Dear Friends and Neighbours, Construction on the Basement Flooding Protection Program continues in Weston. Following a number of inquiries from residents about construction in the area, I requested Staff to put together a comprehensive list of all of the streets currently undergoing construction with details on current progress and expected completion date. An updated notice has been mailed to Weston residents, and can also be viewed here. This project is a significant infrastructure investment in the Weston area to protect homes from basement flooding, but I know that the construction has been cause for frustration to many residents. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you are experiencing challenges due to the construction. I have been informed that since Queens Drive has been repaved between Pine St and Elm St yesterday, Canada Post has resumed regular mail delivery to the street today. I'd like to thank York South-Weston MP Ahmed Hussen for his support with the City of Toronto's application to the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) to build the Jane Street Bridge Expansion flood prevention infrastructure project. The Jane Street Bridge Expansion is a critical component of the flood mitigation strategy adopted by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on June 26 for the Rockcliffe area. In 2018, the City of Toronto submitted an application to DMAF for the Jane Street Bridge Expansion, but the application was deferred to a future intake process. The City was invited to resubmit this application in June 2020 and has done so. MP Hussen and I wrote to Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, to speak to the importance of this funding application for a robust flood prevention infrastructure project that will protect area residents. A copy of that letter is available here. The Province of Ontario has released their plan for reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year. All publicly-funded elementary schools will be reopening province wide, five days a week. Secondary schools with smaller populations will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week, while most secondary schools will start the school year in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online. Find out more about it here. Find out more about steps being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools here. Parents will have to pre-register their children for school this semester. The Toronto District School Board is reaching out to parents via email and telephone this week about the pre-registration process. More information on this can be found here. Toronto ACORN is hosting tenants rights information sessions that cover protections related to rent, evictions, maintenance/repairs, air conditioners, and more. Information on the Friday, August 14 session at 6:30 PM can be found here and information about the session Thursday, August 20 at 6:30 PM can be found here. Local Mount Dennis business supercoffee (1148 Weston Rd) has launched a campaign to raise money for For Youth Initiative's 'Future Fund,' which annually provides scholarships to local youth who are pursuing post-secondary education. Their goal is to raise $2500 to establish a 'supercoffee scholarship' and they are giving 10% of their sales until August 14 toward the scholarship. Additionally, they will be matching every donation (up to a total $2500) made on the Future Fund donation page until this Friday. I'd like to thank supercoffee for their continued support of our community, and encourage residents to make a donation if they are able to. Local youth organization Frontlines has launched a new website called Pin-Up. The site serves as a Community Board where community workers and leaders can post programs, jobs, events, resources, funding, and more by registering on the website. Check it out at https://www.frontlinespinup.ca! Stay safe, everyone. Sincerely, Frances
More recreation options open up in Stage 3, with a new online reservations option for indoor swimming lanes and fitness centres
City of Toronto staff have been developing new ways to deliver and improve service. This week, the City is introducing an online reservation option for its indoor drop-in lane swim program as well as weight rooms and fitness centres.
The new online reservation option enables people to conveniently book an indoor lane swim at any of the City’s 29 indoor pool locations or a gym session at select City weight rooms and fitness centres. To date, more than 300 aquatic amenities in Toronto have opened safely with public health measures in place, and Toronto continues to progress in its reopening. Fitness centres and weight rooms will reopen on August 17, but people will be able to reserve spots online beginning tomorrow, August 13.
The capacity at indoor pools remains significantly reduced, at 25 per cent of regular capacity, to allow for physical distancing as a result of COVID-19. That means a maximum of about six people can attend a drop-in lane swim. The new online tool will allow people to reserve a lane before they arrive. Spaces will continue to be made available for people who walk in or do not have access to a computer. After reserving online, people can pay their drop-in lane swim fees at the pool.
