This week we reached another milestone in our vaccination efforts. With 80% of adults in our City having received at least their first vaccination and almost 70% now fully vaccinated we have made great progress. It is crucial that we continue to work towards all of us being vaccinated to ensure that the number of infections and serious illness continues to decline. The City is now focusing on areas of the City where vaccination rates are lowest and also among young people who are 12 years of age and over. This latter group is particularly important as we plan the return to school in September. The provincial government is expected to release their back to school plan next week. Please get your first vaccination if you have not already done so and get your second vaccination when you are eligible.
We are also entering the third week of the Step Three reopening stage of the provincial plan. As a result, I hope you have had the opportunity to support many of our local businesses that are now open again. These include personal care services, dining, and retail shopping and many of them have had a very challenging time while public health restrictions were in place. So please do support them as we move forward in our recovery process.
This morning, I welcomed the announcement of funding for at least 233 new affordable and supportive housing units in partnership with the Government of Canada's Rapid Housing initiative. This follows hard work done to fulfil the ambitious goals of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. The City of Toronto currently has 80 active projects in the pipeline consisting of over 10,000 new affordable units, with over 1100 supportive housing units set to be completed within the next 12 months.
I was also pleased to join with the Mayor, and Councillors Brad Bradford and Paula Fletcher today as we officially unveiled the Live Music on Patios Pilot Program. Working with Business Improvement Area Associations and recognizing the challenges faced by our bars and restaurants, the Live Music on Patios Pilot Program provides these establishments with the opportunity to host live entertainment on their patios this summer. There are regulations in place about the times when this can occur but this provides an opportunity for patrons to enjoy some live music on patios while supporting our musicians and bars and restaurants. More details on this announcements are included in this newsletter.
On July 22nd, the City's By-Law Enforcement Team, in collaboration with the Toronto Police Service commenced their program to reduce speeding and motorcycle and vehicle noise. I know many of you have expressed concerns over the years about loud motorcycle or vehicle noise and this program will work to educate operators and enforce our City's noise By-Laws and regulations as well as under the provincial Highway Traffic Act. We all deserve to enjoy our community without having to endure excessively loud vehicles.
The City also announced yesterday that City buildings will begin to re-open to residents commencing August 9th, 2021. Details are included in this newsletter but this is a significant step forward that we are all glad to see taking place. This change will allow for all of us to access more directly many City services that have been only available virtually up to now.
This past week I was pleased and honoured to join with the Mayor and Council colleagues for the unveiling of the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre in Regent Park. Pam was a dedicated and hard-working colleague who worked tirelessly on our City's anti-poverty strategy among many other achievements. She passed away in 2017 but I will always cherish working with her to help those in our City who are most vulnerable.
As we welcome the holiday weekend, I invite you to take the time to enjoy summer in our City. Among events happening across our community and city -- the BIG on Bloor Festival that is ongoing until August 2nd, and features a variety of public artwork between Dufferin and Lansdowne, including my community office. Also take the time to relax and enjoy the many city amenities that are continuing to safely reopen and welcome us back -- such as our pools, parks, zoos, and other community spaces.
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
- Rapid Housing Initiative Announcement
- TONIGHT - Fairbank-Silverthorn Storm System Public Meeting
- City of Toronto Counter Service Re-Opening Plan
- Abrigo Centre COVID-19 Pop-up Vaccination Clinic
- Update on Toronto's COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts
- Live Music on Patios Pilot Announcement
- Official Renaming of the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre
- Wallace Emerson Traffic Management Committee
- Metrolinx Notices
- BIG on Bloor Festival
- Mixto Festival 2021 - August 20th-22nd
- Dovercourt Community Teaching Garden Program
- Oasis Dufferin Community Centre Summertime Christmas BBQ
- Canadian Blood Services: Request for Donors
Recent Municipal Announcements
- City of Toronto honours the late Pam McConnell, unveils new sign for the renamed Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre
- Mayor Tory announces expansion to Enhanced Youth Spaces and Youth Hubs at community centres and Toronto Public Library locations across Toronto
- More than 80 per cent of Toronto adults have now received at least their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine
- City of Toronto marks the completion of the Union Station Revitalization Project and opening of the new Bay Concourse
- Toronto to enter next phase of its vaccination campaign with expanded mobile teams and a new mass immunization clinic model
- City of Toronto to begin reopening of City Hall and civic centres on August 9
- Mayor John Tory announces DineTOgether to support local restaurants
- More than 70 per cent of Toronto adults are now fully vaccinated
- City of Toronto to receive $132 million from the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative to build a minimum of 233 new affordable and supportive homes
Rapid Housing Initiative Announcement
This morning I joined the federal Minister of Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the honourable Ahmed Hussen, Mayor John Tory, and MP Jean Yip at 181 Mill Street for the announcement of an additional $132 million dollars from the Federal Government's Rapid Housing Initiative. This funding will be allocated to create a minimum of 233 new affordable and supportive homes over the course of the next 12 months. This means that many people will have a safe, secure and stable place that they can permanently call home. Through the ambitious goals set out in our HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, we are creating more of these opportunities faster than ever before and ensuring that we build a more equitable City for all of us. Because of actions we have taken, the City of Toronto has 80 active affordable housing projects in the pipeline consisting of over 10,000 new affordable units, with over 1100 supportive housing units set to be completed within the next 12 months. These projects are critical to alleviating the housing crisis in our city.
