Dear Friends and Neighbours,
The weekend is here, and while I know that many of us are getting a little restless indoors, I urge everyone to please stay at home as much as possible. Toronto has reason to be cautiously optimistic about our progress in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, but we must continue to follow the advice of our Public Health officials and make sure that we stay on the right track. Please avoid visiting others or having guests this weekend.
The provincial government is providing financial relief to small business and property owners during the COVID-19 outbreak. They have committed $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through a new program, the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). More details here.
Over the last several weeks, Toronto Police has noted an increase in reported occurrences involving the hijacking of virtual meeting spaces. Active investigations of meetings being interrupted by uninvited guests who share illegal material are underway. For tips on how to better protect virtual meetings, and for the full news release, please click here.
Kendall Hills Farms are running a Virtual Farmers Market and offering residents a pick-up location at High Park Brewery for their orders! The live Farmers' Market may be closed because of COVID-19, but you can still browse and purchase fresh produce, meat and artisanal goods and collect them conveniently using safe physical distancing pickup at High Park Brewery (839 Runnymede Rd). Click here for full details.
Tell me something good! Do you have a story to share about yourself, a friend, a local business, or a neighbour in York South—Weston who has gone out of their way to support the community during this challenging time? I encourage everyone to email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org with their inspiring stories or to share them on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #yswcares.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Here’s what you need to know today:
City of Toronto begins targeted spring cleanup across the city
Targeted spring cleanup will be taking place across the city over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, the annual Clean Toronto Together community cleanup campaign was cancelled due to COVID-19. The public can do their part to help keep Toronto clean and safe by properly disposing of items in available street bins and not littering. You can also report litter hot spots to 311. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the City does not want the public handling items that have been discarded on the ground in Toronto's public spaces or organizing community cleanup events. If residents find personal protective equipment or other trash discarded on their property, they are advised to use gloves to pick it up and to discard it in the garbage, along with the gloves and then wash their hands.
Saad Rafi appointed to lead the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild to begin planning post-COVID-19
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the start of Toronto's Recovery and Rebuild Strategy including the establishment of an office led by Mr. Saad Rafi, with a public health strategy led by Dr. David Mowat. While the City’s priorities remain on reducing the spread of COVID-19, minimizing demand on the health care system, and ensuring the delivery of essential and critical City services, preparing Toronto for recovery and rebuild in the weeks and months to come must begin now. Decisions about timing of re-opening and relaxing current measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 have not been determined and will be guided by advice from public health officials. For more information, please read the news release.
Sing for Canada this Sunday
The Canada Together initiative is asking everyone to sing the anthem on Sunday at 12 p.m. Visit canadatogether.com/en for more information.
City urges residents to stay focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19
As of this morning, there are 4,480 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 4,048 confirmed cases and 438 probable cases. There are 300 cases hospitalized, with 113 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date 238 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform. As the weekend approaches, residents are reminded of the importance of staying home and remaining focused on fighting COVID-19.
Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 483 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued five tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 489. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to close to 11,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 39 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 65 tickets and 141 notices to non-essential businesses.
How to Dispute a Ticket
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new legislation and bylaws have been put in place which have not existed in the past. If you feel that you were wrongly ticketed, you have the option of requesting an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor and challenging it in court. You can do this by requesting early resolution meeting, or requesting a trial. For more information is available on the City's website.