COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - October 27th

Dear friends,

2.34 million Torontonians – over 83% of those who are currently eligible – are now fully vaccinated. Over 87% have had their first shot. 

Right now, we only need 196,000 people to get both shots to reach 90% vaccinated. And of those 196,000 people, more than half already have their first dose. 

Millions down, just thousands to go. 

This past weekend alone, nearly 900 people stopped by our #VaxintheSix pop-up clinics in subway stations, and got their shots. And as we look ahead to Health Canada’s approval for vaccines for children age 5 to 11, Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners will keep ramping up outreach and engagement with schools, parents, and community members in the coming weeks. 

Sincerely,

Joe


In this Edition

  1. More than 800 Toronto public schools to have PCR tests on site by end of week
  2. Expediting East Bayfront Affordable Housing
  3. Development Application Public Meetings
  4. Laneway Suites — Public Meeting
  5. Vacant Home Tax Survey
  6. Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics in Ward 10
  7. UHN OpenLab Call for Seniors to Participate in New Aging In Place Initiative
  8. Toronto Youth Cabinet Equity & Employment Sustainability Survey 
  9. 2021 Pumpkin Parades
  10. Provincial Government Virtual Information Session on Plans for Ontario Place
  11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses

1. More than 800 Toronto public schools to have PCR tests on site by end of week

Every public school in Toronto will have a supply of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test kits available for use by the end of this week – the first program of its kind in Ontario. Take-home testing kits can be used if and when a student presents with symptoms of COVID-19 or after another student or staff member in their class has tested positive for COVID-19.

PCR tests are the gold standard of COVID-19 tests with the highest accuracy rate, compared to other self-administered tests. By ensuring PCR tests are available in every school, students and staff have access to an easy to use testing kit, allowing for positive cases to be more easily identified before COVID-19 can spread and cause additional exposures to families or other students in schools.

The take-home PCR test is administered with a simple mouth-nose swab (i.e. swabbing the tongue, cheek and inside the nostril), or through collecting saliva, instead of the nasopharyngeal swab (NP) commonly used for COVID-19 testing. It is easier for a student to self-administer this COVID-19 test.

Once the test is complete, families can drop off the COVID-19 test at a local pop-up testing site or at select schools for processing. The turnaround time for results is approximately 24 hours to 48 hours. If a child tests positive for COVID-19, the parent or caregiver will be notified directly for follow-up, advice and next steps.

Making sure that our schools are as safe as possible is critical to containing the transmission of COVID-19 in our city. By ensuring that students and families have access to take-home PCR tests, Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto hospital partners are helping to stop the spread of COVID in classrooms before it starts. This will go a long way towards keeping kids safe, as we continue to plan and prepare for Health Canada’s approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11. 


2. Expediting East Bayfront Affordable Housing

Successful waterfront revitalization means creating sustainable and accessible communities. The comprehensive precinct plan for the new Bayside neighbourhood in the East Bayfront included new parks, a waterfront promenade, office and residential development, as well as land for future affordable housing – a critical component of inclusive neighbourhoods. 

A first phase of new affordable housing in Bayside was completed in 2018. 80 new units at Artscape Bayside are managed by this not-for-profit, at affordable rates for working artists. A second phase at the "R6" site, next to the Parliament Slip, is planned to provide a minimum of 215 new affordable units. 

A new report that will be considered by the Planning and Housing Committee on October 28 recommends adding the "R6 site" to the City's Housing Now Initiative. Housing Now provides streamlined and expedited technical reviews, marketing and development for the City's 10-year Affordable Action Plan. Folding the R6 project into this program means more affordable housing will be built faster in our waterfront community. With our city in an affordability crisis, this is good news. By speeding up reviews and approvals, we can streamline the creation of more affordable homes that our city desperately needs. 


3. Development Application Public Meetings

Join City staff at these upcoming Virtual Community Consultation Meetings to learn about the development proposals, provide your feedback and learn about next steps. 

310, 320 and 330 Front Street West
This proposal seeks to amend the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law to permit the redevelopment of the southeast corner of the site (310 Front Street West) with a 69-storey mixed-use building containing commercial and office uses within the first 10 floors and 560 residential units above. 

