COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - March 4th

Dear friends,

With the arrival of March, it’s hard not to take stock of how difficult the past year has been for all of us. 

I know that we all desperately want to get back to the way things were before the pandemic. But with the rise of new, highly-transmissible variants of concern, we simply can’t let our guard down now. To do so would risk all the sacrifices and efforts that we’ve made over the past year. 

At every stage of the pandemic, it’s been clear that we need to do more to protect our frontline and essential workers. Yesterday, we announced enhanced public health measures for Toronto workplaces in outbreak, and proactive inspections for over 100 identified workplaces in our city. By ramping up enforcement and protections, we can help stop workplace outbreaks before they start. This is about protecting both our essential and frontline workers, and the city as a whole.

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Update on Toronto’s COVID-19 Vaccination Planning and Community Outreach Work
  2. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  3. TTC Line 1: St George to St Andrew 10-Day Closure March 15 to 24
  4. Community Consultation for Affordable Housing at 150 Queens Wharf Road in CityPlace
  5. Help Shape How the City of Toronto Engages Communities Around New Shelters and Services for People Experiencing Homelessness
  6. Meeting Materials: 689 King Street West Development Public Meeting 
  7. Survey: Safe TO Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan
  8. Workman Arts Virtual Being Scene Exhibition
  9. Survey: The Esplanade and Mill Street New Cycling Infrastructure and Safety Improvements
  10. Doug Ford vs the People: Taking Ford to the Supreme Court - Virtual Panel Hosted by Progress Toronto
  11. CaféTO Registration Now Open
  12. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  13. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  14. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. Update on Toronto’s COVID-19 Vaccination Planning and Community Outreach Work

This week, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health provided an update on the City’s planning work underway for the COVID-19 vaccines – the largest immunization campaign in our history.

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, the Federal Government is responsible for securing the vaccine supply. The Province of Ontario sets the framework for distribution, including setting priority groups. In alignment with the Province's Plan, the City and Toronto Public Health help plan for the delivery of the shots. 

Right now, vaccine supply is limited. Toronto is dependent on the supply it receives from the Province. However, as supply is set to increase in the coming weeks, our planning for the coming stages is well underway. 

The City is finalizing the set up for nine large, City-run immunization clinics. Five of the nine are set up and ready to go, with the sixth one underway. No City-run clinics are open yet, because we’re waiting on vaccine supply. But when we get the green light to open the doors, we'll be ready.

City-operated immunization clinics are just one piece of the plan. In partnership with hospitals and the health care sector, we’re finalizing plans for over 350 clinics and sites, including:

  • 49 hospital clinics 
  • 46 Community Health Centre clinics
  • 249 pharmacy clinics

Our plan is for these 350-plus clinics to be supplemented by mobile and pop-up clinics across Toronto: at shelters, food programs, and drop-ins, as well as TCHC seniors' buildings. This is all part of our approach to ensure our most vulnerable have access to vaccines.

For our vaccination plan to work, we need to build trust. We're bringing on board 280 neighbourhood ambassadors to promote vaccines in their community. These are local and community leaders who can provide information, education, and help their neighbours access the vaccine.

We're also partnering with 140 community agencies, who will be safely going door-to-door in hard-hit areas to promote vaccines, address hesitancy, and identify locations for pop-up clinics. This is on-the-ground outreach that is rooted in local communities and neighbourhoods.

Everyone who wants a COVID vaccine in our city should be able to access one in their community. That's our goal. While we're still dependent on limited supply, we're doing everything we can to ensure an equitable and accessible rollout.

To learn more about vaccination, visit www.toronto.ca


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.

Yesterday, Dr. de Villa issued her recommendation that when the Ontario Government’s stay-at-home order expires on March 8, Toronto transition into the Grey Zone of the Provincial reopening framework. This is consistent with the approach that Peel Region’s Medical Officer of health has recommended, and is a measured, careful step. 

If confirmed by the Province, under the Grey Zone, a number of COVID-19 restrictions would be different. For details about what is and is not permitted, you can view the table here: https://www.toronto.ca/news/covid-19-restrictions-in-grey-zone-of-the-province-of-ontarios-covid-19-response-framework/

In her remarks, Dr. de Villa also noted that in Toronto, the number of cases that have screened positive for variants of concern has doubled in the past week, from 710 to 1468. This is a concerning increase, and Dr. de Villa stressed that we need to continue to stay home as much as possible and practice physical distancing in order to ensure that the number of variant cases do not surge upwards and of our control. 


3. TTC Line 1: St George to St Andrew 10-Day Closure March 15 to 24

There will be no subway service on Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations for 10 days from Monday, March 15 to Wednesday, March 24. Regular subway service will resume at approximately 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 25. 

Shuttle buses will replace subways during this time. All shuttle buses are accessible and will operate every 60 seconds or better during the morning rush period to provide safe travel and physical distancing.

The TTC is continuing to capitalize on reduced ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic and identifying opportunities to carry out vital state-of-good-repair work. 

The work, including tunnel lining repairs, asbestos removal, station cleaning, and track remediation, will be undertaken as part of a larger project to eliminate several years’ worth of early access, weekend and platform closures. A similar closure was already completed successfully in December 2020, allowing the TTC to complete more than two years’ worth of work in 10 days.

