Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Residents on Centrepark Drive have received a notice that there will be a power outage to their home on Thursday, May 7 between 9AM-2PM. I understand that this is an inconvenience as most people are staying at home, but unfortunately this outage is considered critical by Toronto Hydro as it is necessary to accommodate the replacement of a highly corroded transformer that feeds the area. All of the work undertaken by Toronto Hydro during this difficult time is analyzed through a critical lens and this outage is necessary to mitigate a potential significant failure in the future, particularly given the current increased load on the transformer.
Today the Province announced the expansion of virtual mental health services for people in need of support. The expansion of services includes support for frontline health care workers, as well as mental health support services include internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Find out more here.
Today is #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity to help COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. There are many ways you can support your community during these unprecedented times. See how you can help by clicking here.
Please see below for a detailed update on revised due dates for City of Toronto property tax and utility bills.
Revised due dates for City of Toronto property tax and utility bills
The 60-day grace period for property tax, utility bill payments and late penalties extended by the City during the COVID-19 response ends on May 15. There are important changes to instalment amounts and due dates for customers on all payment schedules. All customers will receive a mailed notification of their revised interim bill due dates. Final tax bills will be mailed in mid-May as usual.
Property taxes for the remainder of 2020 will be due on the following dates:
Two-instalment plan: August 4
Six-instalment plan: June 1, July 2, August 4, September 1 and October 1
Eleven-instalment plan: June 15, July 15, August 17, September 15, October 15, November 16 and December 15.
Customers on the 11-instalment plan will have their original May and June interim instalment amounts combined with the final billing and spread evenly over July through December payments. Customers who are already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically on the new due date. Customers who have sent the City post-dated cheques do not need to re-send cheques for the revised due dates, as any cheques previously submitted will be processed on the new due dates. Any cheques received after April 1, 2020 will be cashed according to the date on the cheque. Further details can be found in this news release.
Resuming of Toxic Taxi service
The Toxic Taxi service for pickup of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) has been resumed. Pickup must be prearranged by calling 311 to make an appointment. There is a maximum of 50 litres/kilograms and minimum of 10 litres/kilograms per pickup (equivalent to 10 full standard household paint cans). Details about what is accepted and how to properly set it out are available on the Household Hazardous Waste web page under “Proper Disposal Options.”
City of Toronto to begin opening community gardens and allotment gardens
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. Community gardens will begin to open this week on a location-by-location basis. Allotment gardens will begin to open during the week of May 11. More information in this news release.
Update on enforcement activity
Enforcement of the City's physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. Complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open have fallen, with only 20 complaints yesterday. No tickets or notices were issued yesterday for the operation of a non-essential business. Toronto Public Health continues to visit essential businesses to provide advice, recommendations and instruction on physical distancing, cleaning, and disinfection to protect workers and patrons.
Complaints involving people gathering, using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares continue, with the City receiving 163 complaints about use of amenities and lack of physical distancing in parks or squares and 21 complaints related to gatherings yesterday. Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Police Service officers issued 10 tickets for behaviour in parks. This month, bylaw and police officers have spoken to almost 1,124 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures. For the most part, where officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour.
Mental health support during COVID-19
Many people may be feeling anxious, unsure and even scared at this time. These are normal and healthy responses to unexpected or stressful situations. Being taken out of our regular daily routines, and distanced from our support groups and family is hard and many are struggling as a result. Reach out to friends by phone or video chat, stay active while staying at home, and do your best to eat well and get lots of rest. More information including tips and mental health support services can be found on the City's website.
In addition, starting today, the Ontario government is expanding virtual mental health services to help thousands of Ontarians experiencing anxiety and depression, including frontline health care workers, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs were developed in partnership with MindBeacon and Morneau Shepell and will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs to Ontarians across the province. More information can be found on the Government of Ontario website.
City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of yesterday afternoon, there are 6,448 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 5,809 confirmed cases and 639 probable cases. There are 394 cases hospitalized, with 105 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 469 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
Today, Dr. de Villa explained preliminary findings suggesting COVID-19 may be disproportionately affecting certain people in our city. Toronto Public Health preliminary analysis suggests that people living in areas that have the highest proportion of low income earners, recent immigrants and high unemployment rates had higher rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. To better understand and strengthen capacity to address these issues, Toronto Public Health is adding socio-demographic questions to the case and contract tracing management process. Beginning soon, staff will be asking all people who test positive for COVID-19 about their race, income, household size, Indigenous identity, and First Nation status.
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.