Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely and Additional Public Health Measures – Paula Fletcher


Latest Update
Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely and
Additional Public Health Measures
Dear Friends,I hope you’ve been keeping well. I know we’re all looking forward to the Thanksgiving long weekend, although our celebrations will be different this year.

Due to the sharp and concerning rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in our city and in order to curtail further spread, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, has asked us to be especially careful this Thanksgiving. Dr. de Villa has advised everyone to plan ahead and limit contact to only the people you live with. You can find further information below.

Today the Province announced additional targeted public health measures in Toronto, as well as in Peel and Ottawa. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Indoor dining in restaurants will be prohibited starting Saturday – please consider supporting our local restaurants by ordering take-out or dining on a patio. You can find more information below.

The City is also adjusting some recreation programs to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You can find further details on these changes below.

More information about case counts in Toronto and case status data and changes is available on the City’s website. You can also read Dr. de Villa’s latest statement online.

Remember to keep following these important public health measures – keep at least six feet apart from others outside your household, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and remain at home if sick.

I know this is difficult and it’s hard to keep up with these frequent changes. I will continue to send out weekly updates and share important information with you. Please reach out if I can be of any assistance. I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.

The City puts out frequent COVID-19 updates and you can find more information online at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/.

In this email you can find the following information:

  • City Urges Residents to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely
  • Province Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto
  • City Adjusting Recreation Programs in Response to COVID-19 Recommendations
  • East End Elected Representatives Send Letter to EllisDon and Michael Garron Hospital
  • Virtual Carlaw + Dundas Celebration and Launch
  • Toronto’s 2020-2021 Winter Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness
  • Lane Naming for Grandison and Luella Price
  • ActiveTO Update on Major Road Closures and Quiet Streets

City Urges Residents to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely

The City is urging residents to not hold big Thanksgiving gatherings and to limit celebrations to only the people you live with, in the same household (under the same roof). For those who live alone, the safest option is to join others virtually.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, provided an update on COVID-19 data modeling projections this week and underscored the importance of why action is needed now to reduce virus spread. Individual actions and the choices we make play a significant part in arresting and reversing the spread of COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 and stopping virus spread. Thanksgiving is everyone’s opportunity to do the right thing by gathering only within your household, or with others virtually.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and enforce provincial orders and bylaws across the city, including in bars, restaurants and parks.

Toronto Public Health also encourages residents to download the COVID Alert app, which can help to notify individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 in the community.

Read the City’s news release for further information.

Province Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto

The Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Effective Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. these targeted measures are being implemented:

  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Closing of:
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms);
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;
    • Indoor cinemas;
    • Performing arts centres and venues;
    • Spectator areas in racing venues;
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
    • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming)
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming);
  • Reducing the capacity limits for:
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
    • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained.
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, and
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).

Schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in these communities and must continue to follow the public health measures in place. Before-school and after-school programs will also be exempt from these new restrictions.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is also urging all Ontarians to:

  • Limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes only such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes.
  • Practice physical distancing of at least two metres with those outside your household.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Follow gathering limits and rules.

Read the Province’s news release for further information.

City Adjusting Recreation Programs in Response to COVID-19 Recommendations

In response to recommendations from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City is adjusting recreation programs in its recreation facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff have been working with Toronto Public Health to review the City’s current recreation programs.

Effective Tuesday, October 13, the following recreation programs and services are suspended:

  • registered and instructional programs such as learn to skate and swim programs, dance, group fitness and wellness programs
  • hockey games and scrimmages
  • drop-in sports programs other than leisure and lane swim and leisure skate
  • table tennis, billiards, foosball
  • access to the City’s two conservatories
  • indoor permits for social gatherings and sport games/group fitness.

These programs are deemed high-risk for COVID-19 transmission due to being indoors, where the physical nature of the activity results in close contact and where masks cannot be worn.

Registrants will be contacted to advise of program cancellations. Refunds will be issued automatically over the next few weeks. Residents do not need to request refunds. Questions can be directed to pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca or 416-396-7378.

All the City’s outdoor amenities in parks and green spaces, such as sports fields, skate parks, trails, BMX parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, outdoor fitness equipment, picnic shelters and playgrounds, remain open. An overview of recreation service impacts is available at www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/.

Read the City’s full news release on adjusting recreation programs.

East End Elected Representatives Send Letter to EllisDon and Michael Garron Hospital

The discovery of hate graffiti on October 2nd at the Michael Garron Hospital construction site has once again sent our East End community reeling.

Beaches-East York MPP Rima Berns-McGown and I were in touch this week and we wanted to follow up with both EllisDon and Michael Garron Hospital on the deep community concerns about these incidents – an issue we both care deeply about. Rather than stand alone, we reached out to the other East End elected representatives and asked if they wanted to join us.

On October 7th we sent a letter to the CEO of EllisDon and the CEO of Michael Garron Hospital. We asked for further action to make the construction site safe for all workers. We have also requested an urgent meeting to discuss this with them.

There is no place for hate or racism in the East End and we will not tolerate such actions in our community.

You can read the full letter online.

