This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time when we bring together our family and friends to spend time with each other and celebrate the things for which we are thankful. Unfortunately, this is a year that is like no other. We have all seen the Covid-19 pandemic impact so many of the things we cherish such as family gatherings. This year, while we remember to be thankful, we also need to remember that we are still very much in the course of a global pandemic. As difficult as it is, this Thanksgiving, we strongly encourage you to celebrate with only those in your immediate household, and connect virtually with your extended family, friends, and neighbours. Let’s remember that while we may not ourselves be at high risk from the virus, we increase the risk of spreading the illness to vulnerable individuals the more we interact with people who do not live with us. Also, many of our friends and neighbours are facing significant challenges so I encourage you to support the Daily Bread Food Bank this year as the need has never been greater.
Last night, I was joined by Councillor Joe Cressy, the Chair of the City's Board of Health, and Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Alexa Caturay for the first Davenport Speaker Series event. A number of important questions were raised and answered regarding our City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next week, we will be holding the second event of the series, focusing on addressing Anti-Black and Anti-Indigenous Racism. You can register for this free online event at anabailao.com/speakerseries.
With Halloween fast approaching and traditional trick-or-treating seeming more unlikely, I have teamed up with the West End Phoenix to deliver stories to kids in our community on Halloween day! Starting at 11AM on Saturday, October 31, your families can join me and writers from the West End Phoenix to enter spooky worlds together. You can register for this event at Anabailao.com/SpookyStories.
Today, I joined with Mayor John Tory and my fellow Toronto Music Advisory Council members to announce the long-awaited venue study, Re:Venues: A Case and Path Forward for Toronto’s Live Music Industry. Our city is home to truly iconic and unique live music venues that provide tremendous support for our economy as well as our communities. This study showed that the economic impact of Toronto live music venues totals $850 million and creates 10,500 full-time jobs. While we have taken immediate action during this pandemic to support music venues including through property tax relief, this study shows how we can further support and protect this vital part of our City life.
Yesterday, I joined with representatives of the Toronto Fire Service to thank First Alert Canada for their generous donation of 300 lifesaving smoke alarms which they provided to the Abrigo Centre, West Neighbourhood House and Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Community Health Centre for distribution to vulnerable individuals in our communities. As this is fire prevention week, I encourage everyone to check their home fire prevention measures, including batteries in smoke detectors, and ensure that all people within your home know your fire escape plan.
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
- Questions from the Community
- Local Updates
- Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study: Virtual Public Information Session
- Peel Gladstone Reconstruction Update
- Fatima House Women's Shelter at 1059 College Street
- 150 Harrison Community Liaison Committee
- Earlscourt Hallowe’en Hullabaloo
- 261 Nairn Avenue Parkette
- New Benches In Bloorcourt
- Toronto Public Library and TTC Provide Complimentary Presto Cards
- BWXT Facebook Live Event
- New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP)
- Davenport Diamond - Metrolinx Piling Work
- Drop off items for reuse, recycling and safe disposal at Community Environment Days
- Open Doors – Call For Applications
- Recent Announcements
Questions from the Community!
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].
Is there a way I can access information on where Covid 19 is affecting different areas of the City as well as other statistics?
Yes, the City of Toronto was among the first jurisdictions anywhere to provide up to date detailed statistics on Covid 19 activity across the City. The City maintains a Dashboard where this information is regularly updated and it includes an interactive map that allows for a review of details and statistics by neighbourhood.
Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study: Virtual Public Information Session
Recognizing that change is coming to our community with the future GO/Smart Track Station near Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West, I worked with neighbouring City Councillor Frances Nunziata to initiate a process that will guide development in this area for years to come.
The City of Toronto City Planning Division is undertaking a study of the Keele-St. Clair area to plan for a "complete community."
We would like you to join us at a Virtual Information Session on October 21, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to learn more and provide your feedback. Register Here.
This event is open to everyone. We encourage you to share this invitation with your neighbours and social networks.
