As we continue the process of gradually re-opening the economy and other services, I know that we all welcome the opportunity to move towards a sense of normalcy. One of the ways to ensure that we reopen safely is through the use of rapid test kits. I know many in our community have been frustrated with the process of locating rapid test kits over the past few weeks. As you may know, these kits are made available through a process managed by the provincial government. I am pleased to hear that beginning February 9th, rapid test kits will now be available through 2,300 grocery stores and pharmacies across the province. The province has also announced that 5 million kits will be made available each week. Interested residents can learn more about this announcement here, and find the distribution list here.
I share the concerns of many residents with respect to the ongoing protests in Ottawa, and subsequent protests here in Toronto and in other cities across Canada.
The right to peaceful protest is an important part of a functioning and democratic society, and I continue to support this right. However, what we have all witnessed taking place in Ottawa is unacceptable. With unacceptable displays of offensive signs and flags and poor behaviour by protesters, many residents, particularly in Ottawa, are understandably experiencing stress and enormous inconvenience as a result of these actions.
Last weekend here in Toronto, the protests that took place were largely peaceful and were kept away from hospitals and other vital institutions in our city. The Toronto Police did a good job of managing that situation, and I continue to support these efforts as we hear of additional protests targeting our City.
To be clear, vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your families and friends. City Immunization Clinics continue to accept walk-in visits for COVID-19 vaccinations while also accepting booked appointments. You can book an appointment online through the provincial portal here. I would point out that Toronto Public Health staff have updated us on the effectiveness of vaccinations, particularly after the third booster dose, and further information on this can be found here.
The City has been making every effort to make vaccinations easier to access. On Saturday, February 5th for example, I welcomed Mayor John Tory and Councillor Joe Cressy, the Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, to our Davenport community, where we visited a local vaccine clinic hosted by Toronto Community Housing. This local clinic was held on the ground floor of a TCH residence and allowed residents of the building to easily access the vaccine clinic. Clinics like the one we visited on Saturday are critical to ensuring everyone in our community can access the vaccine, and I thank both Toronto Community Housing, and Toronto Public Health, for their continued efforts.
I also want to share some good news regarding the TTC! On February 9th, the TTC announced that it would begin to restore transit service to 100% of pre-pandemic levels starting this Sunday! This gradual restoration of service will include a few bus routes in our Ward 9 community, including the 168 Symington and the 161 Rogers Rd buses! This is great news for residents, and I have included some further information about this below.
There are a few upcoming community consultations and open houses that I want to remind residents about.
Today, February 10th, the City will be hosting a virtual public meeting on the Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone cycling connections. Residents will be able to learn more about this proposal and ask questions. On February 16th, the City will be hosting an information session on the proposed Regal Rd and Springmount Ave safety improvements. On February 22nd, the City will be hosting an open house for the proposed park at 261 Nairn Ave. This proposal is the result of community leadership and community consultation and will be an opportunity for residents to see the results of this engagement process. Finally, on February 23rd, the City will be hosting a virtual open house to discuss and hear community feedback on the proposed Earlscourt Park pathways improvements!
I have provided information on all of these upcoming meetings below, and encourage residents to participate!
As the city continues to clear snow in our neighbourhoods, I know that some residents have expressed concerns about the speed and scale of snow removal operations. As your City Councillor, I continue to work hard to ensure your concerns regarding snow removal are addressed. This includes my continued work with senior City staff to escalate community concerns as they are identified. Please continue to contact my office directly if you have any questions or require any assistance regarding snow removal operations. Residents can continue to monitor the progress of snowplows in real-time at PlowTO.
As always please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can be of any assistance. You can contact my office by email at [email protected] or by phone at 416.392.7012.
