Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time when we remember all those who suffered and were lost during the Holocaust. This important day ensures that we never forget this very dark time in world history and that we renew our commitment that a tragedy like this shall never occur again anywhere in the world.
Today is Bell "Let's Talk Day," an opportunity to recognize the mental health challenges facing so many of our friends, family and neighbours each day. It also affords us the chance to demonstrate our ongoing support to address mental health issues across our country. Over the course of the pandemic, which is continuing, mental health issues have become even more pronounced and more than ever, we must work to support those facing challenges in this difficult time. I encourage everyone to reach out to a friend or family member today to check-in and have a chat, it can make a big difference in their lives. If you are in need of support, there are many services available.
I was pleased to announce today the official opening of our City's second modular housing site, this time located within our own Davenport community at 321 Dovercourt Road. Modular housing is a new program based on other cities' successful experiences that we have now commenced here in Toronto. It is a program that was approved as part of our Housing TO 2020-2030 approved in Dec. 2019 to provide safe and stable homes in a supportive environment to those who have experienced homelessness. The pandemic only served to heighten the urgency of moving this program forward to ensure that we assist as many people as possible in the shortest of time. Modular housing achieves these goals. Additional sites will be announced soon as we work to assist the most vulnerable in our City with the most basic needs; a safe, secure, and stable place to call home. Modular housing provides more dignified housing with more support and is more cost-effective than reliance upon emergency shelter spaces.
This week the City's Executive Committee, of which I am a member, dealt with a full agenda that included many important items. My colleagues and I on the Executive Committee approved implementing a community crisis support service pilot project. This will be a non-police led response model, and I successfully amended this item to ensure that part of the guiding principles was the function of the unit to act as the primary first responder to mental health crisis calls. This is important because, for this program to succeed, we need to offer it through the channels people turn to in times of crisis. This pilot has been developed in coordination with service agencies, subject matter experts, jurisdictional reviews, and public consultation to incorporate a broad range of perspectives and experiences and address the inequities in the current system. Throughout this process, the City will continue working with Black, Indigenous, and other equity-deserving communities to refine the program.
Also on the agenda was the SmartTrack transit plan, which will create three new transit stations in our community by 2026 – St. Clair/Old Weston; King/Liberty and Bloor and Lansdowne. I am pleased to report that the City is working towards having the St. Clair Transportation Master Plan delivered at the same time and that we have secured the cycling connection at the end of the West Toronto Rail Path in the West Queen West neighbourhood to Liberty Village. As many of you recall, the Bloor/Lansdowne station was something this community fought hard as part of the Davenport Diamond. During that process, Metrolinx committed to the community to not only deliver the station but the connection of this station to the new public realm space under the Davenport Diamond, connection to the West Toronto Railpath to the South, connection of the station to the Junction Triangle Neighbourhood through Dora/Sterling and the bridge from the Davenport Diamond to Earlscourt Park. I directed City staff through a motion at Executive Committee to ensure that these elements will continue to be delivered by Metrolinx as we move with the Station construction.
Last year, we saw how CafeTO served as an important lifeline for our restaurants and as a great way for people to get out and responsibly support their favourite local eateries. At Executive Committee, we passed a report to expand this program to make it easier to register, improve safety, and allow additional structures such as decks, where possible. The City will be working closely with Business Improvement Area associations and business owners to ensure that this program meets their needs once more when spring arrives.
On Tuesday, February 9, at 6:30 PM, I will be hosting my Davenport Budget Town Hall. I hope you can join me to discuss this year's budget and the investments being made in our community. You can register for this event here.
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!
- TTC 5-Year Fare Policy Engagement and Survey
- Dufferin St. Clair Library turns 100!
- 150 Harrison Park Survey Feedback Summary
- New Automatic Speed Enforcement Camera Locations
- Ontario Small Business Support Grant – Support Webinar
- Eglinton Keelesdale COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site
- The Rooster of Barcelos Project
- Addressing Housing Affordability Event
- Message of Encouragement
- Learn about the City's Snow Maintenance Programs
- Beautifying Laneways in Carleton Village
- TTC Construction – Dovercourt and Queen
- Connections – Helping Immigrants Find Work
- 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].
I am hearing conflicting advice with respect to air travel or travelling outside of Canada. Are we allowed to travel out of the country and what are the air travel restrictions?
Below is a link to the Government of Canada's information with respect to restrictions currently affecting travel out of Canada including with respect to air travel. However, it is extremely important to note that the Prime Minister and other federal officials have been stating for a number of days that Canadians who are out of the country should make their way home and those who are considering travel should not proceed with any plans to travel soon. They have been warning that restrictions could change significantly and with very little or no notice so the strong advice is not to plan any travel at this time.
The TTC would like you help in shaping 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.
Dufferin St. Clair Library turns 100!
Yesterday, the Dufferin/St. Clair Library turned 100 years old! For the last 100 years, this local library has been providing important services to the Earlscourt community, and it remains an anchor and point of pride for the surrounding neighbourhood. Happy Birthday to the Dufferin/St. Clair Library! You can learn more about the library's history here.
150 Harrison Park Survey Feedback Summary
As part of the new modular housing site at 321 Dovercourt Road (Formerly 150 Harrison), a new park is being delivered to the community. The City conducted a survey to gather feedback from the community on the conceptual park design and priorities for the new park's amenities. The results from the survey will inform a preferred conceptual design and the next steps of the park design. You can access those results through the link above.
