For many months now we have all been working to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Over just a few months a great deal has changed for many people and we are continuing to address the issues that have emerged, from public health challenges to effectively addressing racial inequality and other equity issues.
Over several evenings in October, please join me for my Davenport Speaker Series where we will explore pressing issues such as public health, racial equality and an equitable recovery with outstanding city leaders who will speak on these issues and address our questions.
Last week, Mayor Tory and I put out a call to the other levels of government to help us invest in the creation of 3,000 affordable and supportive units for vulnerable people over the next two years. This week, federal government took important first steps in response to this call by committing over $1B to address homelessness and create new affordable housing. I will continue to advocate for these objectives including with the Provincial Government. It is critical that all governments and stakeholders work together if we are to be successful in the short and long term in meeting these challenges.
I serve as the of City's Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee and this week we moved forward policies that will change planning principles and housing in our City. We reviewed and approved recommendations to allow for inclusionary zoning, to ensure that regardless of income, communities around major transit hubs are accessible to you. We have added an income-based approach to the definition of Affordable Housing, to ensure ‘affordable’ truly means affordable. We also approved our HousingTO 2020-2030 Implementation Plan, which includes an accountability framework to ensure we stay on track to create 40,000 affordable rental homes, prevent evictions and improve housing conditions for nearly 75,000 households. While all of these initiatives are vital and urgently needed due to the pandemic, it is important to recognize the many months of work by so many that has led to these initiatives moving forward.
Yesterday, I also participated in a discussion at the City's Executive Committee on public safety transformation. As a result of my inquiry to Chief of Police, we discovered that the Toronto Police Service has, since 2016, paid $8.7 million in salary to suspended officers. The Ontario Solicitor General responded to my call for change, indicating the provincial government is working to bring changes to these regulations.
Also at Executive, we discussed the potential for consultation and communications for the potential renaming of Dundas Street. I am committed to addressing how systematic racism and discrimination are embedded in City assets and believe that a decision to rename a major arterial road like Dundas requires careful consideration and an equitable and inclusive public process that considers Black and Indigenous perspectives as well as those of the broader community. It was decided that the City should proceed with the first round of consultation utilizing the framework provided by the City Manager. I look forward to hearing more through these important discussions.
Lastly, we have been informed that public health considerations will not permit our pumpkin parades to proceed this year, but we are all hopeful that they will take place again next year as they are an important part of our community life.
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.
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].
Where can I find more information about social circles and gathering limits? What is the difference?
With the virus continuing to circulate at an increasing rate in our communities, it is important that we always conduct ourselves in safety keeping in mind public health directives.
If you chose to see your friends and family, social circles are a way to safely expand the number of people with whom you can come in close contact. You can now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing.
Recently the province changed gathering sizes to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. It is important to remember that if there are individuals outside of your social circles at those gatherings, that you should still physically distance, wear masks and take all the precautions to keep you, your guests and your community safe.
Quiet Streets Shut Down
Municipal Housing Working Group
Today I participated on a public call hosted by The Shift with the other members of the Municipal Housing Working Group. We discussed the $1 billion announced by the federal government and how all levels of Canadian governments apply a robust human rights approach to securing the right to housing? You can watch it live by clicking the photo below.
McCormick Café Update
I am pleased to share that the McCormick Café has resumed operations from 8 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Come spring, they will be expanding to 5 days per week.
The café is looking to continue growing and expanding their offerings, while also working with other small businesses to offer more great products to the people of the park. Stay tuned for more exciting news, including their Christmas Market!
Updates on Pumpkin Parades
Due to the pandemic and to keep everyone safe, this year the City will not be issuing permits for any pumpkin parades.
Pumpkin parades are joyful events we all look forward to them every year. Each October, our team joins with residents across our community to help facilitate these great community. I hope that next year, we will be able to continue this fantastic tradition.
Bristol Avenue Parkette Update
The refined design for the Bristol Avenue Parkette West Playground is now available. Take the online survey by September 27, 2020, to share any final feedback.