Table of Contents
- City Continues to Reopen Community Centres and Indoor Rec Services
- Walk-ins Continue At Any City Clinic
- Ontario Extending Health Card Renewal Requirement to September 30th
- City's COVID-19 Dashboard Continues To Be Updated
- Application Period Continues for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
- Federal government supports available for businesses facing hardship
- Visiting a Vaccine Clinic in Davenport with Mayor Tory and Councillor Cressy
- Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) Roundtable Kickoff
- TTC To Begin Restoring Transit Service to Pre-Pandemic Levels
- Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections Virtual Public Meeting Today
- Regal Road & Springmount Ave Safety Improvements Information Session February 16
- Earlscourt Park Pathways Virtual Open House on February 23rd
- Open House for Park at 261 Nairn Ave on February 22nd
- Survey On Backyard Hens Pilot Program Continues Until February 11th
- Consultation on Single-Use & Takeaway Items Underway Until March 4th
- City Continues Black History Month Celebrations
- City Launches Updated Toronto Parking Green P App
- City Launches MyToronto Pay
- City Council Gives Green Light to Garden Suites
- The Atmospheric Fund Launches the EV Station Fund
- CafeTO Registration Continues until April 2nd
- TD Park People Grants Continues to Accept Applications Until February 28th
- Retail Accelerator Information Sessions
- Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program to help operators and owners of vacant storefronts
- February 2 - Toronto City Council approves year-one implementation plan for SafeTO
- February 2 - Toronto City Council supports community-led solution to respond to mental health crisis calls
- February 2 - City Council gives green light to garden suites, growing housing options in Toronto
- February 3 - Toronto City Council approves improved operating model for City golf courses
- February 3 - Toronto City Council approves 25 new Automated Speed Enforcement cameras starting in 2022
- February 4 - Team Toronto has now administered third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 60 per cent of eligible Torontonians
- February 6 - Extreme Cold Weather Alert terminated for Toronto – Warming Centres to remain open
- February 8 - Team Toronto launching “Vax The East”
City Continues to Reopen Community Centres and Indoor Rec Services
On January 31st, the City began reopening community recreation facilities for drop-in programs and rentals in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s plan to gradually end public health restrictions.
Proof of vaccination will continue to be required for those age 12 and older entering indoor sports and recreational facilities, and capacity restrictions of 50 percent will be in place for now.
City staff continue to monitor provincial regulations closely, and information about impacted City services will continue to be available on the City’s COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage.
Residents can more about the reopening of recreational facilities here.
Walk-ins Continue At Any City Clinic
City Immunization Clinics continue to accept walk-in visits for COVID-19 vaccinations while continuing with booked appointments. All five City-run clinics are open Monday to Friday from 2 – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (for appointments and walk-in). Adjusted days/hours may occasionally apply.
Residents can also book an appointment online or call the Provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). First, second and third doses are available for eligible groups.
Ontario Extending Health Card Renewal Requirement to September 30th
As many of you will know, during the pandemic the Ontario Government has provided much needed extensions to the renewal of Ontario Health Cards. These extensions were due to end but the Ontario Government has now announced that it is extending the requirement to renew health cards until September 30, 2022.
Click here to learn more.
City's COVID-19 Dashboard Continues To Be Updated
The City of Toronto maintains an updated dashboard of statistics and reports on COVID-19 numbers in our City, including a case count map. It is easy to review information on the dashboard which outlines what is occurring in our City during the pandemic. The data is updated regularly.
The dashboard can be found at this link.
Application Period Continues for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
Online applications for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program are now open. The provincial government program provides eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant. To receive the grant, a small business must be required to close due to public health orders that took effect on January 5, and have fewer than 100 employees. Apply today.
Federal government supports available for businesses facing hardship
The Government of Canada continues to offer targeted supports for businesses and self-employed individuals facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include rent and property expenses support; wage and hiring support; Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility; Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and more. See the supports available for businesses, self-employed individuals and sectors.
Visiting a Vaccine Clinic in Davenport with Mayor Tory and Councillor Cressy
Ensuring equitable and accessible access to vaccines is one of the City's principal vaccination commitments. Many residents may face challenges in accessing vaccines at vaccination clinics, preventing them from being able to receive a vaccine or booster shot. Mobility concerns and potentially having to line up may discourage some residents of our community from being able to access vaccines.
