I want to begin by acknowledging and recognizing February as Black History Month.
Black Canadians have and continue to contribute immensely to our city's culture, vibrancy, and growth, and help make our city one of the most multicultural cities in the world. I believe that in order for us to create positive change in the future, we must first learn from the past. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on our nation's past and learn about the unique experiences of Black Canadians. This is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the incredible contributions of Black Canadians, and recommit ourselves to advancing equity and justice as we work towards building a better society for us all.
To celebrate Black History Month, the Mayor issued a proclamation recognizing February as Black History Month, and the City will be hosting a series of virtual events throughout Black History Month. Click here to learn more.
I would also like to extend my sincerest best wishes to all those celebrating Lunar New Year this week, and I wish everyone good health and prosperity for the coming year.
I know residents have continued to express some concerns about snow removal operations. The largest snow removal operation in the City's history continues to progress as city crews work 24/7 to clear snow with a focus on addressing sidewalks and local roads. The city has removed over 45,000 tonnes of snow so far from roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes. The city expects to remove at least another 40,000 tonnes over the next seven days. With the additional snowfall expected today, the challenges may increase but the City has been preparing for this additional snowfall and remains committed to getting this work done.
As your City Councillor, I'm working hard to ensure your concerns regarding snow removal are addressed, and I continue to work with City staff to escalate community concerns as they are raised with my office. Please be sure to contact my office directly if you have any questions or require any assistance regarding snow removal operations.
Residents can also continue to monitor the progress of snow plows in real time at PlowTO.
Although this COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. As of January 28th, Team Toronto has administered more than 1.3 million third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents. In total, more than 6.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered to date. This is incredible progress, and everyone who's done their part and got vaccinated should be proud of this accomplishment.
But the pandemic isn't over yet, and Team Toronto continues to work hard to ensure everyone can get vaccinated. To further this effort, the city announced that all City Immunization Clinics are now accepting walk-in visits for COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as continuing with booked appointments. If you haven’t yet, please be sure to get vaccinated, and continue to follow public health guidelines, as it helps protect yourself and those around you. If you would like more information on the vaccination options available, please visit the City’s Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.
On January 31st, the City began a reopening community recreation facilities for drop-in programs and rentals in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s reopening plan. Some recreational facilities, including community recreation centres and arenas, fitness centres and classes, weight rooms and walking tracks, and more, will begin reopening. Proof of vaccination will continue to be required, and there will be capacity restrictions of 50 per cent in place.
The City continues to find new, and innovative ways to ensure residents can receive the best service possible. Last week, I explained how the city launched the new 311 Toronto app, to help support residents better. Since then, the City has taken further steps to ensure digital access to city services. On February 1st, the City launched the new and improved Toronto Parking Green P app. This is the first refresh to the app since its launch in 2015, and includes a bunch of new features such as a new Quick Park feature that lets residents park with just two clicks! The Toronto Parking Green P app is available on both iPhone and Android.
The City has also launched a new online platform called MyToronto Pay, which gives residents more payment options for City of Toronto property taxes, and utility bills. The platform has useful features, including being able to get dedicated customer service and questions answered in real time. I have provided more information about both these new platforms below.
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. A virtual public meeting will take place on Thursday February 10th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. In this newsletter, there will be further details on this proposal and the upcoming community meeting.
The City is also proposing improvements to the Earlscourt Park pathways! These proposed improvements are the result of community advocacy, and will ensure greater accessibility throughout the park. The City will be providing a Virtual Open House on February 23rd to provide information to residents and answer questions. I provide further information on both these proposals below.
This week, City Council is meeting to discuss a range of important range of issues affecting our city, including steps to improve housing affordability. As a city, we must work to ensure that there are a diverse range of housing options to accommodate people in all stages of life. Garden suites are one of those options, and will allow more community members to live in and contribute to our neighbourhoods. I'm glad that on February 2nd, City Council voted to allow garden suites. Garden suites will add to our city's range of housing options, and are one of the tools we can use to build a more affordable city.
City Council also passed the Community Crisis Support pilots, and the SafeTO implementation plan. Together, these plans will help build a safer city by encouraging community-led responses to mental health crisis calls, and a shift towards a culture of prevention.
During this session, City Council also adopted a motion I moved to protect City rehearsal spaces in our City which are so crucial for live performance musicians and others.
More details on the Council Meeting can be found here.