Nuit Blanche Goes Digital
This year, you can enjoy Nuit Blanche from the comfort of your own home. On October 3, from sunset to sunrise, you can explore art and culture online.
Oakwood Village BIA – Call for Artists
The Oakwood Village BIA is re-painting the benches on the Vaughan and Oakwood traffic island. The artwork for the project, created the by artist Dan Bergeron, represents a quilting pattern.
A Common Thread is their initiative to collect your memories and stories of the neighbourhood, as one might collect patches of fabric for a quilt.
These stories of Oakwood Village will be shared through social media, web based platforms and incorporated into the mural unveiling.
To access the input form, please visit the Oakwood Village website.
Street Art – Just Us Campaign
Street Art Toronto received requests from artists interested in doing projects in support of Black Lives Matter and justice for Indigenous Peoples. Titled “Just Us” the works will highlight social injustice, equity, race relations and community engagement.
Help Improve Wayfinding in Ward 9
Are you experienced with walking routes, destinations and landmarks around the St. Clair West, or Eglinton West? The City's Transportation Services Division would like your help with improving public maps! Survey open until October 9.
Second Hand Sunday
This Sunday is Second Hand Sunday, your chance to share any unwanted, reusable items. Simply leave them on your property next to the sidewalk or curb for your neighbours to take for free.
TTC Accessibility Public Forum
On October 1, 2020, TTC Board members, management and staff, and members of the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) will host the TTC’s first ever virtual Public Forum on Accessible Transit. This event is held annually to hear from the public about the accessibility of conventional TTC and door-to-door (Wheel-Trans) public transit services in Toronto. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the TTC is hosting this event online this year.
Drop off items for reuse, recycling and safe disposal at Community Environment Days
Community Environment Day events begin September 13 and will run on seven weekends 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.
2020 Toronto Book Awards long list announced
Just in time for fall reading, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library have named the 12 books longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by Toronto.
City of Toronto’s 2020 United Way Employee Campaign to kick off virtually Friday, September 25
The City of Toronto is one of United Way’s strongest and most long-standing partners, with thousands of employees coming together during its United Way Employee Campaign to raise more than $1 million annually to help ensure the community remains strong and vibrant.
Toronto Public Health launches enhanced reporting dashboard in response to COVID-19 resurgence (Sept 23)
There are 17,971 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 129 cases since yesterday. There are 40 people hospitalized, with 1 person in ICU. In total 15, 526 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 87 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 1,178 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
City of Toronto extends cancellation of outdoor major events and provides $565,000 to support cultural festivals impacted by COVID-19
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted outdoor major events to December 31.
City of Toronto invites residents to become Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions
The City of Toronto invites residents and community leaders to help inspire climate action by becoming a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion. Participants in this new City program will receive virtual training and support to empower them to support residents in developing innovative climate action projects that reflect the needs and values of their communities.
Mayor John Tory unveils new Toronto Sign and its first wrap recognizing the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent
Mayor John Tory unveiled the City of Toronto’s new Toronto Sign on Nathan Phillips Square and its first wrap, Patterns of the People, in recognition of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent.
City of Toronto completes major construction projects this summer and continues important work to renew aging infrastructure
This construction season, the City of Toronto has worked to accelerate as many important construction projects as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crews completed a number of major projects this summer, some on accelerated schedules due to lower traffic volumes, and will begin more work this fall to continue to renew and improve aging water and transportation infrastructure across the city.
Ontario Investing More Than $1 Billion to Expand COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing
The Ontario government is building on the largest provincial testing initiative in Canada by providing $1.07 billion to expand COVID-19 testing and case and contact management.
Ontario Expands COVID-19 Testing to Pharmacies
The Ontario government is providing people with convenient and timely access to free COVID-19 testing at pharmacies in the province. As of Friday, up to 60 pharmacies in Ontario will begin offering testing by appointment only, with further locations coming online in the coming weeks. This initiative will expand testing capacity well beyond the province's 150 assessment centres.
On September 23, 2020, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament and outline the government’s agenda.