COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - September 8
As we approach the second autumn of this pandemic, many in our communities have mixed feelings about resuming more in-person activities like school and work. While we have not yet beat COVID-19, we are in the last mile of the vaccination campaign, and I want to share a hopeful perspective with you.
In Toronto, we have already achieved remarkable progress. To date, 83.6% of eligible residents already have one dose and 77.6% are fully vaccinated – a world leading rate. The Provincial goal to achieve 90% fully vaccinated is within reach.
Throughout the vaccination campaign, we have been researching public opinion. Our recent Ipsos polling found only 6% of Torontonians are opposed to vaccines. Instead, the biggest outstanding group of people (at 8%) identify as being hesitant. They are not opposed, they have questions that they need answered and barriers they need help overcoming.
We also saw a 7 percentage-point decrease in vaccine hesitancy since March 2021. And among Torontonians who have received at least one dose, 97% said they were satisfied with receiving a vaccine.
The takeaway: our vaccination campaign is continuing to build trust and confidence among Torontonians.
We are meeting people in their neighbourhoods and communities, working hard to break down every barrier and build every bridge to vaccines. That's what it is going to take to reach the 8% who are still on the fence. To reach 90% full vaccination, this is critical.
We know who we need to reach. We know they are open to the vaccine. We just need to continue to be data-driven and focused in our work. So let's keep going. We can do this, Toronto.
In this Edition
- Team Toronto Mobile Strategy to Increase Vaccinations
- Call for Directors: Trinity Bellwoods Community Association
- Logan Avenue Ramps Closed as Construction Begins on Lake Shore Boulevard East Project
- Ontario Government Announces Information Sessions and Survey on Ontario Place Redevelopment
- Osler Playground Revitalization Community Consultation
- Foundry Site Saved
- Liberty Village Public Realm & Community Services Study
- CafeTO Survey
- Queen Street West TTC Track Replacement and Upgrade Work
- King-Liberty Pedestrian & Cycling Bridge - Elevators Open
- St. Andrew’s Playground Revitalization Progress
- New Dog Waste Disposal Bins
- How to Find Your Waste Collection Schedule
- Community Environment Days
- Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
- COVID-19 Information and Resources
1. Team Toronto Mobile Strategy to Increase Vaccinations
Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
Today, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, shared new data showing that unvaccinated Torontonians are seven times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 compared to people who are fully vaccinated.
Local data has also revealed that people who are not fully vaccinated account for 98% of hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Toronto in recent months.
This is why Toronto Public Health is urging everyone to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible -- for our individual health, and to protect those around us who are not able to get vaccinated, including people who may be immunocompromised and children under 12. To protect our community, Toronto Public Health is targeting full vaccination for 90% of residents.
I joined Dr. de Villa and Mayor Tory last week to announce the latest expansion of the Team Toronto Mobile Strategy to increase vaccinations.
This phase of our Team Toronto Mobile Strategy is a hyper local, data-driven approach to bring shots right to where people are – their work, school, and community centre, but also their grocery store, mall, and bus stop. With up to 200 mobile vaccine clinics operating every week and a targeted focus on areas with low vaccination rates, we're helping Torontonians get vaccinated just outside their front door.
Over this past weekend alone, more than 100 vaccine clinics across Toronto were delivered by Toronto Public Health and our Team Toronto partners, including pop-up clinics at Harbourfront Centre and the Ferry Terminal. Community ambassadors in every neighbourhood are also providing hands on, active follow up with community members, helping to break down every barrier to getting vaccinated.
To make an appointment or find a drop-in vaccine clinic, visit Toronto Public Health’s website How to Get Vaccinated or text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888.
2. Call for Directors: Trinity Bellwoods Community Association
The Trinity Bellwoods Community Association is inviting applications to join the Board of Directors from residents who live between College Street and King Street West, and between Bathurst Street and Crawford Street. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to get involved.
For more information and to apply, please see the application form here.
3. Logan Avenue Ramps Closed as Construction Begins on Lake Shore Boulevard East Project
As of August 31, the Gardiner Expressway ramps to Logan Avenue are permanently closed. This is to facilitate the Lake Shore Boulevard East project, including removal of the Logan Avenue ramp at the most eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway, as part of both the Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation Plan and Port Lands Flood Mitigation Protection project.
