I want to wish everyone an enjoyable holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. While we cannot celebrate together this year, I hope you are able to have quality time with those you live with and connect with your extended families virtually. At 6PM on Christmas Eve, people in Toronto and world-wide will be taking to their porches to ring bells in celebration of the holidays and to thank frontline and essential workers.
This will be my final newsletter of 2020, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for coming together so strongly to support each other during this most difficult year. While we have faced many challenges, our collective efforts have protected, supported and given comfort to our neighbours in their moments of greatest need. While we still have challenges ahead, I am sure that the same caring and determined commitment we have seen throughout the pandemic will carry us through as we welcome the arrival of a vaccine and work to build our communities back up in a resilient and equitable way.
In this season of giving, I joined Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club to deliver donated toys for their annual toy drive, and helped to deliver food donations to Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. These are two amazing local organizations that help the most vulnerable in our community.
Throughout this pandemic, many have been working in essential roles to support us. From healthcare workers to cleaners and grocers, many rely on the TTC to get to work. Two weeks ago, I shared that the TTC will be adding more buses to priority routes, including Dufferin Street, to reduce congestion and create safer trips for public transit users. This past week, we have also received confirmation that the TTC will not be increasing fares next year, to help keep it affordable for those who rely on it every day. This is an important step in our efforts to have a just recovery where Toronto is a place that is affordable for all who live here. Of course, for too many people paying for public transit is a challenge and to further support them the City has reintroduced the Fair Pass Transit Discount Program, which provides discounted fares for participants.
Speaking at the opening of the first modular housing site at 11 Macey Avenue
Providing safe and adequate housing must be a crucial part of any conversation when discussing the creation of a supportive and equitable city. This weekend, I attended the opening of the 11 Macey Avenue modular housing site in Scarborough, following proper COVID-19 safety protocols we welcomed tenants to their new homes. Modular housing is a cost-effective way to build dignified housing rapidly and to connect people experiencing homelessness with homes and supports. We continue to expand this program with more sites coming forward in the next year as we provide safe, stable housing to people in need. Further to this goal, at Council we approved staff recommendations that will provide another 150 units of housing over next 8 weeks with another possible 510 units over the next 8-12 weeks as we work to obtain supportive services from the Provincial and Federal Governments.
Today, Mayor John Tory also announced that $3.12 million in additional funding will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to 33 community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data continues to show that Indigenous, Black and other marginalized groups are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The enhanced COVID-19 supports for targeted neighbourhoods announced by the City in November includes measures to increase testing, intensify community outreach and engagement and support mandatory self-isolation. Initiatives implemented as part of the enhanced supports and this round of funding draw on the expertise and track record of agencies who work effectively with vulnerable, racialized Torontonians.
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 [email protected] or by phone at 416.392.7012.
Table of Contents
- Question from the Community!
- Expanding Missing Middle Housing
- 316-336 Campbell Avenue Pre-Application Meeting
- Learn about the City’s Snow Maintenance Programs
- Expanding School Safety Zones
- Carleton Village Community Town Hall
- Temporary Railpath Access Closure at Sterling Road
- Relaxed Parking Rules during the Holidays
- 321 Dovercourt Road (formerly 150 Harrison) Community Consultation Materials
- Supporting First Portuguese
- Calling All Artists – Beautifying the Lansdowne Underpass
- Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto’s 2021 Diversity Scholarship Application
- Toronto Foundation’s “Good to Give Guide”
- Light Up Oakwood Village
- Corso Italia Food Drive
- Regal Heights Sing Along
- 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].
With the new provincial shut down coming into effect, is there a summary of what this means for different sectors and individuals?
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
To learn about the time-limited restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures during the province-wide shutdown, access the PDF here.
Expanding Missing Middle Housing
By expanding Missing Middle housing options, we can include more families in our neighbourhoods without significant impacts and create a more equitable city through this gentle densification. It is one of many important measures in the 10-Year Housing Plan.
On January 11 at 6:30pm, there will be a pre-application meeting on the proposed development at 316-336 Campbell Ave. You can register to share your thoughts using the link above.
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.
Expanding School Safety Zones
Road safety is a top priority for my office, especially in areas where we have a high concentration of vulnerable pedestrians, such as around schools. In addition to the 17 schools which have already received school safety zone improvements, City staff have indicated new school safety zones will be added in 2021 at:
- Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School
- General Mercer Junior Public School
- St Clare Catholic Elementary School
- Dovercourt Junior Public School
Carleton Village Community Town Hall
On January 20 at 6:30PM, I will be hosting a meeting for residents of Carleton Village on keeping our community vibrant, safe, and inclusive. To be part of the conversation, please register using the link above.
