I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday season. This year was of course very different and challenging for all of us but we hope for better days in the months ahead. Like many of you, I took some time over the holidays to connect with my family and friends online and enjoyed connecting with them virtually. As this New Year begins, we approach it with hope and dedication as we continue the work we have been doing together to keep our community safe and vibrant.
This week, we were all appalled, saddened and understandably concerned by the terrible images coming from the United States and in particular the Capitol Building. This intolerable behaviour resulted in the deaths of five people and many other injuries. This attempt, coupled with so many others since November, to circumvent the results of a fair, transparent and fully democratic election is inexcusable and represented a direct challenge to our neighbour's democratic institutions. Fortunately, in the very near future we will see a new administration taking over in the United States and from there a renewed vision within the country with which we share such a large common border. Let this also remind us that we cannot take democracy for granted – not here, not now, not ever!
At home, we continue to face very serious challenges with the pandemic. This morning, Premier Ford announced a record 4,249 COVID-19 cases. This continuing upward trend is worrying, and a clear reminder for everyone that we must follow the basic rules and directions which we know are effective – stay at home as much as possible, wear a mask, do not gather and wash your hands.
With cases continuing the climb, the Province has announced that they will extend teacher-led online learning until January 25. While this is a challenge for both students and parents, it is an action that will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and I hope that this time is used to improve conditions for students and teachers in schools as we look to their return to in-person learning which is so important for our young people in so many ways.
We know from the early days of this pandemic, that long-term care home residents and those who support them, as well as other front line healthcare workers, are at particular risk. While the vaccine rollout is being managed by the provincial government, the City’s Immunization Task Force has been working closely with them to ensure the most vulnerable residents in the city receive the vaccine in the safest and most effective means possible. Approximately 1,800 staff and residents within City-operated long-term care homes have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 80% of residents in City-run homes have provided their consent to be vaccinated.
On Monday, Toronto Public Health announced that new content will be launched on the monitoring dashboard to illustrate how the pandemic is affecting workplace settings. Now, all workplace outbreaks will be published weekly in specific categories and businesses, schools, and other facilities with current COVID-19 outbreaks that pose significant public health risks will be listed. You can access this dashboard here.
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!
- Toronto's Budget: Get Involved!
- City Hall Live Spotlight
- Bristol Parkette Improvements Completed
- 316-336 Campbell Avenue Pre-Application Meeting
- Learn about the City’s Snow Maintenance Programs
- Carleton Village Community Town Hall
- Temporary Railpath Access Closure at Sterling Road
- Calling All Artists – Beautifying the Lansdowne Underpass
- Zero Waste High-Rise Project announces NEW tools, resources and a micro-grant opportunity
- 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].
Where can I get further information on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out and how it is being managed?
The COVID-19 vaccine is being administered across Canada by the Provincial governments. The Ontario Government has in place a comprehensive plan which is being rolled out now. You can learn more about Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan here.
Toronto’s Budget: Get Involved!
Each year, City staff put forward a preliminary budget and then the Mayor and City Council − with input from Toronto residents and businesses − make decisions about the City’s services, programs and infrastructure work before approval of the final budget at the end of the process.
Our City's budget is a crucial part of realizing our goals as a great City and I encourage you to provide your comments and recommendations as we work on the 2021 budget as this process takes place during a time when there are unique and substantial pressures facing our City.
City Hall Live Spotlight
The City of Toronto, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is launching City Hall Live Spotlight, a weekly livestreamed concert series as part of ShowLoveTO. This is to support the local music industry and provide Toronto residents with music experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are encouraged to make a night of it by ordering in their favourite takeout and settling in for a concert in the comfort of their own home.
Bristol Parkette Improvements Completed
The City recently completed playground enhancements at Bristol Avenue West Parkette which will form part of the eagerly anticipated Green Line that will run along the hydro corridor and serve as an active transportation route to and from destinations along Geary Avenue. The improvements included:
- Adding Engineered Wood Fibre surface safety surfacing over 260m2 of the playground
- New play structures
- 4 swings (including one accessible)
- a sandbox
- replaced the drinking fountain with a bottle filler.
- Significantly increased seating,
- Replaced the footpath with the multi-use trail and other accessibility updates
The playground is now open for public use. We would like to thank the community for taking part in the survey over the summer and helping realize our shared vision for these parkette improvements.
316-336 Campbell Avenue Pre-Application Meeting
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.
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.
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.
Zero Waste High-Rise Project announces NEW tools, resources and a micro-grant opportunity
The Toronto Environmental Alliance’s (TEA) Zero Waste High-Rise Project aims to inspire, support and celebrate multi-residential buildings to become zero waste leaders.
Join a community of residents and staff from buildings across Toronto and participate in an online program with virtual learning sessions, guides and tools to walk you through creating a zero waste action plan for your building. Participants will also be contributing to valuable research by TEA and the University of Toronto to help more buildings reduce waste.
- A limited number of micro-grants up to $500 will be available to support Toronto buildings
- TEA will recognize and celebrate all buildings that have taken action by February 28th
- Building teams can sign up for coaching sessions with TEA staff, and attend virtual tours of leading buildings
The Project is funded by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in partnership with University of Toronto
City of Toronto records more than 2,000 total deaths due to COVID-19
The City of Toronto recorded more than 2,000 total deaths of Toronto residents as a result of COVID-19. The City and Toronto Public Health convey their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those we have lost to this virus. This tragic milestone is a reminder that we must all work together to protect our community by staying home as much as possible and following public health guidance.
There are 66,417 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 941 new cases today. There are 392 people hospitalized. In total, 57,093 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 2,017 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
Four positive COVID-19 cases reported at City of Toronto child care centre
Two City of Toronto employees working at Flemingdon Early Learning & Child Care Centre and two children enrolled at the centre tested positive for COVID-19 during the recent holiday break. Following public health guidance and health and safety procedures, the City-operated child care centre will be temporarily closed while staff members and children self-isolate or monitor for symptoms as a precaution and the rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Toronto Public Health provides remote access to student nutrition programs
The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on the lives of Torontonians. With many students attending school remotely due to COVID-19, the Toronto Board of Health and the City of Toronto are making Toronto Public Health’s Student Nutrition Program accessible to kids learning at home in 2021.
Ontario Launches Innovative Testing Program at Pearson Airport
The Ontario Government is launching a new innovative, voluntary and free border testing pilot program at Toronto Pearson International Airport for eligible international travellers returning to Ontario to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
Details were provided today at Pearson airport by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
Ontario Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Long-Term Care Homes in Priority Regions
The Ontario government is continuing the rollout of Phase One of its vaccine implementation plan by ensuring that all residents, health care workers and essential caregivers at long-term care homes in the priority regions of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex receive a COVID-19 vaccination by January 21st , 2021.
Ontario Releases Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
The Ontario government has released an Ethical Framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution which was developed in partnership with the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force to guide further vaccine prioritization and distribution across the province. The province continues to vaccinate vulnerable populations and those who care for them through Phase One of its three-phase implementation plan as additional vaccines become available.
Statement on Canada’s economic and job recovery
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, issued the above linked statement today following the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.
Commemoration of Flight PS752 tragedy
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today issued the above linked statement on the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, one year ago, a tragic loss that affected so many people from countries across the world, including Canada.