This work will support planned realignment of the expressway, facilitate broad improvements and liveability of the Port Lands area, improve public access to the Port Lands, and significantly enhance the City’s future climate resiliency through the Port Lands Flood Mitigation Protection work undertaken by Waterfront Toronto.
Removal of the Logan Avenue ramp allows for the Lake Shore Bridge to be lengthened and widened. Once the Lake Shore Bridge is re-engineered, the new space will accommodate bike lanes, pedestrian paths and a new linear park, and allow for the re-design and naturalization of the Don River, which will be a critical element for future flood protection.
From September through October 2021, on weekends only, Lake Shore Boulevard East will be closed from Cherry Street to Carlaw Avenue. The Westbound Gardiner can be accessed from Jarvis Street. The Don Roadway will also be closed between DVP and Commissioners Street, with no access permitted to the Don Valley Parkway.
The latest construction updates, including maps, are available at www.PortLandsTO.ca/Construction
You can find more details on the Lake Shore Boulevard East project here: https://www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-and-waterfront-toronto-to-begin-construction-of-lake-shore-boulevard-east-project/
4. Ontario Government Announces Information Sessions and Survey on Ontario Place Redevelopment
The Provincial Government has announced virtual public information sessions and an online survey for the Ontario Place redevelopment.
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.
In July, the Province announced the private partners they have selected for the redevelopment, without any prior public consultation.
The City of Toronto has consistently advocated for a strong partnership with the Provincial Government when it comes to the future of Ontario Place – one that is rooted in openness and transparency. In 2019, City Council approved a set of Guiding Principles for the Revitalization of Ontario Place, which were created through public consultation and the Subcommittee on Ontario Place.
These principles represent core values that must be incorporated into any final plan for Ontario Place: public accessibility at the site, including affordability; an integrated public realm with strong connections across Lake Shore Blvd to Exhibition Place; a robust celebration of the heritage of the site, and more.
In addition to creating a showcase and destination for Ontario, the Principles call on the Province to work with the City to ensure that all decisions are made through a transparent public process.
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.
As directed by City Council, the City of Toronto will be conducting its own public engagement on matters of municipal jurisdiction and interest this fall. I will keep you updated as those meetings are scheduled.
Ontario Government Virtual Information Sessions:
October 13th, 5:00pm and October 27th, 6:30pm. Register here
Online Survey: Participate here
5. Osler Playground Revitalization Community Consultation
Since late 2019, I have been working with the local community, City staff, and the TCDSB to create a new vision for the park and adjacent school grounds. Based on consultation to date, a set of design concepts has been developed. These will be presented to the community at a public meeting, pop-up in the park, and online survey. Visit the project web page to learn more.
Osler Playground Community Consultation
- Monday, September 13, 2021
- 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Join by video: toronto.ca/OslerPlayground
- Join by phone: 416 915 6530, Meeting ID 177 298 3984
Pop-up in the park
- Saturday, September 18, 2021
- Noon to 2:00 p.m.
6. Foundry Site Saved
On August 20th, the City of Toronto announced that the City and the Province of Ontario reached an agreement in principle regarding the provincially-owned Dominion Foundry Complex, former industrial lands comprised of four heritage buildings known as the Foundry Buildings located at 153-185 Eastern Ave in the West Don Lands.
The Province has released a Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report and Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) to the public with its vision of redevelopment of the property. The Province has committed to conserving the cultural heritage value of the property, while also providing for affordable housing, which supports the City’s Open Door Affordable Housing Program and the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. The plan includes the retention of the most important features of the site and the demolition of others.
The Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report is available here.
The Heritage Impact Assessment Report is available here.
This result was achieved through the tireless advocacy of many community advocates, including St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, Friends of the Foundry, West Don Lands Committee and Gooderham and Worts Neighbourhood Association, supported by City staff and the leadership of Councillor Wong-Tam.
7. Liberty Village Public Realm & Community Services Study
Liberty Village has changed a great deal in the past 20 years, from a manufacturing district to a vibrant live-work community. The City of Toronto is launching a Public Realm and Community Services Study for the neighbourhood to understand the need for new investments in things like public parkland or childcare.
You can help by sharing your ideas and comments using the Social Pinpoint tool on the study website. Stay tuned for details of a public meeting to be held later this year.
8. CaféTO Survey
CaféTO is supporting Toronto restaurants during the pandemic with nearly 1,200 outdoor patios on public sidewalks and roadways.
