COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - April 1

Dear friends,

The hard truth is that we’re now in a third wave in our city – and beating it will take everything we’ve got. I know this is not easy. It’s been a long year and everyone wants to be done with this pandemic. But COVID-19 is not done with us. Right now, we must all do everything we can to limit the spread of variants, and control this third wave.

That means staying home as much as possible, and keeping our distance from anyone we don’t live with. It means connecting with friends and family virtually this holiday weekend, and not in person. And it means booking your vaccination appointment if you are eligible, or helping your loved ones to do so. 

Our City-run immunization clinics are all open throughout the weekend, with appointments available for people age 60 and above. Torontonians age 55 and above can get the AstraZeneca vaccine at participating pharmacies across the city. More information is below. 

Vaccines are how we end this pandemic. I urge every Torontonian who is eligible to make an appointment and get their shot. 

Together, we can do this.

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Torontonians Age 60 and Up Can Book Vaccinations at City Clinics Beginning Tomorrow 
  2. Province Expanding Eligibility for AstraZeneca Vaccine for People Age 55+ and Increasing Pharmacy Locations 
  3. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  4. In-Person Spring Break CampTO Programs Cancelled
  5. York Street Park Construction Updates
  6. Florence Booth House: Community Update
  7. Jamii Presents: Looks Like Us - Photo Exhibit Opening
  8. Island Master Plan Visioning Public Forum
  9. Online Survey: Garden Suites Study
  10. StreetARToronto Outside The Box Applications Open
  11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  12. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  13. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. Torontonians Age 60 and Up Can Book Vaccinations at City Clinics Beginning Tomorrow 

Beginning tomorrow at 8 am, Torontonians age 60 and over (born in 1961 or earlier) can start booking vaccination appointments at our City-run immunization clinics. There are appointments available throughout the long weekend, and I urge all eligible residents to book theirs now.

Visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ and click the "Book a Vaccine" button, or call 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

If you need help getting to a clinic for your shot, the City has transportation options for you. To book a ride:

  • Toronto Ride, torontoride.ca or 416-481-5250
  • iRide, circleofcare.com/vaccinerides or 1-844-474-3301
  • Scarborough Ride, schcontario.ca/scarboroughride.html or 416-736-9372

We're committed to ensuring that every Torontonian can quickly and easily access a vaccine when it is their turn. That's why we are also undertaking the largest community mobilization effort in our city’s history to help residents access the vaccines.

This includes our partnership with the staff at Toronto Public Library to reach their 35,000 senior members, our work with WheelTrans to reach out to their 26,000 riders, and our partnerships with 20 seniors agencies serving residents on the ground. And in includes our ongoing on-site vaccination clinics at Toronto Community Housing’s 83 seniors' buildings.


2. Province Expanding Eligibility for AstraZeneca Vaccine for People Age 55+ and Increasing Pharmacy Locations 

Today, the Ontario Government announced that they are expanding vaccine eligibility to people age 55 and up, to start booking appointments for the AstraZeneca shot at participating pharmacies. 

The Province also confirmed that 350 more pharmacies will start administering the shots in the coming days, for a total of nearly 700 locations across Ontario. 

In response to the Province’s original selection of pharmacy sites, our Toronto Public Health team provided a list of hard hit neighbourhoods that needed to be included. I am glad to see pharmacies in many of these communities have been added to the list and will now be able to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to their clients. 

To find a pharmacy near you, or to learn more about the Province’s pharmacy pilot program, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations


3. 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.

On Wednesday, Dr. de Villa spoke about the very serious risks that variants present, and the danger of gathering with friends or family outside of your household this weekend. She noted that if the current situation is described as a race the variants are ahead by a mile, and that they are far more transmissible and cause much more serious illness. 

The reality, Dr. de Villa said, is that at this point we don’t have nearly enough people vaccinated to ensure any kind of widespread protection, and we are seeing younger people wind up in hospitals and ICUs.

This means it’s more critical than ever that we celebrate safely. That means staying home, celebrating in-person only with the people you live with, connecting digitally with those you don’t, and, if outside your home, keeping your distance and wearing your mask.

Dr. de Villa concluded her remarks by saying that COVID-19 prevention has never been more critical than at this moment. 

Read Dr. de Villa's full update here.


4. In-Person Spring Break CampTO Programs Cancelled

Today, the City of Toronto announced the cancellation of the City’s in-person spring break CampTO camps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as Toronto’s case counts resurge and following today's announcement from the Government of Ontario. 

The cancellation is based on recommendations from the City’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa. 

The City’s spring break in-person camps were scheduled to run from April 12 through to April 16 at more than 85 locations. The City is issuing refunds automatically to all CampTO registrants. While registrants do not need to request a refund, they can contact [email protected] with any questions. Participants will have the opportunity to register for virtual camp workshop spaces.

