I hope everyone is doing well as we head into the Labour Day long weekend. As many of us are planning to enjoy quality time with our households, it is important for us to recognize and thank all the women and men who have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic to keep our families healthy and safe, and to keep our City moving. In recognition of their efforts, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the health care workers, transit workers, first responders, child care workers, cleaners, grocers, volunteers and all others who have been supporting us throughout this pandemic.
This has been an unusual and challenging summer for so many people in our community and throughout the country, but our efforts as a community have made a meaningful difference to many people as we came together to help our neighbours and those across the City. Throughout the pandemic, the City has been proactive, creative and responsive to some of the greatest challenges our City has ever faced. This week, the City’s Medical Officer of Health shared her expectation that a resurgence of COVID-19 could occur this fall. Our vigilance and hard work since March has helped to bring this pandemic under control but we must continue to be vigilant.
At the City level, we are reviewing our response to see what worked, what we could do better, and how to deal with new challenges including the impacts of colder weather. We need to continue supporting our friends and neighbours to ensure that everyone remains safe. I am pleased to share that this work is already underway, and our response is focused on protecting vulnerable people, implementing public health measures, mitigating economic impacts and ensuring the resiliency of our City's services.
At a community level, it is important that we continue taking proper precautions - wearing masks, stay home when ill, maintain small social circles and wash our hands. Our personal actions continue to matter. I am proud of our community, City and country for their response to this pandemic. It is important that we continue the efforts we have been making all year to keep our friends, family and communities healthy and safe.
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].
Why do I see people wearing masks in cars when they are alone?
It is of course a relatively low risk environment in a car when you are alone or if you're travelling with family members. However, some of those who elect to wear a masks in a vehicle are ride share drivers who are making multiple stops and having multiple persons in their vehicle where they will want to maintain a safe environment for riders and themselves. Additionally, delivery drivers will continue to wear masks to limit the number of times they are touching their masks between stops. This also applies to individuals who may be making multiple stops in a relatively short period of time as public health advice does recommend touching you mask as little as possible.
Does the City have an information campaign on proper use of masks?
Yes, the City regularly shares materials through social media, billboards and provides materials to private operators including residences and businesses to educate the public on proper mask usage.
It’s Bike Month! Ward 9 is celebrating 4.5km of new bike lanes across Bloor and we want you to join the fun! Take a photo of a purchase from a local Bloordale or Bloorcourt business, or of you enjoying the lanes, and share using #BikeTOBloor.
Brazil Flag Raising at City Hall
Today, I was honoured to have participated in today's Brazil flag raising ceremony. The Brazilian community has contributed greatly to our city and I am proud to be able to recognize their rich culture at City Hall. While we were not able to celebrate together as a community this year, I wish all Brazilians in our community and city the very best on this joyous occasion. Parabéns Brasil!
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.
STEPS Main Street Art Challenge
STEPS has been providing free placemaking services, artist fee subsidies, and promotional supports as part of their pandemic recovery programming. The Fairbank Village Business Improvement Area in Davenport has several activations that we are supporting through the Art Challenge, which includes window murals and sidewalk decals spread throughout the area. Learn how to get involved through the link above.
Twilight Sculpture Garden Project at Lisgar Park
Artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are creating a DIY temporary public artwork, housed in an improvised pop-up structure and containing delicate, taped-together monuments to everyday things. The project is a giant lantern made to look like an antique store, in homage to the many small businesses that have lined Queen Street West, including those which now only exist in memory. The artists have created an ever-growing archive online of many of the files used to assemble these lanterns, made available for anyone to print out and make for themselves, at their web-based project http://www.craftsabyss.com.
The installation will officially be open from September 5 until October 27.
Joseph Muscat: Graphic Chats
Between September 16 and Oct 4, Joseph Muscat will be hosting a free exhibition: “Graphiic Chats” at Propeller Gallery. This exhibit is a large series of collaged mix media drawings and paintings which mimic the ubiquitous wireless world of internet chats, browsing, tweeting and information seeking, packaged in the style of a graphic novel. You can register for this event through the link above.