More information about the Keele-St. Clair Local Area Study, including future events and other ways to participate, can be found online at www.toronto.ca/keelestclair.
After extensive community consultation, we are pleased to announce the final design for the Peel Gladstone Reconstruction, which will be taking place next year. The option selected was a hybrid option, which will feature:
- 2-way motor vehicle traffic on Peel Avenue and Gladstone Avenue (Queen Street West to Peel Avenue)
- a narrowing of the roadway
- widened sidewalks
- parking protected bike lanes on Gladstone Avenue to connect to the contra-flow bike lane between Peel Avenue and Argyle Street and sharrows on Peel Avenue
- green street features including street trees and planters
- layby parking with permeable asphalt on the west side of Gladstone Avenue and north side of Peel Avenue
- new street furniture (e.g. benches, bike rings, notice boards)
- extension of the northbound bike lane on Dufferin St to connect with Peel Avenue
The City is in the process of retaining a consultant to carry out the detailed design work. Construction is expected to start in Spring 2021. Before any work begins, the City will notify residents and businesses with construction details.
Fatima House Women's Shelter at 1059 College Street
This December, at 1059 College Street, a women’s shelter called Fatima House, will be opening.
Fatima House will be operated by Fred Victor, a charitable organization that has a long history of providing housing support services in our City. Fred Victor leased the property from the private landlord at the end of this summer. Services for people experiencing homelessness is already permitted under by-laws and planning permissions for this location. In this case, the provider selected a site that is already approved for use for shelters, as such the City is now supporting their community engagement moving forward.
Due to COVID-19, when Fatima House opens in December it will only be able to serve 20-25 clients in order to practice physical distancing and keep both clients and staff safe and healthy. When fully occupied, it can house up to 52 beds. Fatima House will be pet friendly and provide meals, counselling and health services to the clients.
I am looking forward to working with the residents, Fred Victor and City Staff to provide shelter and support services for women in need in our community and to integrate the shelter in our neighbourhood.
150 Harrison Community Liaison Committee
150 Harrison is the future site of one of the City’s first two modular housing sites. The Community Liaison committee met for the first time this past Tuesday, to discuss progress on the project and have questions answered. Thank you to all the committee members for taking time out of their event to make sure this project helps house vulnerable people and meets the needs of our community. Details of the next meeting of the CLC will be provided soon.
Earlscourt Hallowe’en Hullabaloo
Theater Direct is organizing a great Halloween community activity for the kids near Earlscourt Park, working with the Earlscourt Park Centennial Planning Committee. Learn how to get your kids involved: https://theatredirect.ca/halloween-hullabaloo/
261 Nairn Avenue Parkette
I am pleased to see that the fencing has been removed around the 261 Nairn Avenue Parkette so the community can now enjoy the space. In 2021, we will begin consultation on future work for this site.
New Benches In Bloorcourt
Beautiful new benches have been installed on Concord in Bloorcourt, featuring a quote from Albert Moritz, a Toronto based Poet Laureate.
Toronto Public Library and TTC Provide Complimentary Presto Cards
The Toronto Transit Commission and the Toronto Public Library are working together to provide a complimentary PRESTO card to people who do not yet have one or may face challenges purchasing one. The initiative starts Monday October 5, 2020, and select Toronto Public Library branches will distribute cards until they run out. The card has a value of $6 but has no money loaded on it. Residents will need to load funds or visit a Shoppers Drug Mart to put a concession on it (senior/youth discount). Please visit tpl.ca/presto or call 416-397-5981.
BWXT Facebook Live Event
BWXT, the company that operates a plant on Landsdowne Avenue, has informed us that they are hosting a Facebook Live on Monday, October 26th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on their Facebook page. At this event you can tune in to learn more about BWXT NEC’s operations, licence renewal, safety, emissions, emergency preparedness and more. BWXT NEC subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions and if you wish to submit questions in advance, please email them at [email protected].
