COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - January 7th
As we enter a new year, we're facing the toughest months of the entire COVID-19 pandemic.
A vaccine is on the horizon, but the combination of high case counts, a reproductive number stubbornly above 1, COVID fatigue, and a more transmissible variant has created a perfect storm. There’s no sugar-coating it: we have a very hard winter ahead.
Now is the time for all of us – individuals and all three levels of government – to work together to protect our most vulnerable, and ensure our healthcare system doesn’t become overwhelmed. Please continue reading below for updates on the work we are doing to keep our city safe, and how you can do your part.
In this Edition
- New Reporting on Workplace Outbreaks
- City of Toronto Supporting Provincial and Healthcare Partners with Vaccine Rollout
- Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
- Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan - Waterfront Promenade Now Open
- St. Andrew’s Playground Expansion and Revitalization - Construction Updates
- COVID-19 Pop-up Testing at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre
- Virtual Public Meeting - 200 Queens Quay West Development Application
- Virtual Public Meeting - 1-7 Yonge Street Development Application
- City Hall Live Online Performances
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
- COVID-19 Information and Resources
New Reporting on Workplace Outbreaks
In response to the growing number of COVID-19 outbreaks tied to workplaces, the Toronto Board of Health called for public reporting on workplace outbreaks in our city. On Monday, Toronto Public Health announced a new weekly reporting measure on workplace outbreaks, including by industry category.
In our fight against this pandemic, information is power. The more that we know about COVID-19, the better we can understand where the virus is spreading and how to keep people safe. Public health data tells a story. The story of this pandemic is increasingly a story about work.
To put it simply, if you were fortunate enough to be able to work from home over the past year, you're significantly less likely to get COVID.
It's the essential, frontline workers – the people stocking shelves, packing online orders, delivering packages and taking care of our most vulnerable – who are at greatest risk of COVID-19. The workplace data shows how we can prevent these outbreaks. We need all three levels of government to take action now to protect workers.
That means: proactive inspections and monitoring, real penalties for violations, paid sick leave for all workers, and increased income supports. The data is clear: people are getting sick at work, and COVID is spreading. There's no beating this pandemic without first protecting frontline and essential workers in our communities.
City of Toronto Supporting Provincial and Healthcare Partners with Vaccine Rollout
The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are stepping up to support this first phase of the Province's COVID vaccine rollout. Specifically, we'll be helping to ensure all residents and workers in long term care have access to the vaccine by January 21, along with the City's paramedics.
Since December 31, approx. 32% of the 2,600 residents and 3,000 staff in City-run long term care homes have received the vaccine. Over 80% of residents have already provided consent, and vaccinations are ongoing throughout the week.
Since Day 1, our response to COVID-19 has been about protecting the most vulnerable. We've seen the devastating impact this virus has had in long term care homes across our city and province. That's why we need to act fast and act now to protect staff, caregivers, and residents.
The Province continues to lead the vaccine rollout, but our team at Toronto Public Health and our hospital partners will be doing everything they can to get vaccines to our most vulnerable. For the rest of us: we must keep wearing our masks, washing our hands and keeping our distance.
Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
Our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and other City division leaders have been providing twice-weekly updates on the current situation and response to COVID-19 in Toronto. You can view the press conferences live at 2pm, and access past updates here.
In yesterday’s update, Dr. de Villa spoke about her concern for the rising pressures on Toronto’s hospitals. 87% of ICU beds in Toronto are now occupied, and 89% of acute care beds are occupied.
In the past month, Dr. de Villa confirmed that Toronto has seen a 14% increase in cases currently in hospital, and a 57% increase since early November. Data suggests that we will continue to see a climb in hospitalized cases.
What this means is that we must do all we can do as individuals to protect ourselves, so that the health care system can provide care as easily as possible to those who will need it urgently in the weeks ahead. We must all continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, keep a distance, and stay home as much as possible.
Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan – Waterfront Promenade Now Open
I’m thrilled to share that the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan (BQNP) implementation is proceeding on schedule, and that the Western Channel Promenade, a new public space on the water’s edge, is now open to the public.
Stay tuned for details of an official opening celebration, which will take place once public health guidelines permit such events.
For an overview of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan, click here.
St. Andrew’s Playground Expansion and Revitalization – Construction Updates
The construction notices are now up at St. Andrew's Playground for our upcoming park expansion and revitalization. Work will begin in the spring as soon as weather permits.
The parking lot to the west of the playground will become part of the park, and a new dogs-off-leash area (DOLA) will be constructed in the new portion of the park.
COVID-19 Pop-up Testing at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre
On Monday, January 11 and Monday, January 18, there will be a COVID-19 pop-up testing clinic at the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre in Ward 10, open from 12 pm - 6:30 pm. If you have symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, come get a test. No appointment is necessary.
Virtual Public Meeting – 200 Queens Quay West Development Application
The City of Toronto invites you to a virtual community consultation on the planning application for 200, 207, 208, 211, 218, 228 and 230 Queens Quay West and 8 York Street:
Date: January 12, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Click here to learn how to join by phone or online.
This Zoning By-law Amendment application proposes to demolish the existing parking structure and replace it with a mixed-use development of residential and retail uses, including two towers at 41 and 71 storeys, 1,482 dwelling units (including 110 affordable rental units), 483 square metres of retail floor area, and open space areas at 200 Queens Quay West.
For further information on the planning application please view the application documents at the Application Information Centre: https://aic.to/200QueensQuayW
Virtual Public Meeting – 1-7 Yonge Street Development Application
The City of Toronto Planning Division has received an Application for Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendment to modify Pinnacle's approved plans for the south block of the 1-7 Yonge Street development. You are invited to a virtual public consultation:
Date: January 14, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Click here to learn how to join by phone or online.
The existing approvals for this site permit two commercial towers on the south block ranging in height from 22 storeys (92 metres) to 35 storeys (144 metres). This application proposes the introduction of a hotel, an increase in height for both towers, and changes to built form, including a PATH bridge connection between the north and south blocks. While the overall heights of buildings are proposed to change, the total of 147,600 square metres of proposed gross floor area is consistent with the existing approvals.
City Hall Live Online Performances
City Hall Live Spotlight, a weekly livestreamed concert series to support the local music industry and provide Toronto residents with music experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, will kick-off next week. Residents are encouraged to make a night of it by ordering in their favourite takeout and settling in for a concert in the comfort of their own home.
City Hall Live Spotlight will feature professionally produced livestreamed videos of Toronto musicians performing at shuttered music venues and other affected music-related businesses around the city. Each performance will be accompanied by a brief introduction to the location and its role in Toronto's music industry.
City Hall Live Spotlight kicks off on January 14 at 7:30 p.m. online, livestreamed from the Phoenix Concert Theatre and is scheduled to run weekly through the spring. The first performance of the series will feature Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta, a Grammy Award nominee for her 2020 album Miss Colombia and winner of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize for her album La Papessa.
Performances will be available at https://www.facebook.com/CityHallLiveSpotlight and on HappinApp at https://happin.app/, a new Toronto-based livestreaming platform that enhances the music concert fan experience and improves revenue streams for artists.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant economic impact on Toronto residents and businesses, including the music industry. During each City Hall Live Spotlight performance, viewers who are able to can choose to make a donation, 100 per cent of which will support the Unison Benevolent Fund's vital work to help musicians and music industry workers in crisis.
Toronto-based musicians can apply for City Hall Live Spotlight and other City of Toronto Music Office programs at http://www.toronto.ca/music.
City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
The City has launched a website to keep residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
Visit toronto.ca/covid19vaccine for real time and updated information.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
It is important to stay informed through credible sources, and to follow the advice of our public health professionals. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19.
Please visit the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for the up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19
Government COVID-19 websites
Call if you develop symptoms.
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.