For the full announcement, see here.
TONIGHT - Fairbank-Silverthorn Storm System Public Meeting
There will be a public meeting TONIGHT (July 29th) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. You can find more information at Toronto.ca/fairbank or below in the attached notices.
The City of Toronto, with support from the Government of Canada, is moving forward with a major investment to help protect against basement flooding in the Fairbank-Silverthorn community. This summer, the City will begin constructing a new three-kilometre-long storm trunk sewer that will collect, store and convey stormwater (rainwater and melted snow) from the area to Black Creek. Upgrades will also be made by constructing more than 17 kilometres of local storm sewers that will connect to the new storm trunk sewer. Once complete, the new sewer system will reduce the impacts of heavy rainfall to 4,645 homes from sewer backups and provide flood protection to a 140-hectare area.
The recommended infrastructure upgrades that were identified through the Class Environmental Assessment to alleviate the recurrent basement flooding in Area 3 included the following:
• A new, 2.5 kilometre long and 3.0 metre diameter Storm Trunk Tunnel, to be tunneled from the east boundary of the Study Area westerly to an outlet in Black Creek,
• Approximately 9 kilometres of new storm collectors of various sizes,
• Two underground combined sewer overflow storage tanks, and
• Approximately 500 Inlet Control Devices installed in catch basins to control storm water entering combined sewers
City of Toronto Counter Service Re-Opening Plan
Yesterday, the City announced details of its plan for a safe and gradual re-opening of City buildings to residents and staff. The phased re-opening will begin with select in-person counter services available at City Hall and civic centres on August 9 in alignment with the provincial re-opening plan and in accordance with public health guidelines.
The City will continue to deliver online digital services which have proven convenient to many Torontonians, and will also re-open its doors to residents and visitors for in-person services, ensuring choice, accessibility and equity for residents.
All services listed below will re-open beginning on August 9 unless otherwise specified. Some services will require booking an appointment in advance while others will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Details on opening dates, locations and hours of operation are found in the link below.
A full list of City services, including hours of operation and appointment booking, is updated regularly on the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/
Buildings will remain closed for events, community meetings, displays and rental space.
For additional information, see the City's news release here.
Abrigo Centre COVID-19 Pop-up Vaccination Clinic
On Friday July 30th from 4:00pm - 9:00pm the Abrigo Centre, in cooperation with my office and Toronto Public Health will be hosting a COVID-19 Vaccination pop-up clinic prioritizing the Portuguese speaking community at Casa do Alentejo Community Centre (1130 Dupont Street).
These doses are available by appointment only, first or second dose. Eligibility is for those aged 12+, no Health Card is required -- all are welcome.
Update on Toronto's COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts
This week, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa wrote to our office in order to share important updates on the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Toronto's vaccine coverage surpasses 80% first dose in residents 12 years and older, and approaches 75% for second doses, the City of Toronto will be expanding its mobile vaccination team operations to increase access to vaccines for those yet to receive their shot.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) will redeploy approximately 700 staff from mass immunization clinics to expand its mobile clinic operations beginning August 23. This redeployment will add 17 mobile clinic teams to TPH's 5 mobile teams currently administering vaccines across the city.
On August 22, City-operated clinics at the following locations will close at the end of day:
· Carmine Stefano Community Centre
· Malvern Community Recreation Centre
· Mitchell Field Arena
· North Toronto Memorial Community Centre
· Toronto Congress Centre
City-operated COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Cloverdale Mall, the Hangar, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and Scarborough Town Centre will remain open and continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines. Clients who receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a City-operated mass immunization clinic in August will be informed of options on how to access and receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Clients who have appointments booked at a city-operated clinic that is closing after August 22, have been contacted and to move their appointment to an earlier date.
Thank you for your continued efforts in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Please get vaccinated as soon as you are able to -- and encourage your friends and family to do the same. The best, safest, and most effective shot is the first one you are offered. Without a well-protected, fully-vaccinated population, we won't be able to continue our path to fully reopening!
Live Music on Patios Pilot Announcement
Today, I joined with Councillors Bradford and Fletcher, as well as Mayor Tory to announce the beginning of the Live Music on Patios Pilot Program. This announcement is a positive step forward for Toronto's musicians, as well as our local restaurants and bars.
Participating CafeTO patios throughout Davenport will be able to participate in this pilot. Our city's music and restaurant industries have been had a very challenging time during this pandemic. The City is committed to helping them through these difficult times by supporting the cultural, economic, and community benefits these industries generate for Toronto.
