COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - April 8

Dear friends,

I know this week has been an especially difficult one, with information evolving rapidly. 

As of Wednesday, schools in our city are closed under an order by our Medical Officer of Health. Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced a state of emergency and month-long stay-at-home order, which came into effect this morning. 

The reality right now is that COVID-19 variants, which are more transmissible and more dangerous, have changed the game. Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, and we need to stop a devastating third wave. 

At the City, we have one top priority: vaccinate the most vulnerable, as quickly as possible.

Our public health data has consistently demonstrated that the two factors that indicate vulnerability for serious illness and death from COVID-19 are your age, and where you live. Some neighbourhoods in our city have COVID rates that are more than 10 times higher than others. These same neighbourhoods are also home to a higher number of frontline and essential workers.

That’s why we are adjusting our local immunization strategy to focus on a targeted hot-spot neighbourhood and workplace approach. It's a plan to bring vaccines to the neighbourhoods that are hardest hit, and where frontline essential workers live. I look forward to sharing more details on this approach and rollout as they continue to be finalized. 

In the meantime, I strongly encourage every Torontonian who is currently eligible to book their vaccination appointment today (information and instructions are below). Let’s do everything we can to protect ourselves and each other.

Together, we can do this.

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Update from Province on Phase 2 Vaccine Framework: Registration Opens Tomorrow for 50+ in High-Risk Areas 
  2. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  3. Expanded ActiveTO Program Approved
  4. Town Hall to Protect the First Parliament Site
  5. Approved: Cycling Network Improvements for Richmond Street & Brant Street
  6. TTC Line 1: St George to St Andrew Closed April 12 through 21
  7. Spring Break Virtual CampTO Spaces Available
  8. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  9. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  10. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. Update from Province on Phase 2 Vaccine Framework: Registration Opens Tomorrow for 50+ in High-Risk Areas 

Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced new updates to the Phase 2 provincial framework for COVID-19 vaccinations. Beginning tomorrow morning (April 9) at 8 am, people age 50 or older who live in high-risk areas in Toronto can book vaccination appointments at our City-run immunization clinics online www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

High-risk areas are determined by the Province based on postal codes (as identified by the first three digits of a postal code area). To find a list of postal codes that qualify as high-risk areas, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-vaccination-clinic-bookings-opening-tomorrow-to-residents-age-50-and-older-from-53-postal-codes-identified-as-covid-19-hot-spots/

In addition, following yesterday’s announcement, the Team Toronto approach is shifting further towards vaccinating essential workers where they live – in areas where we know there are high COVID case counts. Our City’s Immunization Task Force and Toronto Public Health will be working with our hospital and health care partners to support a combination of mobile and pop-up clinics for people that live in high-risk areas and are age 18 and over to get vaccinated. I look forward to sharing more details about these mobile and pop-up clinics, and ways to register, as this information becomes available. 

Other current options open for vaccination include: 

All Toronto residents age 60 and above (born in 1961 or earlier) are currently eligible to book a vaccination appointment at one of our city-run immunization clinics. Six clinics are currently open across the city, with three more scheduled to open their doors on Monday at the following locations: 

  • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall
  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W.
  • Carmine Stefano Community Centre, 3100 Weston Rd.

To book an appointment, please visit www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or call 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

People age 55 and above can currently book an appointment to get vaccinated at their local pharmacy, as part of the Province’s Pharmacy pilot program. To find a participating pharmacy in your area, please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

In addition, our hospital and Ontario Health Team partners are also operating vaccination clinics and accepting appointments for a number of eligible groups, including (but not limited to): 

  • Health care workers and medical students
  • Indigenous adults (age 16 and above) 
  • Residents and workers in congregate care settings 
  • Patients and community members with high-risk chronic health conditions 

For more information, and to find out if you qualify, please visit: https://vaccineto.ca or contact the call centre at: 1-888-385-1910.


2. 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 on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 pm, and access past updates here.

Yesterday, Dr. de Villa spoke about the seriousness of the current third wave in our city. She confirmed that Toronto has recorded nearly 7,000 new cases in the past seven days, which is very concerning, and that right now we simply do not have enough time or enough accessible vaccine supply to vaccinate our way out of this third wave. This is why we must all do our part over the next few weeks to stay at home as much as possible and follow the Province’s emergency order.

Dr. de Villa also spoke about how the City and Toronto Public Health are working the Province and health care partners to expand vaccinations through increased popup and mobile clinics in high-needs areas. These neighbourhoods were identified by the Province using data including infection and hospitalization rates for COVID-19, and other factors including income, quality of housing, and number of residents that identify with a racialized group. 