A new survey for the public and restaurants will help the City to learn from experiences of the past two seasons and better support the pandemic recovery of the restaurant industry. Visit toronto.ca/CafeTO to have your say.
9. Queen Street West TTC Track Replacement and Upgrade Work
The City of Toronto is replacing the streetcar track along Queen Street West from Bay Street to Fennings Street and upgrading a portion of 100-year-old watermain between Bay Street and University Avenue.
Construction work is ongoing, and is expected to be completed by December 2021. To minimize the impact on residents and local businesses, construction work will be carried out in eight phases of rolling 300-metre work zones. Construction is currently underway at University Avenue, moving from Bay Street to Spadina Avenue. Following these phases, work will shift to Fennings Street and progress east towards Spadina Avenue.
Due to the limited right-of-way on Queen Street West, there will be no vehicle access within any of the 300-metre work zones and the 501/301 Queen will be diverted. Sidewalk cafes will remain open outside of the active construction zone, and will only temporarily be removed when construction is taking place in front of an establishment. Sidewalks remain open. More information is available at: www.toronto.ca/QueenWestConstruction.
TTC service changes will be communicated through service alerts and online at www.ttc.ca.
10. King-Liberty Pedestrian & Cycling Bridge - Elevators Open
Our new King-Liberty Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge is now fully open, with recent completion of the elevators, providing a barrier-free connection across the rail corridor between Western Battery Road and King Street West/Douro Street.
Public health precautions and supply chain challenges slowed work on the elevators during the pandemic, and I requested City staff open the bridge in a phased approach earlier this year. As a result, pedestrian access to the stairs has been open since the spring.
11. St. Andrew’s Playground Revitalization Progress
Expanding and improving our existing green spaces downtown is critical, which is why I am thrilled to see significant progress on the St. Andrew’s Playground revitalization and expansion.
The parking lot to the west of the playground (shown above) is becoming part of the park, and a new dogs-off-leash area will be constructed in the new portion of the park.
Construction is expected to finish later in the fall this year.
12. New Dog Waste Disposal Bins
Earlier this year, the City of Toronto launched new street disposal bins that have a separate compartment specifically for dog waste, as part of a pilot project. Based on the pilot’s success, these new bins are coming to multiple park areas including in Liberty Village and the Fort York and St. Lawrence Market areas.
The special bins are used to divert dog waste from landfills, and instead be collected by the City to help create compost for soil. The processing of the dog waste can also produce biogas, which can be upgraded into renewable natural gas and used by the City to help power its vehicles and facilities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The pilot is expected to expand further in November. For street litter bins where there is not a compartment for dog waste, residents are asked to dispose of it in the garbage or take it home and put it in their green bin. Dog waste should never be put in the recycling or left on the ground. Any bag can be used for dog waste; it does not have to be compostable.
To learn more and find a full list of the 40 locations with the new pilot bins, visit: https://www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-expands-pilot-to-capture-dog-waste-in-street-litter-bins/
13. How to Find Your Waste Collection Schedule
The City of Toronto will be mailing a condensed Waste Management Guide to residents by the end of this year with information on your 2022 collection schedule. It replaces the traditional paper calendar in an effort to reduce paper waste and postage costs.
14. Community Environment Days
Between September 12 and October 31, there will be fourteen Community Environment Day events at Drop-Off Depots.
At the events, you will be able to drive to different stations to drop off unwanted items for donation and to dispose of batteries, old paint and other household hazardous waste. Free bagged compost will be available with a limit of two bags per vehicle while supplies last. A list of event dates and more information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/environment_days.
15. 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.
COVID-19 guidance: Learn more about what to do if an employee has COVID-19—and find regularly updated information and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace—on the City of Toronto website.
On-site vaccination clinics: Toronto Public Health is facilitating requests from Toronto employers who are interested in hosting an on-site vaccination clinic. Learn more and complete a short survey to register for an initial assessment call.
Free COVID-19 rapid screening kits: The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to help small- and medium-sized businesses with 150 or fewer employees safely reopen. Eligible Toronto businesses can place an order online to receive an initial four-week supply of testing kits.
16. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
Protect yourself and others by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Visit toronto.ca/covid19vaccine for up-to-date clinic locations and eligibility information.
17. 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
Call if you develop symptoms.
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Email: [email protected]
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.