466-468 Dovercourt Consultation (The Matador)
Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday evening's community consultation on 466-467 Dovercourt. I am pleased to share that there was a strong community showing on last night's call, which led to important discussions about the height and massing of the building, it's fit within the neighbourhood context, heritage commemoration and parking concerns. The meeting concluded with a clear sense that the applicant needs to do further work to further to refine these designs.
Earlscourt Park Splashpad Survey
We are going to make a big splash at Earlscourt Park! We want your input on the design of the new splash pad. Fill out the survey linked above before September 6 to make sure your ideas are considered.
CNE At Home!
Although the iconic lights of the midway won’t shine at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) this year, Toronto’s end of summer tradition continues in a new way – as the fair comes to life online from August 21 to September 7, 2020. The new CNE At Home online portal, which can be accessed through TheEx.com will share some of its most popular shows, favourite food recipes, tricks of the trade from buskers, historical retrospectives, new music performances and much more.
Metrolinx Overnight Work – Labour Day Long Weekend
The provincial government's transit agency, Metrolinx has informed our office that they will be conducting 24/7 work for the Davenport Diamond project from September 4 until September 9. This work will largely take place just north of Bloor, just north of Davenport, and just north of Dupont at the CP diamond. While Metrolinx is a provincial agency, we have successfully advocated for some relief for the community. At our request, Metrolinx has agreed to face all lights away from residences during overnight work and to schedule as much of the loud work during the daytime hours. If you have a complaint about this work, the project team can be contacted at [email protected] or by calling 416.202.6911.
Dovercourt Road Watermain Replacement and Road Reconstruction – Sudbury Street to College Street
Starting September 21, 2020, the City of Toronto will replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Dovercourt Road from Queen Street West to College Street.
Given that work on both Dovercourt Road and Lisgar Street will happen concurrently, the City's contractor will divide work on Dovercourt Road into two phases. The phasing will allow for distance between the two contracts in an effort to minimize traffic and parking impact.
This work is expected to be completed by Summer 2021.
Bike Share – Free Ride Wednesdays in September
Thanks to the new Bike Share Toronto – CAA South Central Ontario partnership, Bike Share Toronto riders will ride for free every Wednesday in the month of September. 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.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital – #DearEverybody Campaign
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital supports children and youth living with disability, medical complexity, illness and injury. Each year they provide programs and services to over 8,300 kids and youth, while also seeking to change hearts and minds about disability and more importantly, get people to take action to create a more inclusive, equitable society.
While 22% of Canada’s population lives with a disability, that number is not reflected in our advertisements, films, television shows, books, and on the radio. The Dear Everybody aims to create a shift in the media landscape by asking brands, companies, broadcasters, and producers to start including disability in the picture. You can help them achieve their goals by participating in their #DearEverybody campaign, because everyone deserves to be seen.
City of Toronto launches digital storytelling project to celebrate Toronto Island’s unique history
Island Stories is a collective multimedia storytelling project meant to capture the unique ways Torontonians experience Toronto Island. Featured stories from local artists and island residents are available at toronto.ca/islandstories. In the coming weeks, Island Stories will be engaging with the public to spark conversation, inspire sharing and unearth the rich narratives that connect the city to this oasis just beyond downtown Toronto.
City of Toronto update on COVID-19 (September 2)
There are 16,127 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 48 today. There are 30 people hospitalized. In total, 14,565 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,175 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
Ontario Protecting Transit Riders and Workers as Province Reopens
As the province safely and gradually reopens and more people return to work, the Ontario government is partnering with public transit operators across the province to implement measures that will ensure transit workers and passengers can safely and confidently take public transit. The government has distributed comprehensive health and safety guidance documents and is providing significant funding to cover lost revenue, enhanced cleaning and other costs incurred because of COVID-19.
Ontario Expanding Seniors Dental Care Program
The Ontario government is providing $25 million to expand access to the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. The funding will be used to support 78 infrastructure projects across the province, including building new dental clinics and renovating existing facilities. The province is also adding eight new mobile dental clinics that will bring services directly to clients, making it easier for vulnerable seniors to access the dental care they need.
The Government of Canada announces over 1,000 new projects in support of seniors impacted by COVID-19
The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, and Iqra Khalid, Member of Parliament for Mississauga—Erin Mills, announced over 1,000 new projects delivered by community organizations across the country to support seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects are funded through an investment of $20 million in funding through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP).