As you we all know, the pandemic has been a long, difficult and challenging time for all of us. Many have been affected directly with illness, financial challenges and sadly with the loss of loved ones. One of the things I hear more often these days is the desire to return to more normal lives. I am pleased that this Friday we will make a major step in that direction as we move to step 3 in the province's re-opening plan.
Since this is such a significant change, and many of you have posed questions about what this means, I have decided to have this e-news deal directly with the step 3 re-opening and provide you with all the information you need to know about this move forward. As you may know Toronto City Council is still underway and will not be completed by the time I send you this newsletter so next week I will update you on all the information from the meeting.
As always, I encourage everyone to get vaccinated. If you have had both of your vaccinations, thank you and congratulations. If you've not been vaccinated yet or have had just one dose, please get your first shot or your second as soon as possible. One of the main reasons we are able to move to step 3 is because so many of us have chosen to get our full vaccinations and in so doing protected ourselves, our family and friends and our community from Covid-19. Vaccinations have been and continue to be the way out of this pandemic.
In this e-news you will find all the information you need and want with respect to the step 3 re-opening. As our businesses, restaurants and bars are able to open further I encourage you to visit them and to support them as they have been through so much over the past 15 months. So, whether it's a haircut, a nice meal or a visit to the gym, much is changing and I encourage you to get out and enjoy this further re-opening. This also includes as just announced by the City that our indoor community centres and other amenities will also be opening beginning next week. So, there is much to be excited about as we move forward.
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.
Table of Contents
- Stage Three Reopening
- Update: Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Clinic for Portuguese-Speaking Communities
- Walk-In Vaccination Clinics
- COVID-19 Safety Reminders
- Importance of Getting Your Second Dose
- Compost Days 2021
- Canadian Blood Services: Request for Donors
- Bikeshare Free Ride Wednesdays - Each Wednesday in July
- City of Toronto expanding walk-in vaccination to four City-run clinics
- City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three reopening ahead of schedule
- City of Toronto receives federal funding to support main street and small business recovery initiatives
- Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiatives
- City of Toronto to begin reopening additional recreational amenities
- City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three reopening this Friday
- Team Toronto administers more than 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
Stage Three Reopening
Tomorrow -- Friday July 16th, along with the rest of the province, our City will move to Step 3 of the provincial re-opening plan. I know it's been a long wait, but once again we will be able to do many of the things that we have missed doing with our friends, families and neighbours. With so many adults now fully vaccinated, and more to come – we are all ready to move forward towards more normal times and we're doing so ahead of schedule.
Step Three alters a large number of the restrictions that have been in place and below is a summary of some of the major changes:
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people are now with limited exceptions;
- Indoor social gatherings and organized public events are now allowed with up to 25 people;
Religious Services, Rites and Ceremonies
- Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services can expand capacity with physical distancing;
- Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table as long as physical distancing can be maintained and other public health measures are followed
Indoor Sports and Recreation
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities will open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less
- Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
Essential and Non-Essential Retail
- Essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
Personal Care Services
- Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
Museums, Galleries, Etc.
- Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
Concert Venues, Cinemas and Theatres
- Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
- up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
- up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less)
- Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
Update: Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Clinic for Portuguese-Speaking Communities
On July 10th, our office was present to support the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre as they hosted their second COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Portuguese-speaking communities.
Over the course of the day, 620 first and second doses were administered. This was an enormous success -- and it is critical that community outreach continue to take place in Toronto's COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
I would like to express my gratitude to all who came out -- whether it was to volunteer or receive your COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, I would like to thank all of the staff at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre for your hard work and dedication to our community. Thanks to all of those present, lines moved swiftly, remained orderly, and as a result -- more of our community is protected.
Walk-In Vaccination Clinics
The City of Toronto has expanded walk-in vaccination clinics at various locations across the city. These clinics will operate from noon to 7:00pm every day, and all who are age 18+ are eligible to receive their first or second dose.
Walk-in appointments provide added convenience and lower barriers for people who do not have regular access to the internet, work varying hours or have family commitments. A health card is not needed for a walk-in vaccination; a person need only attend the clinic with some form of identification.
The expanded walk-in clinics are:
- Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 277 Front St. W.
- Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.
- The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.
- Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
COVID-19 Safety Reminders
As we continue the reopening of our city and province, it is important that we remain vigilant and cautious about the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination remains an effective deterrent to the spread of infection, however as more members of our community choose to protect themselves we are all responsible for maintaining public health guidelines.
Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. This is in alignment with the advice on personal public health measures issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, while also accounting for Ontario specific information and requirements. Face coverings will also be required in some outdoor public settings as well.
Please also remember to continue washing your hands and sanitizing shared spaces. These small actions remain effective actions to protect the vulnerable and prevent the spread of illnesses -- not just COVID-19.
Importance of Getting Your Second Dose
Entering safely into Step Three is an enormous milestone that has only been made possible by the dedication and optimism of all those who have chosen to vaccinate themselves over these past few months. As more than 60% of Torontonians have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, I want to strongly reiterate my stance that all of us must get vaccinated so that we may protect our friends, family, and community.
Now more than ever we must reach out to those who have not been vaccinated to ensure that they feel comfortable and supported as they navigate the process of vaccination. Protecting our city's most vulnerable from variants of concern must be a top priority, and we can all help by receiving two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring we are fully protected from the virus.
I myself have received both the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, followed by an mRNA vaccine. This has been approved and recommended by Public Health Canada as well as Toronto Public Health -- among many other jurisdictions. Many Torontonians are just like me, having received a variety of the currently-approved vaccinations over the course of the summer.
The safest and most effective vaccine is the first which you are offered. Not only will you be protected against COVID-19, but you will be part of ensuring that the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto are able to end COVID-related restrictions sooner rather than later. Ensuring that you and your peers are vaccinated allows a return to normalcy.
Reopening of City Facilities
In accordance with Provincial guidelines, the City of Toronto had begun work to reopen recreational amenities, services and activities, subject to restrictions and capacity limits.
Beginning Monday July 19th, the City will begin to reopen indoor recreational facilities, starting with most self-directed programs and services. City staff have worked closely with Toronto Public Health to implement adjustments to program capacities and parameters to meet new provincial guidelines.
Recreational amenities scheduled to begin reopening in Step Three include:
Monday, July 19
- Indoor fitness centres
- Indoor weight rooms
- Indoor permits for meetings and events
- Indoor walking tracks
- Public access to community centre spaces for heat relief, washroom and shower access
Wednesday, July 21
- Indoor lane and leisure swim
- Indoor drop-in programs for sports and leisure
Monday, July 26
- Enhanced Youth Spaces
- Indoor aquafit classes
- Indoor fitness classes
- Seniors’ centres
With Camp TO and COVID-19 response still in progress this summer, use of community centres for these purposes, including vaccine clinics, will continue to be prioritized. Summer activities will focus on self-directed activities, fitness classes and indoor lane and leisure swims. Instructional programming will ramp up throughout August and into the fall, as outdoor services wind down after Labour Day on Monday, September 6.
Access to community centres and indoor activities do not require reservations; however, reservations will be available for fitness centres, aquafit, group fitness classes and lane and leisure swim, with walk-in spaces also available. All other activities will be managed on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information about recreation in the city, including indoor and outdoor swimming, fitness and more.
For more information about changes to city services in relation to Step Three.
(Deputy Mayor Bailão at Giovanni Caboto Swimming Pool, Earlscourt Park -- June 28th 2019)
Compost Days 2021
Summer is here, and a new season of greening and growing is kicking off in gardens around Davenport! Join in at our upcoming compost days where we are offering freshly composted soil for your garden. Please bring your own containers, a shovel, and your green thumbs!
Canadian Blood Services: Request for Donors
As you may have heard Canada’s blood supply needs a boost this summer following a surge in demand and blood donors in Toronto are needed more than ever.
With the pandemic ongoing, the need for blood has not stopped. There are several appointment spots available at Canadian Blood Services' Yonge and Bloor, College Street and King Street West locations.
As we move into the summer months, Canadian Blood Services is urging eligible blood donors to book and keep their appointments to support lifesaving care for patients. Missed or cancelled appointments are difficult for us to fill. If you make an appointment, try to keep it. If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel it so they can find someone else to take your place or consider re-booking in coming months
For more information about locations and hours, see here.
Bikeshare Free Ride Wednesdays - Each Wednesday in July
Bike Share Toronto riders will ride for free every Wednesday in July. Riders can take out a bike for up to 30 minutes, return the bike to any station, and take out another bike for an additional free 30-minute ride for a 24-hour period. In addition to providing free rides in July, Bike Share Toronto staff coordinated with the City's ActiveTO program to ensure people can get outside while still being physically distanced by activating “Valet Stations” around popular ActiveTO routes. The stations are staffed with Community Ambassadors who have extra bikes and docking points to ensure hassle-free riding. Learn more about Free Ride Wednesdays on the Bike Share website.
July 9 - City of Toronto expanding walk-in vaccination to four City-run clinics
July 9 - City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three reopening ahead of schedule
July 13 - City of Toronto receives federal funding to support main street and small business recovery initiatives
July 13 - Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiatives
July 14 - City of Toronto to begin reopening additional recreational amenities
July 14 - City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three reopening this Friday
July 15 - Team Toronto administers more than 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses