Dear Friends and Neighbours,
The City is resuming regularly scheduled yard waste collection. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, Blue Bin (recycling) and Green Bin (organics). The City recently resumed yard waste collection for four weeks and has determined that it can continue to provide the service on a regular basis.
The Province released new safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the public from COVID-19 as we prepare for a gradual reopening of businesses. These measures will provide direction to those working in the manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service and the agricultural sectors. For the full news release that links to the guideline document, please click here.
Three pothole repair blitzes are planned in May to help keep roads safe and in a good state of repair. The first was this past Saturday and more than 7,700 potholes were repaired. The next repair blitzes are scheduled for May 9 and 23, weather permitting. Residents are asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs. Please read the news release for more information.
Truck drivers deserve our respect, our thanks, and our help to stay safe while they work to make essential goods available for all of us. The Province has created a new free 511 app that gives truck drivers information such as up to date highway information, including construction, collisions, road closures, and images from over 600 cameras, and identifies open rest areas and locations that offer food and fuel. Download the app for free at www.ontario.ca.511.
Local Mexican food hotspot Comal y Canela (1692B Jane St) has very generously been running a side operation as a grassroots food bank. While continuing to sell their delicious menu for pickup, the owner and her staff have been putting in a lot of extra time, care, and energy to support our community by providing free food for those who need it. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help them continue this thoughtful work. If you are able to, I encourage you to make a monetary donation to this great community initiative here. Thank you to Comal y Canela for your kindness during this difficult time!
May the fourth be with you!
Toronto Public Health warns of callers posing as TPH staff
The City is warning that there may be people calling residents in our community who are falsely claiming to be Toronto Public Health staff. In one instance, the individual was asked to provide their banking information and their social insurance number. Toronto Public Health would never request this information because it is not relevant to public health work. Anyone who receives a suspicious call requesting financial information should not give out any personal information and call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222.
Anyone with questions about public health operations can contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.
Toronto Water warns of fraudulent City of Toronto letter to residents
A letter from the City’s “Department of Water” is being delivered to residents telling them the City will be conducting lead pipe replacement to their property in Fall 2020 that will result in a significant charge to the utility bill; e.g. half of $38,000. This is fraud and we are asking anyone who receives this letter to report it to the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. Anyone with questions about Toronto Water operations can contact 311.
City to begin opening community gardens and allotment gardens
On April 25, the Province of Ontario announced amendments to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Actthat permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens. To help increase the resiliency of and food security for Toronto’s residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto will open its community and allotment gardens for the 2020 gardening season. The City will follow a phased approach in opening its 81 community gardens and 12 allotment gardens to ensure public safety while providing access to an essential source of fresh food. More information in this news release.
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.
Targeted spring cleanup across the city
Targeted spring cleanup is taking place across the city over the next few weeks. Spring cleanup activities include:
· Illegal dumping cleanup
· Boulevard and laneway cleaning
· Litter and debris removal in parks
· Fence-line litter clearing
· Street sweeping to clean up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets.
During the pandemic, the City has been working hard to keep public spaces clean and safe. Staff are out each day picking up litter, emptying street and park waste bins and sweeping streets. Residents can do their part to help keep Toronto clean and safe by properly disposing of items in available street bins and not littering. You can also report litter hot spots to 311. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the City does not want the public handling items that have been discarded on the ground in Toronto's public spaces or organizing community cleanup events. If you find personal protective equipment or other trash discarded on their property, please use gloves to pick it up and to discard it in the garbage, along with the gloves and then wash their hands.
City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of yesterday afternoon, there are 6,278 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 5,641 confirmed cases and 637 probable cases. There are 387 cases hospitalized, with 105 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 449 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
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 184 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw and police officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since May 1 to 11 tickets. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to almost 1,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.
The City also received 19 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. Toronto Public Health issued seven tickets to non-essential businesses yesterday. Read news release.
Experience virtual cherry blossom bloom during closure of High Park
During the High Park closure, residents can enjoy the cherry blossom bloom virtually. Throughout the closure period, the City will provide a continuous livestream of the cherry tree grove in High Park, plus multiple live events and videos featuring virtual walk-throughs of the blossoming Sakura (cherry blossom) trees. Learn more at toronto.ca/cherryblossoms.
For the latest updates from the City of Toronto, please clickhere.
For the latest updates from the Federal Government, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Province of Ontario, please click here.