Temporary Railpath Access Closure at Sterling Road
On January 11, Rio-Tinto will need to close the southern Sterling Road access point to the West Toronto Railpath for remediation work. The work is expected to take two weeks. Residents looking to access the path can still access it via the entry point at Sterling and Perth. Signage will be placed to help residents navigate during this period.
Relaxed Parking Rules during the Holidays
Mayor Tory and Interim Police Chief James Ramer have agreed to relax parking enforcement rules through the holidays, to help people with curbside pick-ups from local businesses.
321 Dovercourt Road (formerly 150 Harrison) Community Consultation Materials
321 Dovercourt is one of the two locations selected by the City for modular housing, and has been undergoing community discussions throughout the year. The website has now been updated with the community consultation materials for those interested in reviewing them.
Supporting First Portuguese
This week my team was happy to work with community members and the union representing City employees, Local 416, to make a significant donation to First Portuguese Centre, which serves so many vulnerable people in our community.
Calling All Artists – Beautifying the Lansdowne Underpass
The City has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest to artists for the Lansdowne Underpass Art Project. You can learn more through the link above.
Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto’s 2021 Diversity Scholarship Application
Starting in the second year of studies, several colleges and universities provide additional money to CHFT Diversity Scholarship winners. These scholarships average $3,000 per student. (Please note: Some conditions apply. Recipient's average marks must meet standard requirements.)
Toronto Foundation’s “Good to Give Guide”
This guide is a short list of some of the organizations tackling the most pressing challenges facing Toronto at a time of great uncertainty and crisis. Many small and mid-size charities in Toronto are doing the tough work to fight inequality, but they need more financial support to scale up their successes.
Light Up Oakwood Village
Until January 7, you can vote for the best Oakwood Village storefront and win! You can use the QR code posted in store windows, or post a picture on Instagram tagging @OakwoodVillageBIA and using the hashtag #lightupoakwood. More details at http://oakwoodvillage.ca
Corso Italia Food Drive
Looking to give back this holiday season? The Corso Italia Business Improvement Area Association is working with Oasis Dufferin and The Stop to provide fresh, wholesome and nutritious food to families in need. Pick up food from a local business and make a donation at Oasis Dufferin (1219 Dufferin St) or The Stop (1884 Davenport Rd)!
Regal Heights Sing-Along
While the community cannot get together physically for their traditional Regal Heights Carol Sing, the Regal Heights Residents’ Association will be moving their celebrations online. You can participate by singing a seasonal carol, reading a poem or story, or simply wishing your neighbours a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!
City of Toronto update on COVID-19 (Dec 21)
There are 54,009 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 646 new cases today. There are 300 people hospitalized. In total, 46,378 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,800 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
City of Toronto accepting new Fair Pass Discount Program applications
The City of Toronto will resume accepting new applications for the Fair Pass Discount Program beginning today, Monday, December 21. Residents can confirm their eligibility and apply for the Fair Pass Program online or over the phone by calling 416-338-8888.
City of Toronto welcomes residents to first modular, supportive housing building
After less than eight months from Council approval to occupancy, the building at 11 Macey Ave., part of the City’s Modular Housing Initiative, is opening today. The City of Toronto is also getting ready to open its second modular, supportive housing building at 150 Harrison St. for a total of 100 new affordable, supportive homes within the next several weeks.
Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
Safer at Home Programs Provide Relief to Ontario Families
The Ontario government is providing new financial supports for individuals, families and small businesses, as they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the province's health care system during the Provincewide Shutdown. The province is expanding the Support for Learners program to include secondary school students and lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peak rate 24/7 for all time-of-use and tiered customers.
Ontario Supports Non-Profits Delivering Vital Services
The Ontario government is providing nearly $41 million to help 486 non-profit organizations across the province to rebuild and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants are part of the first round of funding through the Ontario Trillium Foundation's new $83-million Resilient Communities Fun
Health Canada authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Today, Health Canada authorized the second COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, manufactured by Moderna.
Government of Canada rolling out $100M in added support to food security organizations during COVID-19 pandemic
An increasing number of Canadians have been facing challenges in putting food on their tables due to COVID-19. As a result, food banks and food security organizations have experienced increased pressures such as higher demands and fewer resources. With the holidays approaching, these organizations need our support more than ever to help feed families and keep Canadians healthy and safe.