To support parents and caregivers whose children will not be able to attend in-person camps, the City will continue to offer CampTO Virtual. Of the 1,500 CampTO Virtual registered spaces, more than 950 spaces remain available with a capacity of 25 participants per workshop which will be facilitated by recreation staff. 

Registration for virtual camps can be completed online at https://www.toronto.ca/campTO or by calling 416-396-7378. Parents and caregivers of children who were registered for CampTO are being contacted to provide information on how to register for this virtual option.

Learn more here


5. York Street Park Construction Updates

Construction is moving forward to create our new park on York Street. The open green space formerly encircled by the Gardiner Expressway off-ramp has been re-envisioned, and will soon become a new park to be enjoyed by local residents, workers, and the many visitors to our City’s central waterfront.

Pre-construction site preparation work has now begun in advance of construction beginning May/June 2021. 

For detailed updates on construction progress, visit the project website here.


6. Florence Booth House:  Community Update


Rendering of Florence Booth House revitalization

The Salvation Army owns and operates Florence Booth House, a shelter for women experiencing homelessness at 723 Queen St West. They are pleased to update the community on the progress of the rebuilding project at this site. 

The Salvation Army has been operating Florence Booth House for 21 years, providing much needed shelter, social, and health supports for women struggling with homelessness in the Bathurst/Queen neighbourhood. 

For the past several years, The Salvation Army has been developing a plan to rebuild and upgrade the facility. In November 2020, they received approval at the Committee of Adjustment to renovate and expand to allow for more beds, greater privacy for residents, outdoor space, and increased space for programs that will empower and inspire women, and result in personal growth and healing. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022. 

They would love to hear from those who would like to support the project or volunteer. If you would like more information, or have a question or comment, please feel free to send an email to the project team at [email protected] 

Learn more at the project website here.


7. Jamii Presents: Looks Like Us - Photo Exhibit Opening

Jamii invites you to an outdoor photo exhibit in The Esplanade community, as part of the Contact Photography Festival.

The exhibit features 27 photographs from members of The Journal collective, curated by 13 young women from the neighbourhood. Learn more here: https://www.jamii.ca/exhibit

The opening of the exhibit will take place between 1:00-1:30pm on April 3, 2021 on Facebook here


8. Island Master Plan Visioning Public Forum

The Toronto Island Master Plan is being co-created with Indigenous rights-holders, local stakeholders, and the general public. The ideas, thoughts, and other feedback we receive during the engagement process will feed directly into the planning process and help to shape the Master Plan. 

Help us co-create the Toronto Island Park Master Plan:


9. Online Survey: Garden Suites Study

The Garden Suites Study is one of several studies that the City Planning Division is leading to expand housing options in neighbourhoods as part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods work program, endorsed by City Council in July 2020.

A Garden Suite is an accessory housing unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate, or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites, are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and can function as a rental housing unit.

The Garden Suites Study will review important matters which include privacy and shadowing, protecting trees, sustainability, fire access, parking, and appropriate standards given a variety of residential lot characteristics across the City, among many others.

Residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the consultation process by way of the Garden + Suites Survey. Virtual community meetings to present the Garden + Suites study and to gather input from residents and stakeholders will begin in April 2021. Further information regarding the community consultation meetings will be provided once dates have been confirmed.

Additional information about the Garden + Suites study is available at the study website.


10. StreetARToronto Outside The Box Applications Open


Artwork by Julia Prajza at King Street West & Shaw Street. Photograph by Jocelyn Reynolds.

StreetARToronto (StART) comprises a suite of innovative programs specifically designed for streets and public spaces. StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make our streets more inviting and safe, reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, and create opportunities for positive engagement among residents, business owners and operators, artists, and arts organizations.

StART 2021 Outside The Box Applications are now open until April 16th.  

The Outside the Box program provides an opportunity for local artists to create works of art on traffic signal boxes across Toronto. Since 2013, over 350 boxes have been hand-painted by local artists, or wrapped featuring designs by local graphic artists, and transformed into extraordinary works of art. Artists and graphic designers applying to this program are encouraged to consider the context of the local area and the city as a whole. 

Click here to learn more and apply


11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses

Sign up for BusinessTO News, a weekly newsletter that focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, changes to City services, resources, and economic support. 

Upcoming free webinars:

eCommerce 101: What, Why, How
More consumers than ever before are turning to online shopping for greater convenience, safety, and variety. In this webinar, you will learn the basic steps to set up an online store.
Tuesday, April 6, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Register here

WSIB: Laws & Regulations for Small Businesses in These Challenging Times
Learn from a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board consultant about how to keep your workplace healthy and safe, and in compliance with health and safety laws.
Wednesday, April 14, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Register here

Click here for more upcoming webinars


12. 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. 


13. 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: [email protected]

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