Visit the TTC website here for more information


4. Community Consultation for Affordable Housing at 150 Queens Wharf Road in CityPlace

We can't tackle Toronto's housing crisis without creating more housing options that people of all incomes can afford. Block 36 North, also known as 150 Queens Wharf Road, is the last block of undeveloped land in CityPlace. The land is owned by the City and has been earmarked for new affordable rental housing.

Please join me online or by phone on Monday, March 8,  from 7 - 9pm for a Community Consultation Meeting with staff from City Planning, the Housing Secretariat, and CreateTO, to learn more about the preliminary development concept, including the project proposal and timeline. For instructions on how to join and participate in the Community Consultation Meeting on March 8, click here. 


5. Help Shape How the City of Toronto Engages Communities Around New Shelters and Services for People Experiencing Homelessness

The City is currently undertaking a third-party review of its community engagement process for new shelters and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This review will identify what currently works well and what can be improved. 

The City wants to hear from a range of perspectives: residents who are new to this issue, residents who have participated in an engagement around a new shelter or live near a site, as well as residents who have participated as representatives of local neighbourhood groups.

You can participate in the Community Engagement Review by completing an anonymous online survey, or by joining a virtual focus group. This is an opportunity to influence the way the City engages residents about an issue important to our city.

To add your voice to the Community Engagement Review, please visit the Welcoming New Shelters web page for more information and instructions on how to participate.

If you have any questions, please contact Amber Krogel, one of the consultants supporting the Community Engagement Review, at [email protected]  


6. Meeting Materials: 689 King Street West Development Public Meeting 

Thanks to everyone who joined us this week for the 689 King Street West development public meeting. If you weren’t able to join the meeting, you can click here to view the recording

Click here to view the application materials

For comments or questions:
Mladen Kukic, Planner
416-392-9434
[email protected] 


7. Survey: Safe TO Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan

What are your Community Safety and Wellbeing Priorities? The City of Toronto is currently in the process of developing an updated Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan called Safe TO.

When the Safe TO Plan is complete it will guide how social systems that serve Torontonians such as community services, healthcare systems, justice systems, and police work together to meet community needs by changing how we think about safety.

The City wants to understand your priorities for Safe TO. Complete the online survey before March 15, 2021.

Safe TO Virtual Public Meeting: Community Conversations on Gun Violence
As part of the development of Safe TO, the City is hosting community conversations to engage in solutions-focused discussions on gun violence.
Click here for dates and to learn more


8. Workman Arts Virtual Being Scene Exhibition 

The Workman Arts annual Being Scene exhibition is back for its 20th anniversary! Going digital for the first time, Being Scene 2021 includes three exhibitions in one: a guest-curated exhibition of 11 commissioned artworks titled To Speak Without Speaking, a juried exhibition of 60 artists, and a retrospective exhibition honouring the 20th anniversary of Being Scene. 

Being Scene 2021 opens online March 4 and runs until March 28. The exhibition also includes a series of free online events, including workshops, panel discussions and mental health check-ins for artists and arts workers. For more info visit: https://beingscene.workmanarts.com

Workman Arts is a multidisciplinary arts organization that promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction issues through creation and presentation. They support artists with lived experience through peer-to-peer arts education, public presentations, and partnerships with the broader arts community.


9. Survey: The Esplanade and Mill Street New Cycling Infrastructure and Safety Improvements

The Esplanade and Mill Street serve as connections to iconic destinations like the Distillery District and St. Lawrence Market. New cycling infrastructure and traffic safety plans for these important streets are underway.

Community residents, businesses and organizations are invited to provide feedback on the proposed changes. Please fill out the survey here by March 14, 2021.


10. Doug Ford vs the People: Taking Ford to the Supreme Court - Virtual Panel Hosted by Progress Toronto

Join Progress Toronto tonight for a virtual panel to learn about their case at the Supreme Court to undo the changes that the Province made in the middle of the 2018 municipal election. 2018 Toronto City Council candidate and 2014-2018 TDSB Trustee Ausma Malik (bio) will be in conversation with Progress Toronto’s lawyer at the Supreme Court Don Eady (bio).

Thursday, March 4, 2021
6:30pm ET
This online conversation will be hosted on Zoom and the link will be provided with registration.
Visit their website here to register.


11. CaféTO Registration Now Open

Local restaurant and bar operators interested in expanding their outdoor dining space into the curb lane and onto sidewalks can now register online. Registration will remain open until March 26th. 

Pending public health orders, approved CaféTO curb lane locations from the first window would be installed as soon as mid-May – almost two months earlier than last year and in time for the May long weekend.

Learn more about the enhanced CaféTO program and updated guidebook at toronto.ca/cafeto.


12. 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:

Ask the Expert: Legal Advice for Business
Friday, March 5, 9 a.m. to noon - Register

Small Business – How to Prepare for Tax Season
Wednesday, March 10, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Register

Ask the Expert: Marketing and Sales
Friday, March 12, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Register

B Corp 101 Workshop: Learning to Measure What Matters
Tuesday, March 16, 10 a.m. to noon. – Register


13. 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. 


14. 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