May 22 - Update



Dear Friends and Neighbours,


This Saturday Metrolinx crews at Caledonia Station will be pouring concrete to form a wall in the future station’s Main Entrance.During the pour, westbound Eglinton Ave W will be reduced to one lane only between Blackthorne Ave and Gabian Way. Lane reductions will begin as early as 7:00am and last for approximately four hours. Please clickherefor the construction notice.  

The Government of Canada announced a new online benefits finder tool called “Find financial help during COVID-19.” The tool is meant to help residents determine which government benefits programs are available and best meet their needs. Please click here to search the benefit finder.  The Province of Ontario has created a new program to focus on hospitality workers and apprentices. The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. To find out more and to to see if you are eligible for a grant, please click hereI wish you a wonderful weekend and would like to remind everyone that the most effective ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and maintain physical distancing. Sincerely, Frances ______________________

INFORMATION ABOUT REOPENINGS

More than 850 park amenities reopen this week

City of Toronto is reopening more than 850 park amenities this week, following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

City park amenities open this weekend include:

  • picnic shelters

  • soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks

  • baseball diamonds and basketball courts

  • some tennis courts and pickleball courts

  • off-leash dog parks

  • BMX locations and skateboard parks

  • City-run golf courses and disc golf locations

  • ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking

  • fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing

If a resident arrives at an amenity that is crowded, they are advised to wait until there is enough space to physically distance or return at another time.

Park amenities that remain closed include lawn bowling facilities, outdoor bocce, playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, swimming pools, fixed barbecues and splash pads. Farmer’s markets, greenhouses, nurseries and conservatories, High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm also remain closed. 

Permits for soccer, multi-use fields and baseball diamonds continue to be cancelled until June 29. Individuals are not permitted to play team sports, such as soccer or baseball, even on fields intended for this purpose unless they are members of the same household.

Park washrooms remain closed at this time. Staff are working with Toronto Public Health on guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities.

The City has opened a number of facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for all individuals in need of these services. For locations and operating hours visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/?accordion=washroom-and-sanitation-services

No public ferry access to Toronto Island Park 

There is no public ferry access to Toronto Island Park. New federal regulations limit the number of individuals on a ferry in order to reduce crowding and limit the potential for virus transmission. The ferry will continue running for Island residents only. 

Update about tennis courts:

  • When the Province amended its emergency order, staff developed COVID-19 guidelines for public use as well as club use in consultation with Toronto Public Health. These guidelines will be posted on the City's website. 

  • Guidelines include bringing one's own tennis balls, no doubles, self-screening prior to attending the court, physical distancing, and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

  • Signage is in production and will be installed this weekend.

  • Tennis courts are being prepared by staff for opening now, including removal of boards, installation of nets, and repairs. 

  • Courts will begin to open for public use early next week. 

  • Staff have been in communication with tennis clubs and will be issuing new permits shortly. Clubs are being provided with access for setup on May 22. We expect a start date for club play next week.

New update about parking:

  • All parks parking lots will be open by this weekend, with the exception of: Sunnyside and Sir Casimir in the western beaches due to the ActiveTO Lakeshore closure this weekend – these will open next week.

  • In order to allow for physical distancing on busy weekends, High Park will be closed to vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Concrete barriers at Ashbridges Bay will be removed by this weekend and the lots will open, however Transportation Services will manage access through ActiveTO. 

  • Locations with concrete barriers need special equipment for removal. These may be removed next week, after staff evaluate the removals this weekend. These locations are: 

  • North York: Leaside Park

  • South: Underpass Park, Kiwanis Pool at Stan Wadlow Park, Haldon Avenue parking lot for Taylor Creek Park, and Riverdale East Park, North entrance to Pool/Rink

  • East: Malvern C.C., Burrows Hall C.C., Major Ali Abbas Park/Scott Westney House

  • West: Sunnyside and Sir Casmir 

  • Waterfront: Cherry Beach and Woodbine Beach


Toronto Public Library starting curbside drop-off and pick-up service

Toronto Public Library (TPL) announced details yesterday about the rollout of its curbside drop-off and pick-up service. Starting Monday, May 25, select library drop boxes will be opened to accept the return of library materials. On Monday, June 1, drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns. TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan.

The introduction of these services will follow the reopening framework provided by the Province of Ontario, the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, and incorporates best practices within library and retail industries for the safe delivery of curbside service. 

KEY UPDATES:

More ActiveTO major road closures planned for this weekend City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures footprint this weekend to provide residents with more space to physically distance while outdoors and getting exercise. 

The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)

  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Face coverings or non-medical masks strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face covering in public can help protect others from your germs, public health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19 and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

Update on construction: Bridge rehabilitation on Bathurst Street and TTC track replacement at the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street

On Monday, May 25, two major construction projects will begin work that will have traffic impacts in the downtown area.

From May 25 to the end of December 2020, Bathurst Street from Fort York Boulevard to Front Street West will be fully closed to vehicular and cycling traffic as crews work to rehabilitate the Bathurst Street bridge and replace the TTC streetcar tracks. During this time, only one sidewalk will be available for pedestrian access through the work zone and cyclists may dismount to also use the sidewalk.

From May 25 until the end of June, the intersection of Church Street and Richmond Street East will be fully closed to all traffic until the end of June as crews work to replace the TTC streetcar tracks. During the closure, westbound traffic on Richmond Street East is advised to divert at Sherbourne Street and use Queen Street East or King Street East to travel westbound through Church Street. 

More information about both these projects is available at toronto.ca/downtownconstructionprojects

TTC Line 1 subway closure

This Saturday, May 23, there will be no subway service on the portion of Line 1 between Eglinton and King stations due to installation and testing of the ATC signalling system. On Sunday, May 24, there will be no subway service on the portion of Line 1 between Bloor-Yonge and St Andrew stations also due to installation and testing of the ATC signalling system. Replacement shuttle buses will run, stopping at each station along the route. Visit http://ttc.ca/ for more information on service alerts.

Help residents keep cool: Toronto Heat Bylaw

The Heat Bylaw states that all landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1. However, there are periods during spring when unseasonably warm weather can cause the indoor temperature of units to rise above this temperature without additional heat. Having the heat on during these warm days can make it uncomfortably hot for tenants. With warmer weather forecasted for the next few days, the City is encouraging landlords to use their judgement when it comes to heating their rental units. Landlords can turn off the heat in rental units, if the weather outside means that the building is 21 degrees Celsius without heat. More information about the heat bylaw is available at toronto.ca/heatbylaw.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. As the City safely and gradually reopens select park amenities and businesses, residents are urged to continue following public health advice to help stop the community spread of the virus.

There are 9,357 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 258 cases since yesterday. There are 411 cases in hospital, with 96 in ICU. In total, 6,998 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 113 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 732 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/

Everyone has a role to play to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to adhere to the advice of Toronto’s Medial Officer of Health:

  • practise physical distancing by keeping two metres (six feet) from others

  • wear a face covering or non-medical mask in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained

  • wash hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and

  • stay home if feeling unwell and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Enforcement update

The City’s physical distancing bylaw and the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders remain in effect. The COVID-19 enforcement team is out responding to complaints and proactively patrolling parks and other public spaces, in an effort to ensure public understanding of the need to limit social interactions. Officers continue educating residents first, only issuing tickets in circumstances where education efforts have failed.

Yesterday, the City received 98 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued 10 tickets related to individuals entering restricted areas at the Scarborough Bluffs. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 4,300 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.


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.