Virtual Carlaw + Dundas Celebration and Launch

Join me for this special virtual event on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 starting at 7:00 pm.

Meet internationally acclaimed artist Pierre Poussin who created the “Brick Obelisk”, the Cultural Heritage Consultant and learn more about the exciting design for Badgerow Parkette coming in spring 2021.

This event will be taking place via Zoom. Please register in advance at:

Toronto’s 2020-2021 Winter Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness

Homelessness is an extremely complex issue and the City of Toronto continues to experience significant demand for emergency shelter. To ensure safe and welcoming places for people who need them during the coming winter weather, the City is providing details about the 2020-21 winter services plan.

The winter plan is part of the City’s Interim Shelter Recovery and Infrastructure Implementation Plan released October 6th, which specifies measures needed over the next 12 months to protect homeless clients and to continue to provide shelter services safely while COVID-19 is a concern.

The winter plan will provide approximately 560 new spaces between November and April through a combination of shelter beds, hotel programs and supportive housing units. This compares to 485 spaces offered through last year’s winter services plan. Additional space will also be activated at Warming Centres during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts. This is in addition to the 6,700 spaces in Toronto’s shelter system that are currently available year-round.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that the City has increased the number of spaces available throughout the winter season. Spaces will be made available through the following:

  • 100, 24-hour respite site spaces in the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place
  • 150 beds in hotel programs
  • 90 hotel beds as a replacement for the Out of the Cold program

Capacity will also be created in the existing shelter system with the introduction of approximately 220 new supportive housing units, including two new modular housing sites. These units are a component of the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, which targets approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes including 18,000 new supportive homes.

In addition to the above spaces, the City will continue to provide 200 shelter system beds for single adults that were kept open from the 2019/2020 winter season. These beds, originally planned to close in April, were maintained to provide expanded response to the pandemic, as required.

All services identified under the 2020-2021 winter plan have been considered from the lens of providing safer services during the pandemic. In particular, in consultation with infection control experts, the City will be piloting the use of impermeable barriers between beds in congregate sleeping areas or double occupancy rooms in order to provide an additional measure of protection from the spread of COVID-19. These barriers will be implemented in addition to the two-metre lateral distancing between beds required by the current shelter standards directive. Staff will also continue with ongoing COVID-19 protocols.

The City remains focused on the safety of those in encampments and on moving clients sleeping outdoors into safe indoor spaces through shelter programs, hotel spaces and housing options with supports.

Read the City’s news release for more information.

Information about all services for people experiencing homelessness is available attoronto.ca/homelesshelp.

Lane Naming for Grandison and Luella Price

Local historians have come together to gather support for the naming of a lane that runs east from Greenwood Ave to Ashdale Ave after Grandison and Luella Price. Grandison and Luella lived at 6A Redwood Ave, part of a large Black community in the neighbourhood, and made significant contribution through their involvement in the Eureka Club, a charitable organization supporting the local community.

Born in the United States, Grandison served in the Union Army in the Civil War before moving to DC where he married Luella.  Luella grew up in Maryland, the daughter of a free Black family. They emigrated to Toronto and lived in the east end. Luella was a founding member of the Eureka Club, a charitable society whose motto was “Not for ourselves, but for others”. Grandison died in 1921 and Luella in 1935. Their house at 6A Redwood abuts the lane.

Letters of support, especially from residents who live in the neighbourhood, can be sent to my office for inclusion in the request – please email tocouncillor_fletcher@toronto.ca. 

ActiveTO Update on Major Road Closures and Quiet Streets

ActiveTO Major Road Closures have been extended into October. Availability of Major Road closures may be impacted by planned construction or other road restrictions.

For this Thanksgiving long-weekend, October 10th at 6 a.m. until October 12th at 11 p.m., the following three major road closures will be in place:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue
  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

Since the week of May 11, Quiet Streets have provided shared space to enable people to maintain physical distancing while walking, running, using wheelchairs and biking. Quiet Streets signs and barricades will be removed throughout October, on a rolling basis beginning around Thanksgiving. The signs and barricades were designed to be temporary, making use of readily available materials. The program cannot be sustained in its current form as the City prepares for the winter season.

Preliminary survey results show that many people have found the program beneficial. A report is being prepared to share lessons learned from ActiveTO. The report will discuss options for reintroducing these programs, with modifications, in the future. The report is expected to come before City Council in January 2021.

Visit the City’s ActiveTO website for more information.

Thank you to all of our health care workers and frontline workers, and everyone else who is working to keep us safe.We’re in this together and it is important more than ever to follow all of the public health measures.

I will continue to send out regular updates to keep you informed. Please checktoronto.ca/covid19 for the latest information.

Remember to take care of yourselves and please contact my office if I can be of assistance.

Working for you,

Paula Fletcher
City Councillor
Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth

Copyright © 2020 Councillor Paula Fletcher, All rights reserved.
Councillor Fletcher sends community updates and news from City Hall to interested Torontonians.Our mailing address is:

Councillor Paula Fletcher

100 Queen Street West
Suite C44

Toronto, ON M5H 2N2


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