July 24 - Update


Dear Friends and Neighbours, I am pleased to inform you that the playground enhancement project at Keele-Mulock Parkette is complete and the park is now open. Please note that the play equipment may still be taped off due to Covid-19. I'd like to remind everyone that the Weston Farmers' Market is back on beginning August 1! Please click here to see an updated  construction notice for the laneway and parking lot closure at Keelesdale Station. As we head into the weekend, I'd like to remind everyone that COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the past few days. I know it is very tempting to get together with friends and family, but please remember to follow all public health guidelines to stay safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Sincerely, Frances


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City of Toronto weekend update on services, amenities and ActiveTO

The City of Toronto remains in Stage 2 of reopening and continues to safely and gradually reopen amenities for people to enjoy this summer. Residents visiting community recreation centres and other reopened facilities 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.

As of July 7, masks or face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces, excluding those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of two, and other accommodations. More details here.

COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto and everyone is reminded of the public health guidelines designed to keep everyone safe.

Gardiner Expressway closure

The construction work zone on the Gardiner Expressway will now transition to renew the south half of the expressway for the final phase of Strategic Rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway project. From Saturday, July 25 to Monday, July 27, there will be traffic restrictions on the Gardiner Expressway from the DVP to Jarvis Street to safely transition the work zone.

These restrictions include:

  • From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 there will be no westbound travel on the Gardiner Expressway from the DVP to Jarvis Street. Drivers traveling southbound on the DVP should exit at Richmond Street or Lake Shore Boulevard East to continue travelling westbound.

  • From 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 26 until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 27 there will be no eastbound travel on the Gardiner Expressway from Jarvis Street to the DVP and the eastbound on-ramps at Bay Street and Rees Street will also be closed. Drivers travelling eastbound should consider Lake Shore Boulevard East. If drivers are travelling to the DVP, they must access the DVP by the Don Roadway through Cherry Street and Villiers Street or Commissioners Street as vehicles will not be able to turn left onto the Don Roadway from Lake Shore Boulevard East.

Full details about this work are available in the City’s July 20th news release.

Restaurants not obeying provincial orders

Toronto restaurants and bars continue to be open for delivery, takeout and outdoor dining only. Customers can only be inside a restaurant or bar to access an outdoor dining area (i.e. walk through to a back patio), pick up food, pay or use the washroom; while within the enclosed public space, customers and employees must be wearing a mask as required by the establishment’s mask policy and the City’s Mask or Face Covering Bylaw.

The City has received many complaints regarding restaurants and bars not following physical distancing requirements, as well as illegally offering customers indoor dining. Enforcement officers from Municipal Licensing & Standards, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Police Service, and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario have increased inspections of liquor-licensed establishments in the city to address businesses that, despite widespread efforts to educate them on public health requirements to keep their customers, employees and the public safe, continue to disobey provincial orders.

Restricted evening parking at beaches to address prohibited activities

The City has seen a significant increase in the number of people at Toronto beaches late into the evening who are not practising physical distancing, or who are setting up DJ equipment, lighting bonfires, setting off fireworks, drinking excessively and leaving large amounts of litter behind. As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents visiting a beach or park must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding.

Parking restrictions are in place at Toronto beaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Parking restrictions will be in place at the following beaches starting at 7 p.m. on Friday:

  • Marie Curtis Park

  • Humber Bay West Park

  • Cherry Beach

  • Bluffer’s Park

Toronto Police will be present at all parking lot entrances. Vehicles leaving beach parking lots after 7 p.m. will be able to do so freely.

Bylaw officers, Toronto Police and Toronto Fire will have a highly visible presence at beaches and parking lots to ensure that crowds and bonfires and other prohibited activities do not occur or are dealt with quickly should they occur. Parking enforcement will also have a significant presence this weekend, with tagging and towing of illegally parked vehicles in the vicinity of beaches where parking is restricted.

Bonfires are not permitted on beaches. Likewise, organized parties, with excessive drinking, and DJs with amplification of sound, are also prohibited. Bylaw enforcement officers and Toronto Police will issue tickets related to bylaw infractions, including littering, and people are asked to take their garbage with them so it can be disposed of properly. Any overflowing bins or litter hot spots should be reported to 311.

