COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - October 22nd

Dear friends, 

We aren't all equal when it comes to this pandemic. Whether you get COVID or not shouldn't depend on where you live, how much money you make, or the colour of your skin. But our data shows that it does. 

In order to beat this second wave, all levels of government must do a better job protecting those who are most at risk. This week, the Board of Health unanimously approved a motion to develop and publish a Toronto COVID-19 Response Equity Action Plan to help us to do just that. 

If we're truly all in this together, we need to do more to protect those most at risk — and I am committed to ensuring that this remains at the forefront of our response. 

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Protect Yourself and Others - Get the Flu Shot
  2. Board of Health Calls for Equity Action Plans to Guide Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
  3. Toronto Office of Rebuild and Recovery - Impacts and Opportunities Report
  4. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  5. Coronation Park Heritage Restoration Complete
  6. St. Andrew's Playground Expansion and Revitalization Updates
  7. King-Liberty Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge Update
  8. Inclusionary Zoning - Public Consultations Begin October 29
  9. Toronto Heritage Grant Program
  10. City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
  11. COVID-19 Information and Resources

Protect Yourself and Others - Get the Flu Shot 

This year, it's more important than ever to get a flu shot to protect yourself, protect others, and preserve the healthcare system.

This morning I joined our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa, and Mayor John Tory to kick off Toronto Public Health’s flu shot campaign. 

In addition to your pharmacy or doctor’s office, flu shots will be available through Toronto Public Health’s flu vaccine clinics. The flu vaccine is free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. A health card is not required at Toronto Public Health clinics. 

In addition to our 4 city-wide clinics, Toronto Public Health is bringing flu vaccines directly to shelters and drop-in centres to ensure that the vaccine is accessible for those experiencing homelessness. Beginning this week Toronto Public Health will be operating 60 pop-up flu vaccine clinics in shelters across Toronto. 

Learn more about flu prevention for the 2021/2022 season at toronto.ca/flu


Board of Health Calls for Equity Action Plans to Guide Response to COVID-19 Pandemic


Click to watch video

On Monday, the Toronto Board of Health unanimously approved a motion to develop and publish a City of Toronto Health Equity Action Plan as part of the City’s ongoing work to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect Torontonians, and save lives. 

Given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on low-income and racialized Torontonians, the Health Equity Action Plan will help to ensure that all necessary measures are being taken to protect the most vulnerable in our city. The Board has called on the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government to do the same. 

The Board of Health also endorsed recommendations from Toronto's Medical Officer of Health to increase access to testing in high-transmission neighbourhoods; make public health information more accessible and available in more languages; increase infection prevention supports for community agencies working on the frontlines; and called on the Ontario Government to implement a stay on residential evictions and ensure paid sick leave for all workers.

To develop a more detailed understanding of on-the-ground impacts, over the summer Toronto Public Health conducted consultations with more than 140 community organizations in the city on the impact of the virus on racialized and low-income communities. The feedback was clear: more must be done across all levels of government to address the inequities that have made certain people and communities particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Toronto's Health Equity Action Plan will help to improve the pandemic response, and to ensure accountability. 

Click here to read the full motion


Toronto Office of Rebuild and Recovery - Impacts and Opportunities Report

Last week, the City manager released the Impacts & Opportunities Report from the Toronto Office of Rebuild and Recovery.

While this document contains ideas and recommendations that will bring us closer to a Green and Just Recovery - including key sections on Climate Change, Equity and Social Determinants of Health - the report lacked concrete actions that will make immediate improvements.

With so many struggling during the pandemic, the City urgently needs to ensure action is being taken to bring relief and support our residents. We also need to keep pressure on other levels of government to step up.

Cities have been struggling with increased responsibilities without adequate revenue for years. But this pandemic has left our municipalities with huge needs, which will only grow as the economic impacts become clearer. Cutting services just when our residents need them most is not an option.

We need the Mayor and Council to take responsibility for services that should be guaranteed and/or improved to make sure that residents are supported now and into the future. This means advocating for more powers for municipalities and expanding available revenue tools so we have options beyond property taxes to fund the services residents need.

We can't go back to normal. Recovery shouldn't mean returning to the status quo that has highlighted the fact that rent-geared to income is scarce, homelessness is skyrocketing, food insecurity is growing, and the effects of climate change become clearer every day. I will continue the fight to make sure our city comes out of this stronger than ever. 

Read the Impacts & Opportunities Report from the Toronto Office of Rebuild and Recovery report here

Read a summary of the report here.


