber in front of 127 Dovercourt Road (which was rebuilt in 2019). The chamber is part of a network in the city that provides access to electrical and communication cabling for the TTC, as well as for other utility companies.
The TTC is working in cooperation with the City's ongoing watermain project in the area. The City's contractor will demobilize the area prior to TTC's start date of February 1 and will be completed in 8 weeks.
Upcoming Infrastructure Improvements at the Intersection of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR)
Beginning February 12, 2021, work crews will begin advanced preparation work on The Queensway and KQQR intersection, ahead of the closure of the KQQR intersection scheduled for March 31, 2021.
Metrolinx Caisson Drilling
Metrolinx is conducting caisson drilling over the next five months. This involves boring (or drilling) a hole into the ground down to more supportive bedrock, lifting in steel reinforcements (or rebar cage), and then pouring concrete. This creates reinforced concrete columns underground that will form structural piers to support the load of the elevated guideway structure above.
The work is scheduled to take place during the day and overnight from February to July 2021. While most of this work is carried out during the day, crews will also be working overnight as the equipment will be available and they will be able to work more safely and efficiently.
City of Toronto reminds residents to take action to prevent frozen water pipes during extreme cold temperatures
With the continued forecasted nighttime temperatures dropping below minus 10 degrees Celsius for the next week, the City of Toronto urges residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent the water pipes inside their home from freezing. Frozen water pipes can lead to significant and costly property damage should they burst, resulting in no water for several days, depending on the severity of the repairs.
City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 91,368 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 440 new cases today. There are 426 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,535 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 83,618 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
First COVID-19 cases linked to Brazilian and South African variants of concern identified in Toronto
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reporting that a Toronto resident has tested positive for the P.1 COVID-19 mutation, known as the Brazilian variant of concern. The individual, who is hospitalized, recently travelled from Brazil. This is the first case of P.1 COVID-19 variant of concern reported in Toronto.
City Council approves program to increase access to affordable high-speed internet in Toronto
Toronto City Council approved ConnectTO – a City-driven collaborative program that aims to leverage the use of municipal resources and assets to increase digital equity and expand access to affordable, high-speed internet to underserved Toronto residents.
Ontario Working with Municipal Partners to Improve Social Assistance
The Ontario Government is working with its municipal partners to better connect people to the supports they need as the next step in the province’s plan to modernize the delivery of social assistance. As part of its plan, frontline workers will have more time to focus on connecting clients with supports such as job-readiness programs, housing, childcare, skills training and mental health services. At the same time, the province will gradually take on more program administration to make it easier for people to navigate the system.
Ontario Supporting COVID-19 Response in High Priority Communities
The Ontario government continues to implement its High Priority Communities Strategy to provide targeted supports to 15 communities hardest hit by COVID-19. As part of the strategy, the province is providing $12.5 million to local lead agencies to work in partnership with Ontario Health, public health units, municipalities, and other community partners to help high risk neighbourhoods contain the spread of the virus and access services to better protect individuals and families.
Ontario Extends Off-Peak Electricity Rates to Provide Relief for Families, Small Businesses and Farms
The Ontario government is once again extending electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms to support those spending more time at home while the province maintains the Stay-at-Home Order in the majority of public health regions. The government will continue to hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour until February 22, 2021. This lower rate is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for Time-Of-Use and tiered customers.
The Ontario government is investing $4.5 million through the Seniors Community Grant Program to support over 180 diverse community projects. This year's funding focuses on helping older adults stay connected with their communities while self-isolating from the safety of their home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ontario Delays March Break in an Effort to Reduce Community Transmission of COVID-19
Today, Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Minister of Education, issued the above-linked statement regarding March break
New public transit investments to build strong communities, fight climate change, and create new jobs across Canada
Investing in public transit infrastructure shortens commute times for families, creates good middle class jobs, grows our economy, and cuts air pollution. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion in 1,300 public transit projects for communities across Canada. This is the largest public transit investment in Canadian history, and as we build back better from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to make these smart investments that support Canadians.
Government of Canada Announces Funding for 76 LGBTQ2 Community-Led Projects Across Canada Through the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund
The Government of Canada is committed to better supporting LGBTQ2 individuals in Canada and building a society where everyone has equal rights and opportunities to be their true, authentic selves. Along with LGBTQ2 communities across Canada, we are working to strengthen LGBTQ2 organizations and support the critical work they do to create an equitable and consciously more inclusive Canada. That’s why Budget 2019 allocated funding for the first ever Government of Canada fund for LGBTQ2 organizations.
Government of Canada invests in Canadian clean technology innovations
The Government of Canada is making investments that will lay the groundwork for a stronger, greener and more resilient economy, which will create opportunities for all Canadians. A strong economic recovery will be built on Canada's leadership in growing markets in the low-carbon economy. That is why the government is supporting Canadian innovators in clean technology, as the solutions they create will support well-paying jobs for Canadians and help contribute to the global fight against climate change.