New Automatic Speed Enforcement Camera Locations
With Automatic Speed Enforcement Cameras (ASEs) rotating across the City, staff have selected the next sites, at Dufferin Street near Waterloo Avenue, and on Concord Avenue north of College Street. These locations are identified through data collected by City staff, and criteria set out under provincial legislation. You can learn more about ASEs here.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant – Support Webinar
Do you run a business and have questions about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant? The City hosted a free information session to discuss the application process and answer questions. You can watch a recording of the event through the link above.
Eglinton Keelesdale COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site
A COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site will be operating January 29, February 5, 12, 19 and 26 at York Recreation Centre, 115 Black Creek Drive from 3 PM to 7 PM.
If you have any symptoms, or think you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, come and get tested. Bring your OHIP card if you have one, but it is not required. Bring a piece of ID or something with your name on it (bill, passport, etc.). There is no cost.
Call 416-653-5400 extension 3121 to book an appointment.
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.
Addressing Housing Affordability Event
Housing affordability is a key challenge we are working to address. On Sunday, Jan 31, I'll be joining a comprehensive discussion with Joe Mihevic – York University Visiting Professor, Alex Borzikovic – Globe and Mail Architecture Critic, and Cheryll Case – founding principal of CP Planning. This event is being planned by Darchei Noam Synagogue.
Message of Encouragement
A local resident is working on an arts project, collecting messages of encouragement and passing them forward to spread hope and cheer, including sending them to people working in long-term care and to other health care professionals. You can leave an anonymous message through 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.
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.
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.
Connections – Helping Immigrants Find Work
Connections is an online skills training program for newcomers to prepare them to get into the work force. They offer an 18 week online training program, which you can register for by emailing [email protected] or calling 416.925.2103 ex.4280.
Metrolinx Caisson Drilling
Metrolinx will be completing caisson drilling over the next five months, beginning on February 1. This involves boring (or drilling) a hole into the ground down to more supportive bedrock, lifting in steel reinforcement (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 long-term care measures to keep residents and staff safe from COVID-19 variants
The City of Toronto is aware of COVID-19 variants, including the U.K. variant, and the concerns related to large-scale outbreaks within long-term care homes and congregate care settings. The health and safety of the residents and clients, their families and the well-being of our staff members is our priority.
City of Toronto bylaw extensions recommended to reduce COVID-19 spread
COVID-19 continues to circulate at high levels across the city. The Province of Ontario's state of emergency and stay-at-home order remains in effect for Toronto and across the province. To limit opportunities for virus spread, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health is recommending the extension of City of Toronto COVID-19 temporary bylaws until City Council's June meeting.
City of Toronto opens second modular, supportive housing building
Today, we opened the City of Toronto's second modular supportive housing building at 321 Dovercourt Rd., (formerly known as 150 Harrison St.) a part of Phase I of the City's Modular Housing Initiative. Along with the recently-opened 11 Macey Avenue site, the two housing properties provide a total of 100 new affordable, supportive homes.
City of Toronto releases first-ever Environmental, Social and Governance Report
The City of Toronto released its first-ever Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report at this week's Executive Committee. This annual report outlines how the City is focused on ESG-related opportunities and risks across strategic priorities, sustainable finance and socioeconomic outcomes.
City of Toronto recognizes importance of mental health in ongoing fight against COVID-19 (Jan 27)
The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory and Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa provided an update on the City's measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto and reminded residents of available mental health supports.
Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 83,935 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 502 new cases today. There are 520 people hospitalized. In total, 74,061 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 2,341 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City's reporting platform.
City of Toronto to conduct additional education and enforcement of the mask bylaw in residential buildings
The City of Toronto is conducting additional education and enforcement in residential apartment buildings and condominiums where multiple complaints have been received about mask usage in enclosed common spaces.
An analysis of 311 data revealed that from August 5, 2020, when the mask bylaw came into effect, to January 18, 2021, the City had received 1,950 complaints about improper mask usage in shared residential spaces. Of these complaints, 263 locations have received three or more complaints and 12 locations have received more than 10 complaints related to mask wearing. Seventy-five per cent of the complaints are related to residential apartment buildings and twenty-five per cent are related to condominiums.
Further Action Needed to Protect the Border and Stop the Spread of COVID-19
TORONTO — Over 6,800 international travellers have been tested for COVID-19 as part of the Ontario government's voluntary and free border testing pilot program at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. This program was implemented to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province. Despite this steady progress, the province is calling on the federal government to take further action to protect the border, including mandatory testing of all incoming international passengers and a temporary ban on direct flights from countries where new variants are detected.
Ontario Adjusts Vaccination Plan in Response to Pfizer-BioNTech Shipment Delays
The Ontario government is accelerating the vaccination of residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care homes by a new target date of February 5, 2021. To protect access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already received their first dose, Ontario will maintain the maximum interval of 21-27 days for long-term care, retirement and First Nations elder care home resident groups and up to 42 days between the two doses for all other groups. These adjustments are being made following notification by the federal government of reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments.
Ontario Extends Off-Peak Electricity Rates to Provide Relief for Families, Small Businesses and Farms
The Ontario government is extending electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms to support those spending more time at home in response to the provincial Stay-at-Home Order. The government will continue to hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour until February 9, 2021. This lower rate is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for Time-Of-Use and tiered customers.
Canada and the UK host round-table discussion on climate risks and opportunities, with finance leaders and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance
Canada and the United Kingdom hosted a virtual round table with Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, and finance leaders from North America and Europe to discuss the importance of phasing out market support for unabated coal power, from climate-risk and clean-energy-investment perspectives.
Government launches budget consultations to hear from Canadians
The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, launched pre-budget consultations. These discussions allow the government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better.