You can read her full statement here. 


3. Expanded ActiveTO Program Approved

As the weather warms up, it's critical that people can get outside, exercise, and explore our city safely. This means expanding the City’s ActiveTO program. 

I have been working with staff to help ensure that Lake Shore West and Exhibition Place can be included as part of ActiveTO this year. 

I’m pleased to share that yesterday City Council approved an expanded ActiveTO 2021 program that includes directing Transportation Services staff to find a way to bring back the popular Lake Shore West closure, while managing the challenge of TTC streetcar track replacement on the Queensway and at the King-Queen-Roncesvalles intersection, along with associated TTC service diversions.

ActiveTO was introduced last summer as a quick-start COVID-19 response program. It was designed to provide more space for people to practise physical distancing while outside, support the overall well-being of residents, and quickly connect and expand Toronto’s cycling network by installing safe, separated temporary bike routes that mirror major transit lines.

The full ActiveTO report is available online. Learn more about ActiveTO on the City’s website.


4. Town Hall to Protect the First Parliament Site

In January, we learned that the Metrolinx had initiated expropriation proceedings for the First Parliament Site lands, which are owned by the City. A public meeting on the Master Plan for this historic site was postponed while the City sought clarification from Provincial agencies.

A Town Hall has now been scheduled for April 15, with Councillor Wong-Tam, CreateTO, City staff, and invited guests Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario. The Town Hall will include presentations on plans for the site, and a public Q&A session.

Date: April 15, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Zoom Webinar – Register here: https://www.firstparliament.to/townhall

The First Parliament site lands are currently secured in public hands by the Ontario Heritage Trust and the City of Toronto. The site is to be developed for a mix of public uses, in partnership with the Ontario Heritage Trust. The First Parliament Project team has engaged stakeholders and the public, completed a Heritage Interpretation Strategy, and is leading a Master Plan process to develop an implementation framework for the vision. City Council has approved a new district library for the site. New public open space, commemoration of the heritage of the site, and new public use opportunities are being explored.

The notice of expropriation by the Province to take permanent ownership of the site raises serious concerns for the planned public uses for the site, including critical community facilities such as the district library. Successful city-building requires collaboration between government partners, working together on shared objectives. I will continue to work with Councillor Wong-Tam, stakeholders, and the public to secure the goals that our community and leaders like former Mayor Deputy McConnell have envisioned for this important site.

Visit my website to learn more.


5. Approved: Cycling Network Improvements for Richmond Street & Brant Street

Yesterday City Council approved cycling network improvements for Richmond Street and Brant Street.

In conjunction with the conversion of Brant Street to a one-way street, a contra-flow bike lane will be installed on Brant Street between Richmond Street and Adelaide Street. A short section of northbound cycle track on Brant Street is proposed on the approach to the Richmond Street intersection to physically separate people cycling from motor vehicles at the intersection.

As part of this project, the one-way cycle track on Richmond Street will be converted to a bi-directional cycle track between Brant Street and Augusta Avenue. This reconfiguration will allow for people cycling to easily and safely connect in both directions between the Richmond/Adelaide cycle tracks, and the existing north-south cycling routes on Augusta Avenue, Denison Avenue, Bellevue Avenue, Borden Street, and Brunswick Avenue.


6. TTC Line 1: St George to St Andrew Closed April 12 through 21

The TTC recently completed important infrastructure work at St. Patrick Station over a 10-day period in March. This is work that would have normally taken months of disruption through nightly closures. Given the success of that project, the TTC will be continuing this work in April with a similar closure to capitalize on low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Line 1 will be closed from St. George Station to St. Andrew Station from April 12 to April 21 in order to complete critical, state-of-good-repair work. Crews will continue with tunnel repairs, asbestos abatement, and infrastructure upgrades.

There will be no subway service between these stations during this period; however, shuttle buses will operate frequently. Regular subway service will resume at approximately 6 a.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2021. More details on the closure are available here.


7. Spring Break Virtual CampTO Spaces Available

Virtual CampTO offers a new creative camp experience featuring live and interactive virtual workshops for campers to travel coast to coast across Canada, throughout the week of Spring Break. 

Spaces are still available. Learn more and register at http://toronto.ca/campTO 


8. 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:

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, 9:30am – 11am
Register here

Ask the Expert: Marketing & Sales
Marketing your business has never been as important as it is today. This webinar will show you how to successfully market your product or service using easy and affordable sales and marketing tactics.
Friday, April 16, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Register 

Click here for more upcoming webinars


9. 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. 


10. 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