COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - March 25th

Dear friends,

As supply increases, we are continuing to scale up our efforts to provide Torontonians with access to COVID-19 vaccines. On Monday, registration for vaccination appointments opened for all residents who are turning 75 this year and older. On Wednesday, the fourth mass immunization clinic in our city opened its doors: Thorncliffe Park Community Hub at East York Town Centre. To book a vaccination appointment for yourself or a loved one at one of our immunization clinics, visit the City’s webpage or call 1-888-999-6488.

Next week, two more clinics will open, at Malvern Community Recreation Centre and Mitchell Field Community Centre, and in early April the seventh mass immunization clinic will open at The Hangar, at 75 Carl Hall Road. 

The Province of Ontario’s Pharmacy Pilot program, which administers the AstraZeneca shot, continues to operate at select pharmacies for adults age 60 to 74 who wish to participate. To find a participating pharmacy in your area and to book a vaccination appointment, please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

This is just the beginning: every single day we are scaling up our capacity and outreach when it comes to vaccines. Vaccines are how we end this pandemic. As more Torontonians sign up to get their shot, we get increasingly closer to the day when this is all behind us. Together, I know we’ll get there. 

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. City Launches Transportation Plan and Vaccination Outreach for Seniors 
  2. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  3. Outdoor Dining Now Permitted by Province in Grey – Lockdown Zone
  4. Streets are for People - Expanding the ActiveTO Program
  5. Black History 365: Alexandra Park Edition
  6. Have Your Say - Toronto Island Master Plan Vision
  7. Registration Now Open for CampTO Programs
  8. In Pursuit of Black Future Month - Virtual Event
  9. Kiwanis Club of Toronto Foundation Grants 2021
  10. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  11. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  12. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. City Launches Transportation Plan and Vaccination Outreach for Seniors 

At the City of Toronto, we’re committed to ensuring that every resident, in every area of this city, can easily access a COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn. Transportation should never be a barrier to vaccination. 

This week, the City announced Toronto's Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan: a partnership with the TTC, local agencies, and Uber to bring transportation options to residents, including seniors who are turning 75 and over this year. 

As part of the Plan, Wheel-Trans will also be connecting with their 26,000 users – many of whom are seniors – to let them know about vaccine registration options, and provide rides to and from our mass immunization clinics. The City has set up Wheel-Trans drop-off and pick-up areas at each of the clinics, which are fully accessible.

Beginning in April, the TTC will also distribute 15,000 ride vouchers, through community agencies, to people who can't afford transit fare. The TTC will also operate shuttle bus service directly from Finch station to the City-run immunization clinic at Mitchell Field Arena, beginning on the clinic’s opening date of March 29.

The City is also funding Toronto Ride, iRide and Scarborough Ride to provide transportation to eligible seniors, adults with disabilities and immunocompromised adults, to and from vaccination appointments. This program will continue to be expanded and scale up over the coming weeks. To book a ride with Toronto Ride, iRide and Scarborough Ride contact:

Toronto has received a $150,000 donation from Uber in the form of voucher codes for individual rides. Starting April 6, these vouchers will be distributed to a network of partner community organizations to provide to people who have no transportation options and need to access vaccination appointments.

When it comes to vaccine access, our outreach efforts aren’t just limited to transportation. To reach out directly to seniors about their options, the City has partnered with the Toronto Public Library. Librarians across the city are mobilitizing to contact the 35,000+ Toronto seniors who are library users, and provide information about vaccines and how to register at our mass immunization clinics. 

At the same time, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) staff are hard at work making sure seniors in their communities have access to vaccines. Staff in TCHC's 83 seniors buildings are partnering with hospital and health care staff to finalize plans for vaccination options. To date, TCHC has held vaccination clinics in 23 seniors' buildings, with five more planned for this week. At these buildings, approx. 70% of tenants have opted to get their vaccination.

The City is also funding 40 local agencies to scale up staff to do outreach and engagement with seniors on vaccines and booking appointments. The agencies include those serving target populations, including our Indigenous, Black, and South Asian communities, as well as LGBTQ2S seniors and people living with disabilities.


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 at 2pm, and access past updates here.

On Wednesday, Dr. de Villa spoke about the vaccines that have currently been approved by Health Canada for use, three of which are being administered in Ontario: Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines. Dr. de Villa clarified that all three of these vaccines have been through a rigorous and careful review process by Health Canada, and determined to be safe and effective.

Dr. de Villa also mentioned that while some people may have heard that the vaccines actually contain the COVID-19 virus, this is not the case. She confirmed that instead, the way the vaccine works is by helping your body to create antibodies to COVID-19, which provide protection, even if the virus mutates (which happens regularly with viruses).