ActiveTO road closures, cycling network and Quiet Streets

Due to the Gardiner Expressway work, the ActiveTO major road closures on Lake Shore Boulevard East from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue and Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road will be cancelled this weekend, July 25 and 26.

The following ActiveTO major road closure will be in place this weekend, from Saturday, July 25 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, July 26 at 11 p.m.:

  • Eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard West from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road

Residents planning to use these roads should access them by bike or as a pedestrian as nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available. Parking lots at Sunnyside Park, Budapest Park and Sir Casimir Gzowski Park will be closed all weekend during ActiveTO closures. Overnight parking is not permitted in these lots and any vehicles should be moved before midnight on Friday.

More than 60 kilometres of Quiet Streets are available to local residents throughout the city this weekend. More information, including an online map of all locations, can be found on the ActiveTO web page.

Curb lane closures will be in place this weekend to accommodate new cafés/patios for CaféTO locations throughout the city.

City pools and splash pads

Torontonians can cool off at all of the City’s 140 splash pads and 56 outdoor swimming pools that are now open, with the exception of Earlscourt Park/Giovanni Caboto Pool which is undergoing repairs. The City’s 100 wading pools continue to open on a location-by-location basis. In order to allow for physical distancing, the capacity at outdoor pools will be significantly reduced to 25 per cent. Swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions to allow for cleaning. Full details here.

Beaches

Toronto beaches are open, including the four Toronto Island Park beaches. Lifeguards supervise swim areas from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Rouge Valley Beach remains closed. More information on the beaches is available online.

It can be unsafe to swim even at designated swimming beaches, for 48 hours after a rainfall due to the possible presence of high levels of bacteria that could pose a risk to human health. Learn more.

Toronto Public Health posts water quality reports for local beaches online.

City parks

Most amenities in City parks are now open. Playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment remain closed. As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents visiting a beach or park must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding. More details here.

The City’s outdoor sport and multi-use fields are now open for training and permits are being issued to organizations for the remainder of the 2020 summer season. More details here.

Toronto Island Park public ferry and beaches

The public ferry service recently resumed operations at 50 per cent capacity with COVID-19 guidelines and procedures in place to protect passengers and staff. Tickets are limited to 5,000 per day. Visitors must purchase tickets online in advance. Passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings. To reduce crowding, visitors are encouraged to travel outside of peak times of 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (from the ferry terminal to the island), and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for the return trip.

Lifeguards supervise the four Toronto Island Park swimming beaches. Services and amenities that are open at Toronto Island Park include washrooms, a splash pad, a first aid station, William Meany Maze, some food and beverage outlets and disc golf. Other Toronto Island Park public and commercial amenities, including Centreville, park playgrounds and boat rentals, remain closed under the current Province of Ontario emergency orders.

Public washroom facilities

Park washrooms are open to the public. In addition, the City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. More details including health guidelines for washrooms are available on the City Services webpage. Residents using public washrooms should maintain a distance of two metres or six feet from others at all times while waiting in line and wash hands or use hand sanitizer. More details here.

St. Lawrence Market

The St. Lawrence Market continues to operate with enhanced precautions under the advisement of Toronto Public Health.  The South Market is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Saturday Farmers’ Market indoor and outdoor areas are open weekly from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Sunday Antique Market remains closed until further notice.

The use of a face mask or face covering is required at the St. Lawrence Market Complex and entrance screenings are conducted for customers and all personnel entering the market. Please remember to bring your face covering for your trip and wear it at all times at the St. Lawrence Market Complex. Customers are reminded that even when wearing a mask or face covering, keeping physical distance from others and washing your hands often are the best ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. More information on the website .

City of Toronto to open 14 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning

Environment and Climate Change Canada has declared a Heat Warning for Toronto starting tomorrow, Saturday, July 25 to Monday, July 27.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.

Extreme heat is associated with negative health impacts ranging from heat stress to heat stroke and death. During periods of hot weather, the safety of all residents is the priority. Starting at 11 a.m. on July 25, the City of Toronto will open 14 Emergency Cooling Centres (ECCs) for the duration of the Heat Warning.

