Dear Friends and Neighbours,
The sun is shining, spring is in the air, and a beautiful weekend is in the forecast, but I do have to remind everyone to please stay home. I know it can be a challenge, but I urge everyone to please continue the work we have been doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Today, the Province of Ontario announced that some businesses will be able to reopen starting May 4 under strict guidelines. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects, and they will have to comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for the full news release and list of businesses that can reopen.
The City announced today that all in-person Canada Day 2020 celebrations are cancelled. This will unfortunately include my Canada Day celebrations at Weston Lions Park and Amesbury Park.
Although COSTI offices are closed, COSTI Employment Services is offering all employment workshops online in the form of webinars and virtual meetings. Check out their May calendar of employment services here. To register for any of their webinars, click on the links in the calendar or call them at 647-827-1425
City Staff have produced an extensive updated Question & Answer information package for parents. This includes Q&As on childcare fees, submissions and deadlines, and other resources. Click here for all the info.
The following construction notices for projects scheduled May 11–July 31, 2020 will be distributed to residents in the affected areas:
Arrowdale Ave road resurfacing
Bryn Rd, Wyndale Dr & Quinan Dr road resurfacing
Jocada Rd road resurfacing
I’d like to thank Old Mill Cadillac Chevrolet Buick GMC (2595 St Clair Ave W) for very generously loaning a vehicle for Fontlines to use during the pandemic to serve the community by delivering meals and essentials. Teaming up like this to help the community is exactly what we need right now! Check out the video of their car key hand-off (while maintaining physical distancing)!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
City Council extends the declaration of the State of Emergency in Toronto
Yesterday, City Council unanimously voted to extend Mayor Tory’s State of Emergency declaration in the city of Toronto until the COVID-19 municipal emergency has ended, in accordance with advice from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. This includes extending the new physical distancing emergency bylaws, to retain physical distancing regulations in parks and public squares for the duration of the COVID-19 municipal emergency. Please read the news release for more information.
City accelerates important planned construction and continues maintenance to renew aging infrastructure
This construction season, with traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto will accelerate as many important construction projects as possible. City-led construction is considered an essential service by the Province of Ontario. This year, the planned construction will make repairs to Toronto's major and local roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure, improve public transit infrastructure, replace and rehabilitate watermains and sewers, and build and improve major water infrastructure that will help improve Toronto’s waterways and stormwater systems. For more information, please read today's news release and find a Q&A here.
City of Toronto to celebrate a virtual Canada Day
Based on the recommendations of the Medical Officer of Health, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, the City of Toronto will join other municipalities across Canada in celebrating a national virtual Canada Day on July 1, 2020. The City is cancelling all in-person Canada Day events. For more information, please read the news release.
City of Toronto statement on encampment fire fatality
Just before 8:30 this morning, Toronto Fire Services responded to a fire in an encampment near Mount Pleasant Road and Bloor Street East. Tragically, one occupant was found deceased by firefighters. A comprehensive investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances associated with this fire is underway in collaboration between Toronto Fire Services, the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and the Toronto Police Service. The City extends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the deceased individual. This is the seventh fire fatality in an encampment in Toronto since 2010, and the first since 2018. For more information, please read the news release.
The use of City parks during COVID-19
As nicer weather approaches, the City wants to leave parks open for residents to enjoy for respite, serenity, and as an escape to nature and green space in our city. However, at this time, the park is not meant to be a destination and all park amenities remain closed. Residents may walk, run or bike through park and ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks. Dogs can continue to be walked on-leash. Fishing (with a licence), boating, kayaking and canoeing is also permitted. Fact sheet available here.
New public education campaign
This week, the City of Toronto launched a new public education campaign to remind residents why it’s important to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign asks people to stay home to save lives and stop the spread, save our healthcare system so that it doesn’t become overloaded, and minimize the economic impact to help get businesses and people back to work.
The campaign will run through the first week of June in transit shelters, on digital billboards at Yonge and Dundas square and Union Station, on elevator screens in 200 residential buildings, on various web sites in multiple languages and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Digital campaign materials are available through these links:
Property tax and utility bills
The 60-day grace period for property tax and utility bill payments and late penalties ends May 15. Customers already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically after the grace period ends. Property owners will be receiving a letter in the mail regarding payment due dates. Please visit Property Tax and Utility Bills section of the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage for more information.
Residential permit parking renewal
The May 31 deadline for residential permit parking renewal applications has been extended until further notice. Toronto Police will continue to use discretion when enforcing permit parking areas. Learn more at toronto.ca/covid19 under Parking.
Regular updates are being made to the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage.
Update on enforcement
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Yesterday, the City received 279 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 587. Bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 13,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.
The City also received 35 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 95 tickets and 200 notices to non-essential businesses.