May 28 - Update


Dear Friends and Neighbours,


I have been receiving a lot of questions about window air conditioning units in mid/high-rise buildings.The City of Toronto does not have a bylaw that prevents air conditioning units from being installed in apartment windows. However, many apartment buildings and condominiums have their own guidelines on whether they are allowed. If you have received a notice from your landlord about this, it is recommended that you speak with your landlord, property management, or condo board and review your lease for any such stipulation.


In December 2019, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) banned all window air conditioning units in their apartment buildings due to the risk of them becoming dislodged.TCHC has been removing window units and replacing each one with floor-model air conditioners. Floor models provide more cooling and are safer, quieter and more energy efficient. If you are a tenant of a TCHC building and have a window unit, call 416-981-5500 or email help@torontohousing.ca to have your air conditioner removed and exchanged for a floor model at no cost.


If you need help making next month’s rent, the City of Toronto funds an interest-free loan of up to $4,000 for eligible households through the Rent Bank.To find out more, please call 416-397-7368 (weekdays from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM). Leave a voicemail message for follow-up. More info is also available here.


Local group 'Climate Change in Mount Dennis' is selling non-medical face masks and giving all of the proceeds to a different local businesses or organization each week.This week, they are supporting local Mexican restaurantComal Y Canela, which has been operating a weekly grassroots food bank. There are lots of quirky mask designs to choose from, check them out here! If you are a small business that has been struggling during these difficult times and might be interested in a partnership for proceeds, please contact Kristine Lorzano at climatechangemd@gmail.com.


Toronto Hydro is planning to rebuild the aging overhead electrical along Woodward Avenue between Jane St and Rosemount Ave.Construction is expected from July 2020 until July 2021. Click here to see the construction notice with a map of the work area and contact info for the project. Notices will be delivered to residents in the affected area.


Toronto Hydro will also be relocating electrical systems in preparation for the GO Expansion Electrification program in the area of Cobalt St (North), Touchstone Sr (East), Nickle St (South), and Jane St (West).Construction is expected from July 2020 until December 2020. Click here to see the construction notice with a map of the work area and contact info for the project. Notices will be delivered to residents in the affected area.


Stay Safe!


Sincerely,


Frances


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Update on City parks and beaches


The City’s coordinated enforcement team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place if necessary. 


Toronto beaches and parks provide many opportunities for recreation, a break from the daily routine, and for enjoying the calming effect of nature. Toronto beaches are open in the same way green spaces in parks have been open. Beaches are not closed under Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Given the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff are working with public health officials in regard to how the supervised swim program (i.e. lifeguards) could operate at Toronto beaches and the City will share more information when it becomes available.


While visiting a beach or park, you must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding. Under the City’s physical distancing bylaw, any two people who don't live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a City park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket. Under the Province's Emergency Order, a social gathering or organized public event of more than five people is prohibited, unless everyone gathered together live in the same household. 


If residents arrive at a park and find that it is overcrowded, the City encourages them to visit a different park or return at a later time when there are fewer people.


Washrooms at Trinity Bellwoods Park will open this weekend, followed by a two-week phased approach for the remainder of the parks.



Physical distancing circles pilot at Trinity Bellwoods Park


Starting today, the City of Toronto is adding painted circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. 


Known as physical distancing circles, the City’s pilot at Trinity Bellwoods Parks follows recent and well-received examples from other prominent cities including San Francisco and New York.


When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles – 8 feet wide and 10 feet apart – across popular areas of the 14.6-hectare Queen West park. The circles painted on grass should contain no more than five people, all from the same household.


If a park is crowded when people arrive and if no circles are available, people should visit a different park or come back later. Parks near Trinity Bellwoods Park include Stanley Park and Alexandra Park. Bickford Park, Art Eggleton Park, Christie Pits Park and Dufferin Grove Park are also close.



New assistance to property owners impacted by COVID-19


Today, Toronto City Council approved a temporary deferral of property tax payments, without property owners having to incur late payment fees or penalties. City of Toronto property owners with a good payment history – those up-to-date on their tax payments as of March 2020 – can request additional time to pay their taxes without incurring interest and late fees for a six-month period effective June 1 to November 30, 2020. Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19, including a prolonged suspension of pay or loss of employment, excessive business revenue loss or business closure, or a pending business insolvency or bankruptcy. For more information, please visit toronto.ca/propertytaxhelp



City of Toronto opens eighth emergency child care centre for essential and critical service workers


The City has received authorization from the Province of Ontario to open another licensed child care centre to provide care for the children of essential and critical service workers. Like the first seven centres, this new centre is in an existing City-run licensed child care facility and staffed by City of Toronto child care workers. The new child care centre is now open and is located at Blake Street Early Learning & Child Care Centre, 84 Blake St. in the East York community.



Gardiner closure, accelerated road construction and ActiveTO this weekend


This weekend, the Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Hwy 427 for annual maintenance and improvement activities, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street is fully closed for construction, and there will be closures in place for people to practise physical distancing while being physically active on Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.


The Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed starting at 11 p.m. on Friday, May 29 until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 1 for important annual maintenance and improvements. The City asks residents to please plan your essential travel ahead, leave plenty of extra time and be patient. More information is available at toronto.ca/gardiner.



City of Toronto releases geographic information on local COVID-19 cases


Yesterday, the City released geographic information on COVID-19 cases in Toronto to help fight the spread of this virus in the city. By knowing where those impacted by COVID-19 live, and by assessing other important risk factors, Toronto Public Health is better able to inform preventive actions, identify where proactive testing can be helpful and take action to reduce virus spread.


The maps reflect where individuals live, and do not necessarily reflect where they were initially exposed to this virus. Areas with lower rates of COVID-19 cases are not necessarily safer and do not pose less of a risk of infection. Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto.



Waste bin exchanges


As part of our phased approach to resuming services, 311 will now begin taking requests for waste bin exchanges, which were initially suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. Requests to upsize or downsize a recycling or garbage bin can now be made by calling 311. Requests for a new garbage, recycling or green bin, additional bin or bin repair can also be made by calling 311. 



City of Toronto update on COVID-19


The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. As of May 27 at 3 pm. there are 10,726 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 201 cases since the previous day. There are 367 cases in hospital, with 82 in ICU. In total, 7,944 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 800COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. The latest 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/



Enforcement update


The City’s coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team remains focused on providing education about the physical distancing bylaw and provincial orders. Ensuring compliance through education and awareness remains the preferred method of engagement, but enforcement continues to take place if necessary. 


Yesterday, the City received 109 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities that remain closed or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Police and bylaw officers issued 10 tickets. Enforcement officers have spoken to more than 6,100 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. The City also received 64 complaints about gatherings and police issued two gathering-related tickets.



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.