Meeting date: November 1, 2021 
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Meeting link: http://www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations

For further information on the application, please visit: www.toronto.ca/320FrontStW

241 Richmond Street West and 133 John Street
This proposal seeks to amend the Zoning By-law to permit the redevelopment of the site with a 41-storey mixed-use building with commercial uses on the ground floor and 470 residential units above. The heritage building at 241 Richmond Street West is proposed to be conserved and the heritage building at 133 John Street is proposed to be demolished. 

Meeting date: November 2, 2021 
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Meeting link: http://www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations

For further information on this application, please visit: www.toronto.ca/241RichmondStW


4. Vacant Home Tax Survey

With a vacant home tax, homeowners who choose to keep their properties vacant, rather than renting or selling them, are subject to a tax. The City wants to hear from you on how this tax should work in Toronto. Learn more and complete the survey before Monday, Oct 25: http://toronto.ca/vacanthometax


5. Laneway Suites — Public Meeting

Permitted in the City of Toronto since 2018, laneway suites are self-contained residential units located on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house, townhouse, or other low-rise house. A Laneway Suite is typically located in the backyard, next to a public laneway and is generally smaller in size, and completely detached from the main house on the lot.

Today, Wednesday, October 27, from 7:15 pm to 9:00 pm the City is hosting a virtual meeting to present work on the Laneway Suites Review and Monitoring Initiative, preview draft amendments to the Laneway Suite By-law for comment, discuss other findings and potential recommendations, and answer questions.  

Access the meeting link and learn more on the Changing Lanes website here.


6. Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in Ward 10

Trinity Community Recreation Centre
155 Crawford Street
Every Tuesday until November 2nd
2pm-6:30pm
View flyer

Scadding Court Community Centre
707 Dundas Street West
Every Wednesday until November 2nd
5pm-7pm
View flyer

Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre
45 Fort York Blvd
Every Thursday until November 11th
4pm-8pm
View flyer


7. UHN OpenLab Call for Seniors to Participate in New Aging In Place Initiative 

The NORC Ambassadors program is an initiative of University Health Network’s OpenLab that aims to partner with senior residents to transform their high-rise buildings into vibrant communities that support healthy aging in place. They are currently recruiting new groups to work with in early 2022, and are looking for residents who are interested in forming an 'aging in place' group in their own building.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Giselle at 437-290-8033 (a local Toronto number) or via [email protected] Learn more on their website: https://norcambassadors.ca 


8. Toronto Youth Cabinet Equity & Employment Sustainability Survey

A youth-led organization that promotes youth participation in municipal affairs and policy development, the Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC) is the official youth advisory body to the City of Toronto. 

The TYC Equity & Employment working group is proud to launch the Equity & Employment Sustainability Survey. The survey was created by youth, for youth to highlight the many barriers and inequalities Toronto youth face in the areas of employment and equity. The survey will paint a clear picture of the reality many young people face in the city.

Click here to take the survey


9. 2021 Pumpkin Parades

The City of Toronto is welcoming back Pumpkin Parades this year! 

Please practice physical distancing while enjoying your local Pumpkin Parade.

Joe Shuster Way Pumpkin Parade
October 31, 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Rita Cox Park
View the event flyer

Trinity Bellwoods Pumpkin Parade
November 1, 6 pm - 9 pm
The parade will take place at Trinity Bellwoods Park along the east-west footpath from Crawford Street near Lobb Avenue. 
View the event flyer and a map here.


10. Provincial Government Virtual Information Session on Plans for Ontario Place

Ontario Place represents 155 acres of public land on the waterfront, located in the heart of Toronto, a heritage site of international importance, and heavily-used public parkland.

The Provincial Government is conducting a virtual public information session and an online survey for the Ontario Place redevelopment.

While the information sessions and online survey seem to be aimed at confirming the announced plans, I urge the Province to take next steps with active collaboration, engagement, and respect for the valuable lands and crucial public asset that Ontario Place represents.

Virtual Public Information Session: Today, Wednesday, October 27, at 6:30 pm.

See my update here for more details and the link to pre-register.


11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses

An expanded slate of free webinars is being offered throughout October as the City of Toronto celebrates and supports Small Business Month. View the webinars available and register to participate.

For more updates, register 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.