People who have questions about vaccines and how they work are encouraged to visit the City's webpage at toronto.ca/covid19, call the Toronto Public Health hotline at 416-338-7600, or speak with your local pharmacist or physician. All of these are good, credible sources of information and can help answer any questions you might have about the protection vaccines can provide. 


3. Outdoor Dining Now Permitted by Province in Grey – Lockdown Zone

Last week, the Province of Ontario announced outdoor dining is permitted in areas in the Grey – Lockdown Zone, which Toronto is currently in, subject to physical distancing rules and a number of other public health and workplace safety measures. The Province is limiting tables for outdoor dining in the Grey Zone to members of the same household, with exemptions for patrons who live alone and caregivers.

Toronto Public Health and the City have been working with the Province to arrive at a public health policy solution within the Grey Zone that manages the spread of COVID-and addresses the mental wellness of Toronto residents. 

Right now, while we work to expedite the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, we must not let our guard down. Variants of concern are continuing to spread in our city, and we have to remain cautious. As the weather warms up, that means carefully exploring how we can facilitate safer outdoor activities, that still include strong health protections for Torontonians.

Read the full announcement here.  

Click here to review the City’s simple “Dos” and “Don’ts” guide for recommended and mandatory public health measures under provincial regulations and City bylaws.


4. Streets are for People – Expanding the ActiveTO Program

As the weather warms up, it's critical that people can get outside, exercise, and explore our city safely. This means expanding the 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. This week, the Infrastructure & Environment Committee approved recommendations to identify additional ActiveTO opportunities for 2021, including these areas. 

Stay tuned for more updates. Learn more about ActiveTO here.


5. Black History 365: Alexandra Park Edition

February was Black History Month, and this year continues to be part of the International Decade for People of African Descent. Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) is continuing to raise awareness and celebrate Black community achievements every day as part of our heritage, our current society, and the future of our country. SCCC has released a special video to celebrate our community: Black History 365: Alexandra Park Edition

Click here to learn more.


6. Have Your Say – Toronto Island Master Plan Vision

Last week we launched the visioning process for the Toronto Island Master Plan: a long-term planning document that is being co-created with the Indigenous Community, local stakeholders, and members of the public.

There are several ways to participate, including contributing to the interactive map. Tell us about your ideas for the future of Toronto Island Park by dropping pins on the map and leaving a comment. You can also click to see what others have said to join the discussion. 

Click here to add to the map

Learn more and stay informed on Island Master Plan engagement opportunities here: www.toronto.ca/islandmasterplan 


7. Registration Now Open for CampTO Programs

Registration is now open for the City’s spring break CampTO programs, which will run from April 12 through to April 16, and includes both in-person and virtual options for kids. 

CampTO, first offered in the summer of 2020, is a creative camp experience that provides outdoor and physical activities, active and quiet games, arts and crafts and nature-based activities. CampTO is designed for maximum fun and safety for campers six to 12 years of age.

The quickest and easiest way to register for CampTO programs is online at https://efun.toronto.ca/TorontoFun/Start/Start.asp

Phone registration will also be available. Residents can call 416-396-7378 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends for help preparing for registration. Click here to learn more


8. In Pursuit of Black Future Month – Virtual Event

In Pursuit of Black Future Month will be held on March 27, from 4 pm – 6 pm. A discussion on Black History Month and Black Future with the Honourable Jean Augustine and Danilo McCallum will be moderated by Ashley Jane Lewis. 

This event is presented by the Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada (BSAM) in partnership with Scadding Court Community Centre and the Design Fabrication Zone at Ryerson University.

Click here for more information and to register


9. Kiwanis Club of Toronto Foundation Grants 2021

This year, the Kiwanis Club of Toronto Foundation is awarding grants up to $10,000 to support initiatives that inspire children and youth to become leaders in their communities. These grants will contribute funding for programs that encourage the development of transferable leadership skills, such as decision-making, teamwork, goal setting, time management and community involvement, to name a few.

The grants will be awarded to those programs and projects that support the overall development of children and youth, with a primary goal of fostering healthy children and communities. The grant application will be open from April 1 to May 15, 2021. Visit their website here to learn more.


10. 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:

General Small Business Tax Literacy Seminar
Geared toward unincorporated businesses, this seminar will help participants understand their tax obligations and provide them with the resources needed to navigate the tax system.
Friday, March 26, 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Register here

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

Click here for more upcoming webinars


11. 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. 


12. 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