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

Yesterday in her update Dr. de Villa spoke about the importance of getting a flu shot, and she encouraged everyone to do so at a local pharmacy, through your family doctor, or by booking online at a Toronto Public Health flu vaccine clinic.

Dr. de Villa also spoke about our percent positivity figure for Toronto. She shared that the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases per 100 individuals tested in a given week is up. 

Yesterday, our percent positivity figure for Toronto was 4.4 per cent. That is an increase of 1.3 percentage points since Monday, when it was 3.1 per cent.

Dr. de Villa spoke about how these numbers are concerning, and although we are all tired and frustrated, we can’t give up now. Now more than ever, we need to continue to keep six feet distance from people we don’t live with, wear masks and regularly wash our hands – we need to do whatever it takes to make it harder for the virus to spread.

Read Dr. de Villa’s full update here


Coronation Park Heritage Restoration Complete

I’m pleased to share that the Coronation Park Heritage Restoration Project is now complete. Phase 2 was completed in June and Phase 3, which included the installation of commemorative markers is now complete.  

Improvements in the park include:

  • Resurfacing asphalt at the King's Oak Circle
  • Reinstating historical pathways throughout park, south of Remembrance Drive
  • Installation of 148 commemorative tree markers
  • Installation of 4 historical interpretive signs located at park entrances
  • New benches
  • New trees and planting beds
  • Resurfacing, line painting, improved intersection treatments and trail etiquette messaging along the Martin Goodman Trail
  • Improvements at the Strachan Ave intersection, including new planter and crosswalks/signalized intersection 
  • Relocation of the southwest part of the dog off-leash area so that a commemorative tree located inside could be accessed by non-off-leash area park visitors

Click here to learn more about the history of Coronation Park


St. Andrew's Playground Expansion and Revitalization Updates

Expanding and improving our existing green spaces downtown is critical, which is why I am thrilled that we are moving ahead with work on the St. Andrew’s Playground revitalization and expansion.

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.

The construction contract for the revitalization has now been awarded. Work will begin in Spring 2021, which will allow the park to remain fully open throughout the winter.

St. Andrew's Playground will close for construction in the spring, as soon as weather permits, for an estimated 4-5 month period. Signage will soon be posted in the park with the construction notice. 

Click here to learn more about the St. Andrew’s Playground Expansion and Revitalization

Click here to view the concept plan and presentation from the October 2019 public meeting.


King-Liberty Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge Update

Construction of the King-Liberty pedestrian/cycle bridge is nearing completion. It will provide a much-needed accessible connection for pedestrians and cyclists over the rail corridor between Western Battery Road and King Street West/Douro Street.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and impacts on supply chains and specialized labour, there has been a delay in the anticipated opening date. City staff are closely following up with the Contractor to prioritize the installations of the elevators, and hope to provide an update to the community soon. The new anticipated opening date will be by the end of this year, with the remaining soft-scaping to be completed in early 2021. 

Click here to learn more about the King-Liberty pedestrian/cycle bridge.


Inclusionary Zoning - Public Consultations Begin October 29

The development of an Inclusionary Zoning policy that would require new residential developments to include affordable housing units, creating mixed-income housing is integral to help address our housing needs. The city is growing and we must ensure that new housing is affordable for those who call Toronto home. 

City Planning staff will be hosting three virtual public meetings to consult on draft inclusionary zoning policy and zoning requirements and a proposed definition of affordable rental housing. These meetings will provide an opportunity for you to learn more about inclusionary zoning and share ideas and feedback on how this new affordable housing tool should apply in Toronto.

Details:

For further information you can read the public consultation notice here.


Toronto Heritage Grant Program

Do you own property designated under Part IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act?

Apply to the Toronto Heritage Grant Program by November 6, 2020 for work that repairs and retains defining heritage attributes like masonry, windows, doors, wood detailing and slate roofs.

More information is available at the Heritage Grant Program website.


City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map

The City of Toronto has created a COVID-19 Essential Service Mapping Tool

This tool has up-to-date service listings across Toronto, including food banks, meal delivery programs, community health services and more. Additional layers and details are being updated daily by 211 Toronto. 


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

City of Toronto
Province of Ontario
Government of Canada

Telehealth Ontario
Call if you develop symptoms.
Telephone: 1-866-797-0000

Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Telephone: 416-338-7600
TTY: 416-392-0658
Email: PublicHealth@toronto.ca

311 Toronto
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.
Telephone: 311
TTY: 416-338-0889

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