An interactive map is available to help those who need to locate an ECC and other cool spaces, such as community centres, swimming pools, wading pools and splash pads near them. This week, 47 additional spaces where the public can access indoor cooling have been added to the map, including community centres.

The ECCs offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place for residents to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ECCs are available to residents if they do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.

All the centres will operate during Heat Warnings only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Metro Hall, 55 John St., which is open 24 hours during Heat Warnings.

Tips to protect yourself from the heat are available at toronto.ca/keepcool.

When a Heat Warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries can call 311.

It is mandatory for the public to wear masks or face coverings, with some exceptions, at all ECCs. A mask will be provided at the ECC to those without a mask who want to enter.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, people who are at higher risk for COVID-19 (such as persons who are more than 70 years of age), or who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 (experiencing symptoms, high risk exposure), may visit an ECC if necessary, to beat the heat while taking the following precautions:

  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times

  • Avoid use of public transportation, taxis or ride-shares

  • Practise hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Practise physical distancing.

When arriving at an ECC, inform a staff member prior to entering of your COVID-19 or self-isolation status during the screening process.

ECC staff will screen all visitors and accommodate those who are required to self-isolate in an alternate space separate from the main ECC area.

To help residents cool off during the Heat Warning, the following seven outdoor pools will be open, weather permitting, until 11:45 p.m. tomorrow and may continue to operate with extended hours until the Heat Warning is cancelled:

  • Alex Duff Pool, 779 Crawford St.

  • Earlscourt Park/Giovanni Caboto Pool, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W.

  • McGregor Park, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.

  • Monarch Park, 115 Felstead Ave.

  • Parkway Forest, 55 Forest Manor Rd.

  • Smithfield Park, 175 Mount Olive Dr.

  • Sunnyside Park/Gus Ryder Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

For up-to-date information on extended pool hours, pool locations and regular operating hours, call 311 or visit toronto.ca/swim.

City of Toronto Court Services resuming some services as Provincial Offences Act courts partially restart operations

Starting today, City of Toronto Court Services is resuming select services through new, enhanced online processes that protect staff and the public. The new City processes follow the Province of Ontario enacting the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act that allows Provincial Offences Act courts to restart select operations.

It will now be easier to attend an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor. All early resolution meetings with a prosecutor will be conducted via telephone, regardless of a person’s distance from the courthouse. Persons who received a ticket can request an early resolution meeting online using the online Court Case Look Up or by selecting the early resolution meeting option on their ticket and mailing it to the court address indicated on the back of the ticket. The City will send notices of early resolution meetings by mail or email to the address on file with the court.

Anyone wanting to dispute a ticket and request a trial can now submit a Notice of Intention to Appear form by email or by mail. This change applies to tickets issued on or after March 1, 2020. The information on the ticket that requires a person to attend a court office in person to file a trial request may be disregarded.

The City recommends apartment buildings and condos adopt mask policy for common areas The City of Toronto is urging all apartments and condominiums to adopt a mask or face covering policy for common areas of shared residential buildings. Building owners and operators are strongly recommended to adopt a policy requiring anyone who enters or remains within the building, including residents, guests, property management and maintenance workers and other visitors who can wear a mask or face covering in areas including lobbies, laundry rooms and elevators, to do so. Toronto Public Health has created guidance documents for commercial and residential buildings, and signage that building operators can print off and display in common areas. Changes to visitor guidelines at City of Toronto’s long-term care homes As part of the Government of Ontario’s most recent announcement on changes to visitation guidelines in long-term care homes, families can now visit residents through indoor pre-scheduled visits under certain conditions. Up to two visitors at a time per resident can visit as long as the home is not experiencing an outbreak and that the visitors can attest they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the past two weeks. Indoor visitors will be provided with a surgical mask that they must wear at all times. Since June 18, all 10 long-term care homes directly operated by the City of Toronto have been supporting residents with outdoor, physically-distanced visits, as long as visitors and residents follow provincial guidelines. There are currently no positive cases of COVID-19 among the residents living in the City’s directly-operated long-term care homes. City staff are ensuring that all safety precautions, new provincial guidelines and requirements for indoor and outdoor visits are being followed as family members are welcomed back into long-term care homes. City of Toronto commits more than $1.2 million in cultural and economic investments to confront anti-Black racism

The City of Toronto is making multiple investments in Toronto’s Black arts and culture community and business sector to address the systemic economic, social and cultural exclusion facing Black communities in Toronto.