This is why vaccine clinics like the one held this past weekend are so important. Local vaccine clinics help to break down barriers in vaccine accessibility and are an important step in ensuring everyone in our city gets vaccinated.
I want to thank Toronto Community Housing for hosting this successful clinic, and thank residents who did their part by getting vaccinated.
On February 9th, the TTC has announced that it will begin to restore transit service to 100% of pre-pandemic levels starting this Sunday.
This means that starting Sunday, the TTC will be increasing service to 17 routes, including the 168 Symington bus, the 161 Rogers Rd, and the 300 Bloor-Danforth overnight bus!
Visit this link to learn more about the increase in transit service!
Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections Virtual Public Meeting Today
The City of Toronto is proposing cycling, pedestrian, and road safety upgrades on Bartlett Avenue, Havelock Street, and Gladstone Avenue from Davenport Road to College Street, as well as associated changes to short sections of Bloor Street and Lindsey Avenue.
The 3.5 km bikeway project proposes to improve safety by lowering motor vehicle travel speed, prioritizing people walking and cycling, and reducing local traffic infiltration.
The project would expand the local cycling network and connect to existing bikeways on Davenport Road, Bloor Street, Havelock Street, Lindsey Avenue, Waterloo Avenue, and Argyle Street.
The City will be hosting a virtual public meeting today, February 10th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
You can register by visiting the following link.
Open House for Park at 261 Nairn Ave on February 22nd
A new park is coming to 261 Nairn Ave!
The city will be hosting an open house on February 22nd for residents to see the preferred concept design! I encourage community members to join this open house to ask questions, and see the results of this engagement process!
Community members can visit this link to register.
The deadline for feedback is February 11, 2022, and residents can complete the survey through this link.
Among these efforts, the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division has displayed a poster series at a number of locations, including the City’s outdoor rinks. These posters, like the one above, feature notable Black figures, and their contributions in engineering, computer science, public service, anti-racism advocacy and activism, sports, and technology.
The posters were designed by local youth artists Brandon Baghaee and Taliyah Barham, and residents can download the posters here.
City Council Gives Green Light to Garden Suites
Last week, on February 2nd, City Council voted to allow garden suites. Garden suites will allow more community members to live in and contribute to our neighbourhoods, and will add to our city's range of housing options as we work to build a more affordable city.
Click here to learn more about garden suites.
To register and apply for permits you can use this link.
The TD Park People Grants is a program that supports and mobilizes community parks groups, community organizers, non-profits, park professionals, and funders who activate the power of parks. TD Park People Grants has begun accepting applications for a $2,000 grant to help build connections between people and parks. This grant is to support a vision for environmental education, sustainability and stewardship programs that helps connect people to their local parks and green spaces. More information and the link to submit an application is below.
What: TD Park People Grants support activities that promote environmental education, sustainability and stewardship in Canada’s parks and green spaces.
When: Applications are open from January 10 to February 28, 2022. Grant recipients are announced in April and activities take place between April 16 and December 31 2022.
Who: Community groups from cities across the country including the Greater Toronto Area. A minimum of 50% of all grants will be given to underserved community groups, ensuring equity-seeking groups are involved in shaping the natural spaces that matter to them.
You can find further information here.
Register for an upcoming virtual information session on February 15 to learn more about the City of Toronto's Retail Accelerator Program and how to apply. Part of the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative, the new program provides access to retail training, advisory services and mentoring opportunities, as well as a micro grant of $10,000 to help retail businesses develop and expand.
Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program to help operators and owners of vacant storefronts
The City of Toronto's new Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is offering matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements. The program is a key part of the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2022 or when funds are expended, whichever comes first, and are considered on a first received, first reviewed basis. Download application form [PDF] and submit.