May 11 - Update




Dear Friends and Neighbours,


The City has launched a new initiative to help local businesses and artists open free online stores. The ShopHERE initiative brings together volunteer web developers, business students and corporate partners to help Toronto’s independent businesses and artists build and promote their Shopify online stores within a matter of days without the costs. Businesses will receive free one-on-one support throughout the entire process as well as ongoing support after launch. Learn more and see if your business is eligible.


The Committee of Adjustment has scheduled its first hearing on June 3, with subsequent hearings now being pre-booked to July 31. The meetings will be held virtually (for applicants who have agreed to the online hearing format). Notices will start being sent to applicants for the first hearing next week. Initially, staff will triage and schedule minor variance applications based on a 'first come, first served' principle (based on those received by March 16), and files that are ready now. It is anticipated that managing the backlog of hearings will go well into the year. I shared the update on the City's Development Reviews and Permit and Inspection Services last Friday. In case you missed it, you can read the full update here.   


I have been getting a lot of inquiries from residents who are concerned about their auto insurance rates. There are options that drivers may take advantage of to decrease their premiums during this time such as: If a consumer is no longer commuting to work, they can inform their insurer that the vehicle is now only being used for pleasure purposes. This could lead to a meaningful reduction in your premium.If a consumer is no longer using their vehicle (i.e., it is parked and not being driven for any reason), they can ask their insurer to remove all coverage except for any perils the consumer wishes to remain insured for (e.g., theft, fire, flood, etc.). However, consumers must be aware that driving the vehicle while it is not fully insured is illegal.If consumers have any optional coverages, they could seek to have those options removed from their policy.If multiple drivers are insured on a vehicle, consumers can seek to remove or consolidate family coverage. However, you should seek guidance from your insurer on the implications of these choices.If you have questions or concerns about auto insurance, please contact the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) at 416-250-7250 or contactcentre@fsrao.ca


Today kicks off #NationalNursingWeek! The City has approximately 1,660 employees in nursing positions and I'd like to thank them for the remarkable service they provide, during the COVID-19 pandemic and every day!


Sincerely,


Frances Nunziata

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More info about ShopHERE 


ShopHERE is part of the Digital Main Street program, which offers tools, resources, connections to trusted digital vendors, online learning, and a Digital Service Squad that provides one-on-one virtual assistance. Digital Main Street was created by the City of Toronto and Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas in 2016 and was recently expanded as part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’s short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses. Read news release.



Toronto Rent Bank Update


The City of Toronto has made recent program enhancements to the Toronto Rent Bank in response to COVID-19. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an economic impact on the livelihoods of Toronto residents. Many are facing financial hardship, including the inability to pay rent. The Toronto Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to low-income households in Toronto who are experiencing rental arrears or require help with a rental deposit in order to prevent homelessness.


The City of Toronto has made an investment of $2M to the Toronto Rent Bank to support approximately 800 additional low-income households to remain housed.


Program changes have also been implemented to be more responsive to the needs of low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include: Increasing the maximum allowable loan from $3,500 to $4,000 for up to 3 months of rental arrear loans.Automatically deferring all loan repayments for up to a period of 12 monthsEliminating the eligibility requirement that households demonstrate a steady income on a go-forward basisMoving from original copies to electronic document verification

For more information on how to apply, residents may call 416-397-RENT(7368),

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of operating hours, callers may leave a message and a representative will return their call. More information about the Toronto Rent Bank is available on their website.



City of Toronto supporting retail business reopen for curbside pickup and deliverytoday


On May 8, the City of Toronto announced a plan to support retail business reopen for curbside pickup and delivery today. Staff and customers can be kept safe by following these physical distancing tips and resources.



High Park partial reopening


This morning, the City completed removal of fencing around High Park. As of last night, the park’s greenspace and trails can again be used to get exercise and fresh air. Park amenities are still closed, and the physical distancing bylaw remains in effect. Enforcement officers will be in the park to ensure physical distancing and prevent crowding near lingering cherry blossoms.


Regular updates are being made to the COVID-19: Affected City Services & Facilities webpage.



City of Toronto update on COVID-19


Dr. de Villa stated that, while we are making progress in Toronto’s battle against COVID-19, Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 7,557 infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 144 since yesterday. There are also 5,340 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 148 since yesterday. Unfortunately, today Dr. de Villa reported the first COVID-19 death within the city’s emergency shelter system. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform. Get the latest health advice on the City’s website.



COVID-19 Enforcement


The COVID-19 Enforcement Team is continuing their important work across the city educating residents on the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act orders. Enforcement is ongoing, where necessary. Yesterday, the City received 28 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police issued seven tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 51 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 2,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City received no complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Three tickets were issued to non-essential businesses yesterday. Since March 24, 132 tickets and 267 notices have been issued to non-essential businesses. Residents can report non-compliance online though the City’s website.

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.