Assistance with learning how to use the online reservation tool is available by calling their local community centre or the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Customer Service at 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To ensure people can swim safely at City aquatic amenities, programs have been modified to meet public health guidelines and provincial restrictions. City pools continue to feature enhanced cleaning protocols and physical distancing requirements. Cleaning takes place every 45 minutes and patrons must stay two metres (six feet) apart.
When visiting the City’s recreation amenities, people will continue to be required to sign in, complete a health screening and provide their name and contact information to facilitate Toronto Public Health contact tracing if needed. Masks or other cloth face coverings must be worn in all Toronto indoor public spaces but are not required while people are swimming or exercising.
In addition, the City is gradually reopening services and amenities for everyone to enjoy this summer as Toronto remains in Stage 3 of reopening. Stage 3 and the associated loosening of Provincial restrictions has allowed for the safe restart of many City services, expansion of indoor and outdoor gatherings and provision of additional recreation opportunities for Torontonians.
Some recreation highlights as part of Toronto’s Stage 3 reopening include:
The City has increased its parks and recreation permit offerings and is currently issuing permits for the following activities:
sports and multi-use fields for games and practices (in cohorts of 50)
community and allotment gardens
formal photography in parks (this does not include conservatories or recreation centres)
picnics of up to 100 people or the designated site capacity which may be less than 100
special events, small in nature, no more than 100 in attendance
More than 119 community centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools have reopened since July 20.
More than 800 playgrounds and play structures reopened since July 31.
There have been more than 17,600 registrations to CampTO and nearly 3,500 participants took part in the first week of ParksPlayTO.
Don Valley Parkway closed this weekend for annual maintenance and improvements
The City of Toronto will perform annual maintenance and improvement activities on the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) this weekend from Friday, August 14 at 11 p.m. until Monday, August 17 at 5 a.m. The closure will extend the entire expressway from Highway 401 to the F.G. Gardiner Expressway. The rain date is planned for Friday, August 21 to Monday, August 24.
This year’s annual closure, typically planned for the spring or fall, has been moved to August to take advantage of warmer summer weather as well as lower than normal traffic volumes the city continues to experience. City staff estimate that it would take approximately 30 separate days with lane closures to complete the same amount of highly coordinated work performed in just 54 hours over a single weekend.
Traffic-signal timing changes will be made to enhance traffic flow on nearby routes to help manage traffic congestion associated with the closure.
As well, there will be one ActiveTO major weekend road closure this weekend, along Lake Shore Boulevard West from Stadium Road to Windemere Avenue. ActiveTO weekend closures that would typically be in place on Lake Shore Boulevard East and Bayview Avenue will not be available this weekend in order to provide alternative routes for drivers. All three weekend closures are expected to return the weekend following the DVP maintenance closure. Learn more about ActiveTO.
A full closure of the Don Valley Parkway for one weekend is an important and safe way that City road crews, engineers and other stakeholders, such as Toronto Hydro and the TTC, can make improvements and keep the expressway in the best state of good-repair.
Here are some specific activities that are expected to be undertaken during the closure, all numbers are approximate:
10 lane kilometres of roadway milling and paving
3,600 tonnes of asphalt will be used
Inspection and controlled chipping on bridges
Construction and repair of roadside ditches
Cleaning of bridge joints and catch basins
Debris removal and sweeping
Guiderail repairs and replacement
Inspection and repair of ‘crash’ barriers
Roadside and overhead sign maintenance
Inspection of maintenance of RESCU cameras and equipment cabinets
Repair of traffic detection equipment
Other work related to expressway lights and utilities may be done by Toronto Hydro.
Motorists can use Kingston Road, Victoria Park Avenue, Leslie Street, Bayview Avenue and Avenue Road as alternative routes into the city during the weekend closure.