Bringing live music back to patios through this pilot will not only help artists, it will also generate business for the restaurants and bars hiring them as well as adjacent shops and services on our main streets. Now with our increasing vaccination rates and lower infection rates, creating more opportunities for musicians to share their craft with the public will be crucial to Toronto's economic and cultural recovery.
Together, we look forward to enjoying live music on a patio in Davenport very soon.
Official Renaming of the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre
Last week I was honoured to attend the official re-naming ceremony for the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre in Regent Park.
Deputy Mayor McConnell was a champion for poverty reduction, a respected voice at City Council, and a strong mentor and advocate for women in politics. her relentless advocacy pushed this project forward, and it is only fitting that she be recognized for this. Her voice and presence is dearly missed at City Council, and her legacy will live on.
Wallace Emerson Traffic Management Committee
Interested in neighbourhood traffic safety? In 2018, the Wallace Emerson Traffic Management Committee (WETMC) was formed by residents in an area bounded by Dufferin Street, Dupont Street, Lansdowne Avenue and Bloor Street West. Since its inception, the Committee has put forward several initiatives, including a traffic management plan, which seeks to mitigate safety concerns in the neighbourhood as they relate to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. If you live on Millicent Street, Armstrong Street, or simply would like to join a group of engaged area neighbours, please contact Michael Jacoby in my office at [email protected].
Power Cable Relocation between Dupont Street & the CP Diamond -- Overnight Work (July 29th-30th)
BIG on Bloor Festival
The BIG on Bloor Festival opened its 14th year beginning on July 24th with the launch of several art installations scattered throughout the Bloordale neighborhood; Bloor Street West, Dufferin to Lansdowne. Celebrating community magic, creativity, and diversity through arts and culture, while showing love to the local storefronts that make this area of our community so special.
Projects will explore the concept of "patchwork”, exploring how layers of community can come together to create, and in doing so, discover how our differences can make a communal piece so beautiful and unique. PATCHWORK asks: what similarities can strangers reveal when they work towards the same goal? By creating in parallel, new connections can emerge, despite the discord we each may have faced. As you move through the art projects of Bloordale, you are invited to explore what new connections, mosaics and medleys may emerge.
Additionally, my Community Office will be hosting one of these exhibits! I encourage you to stop by 1240 Bloor Street West to see it!
The Festival will last from July 24th until August 2nd, and is free to all who wish to attend. For more information, see here.
Mixto Festival 2021 - August 20th-22nd
MIXTO FESTIVAL is back for 2021 with Toronto’s favourite outdoor block party vibes!
After all the tribulations of the last year and a half, they are so happy to be bringing you an in-person, COVID-safe event.
Two afternoons and three nights of music, food, dancing, and community. All going down in a west-end Toronto outdoor lot, featuring food vendors, children's activities, musical performances by bands and DJs, custom visual art installations and more!
This block party happens rain or shine. Family friendly, all-ages event!
For more information, see their website at www.mixtofestival.com
Dovercourt Community Teaching Garden Program
I have been working with the Dovercourt Boys & Girls Club and the community to revitalize the McGregor Playground Garden. I am delighted at the progress that has been made, and I'm excited for the rest of the community to share in its activities and joy.
As of Saturday July 17th, the Dovercourt Boys & Girls Club has begun a weekly program that will take place every Saturday from 9:30am to 11:30am at McGregor Park. For more information, see the poster below:
Oasis Dufferin Community Centre Summertime Christmas BBQ
Join the Oasis Dufferin Community Centre for a Summertime Christmas barbeque event on Saturday, August 14! Clear your calendars, because they've planned an afternoon filled with food, fun and a chance to learn more about how Oasis will continue to support our community.
From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. they will be grilling up free hot dogs, and with a Christmas treat bake sale and tables for the kids, there’s something fun for everyone. If you’re interested in finding out what exactly it is Oasis does, now’s your chance to experience a walk-through tour of their history, the programs they run, and what day-to-day life is like at the community centre.
Come on down to meet your neighbours, enjoy the barbeque, and have a little bit of Summertime Christmas fun!
Location: Oasis Dufferin Community Centre, corner of Dufferin and Hallam St.
Date: August 14th, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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.
July 23 - City of Toronto honours the late Pam McConnell, unveils new sign for the renamed Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre
July 26 - Mayor Tory announces expansion to Enhanced Youth Spaces and Youth Hubs at community centres and Toronto Public Library locations across Toronto
July 26 - More than 80 per cent of Toronto adults have now received at least their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine
July 27 - City of Toronto marks the completion of the Union Station Revitalization Project and opening of the new Bay Concourse
July 28 - Toronto to enter next phase of its vaccination campaign with expanded mobile teams and a new mass immunization clinic model
July 28 - City of Toronto to begin reopening of City Hall and civic centres on August 9
July 28 - Mayor John Tory announces DineTOgether to support local restaurants
July 28 - More than 70 per cent of Toronto adults are now fully vaccinated
July 29 - City of Toronto to receive $132 million from the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative to build a minimum of 233 new affordable and supportive homes