New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP)
The NHSP is a federal grants and contributions program that provides funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and in their communities. The call for proposal is now open for the period of September 9, 2020 to October 20, 2020. If an organization wishes to have an information sessions they can connect with the NHSP at: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/new-horizons-seniors.html
Davenport Diamond - Metrolinx Piling Work
From October 26, 2020 until April 2021, the provincial transit agency Metrolinx will be conducting piling work along the Barrie corridor. Piling involves drilling a hole into the ground down to more supportive bedrock, installing a rebar cage, and then pouring concrete. This work may result is some loud construction noise and is scheduled to take place during the daytime.
Drop off items for reuse, recycling and safe disposal at Community Environment Days
Community Environment Day events will run until November 1. This year, Community Environment Days will be set up as drive-thru events at the City’s seven Drop-Off Depots. This is a great opportunity to help reduce the amount of reusable or recyclable waste going to landfills and to safely dispose of household hazardous waste.
At the events, you will drive to different stations to drop off clothing, books and unwanted items for donation and to dispose of batteries, old paint and other household hazardous waste. Free bagged compost will be available (limit of two bags per vehicle while supplies last).
A list of event dates and more information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/environment_days.
Open Doors – Call For Applications
The City of Toronto has released the 2020 Open Door Call for Applications to accelerate affordable housing construction.
City of Toronto 2020-2021 winter plan for people experiencing homelessness
The City of Toronto and its partners operate 75 base shelters and 24-hour respite sites. As part of the City’s response to COVID-19, the City has also opened more than 40 temporary facilities to achieve physical distancing in the shelter system and provide spaces for people to more indoors from encampments, 25 of which are currently operating.
The winter plan will provide approximately 560 additional spaces through a combination of shelter and 24-hour respite beds, hotel rooms and supporting housing units. The City will also continue to offer 200 beds that remain open from last year’s winter plan, and 221 spaces in existing 24-hour respite sites that remain open year-round.
City of Toronto urges residents to celebrate Thanksgiving only within their households to slow second wave of COVID-19
Mayor John Tory and Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, again urged residents to not host large Thanksgiving gatherings and to limit celebrations to only the people you live with, in the same household, under the same roof. For those who live alone, the safest option is to join others virtually.
There are 21,315 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 187 new cases today. There are 83 people hospitalized, an increase of seven new people. In total, 17,700 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,308 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
Ontario Building a Modern, Connected and Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions System
The Ontario government is providing an additional $176 million this year to help expand access for critical mental health and addictions supports during COVID-19. This funding is part of the province's investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years and enables Ontario's comprehensive plan, A Roadmap to Wellness, to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.
Ontario Surpasses Four Million COVID-19 Tests
Ontario has completed over four million COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic and continues to lead the country in both the number of tests completed and daily testing capacity. To ensure the province's health care system is prepared for the second wave of COVID-19, the government will add more testing locations to improve access and reduce wait times, as well as increase processing capacity within the provincial laboratory network. It is important to note that those wishing to be tested need to book an appointment rather than just showing up at an assessment centre.
Ontario Supporting Local Festivals and Events
Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year's Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.
New interest relief measure to provide much-needed help to Canada Student Loan borrowers on medical or parental leave
Supporting students and young Canadians is one of the most important investments a government can make to ensure a stronger economy and a better future. This has never been more important than now, at a time when Canada’s young people have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with summer jobs and internships cancelled or altered, and uncertainty around their studies.
Canada one-step closer to zero plastic waste by 2030
Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced the next steps in the Government of Canada’s plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. The plan will protect wildlife and our waters, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs.
Federal and Provincial Governments Announce Investment in Electric Car Manufacturing
The Government of Canada and the provincial government are providing $295 million each to support Ford Canada update its assembly plant in Oakville to start making electric vehicles. The two governments indicate that this investment will ensure that Ontario continues to lead North America in automotive manufacturing as well as in the area of innovation. The investment will also protect thousands of Ontario jobs and support a shift to more environmentally friendly vehicles.