Davenport Community Briefing - January 20th

Councillor Ana Bailão


COVID-19 Updates

Province Announces Re-Opening Plan Starting January 31

On January 5th, due to the impacts of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the provincial government moved Ontario back to Step Two of their re-opening plan.  This required the closure of many businesses such as restaurants, gyms and cinemas among others.  Today, the provincial government announced that effective January 31st these establishments would be permitted to re-open at 50% capacity with vaccination requirements remaining in place.  These re-openings will be followed by a further easing of restrictions on February 21 and again on March 14.  The list below outlines all of the changes coming into effect on January 31.  

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
  • Shopping malls;
  • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
  • Cinemas;
  • Meeting and event spaces;
  • Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; and
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
  • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.
  • Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings

For full details on the changes taking place on January 31, February 21 and March 14 you can view this link

City is Preparing to Increase Space at Isolation and Recovery Site for People Who Are Experiencing Homelessness

Yesterday, the City announced it will be gradually increasing space available at the COVID-19 Isolation and Recovery Site for people experiencing homelessness with complex health needs who test positive for the virus. Working with program partners, the current 60-room capacity will be expanded – on a progressive ramp up as additional staffing resources and health supports are available – by up to an additional 60 rooms.  Further details can be found here.

More Opportunities for Vaccinations Continue

Getting vaccinated reduces the spread of Covid 19 and just as importantly protect against serious illness, hospitalization and even more serious outcomes. As the Omicron variant continues to spread quickly in our communities and across Ontario, and with increased pressures on our health care system, it is  essential that we all get our full vaccinations.  The City has opened 25,000 additional vaccination appointments and vaccinations are available for children 5 years of age or older and third dose (boosters) are available for those who are 18 years of age or older.  The City maintains a web page that is constantly updated and where you can book a vaccination appointment , there is also the provincial booking site  and you may also wish to review the Vaccine Hunters web page which has in the past been partnering with the City.  Many pharmacies across the City and province are also continuing to administer vaccinations and you can view those currently doing so at this link.   The City also maintains a web page in map format where you can enter your address to locate nearby clinics.

Vaccination Clinic at JJP Community Centre Jan 21, Jan 28 & Feb 4

Return to School this Week for Children and Youth Vaccinations 

This week, with a two day delay due to the snow storm, children returned to school yesterday.  It is of course important that we do all we can to ensure they are as safe as possible as are their teachers, other education workers and families.  Measures have been put in place to make our schools as safe as possible.  It is also important that all children who are eligible for vaccinations receive them.  Children 5 years and older and young people are eligible to receive their Covid 19 vaccinations (third dose boosters are only available to those 18 years of age and over).  The City maintains a webpage containing information specifically for children and youth that contains information that is very informative about vaccinations for this age group.  

Applications open 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.

City & Local Updates

Snow Clearing Efforts Continue After Record Snow Storm

This week saw one of the largest and fastest moving snow storms we have seen in our City in many years.  Pearson International Airport for example reported the highest snow levels since 1937.  With so much snowfall coming in a small period of time, 5-10cm per hour at some points, there has been and continues to be significant impacts across our community and City.  City winter maintenance staff have been working non-stop to clear this significant snowfall.  To support these efforts, Mayor John Tory declared a "Major Snow Storm Condition."  This means special measures are put in place to facilitate winter maintenance operations including parking prohibitions on snow routes and the removal of snow from streets to snow storage areas across the City.  Further details on this can be found in this link.  Also, as noted in the opening article, you can also view the City's PlowTO site which shows in real time where the City's snow plows are operating.  The City also has a web page that contains full information on winter maintenance that can be viewed here. During the Major Snow Storm Condition, the City's 311 system was unable to accept inquiries regarding snow removal but this has re-started and inquiries can be made by calling "311" or e-mailing at [email protected]   Again, the City is continuing the work required to clean-up after this major snow storm and we ask that everyone be patient as this work is completed over the next few days. 

