This week on Wednesday we marked National Day of Mourning (Workers' Mourning Day) which has been observed since 1991. We paid special tribute this year to essential and frontline workers who have been making huge sacrifices to keep us safe. I know you join with me in expressing our gratitude to all frontline and essential workers.
This afternoon the provincial government announced a significant escalation of the vaccination roll-out process. As a result of an expected significant increase in vaccine supply from the federal government in May the province will ramp up vaccinations in the coming weeks. They have committed that by May 24 any adult in the province, including Toronto, will be able to register for a vaccine. Provincial health officials did caution that these changes would be dependent on receiving the supply that has now been committed but every expectation is that these changes to the roll-out will take place. See below for an outline of the changes. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.
- Week of April 26: All Ontario adults age 55 and up; those 45 years old and up in hot-spot communities; and licensed child-care workers.
- Week of May 3: Ontario adults over the age of 50; adults age 18 and up in hot-spot communities; those with health conditions deemed "high risk"; and some people who cannot work from home.
- Week of May 10: Ontario adults over the age of 40; those with health conditions deemed "at risk"; and more individuals who cannot work from home.
- Week of May 17: Ontario adults over the age of 30.
- Week of May 24: Ontario adults over the age of 18.
Yesterday, the provincial government announced a Worker Income Protection Program which will be administered by the provincial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. I have been advocating for the provincial government to initiate a program and while there are positive aspects to this announcement, it simply does not go far enough for workers who need to take sick days. In the midst of a major third wave of this pandemic, when we are asking that people isolate for 14 days, three days of paid sick days is just simply insufficient for workers who need to be able to support themselves and their families. Beyond paid sick days, I also urge the province to expand vaccine eligibility further, to support essential workers who each day must continue working in congregate settings where risks from virus spread are much higher than in other workplaces. I have also been calling for child care workers to be prioritized for vaccination and I am pleased to see that this is now happening as of today.
Pregnant or a Child Care worker?
Many members of our community continue to contact us to find clarity with respect to the vaccination rollout. Due to limited vaccine supply, Public Health has further narrowed the communities in which they are operating mobile and pop-up clinics in, based on COVID case and equity data. These areas are concentrated in parts of the city which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, generally in the north east and west of the city. Still, I continue to have regular conversations with organizations in our community to be prepared for clinics to begin operating, once more supply becomes available. As a reminder, we keep anabailao.com/vaccinations up to date with the latest information. The City also maintains a comprehensive list of who is eligible for vaccinations here.
With information on vaccinations changing so quickly, the City has also partnered with Vaccine Hunters Canada to help get the word out about next-day appointment availability at City clinics.
This Saturday at 1:00PM, MPP Marit Stiles and I will be hosting a Vaccination Town Hall in Portuguese for Portuguese-speaking people in our community, marking our third vaccine town hall. You can register for this event here. We are also working to host further vaccination town hall meetings.
Our office 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.
- Question from the Community!
- Executive Committee Update
- The Rooster of Barcelos Project – Public Meeting May 10 at 6:00PM
- West Toronto Railpath Meeting
- Sidewalk Snow Clearing Trial – May 10 Public Meeting
- Rusholme Road Community Meeting – Proposed Traffic Changes – May 12 at 6:30 PM
- Oakwood St Clair. Parkland Study
- Bag of Toronto
- Call to Artists – Leave your Mark on Lansdowne Station
- Have your say on Implementing Garden Suites in Toronto - Consultations May 11-13
- Consultations for Multi-Tenant Housing
- Jane's Walk Toronto
- Youth Week Toronto
- COVID-19 Pop -Up Testing at Davenport Perth Community Health Centre
- Team Toronto COVID-19 vaccination update
- City of Toronto releases second report on COVID-19 management in its long-term care homes
- City of Toronto confirms CaféTO curb lane installations will begin May 8
- Mayor John Tory welcomes Netflix to its new Canadian home in Toronto
- City of Toronto vaccination clinic bookings now open to residents age 45 and older from 53 provincial hot spot postal codes
- City of Toronto receives Diversio Certification for commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
- New workplace closures to further protect employees, their families and the community from COVID-19
- Mayor John Tory announces first ActiveTO major weekend road closures of 2021
- City of Toronto strengthens mental health support for residents
Question 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 in each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at [email protected].
Where can I find specific information on vaccine eligibility?
The City has created this site which outlines all the different groups eligible for vaccination, it is an important resource to share in your networks.
Provincial Transit-Oriented Communities Program
All orders of government are currently making substantial investments in transit expansion in Toronto. Through their transit-oriented communities ("TOC") program, the Province has decided to engage third-parties to also make investments in transit infrastructure, thereby offsetting capital costs. The City has been consistently advocating for the process to include a robust public engagement and cooperation with the City. This report outlines the process –
- that new development should cover the reasonable costs associated with infrastructure and services to support the development
- Should align with the City’s planning visions
- Should involve community and Council engagement
- Should include community services and facilities to build complete communities
Implementing Tenants First: Creating a Seniors Housing Corporation
Following a review of Toronto Community Housing Corporation's challenges by an independent Task Force, Council approved a series of actions to steer Toronto Community Housing towards long-term, sustainable change. As part of this transformation, in July 2019 City Council approved the establishment of a new, wholly-owned City services corporation to manage and operate Toronto Community Housing's 83 designated senior's buildings. This report recommends the formal incorporation of the new Toronto Seniors Housing Corporation.