As the province begins to safely ease public health measures, and the City commences to safely reopen facilities, I'm pleased to let you know that my community office will be reopening as well! My community office will be open on Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays from 1pm to 5:00pm starting on Wednesday February 9th. My community office is located at 1240 Bloor Street West.
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 Begins Reopening Community Centres and Indoor Rec Services
- Walk-ins Mow Accepted At Any City Clinic
- Vaccination Clinic Vaccination Clinic at JJP Community Centre Continues Feb 4
- 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
- Further Updates On Snow Clearance & Winter Maintenance
- Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections Virtual Public Meeting February 10th
- Survey on Backyard Hens Pilot Program Open Until February 11th
- Regal Road & Springmount Ave Safety Improvements Information Session February 16
- Earlscourt Park Pathways Virtual Open House on February 23rd
- 640 Lansdowne Community Consultation Meeting A Success
- McCormick Arena Celebrating 50 Years
- City launches Updated Toronto Parking Green P App on February 1
- City Introduces MyToronto Pay App
- City Council Passes Community Crisis Response Unit pilots & SafeTO Implementation Plan
- 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
- January 28 - Team Toronto has now administered more than 1.3 million third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents
- January 28 - City of Toronto scores an ‘A’ for climate leadership
- January 28 - City of Toronto ready to reopen community centres and indoor recreation services this Monday
- January 28 - Toronto Public Health releases COVID-19 wastewater surveillance data
- January 28 - City of Toronto, TTC and Metrolinx conclude on-road testing of the West Rouge Automated Shuttle
- January 30 - City of Toronto immunization clinics now accepting walk-ins aged five and older for COVID-19 vaccines
- January 31 - City of Toronto resuming services as Team Toronto continues to offer hundreds of COVID-19 vaccination options
- January 31 - Extreme Cold Weather Alert terminated for Toronto – Warming Centres to remain open
- January 31 - City of Toronto proclaims February as Black History Month and celebrates with virtual programs and events
- February 1 - City of Toronto to provide update on snowfall preparations
- 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 - City of Toronto issues an Extreme Cold Weather Alert – seek shelter, check on loved ones
City Begins Reopening 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 lift some 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 per cent will be in place.
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 Now Accepted At Any City Clinic
City Immunization Clinics are now accepting 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.
Vaccination Clinic Vaccination Clinic at JJP Community Centre Continues Feb 4
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 with 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.
Further Updates on Snow Clearing & Winter Maintenance
The largest snow removal operation in the City's history continues to progress as city crews work 24/7 to clear snow with a focus on addressing sidewalks and local roads. The city has removed over 45,000 tonnes of snow so far from roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes. The city expects to remove at least another 40,000 tonnes over the next seven days. The city has been preparing for the additional snowfall expected today, and remains committed to getting this work done.
As your City Councillor, I'm working hard to ensure your concerns regarding snow removal are addressed, and I continue to work with City staff to escalate community concerns as they are raised with my office.
During the last Executive Committee Meeting on January 26th, I supported the Mayor's motion to have a post-operational review conducted on the January 2022 major snow event, and the motion was passed by executive committee.
To monitor the locations of City snow plows, visit this link.
Further information on the City's winter maintenance services can be found at this link.
Bartlett-Havelock-Gladstone Cycling Connections Virtual Public Meeting February 10th
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 on Thursday February 10th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
You can register by visiting the following link.
The deadline for feedback is February 11, 2022, and residents can complete the survey through this link.
640 Lansdowne Community Consultation Meeting A Success
City Council is meeting virtually to discuss and advance a number of important initiatives facing our city.
Among these items was the implementation of the City Council approved non-police led alternative community safety response pilots for calls involving Toronto residents in mental health crises (EX29.1). City Council also discussed an update on SafeTO, the City's 10 year Community Well-being Plan which reimagines core elements of community safety and well-being, and encourages to shift from a reliance on reactive emergency response to a culture of prevention (EX29.2).
Both motions were passed by City Council on February 2nd, and will proceed to implementation.
I will continue to support transformative and innovative approaches with regards to how public safety is delivered in our City.
City Council Gives Green Light to Garden Suites
I know that housing affordability is an important issue for many residents in our community. Many of the families and communities that helped build our city are now unable to afford to live here, and that's not okay. I believe that as a city, we must work to ensure that there are a diverse range of housing options to accommodate people in all stages of life.
Garden suites are one of those options, and will allow more community members to live in and contribute to our neighbourhoods. I'm glad that on February 2nd, City Council voted to allow garden suites. Garden suites will add to our city's range of housing options, and are one of the tools we can use 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.