Community Crisis Support Service Pilots

I was pleased to fully support changes to the way emergency responders respond to crisis calls in our City as well as with respect to reform of policing.  City staff, at the direction of City Council, have been working on these issues and next week at the City's Executive Committee these initiatives will be advanced.  This initiative moves forward the direction from City Council that develops a non-police led alternative community safety response model for calls involving Toronto residents in mental health crisis. The implementation plan, as reflected in these pilots, institutes non-police led responses in areas of the City where the most need exists and crisis calls of this kind are the highest in number.  This includes part of our Davenport Community in the Downtown West Pilot area.  The Community Crisis Support Service pilot initiatives are priority actions as part of the City's broader SafeTO Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.  Further information on SafeTO can be found at this link.  As noted, the City's Executive Committee will be reviewing this implementation plan at the meeting next week before moving to Toronto City Council for final approval.  Full details of this agenda item can be found here.  I have been fully supportive of this initiative and I am pleased to join with our community partners as it moves forward.  This is an important step in transforming how we deliver public safety in our City and community. 

CafeTO Returns this Spring

Although this week has been very challenging with the snow storm we received, in a sure sign that spring is not that far away, beginning on January 18th, 2022 the City invited local restaurant and bar operators who would like to expand their outdoor dining space into the curb lane and on sidewalks where possible to again register and apply for permits online.

CaféTO commenced during the pandemic as a tool to support restaurants and bars to increase their outdoor capacity by making space available in the public right-of-way and by expediting the application and permitting process for sidewalk cafés and curb lane cafés.  All of this to be done safely in accordance with public health guidelines.

In a change to the program this year, café operators are eligible for a matching grant of up to $7,500 to cover 50 per cent of the cost of eligible property or site improvements related to curb lane café installations, sidewalk cafés or patios on private property, through the CaféTO Property Improvement Program.  Full details on the program can be found in this link.

Music Rehearsal Spaces in Toronto

The City of Toronto, and our community of Davenport, is home to a large number of musicians and we are indeed the centre of music in our country. The pandemic has of course created significant challenges for musicians, and all artists, including with respect to the impact of closed live venues and the pressures associated with securing and protecting rehearsal spaces in our City. The availability of rehearsal space is critical to a recovering and thriving live music scene. With a concerning number of live music rehearsal spaces either closing or finding themselves under pressure it is critical that we as a City do what we can to protect these spaces for musicians. The City recognizes the importance of these spaces and is exploring creative solutions to address this issue. This past summer I moved a motion at City Council to direct City staff to ensure that every possible effort is undertaken to protect and encourage the creation of rehearsal spaces in our City. The full motion can be found here. At the Economic and Community Development Committee this Friday, City staff will be reporting back on my motion with an assessment of the current situation with respect to rehearsal spaces in the City and they identify measures to address the need to protect and encourage rehearsal spaces. This link to the Committee item contains full information on the report back. The recommendations include funding proposals and direction to the City's real estate agency, CreateTO, to report on potential City owned spaces that could be considered for rehearsal space. I will continue to support these important efforts to protect and promote musician rehearsal space in our community and across the City.

Portuguese Speaking Community Virtual Town Hall - January 25th, 6PM

2022 City of Toronto Budget Process Continues This Week

The City's Budget Committee continues the budget process this week reviewing the 2022 spending priorities for the City. The process considers both capital and operating priorities and recommendations from City staff and hears from residents and stakeholders.  While the Budget Committee reviews proposed allocations and makes recommendations, Toronto City Council approves the final budget for the City for the coming year and beyond in the case of capital expenditures.  The Budget Committee agenda can be found here.   The City also has a web page where the 2022 budget details are available.  The Budget Committee will meet throughout January and you can find the meeting dates here. I appreciate all your comments, recommendations and observations on the budget and I will take all of them in account as we move towards February's City Council Budget Meeting.

640 Lansdowne Avenue - Public Meeting January 30th

Click here to register

Retail Accelerator Program information sessions

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.

TTC to Host Additional Consultation on 5-Year Fare Policy Project

The TTC is continuing customer and public engagement with respect to the development of the TTC’s 5-Year Fare Policy project. Consultations have taken place over the past year and more are now being convened. 

As the 5-Year Fare Policy project enters its final phase, the TTC will be hosting another round of public engagement activities. There are two further opportunities for the public to be involved:

  1. The TTC's third External Stakeholder Workshop for community organizations is scheduled for Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  2. Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. – 8:30.p.m.

Interested participants can:

  • Pre-register or attend on the date at this link
  • Join by phone by calling +1 647-374-4685

Webinar ID: 616 7443 0748

Passcode: 899580907

The TTC has also created a link that provides background on their 5 year fare policy including York Regional Transit which can be found here.

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.

City Hall Address:

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite C42
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Open: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 4:30PM

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 416-392-7012

Fax: 416-392-7957

Constituency Office:

1240 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M6H 1N5

Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
1pm - 6pm

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