The CaféTO program provides assistance to Toronto's restaurant and bar operators wishing to install cafés on City sidewalks and streets through a streamlined application process including waived fees, the provision of traffic safety plans and equipment for cafés in the curb lane and other city supports.
This report provides updates to key program activities including:
- design, material and safety considerations for curb lane cafés;
- promoting expanded outdoor dining opportunities to suburban areas of Toronto; and
- additional opportunities for retail businesses in the right-of-way.
These and many other issues from our different committees will be discussed at next week at our Council Meeting. The agenda will soon be posted here, where you can also find a live broadcast on May 5&6.
The Barcelos Rooster, commonly called the Portuguese Rooster, is said to be the embodiment of the Portuguese love of life. It is an unofficial symbol of Portugal found throughout Portugal in town squares, art work and souvenir trinkets. The Rooster stands for pride, hope, a new day, fertility, resurrection and as well as other cultural meanings.
As part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, 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. With 5 finalists already selected, we will be hosting a consultation with the community and artists, who will provide an overview of what inspired them.
On Tuesday, the community came together to receive an update and get their questions answered on the West Toronto Railpath realignment and extension. The West Toronto Railpath is a major part of a significant community network of multi-use trails across our neighbourhoods, connecting to major transit stations. I am pleased to share that we secured the funding for the extension in the 2021 Budget, finalized agreements with Metrolinx on the exchange of public lands, and have completed our design work. Construction in the corridor is scheduled to commence in October 2021.
If you were unable to make the meeting, a recording is posted here.
Sidewalk Snow Clearing Trial – May 10 Public Meeting
The City of Toronto has recently concluded a trial to test the use of smaller sidewalk snow plows.
The goal of the trial was to determine whether sidewalk snow clearing could be expanded to include areas of the city that do not currently receive mechanical clearing as part of the City's winter maintenance program.
The results of the trial and recommendations for the mechanical sidewalk clearing program will be presented to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee of City Council for consideration in May 2021.
On May 10 at 7:00 PM, the City will be hosting a meeting for our and surrounding communities to learn more about this trail. You can register through the link above.
Rusholme Road Community Meeting – Proposed Traffic Changes – May 12 at 6:30 PM
In 2019, my office was contacted by residents who provided a petition requesting that the City's Transportation Services Division designate Rusholme Road, from the laneway to College Street, a one-way northbound, instead of the existing two-way operation.
This change was requested due to safety concerns arising from multiple occurrences in which motorists disobey the existing No Entry regulations. With many families and young children in the area, residents feel this change would benefit the community, making pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers safer.
Traffic safety is of utmost importance to me. Therefore, I am hosting a Community Meeting to discuss this matter to ensure that everyone is made aware, and that feedback is collected.
I welcome you to join City Staff and me on this occasion to share comments.
Oakwood St Clair. Parkland Study
On Tuesday night, there was a meeting with local community groups to discuss the Oakwood St. Clair Parkland Study, to review the projects scope and collect local input for more parkland and greenspace. More information is available through the above link.
Bag of Toronto
Bag of Toronto is back in time for Mothers Day! It's a great way to support our local businesses!
For $65 you will get:
- 5-7 goodies from local businesses
- Free local delivery
- A $5 donation to a local charity
Buy your bag through the link above!
Call to Artists – Leave your Mark on Lansdowne Station
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is looking to pre-qualify Artists to create integrated artworks for seven subway stations that are part of TTC's Easier Access & Second Exit Project: Bay, Castle Frank, Christie, Donlands, Keele, Lansdowne and Spadina. Applications can be submitted until May 6.
Have your say on Implementing Garden Suites in Toronto - Consultations May 11-13
The Garden + Suites project is one of several studies that the City of Toronto is leading through its Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative. A Garden Suite is a detached housing unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites, are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and are intended to function as a rental housing unit. Click the link above for event details. Click here to complete the survey.
Consultations for Multi-Tenant Housing
The City licenses multi-tenant houses, commonly known as rooming houses, to ensure that they are safe and well-maintained.
The City is proposing the creation of a comprehensive city-wide zoning approach and enhancements to licensing and enforcement to encourage and regulate safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across the city.
Jane's Walk Toronto
All of Jane's Walk Toronto 2021 walks and activities are online and one click away!
Join them in exploring Toronto neighbourhoods and communities through a wide variety of virtual walks and activities planned just for you. From movie screenings to virtual panel discussions, you can find all of their exciting 2021 programming.
Youth Week Toronto
Davenport Perth Community Health Centre will be operating a free, no appointment needed COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing clinic. If you were exposed to someone with COVID or believe you have symptoms, I encourage you to get tested.
April 29 - Team Toronto COVID-19 vaccination update
April 28 - City of Toronto releases second report on COVID-19 management in its long-term care homes
April 28 - City of Toronto confirms CaféTO curb lane installations will begin May 8
April 27 - Mayor John Tory welcomes Netflix to its new Canadian home in Toronto
April 27 - City of Toronto vaccination clinic bookings now open to residents age 45 and older from 53 provincial hot spot postal codes
April 27 - City of Toronto receives Diversio Certification for commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
April 26 - New workplace closures to further protect employees, their families and the community from COVID-19
April 26 - Mayor John Tory announces first ActiveTO major weekend road closures of 2021
April 26 - City of Toronto strengthens mental health support for residents