Mayor Tory was joined by Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic and Community Development Committee as well as Alica Hall, Executive Director of Nia Centre for the Arts, and Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, prominent Toronto artist, creative director and independent curator.

In addition to specific, targeted investments spanning business and culture, Mayor Tory also committed to establish a Community Accountability Circle, with key leaders from the Black business and cultural communities to co-develop goals and programs to confront anti-Black racism.

This year, the City will make the following investments in arts, heritage and creative industries to confront anti-Black Racism:

  • Support key Black heritage organizations through the re-allocation of $300,000 in funding, along with technical assistance and access to safe, affordable and accessible space at City-run museums and heritage sites

  • As part of the City’s initiatives to address anti-Black racism, the Toronto History Museums will reopen with a new programming philosophy of anti-oppressive practice, advocacy and storytelling to connect the public to art, creativity and innovation to work with Black communities and creatives in reshaping culture and build room for self-reflection and accountability

  • Commit $300,000 to expand workforce development initiatives with key industry partners that accelerate the career pathways for Black youth in creative industries with a focus on screen-based industries (such as film, television, and on-demand, commercial and digital content), including management roles

  • Reallocate an additional $300,000 to support the career development of Black professionals in arts and culture with a focus on connecting community-based training programs and post-secondary institutions with sustainable employment opportunities

  • Work with the Toronto Arts Council to identify $300,000 in reallocated 2020 funding and ongoing funding moving forward to support the Black arts community with initiatives designed through consultation with the Black arts community

  • Ensure that City funding for arts, heritage and cultural organizations is prioritized for organizations that reflect the diversity of this city in their leadership and operations, supports smaller and often newer organizations to increase their reach and impact, and addresses social and economic exclusion

The City will also make the following economic development investments to confront anti-Black racism:

  • Provide $250,000 over five years, or $50,000 annually, to support the Black Innovation Fellowship offered by the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University which supports tech entrepreneurs

  • Develop a five-year community economic development plan for Black communities while continuing to support established initiatives such as those in Weston Mount Dennis, Golden Mile, Little Jamaica and East Downtown


City of Toronto to address financial impacts of COVID-19 Share

The City of Toronto continues to monitor the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the municipal budget. Next week, City staff will present a report to City Council to address the experienced and anticipated financial impacts of the pandemic and propose  options for mitigation.

Since the pandemic began in mid-March, the City of Toronto, consistent with other large Canadian municipalities and municipalities across the GTHA, has experienced significant financial impacts in the form of both added costs and revenue losses as a direct result of COVID-19.

The City anticipates a financial impact of $1.9 billion for tax-supported programs by the end of 2020, prior to any offsets through mitigation strategies. With mitigation strategies in place, the City projects a reduced total year-end shortfall of $1.35 billion. In addition, staff are also estimating a preliminary 2021 Operating Budget pressure of nearly $1.5 billion.

A report to City Council released Friday notes mitigation strategies include $513.7 million in anticipated cost savings from workforce restraints, spending constraints and cost avoidance, including emergency layoffs, decreased TTC operating costs and matching service capacity to demand. An additional $34.1 million in added offsets is also available from budget variance.

The City continues to provide essential and critical services in the face of unprecedented financial pressures, which requires difficult decisions, including decisions related to employee compensation and benefits. To date, workforce restraints have produced $48 million in savings and are expected to total $152 million by year-end. Initiatives implemented so far include redeployment of staff to critical and essential service areas, implementing Emergency Leave for staff unable to provide service or work remotely, seasonal and part-time staff layoffs, a hiring slowdown and mandating vacation utilization.



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

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©2019 by Councillor Frances Nunziata.