This weekend’s DVP maintenance closure has been coordinated with important overnight work related to the renewal of the Gardiner Expressway between Jarvis and Cherry Streets. To facilitate this work and minimize disruption to the travelling public, the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, from the DVP to the Yonge-Bay-York ramp and the on-ramp to westbound Gardiner Expressway from Lake Shore Boulevard East at Logan Avenue will be fully closed. The first opportunity for motorists to enter westbound Gardiner Expressway is the on-ramp at Jarvis Street. These closures will take place on:
Saturday, August 15 at 10 p.m. to Saturday, August 16 at 8 a.m., and;
Sunday, August 16 at 10 p.m. until Monday, August 17 at 5 a.m.
A map with the City’s road restrictions is available to residents and visitors to help make their travel plans.
In addition, the City’s T.O. INview map shows planned capital construction work taking place across the city.
Details about this closure are available at toronto.ca/dvp
This work is part of the City’s comprehensive, co-ordinated strategy to rehabilitate and upgrade Toronto’s roads, transit and underground infrastructure for current and future needs.
City of Toronto resumes volunteer tree planting and forest stewardship program
Mayor John Tory today announced that starting next week, the City will resume its Forestry Community Stewardship Program. The program involves hands-on work by volunteers to support and encourage native biodiversity in various ecologically sensitive sites across Toronto. Volunteer teams will begin stewardship activities by mid-August.
Community stewardship volunteers help restore the natural integrity of Toronto’s green spaces by planting trees, shrubs and wildflowers, which contribute to the growth of Toronto’s urban forest. By participating in the program, volunteers can:
Learn more about native trees, shrubs and invasive species
Learn how to plant a tree and other native plants
Participate in a wide-range of environmental stewardship activities
Meet new people, make new friendships and network within the community
Gain experience and develop leadership and interpersonal skills
Acquire documented volunteer hours
Participants work in a team that is guided by an experienced volunteer team leader. Each team visits a specific site once a week until September. The City expects to provide additional events throughout the fall to help restore our green spaces, reduce the impact of invasive species and keep our parks clean throughout the year.
Participants must be at least 14 years of age or be accompanied by legal guardian. Stewardship activities include weeding invasive and non-native plant species, planting native species, watering vegetation, mulching trees, collecting litter, maintaining bird boxes and building habitat brush bundles. Participants also monitor site-specific conditions including water chemistry and levels, birds, vegetation and aquatic animals.
The program was suspended in March as part of the City’s response to COVID-19. The Forestry Community Stewardship Program will resume this summer in a modified format to meet provincial restrictions and public health recommendations.
Changes to the program include:
Team sizes are limited to 10 individuals including City staff
Each participant will complete a health screening prior to and at the start of each event
Participants must practise physical distancing and use a mask or other facial covering when distancing cannot be ensured
Equipment must not be shared among participants
Participants should continue to follow Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash hands often, practise physical distancing and wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public spaces and when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Volunteer involvement is critical to increasing public awareness of Toronto’s ecologically sensitive areas and sustaining them for future generations.
Information about volunteer opportunities and the Community Stewardship Program is available online.
More information about the City’s ravine strategy is also available online.
City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 15,548 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of eight today. There are 64 people hospitalized. In total, 14,117 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 21 since yesterday. To date, there have been 1,163 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. All of Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard indicators remain green, indicating they meet the established goal. Toronto Public Health continues to closely monitor local COVID-19 data. COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform: http://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.
As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents are reminded to continue adhering to Toronto Public Health’s advice to practise physical distancing, stay within their social circle of no more than 10 people, wash hands often and wear a mask or face covering where mandatory or when physical distance cannot be maintained. Wearing a mask or face covering is required in indoor public spaces in Toronto.
As more of the city’s businesses continue to reopen, residents can learn about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into the new normal and they begin to visit more establishments and take part in more activities at https://www.toronto.ca/ReopenTO. Safe reopening guidelines for businesses and organizations are also available at http://www.toronto.ca/Reopening.
For the latest updates from the City of Toronto, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Federal Government, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Province of Ontario, please click here.