Dear Friends,It’s hard to believe another week has passed and August is right around the corner. Here are the most recent updates.
The Province announced that Toronto will be moving into Stage 3 of its Reopening Plan on Friday. This means certain restrictions will be lifted. Restaurants and bars will be permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, but must follow public health regulations. Social gathering limits will increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. You can find more information in the below email. Read the latest statement from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
City Council met virtually this week and discussed items related to COVID-19, Stage 3 and the City’s recovery. City Council approved a temporary bylaw requiring masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums – you can find more details below.
Destination Danforth construction is underway and CafeTO patio locations continue to be installed. It was great to see many folks enjoying the patios this week.
The ActiveTO major road closure on Lake Shore Blvd East(eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Ave is back this weekend. It will be in place from Saturday, August 1 at 6 a.m. to Monday, August 3 at 11 p.m.
Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted. These gatherings remain subject to compliance with physical distancing requirements of a two-metre distance from anyone outside your household or 10-person social circle. The City’s bylaws on physical distancing in City parks and squares remains in effect, as does the mandatory mask or face covering bylaw for indoor public spaces.
A number of City facilities and amenities will be allowed to reopen in Stage 3, including the City’s playgrounds and play structures, community and recreation centres, and libraries. If a playground is busy, Toronto Public Health recommends finding another park or going back later. Toronto Public Health has createdguidelines for parents and guardians to help children play safely at reopened playgrounds. Read the Toronto Public Library’s reopening plan for details on which branches and services will be available.
Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be able to gradually reopen in Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.
Restaurants and bars are now permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, provided that all patrons are seated when eating or drinking and that tables are separated by at least two metres or have plexiglass or other impermeable barriers. Masks are required, but can be removed when eating and drinking. On July 29, Council also voted to amend the licensing bylaw to require restaurants and bars to limit the indoor capacity of customers and employees to a maximum of 100 people and limit the number of customers seated at each table to no more than 10 customers at a time, maintain customer logs to be used by Toronto Public Health for contact tracing purposes, and establish staff screening protocols. Customers are required to remain seated at all times, except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying.
The Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open:
Amusement parks and water parks
Buffet-style food services
Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
Overnight stays at camps for children
Private karaoke rooms
Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
Enforcement officers from Municipal Licensing & Standards, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Police Service, and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are working together to address businesses that, despite widespread efforts to educate them on public health requirements to keep their customers and the public safe, continue to disobey provincial orders. In parks and on beaches, enforcement continues for physical distancing as well as public consumption of alcohol, bonfires, and non-permitted use of barbecues and hibachi grills.
COVID-19 remains a risk in our community and no service can resume or reopen without the proper public health measures in place. The City has published a number of guidance documents for businesses and service providers to ensure they are operating with the safety of staff, customers, and the community as a priority. Businesses should locate and implement the guidance for their industry found online.
Learn more about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into the new normal at toronto.ca/ReopenTO.
Toronto Public Health Releases New Socio-Demographic COVID-19 Data
Given Toronto’s racial diversity, large number of newcomers, and high proportion of people living with lower-income, Toronto Public Health (TPH) launched important work to understand if Toronto residents were also inequitably affected by COVID-19. TPH has released the findings and trends from recently collected individual-level COVID-19 case data on reported ethno-racial identity, household income, and household size. This information is key to understanding who is being impacted by the outbreak and to inform public health actions.
Previous area-based findings suggested that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were more commonly reported among those living in areas of our city with higher proportions of low-income earners and recent immigrants. Certain racialized groups were found to be over-represented in areas with higher COVID-19 case rates, including people who are Black, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latin American.
This first release of individual level data findings captures information collected from May 20, 2020 to July 16, 2020 and shows that approximately:
83 per cent of people with reported COVID-19 infection identified with a racialized group
51 per cent of reported cases in Toronto were living in households that could be considered lower-income
27 per cent of COVID-19 cases were among individuals who live in households with five or more people
The City of Toronto has begun engaging with community agencies and organizations that represent and serve communities that are over-represented in reported COVID-19 to share these preliminary findings, to hear and understand their concerns, and to identify areas of potential collaboration to help address these disparities. This includes continuing to recommend areas for enhanced testing, including pop-up centres and targeted health promotion messages to help reduce virus spread and prevent further transmission.
The Destination Danforth project is underway. CaféTO curb lane patios were installed in Phase 1 (Broadview to Jones) last weekend. Pavement markings in Phase 2 (Jones to Woodbine) are complete and patio installations have begun.
Below is the construction schedule as of July 30th.
Phase 1: Broadview to Jones
1) July 13-15: signage installation
2) July 15-21: pavement markings (3.5 days north side, 3.5 days south side)
3) July 22-24: patio installation – adjustments and furnishings being added
Phase 2: Jones to Woodbine
1) July 21-23: signage installation
2) July 23-28: pavement markings (3.5 days south side, 3.5 days north side)
3) July 30 -31: patio installation
Phase 3: Woodbine to Dawes
1) Before August 4: signage installation
2) August 4-10: pavement markings (3.5 days north side, 3.5 days south side)
3) August 4-10: planter & post installation
Phase 4: Curb Extension Installation
1) Installation of decorative curb extension designs started Thursday within Broadview-Danforth BIA. Others will start rolling out following the long weekend and most will be installed following the completion of Phase 3 pavement markings. They will be installed from west to east.
Masks or Face Coverings Mandatory in Apartments and Condos
Toronto City Council has voted in favour of a temporary bylaw requiring masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums to protect the health and safety of our communities by reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The new bylaw, recommended by the Medical Officer of Health and City Solicitor, will require building owners or operators to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in the enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and post corresponding signage. The bylaw comes into effect on Wednesday, August 5.
Like the City’s existing mask or face covering bylaw, the recommendation includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.
On June 29th City Council adopted new health and safety rules for apartment building owners and operators to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available on the RentSafeTO for Building Owners webpage. If you have health and safety concerns, talk to your landlord or building manager first and submit a service request. If you get no action from your landlord and problems persist, contact 311 for the RentSafeTO team.
City Launches HistoricTO
The City has launched HistoricTO, a new cultural experience that connects Toronto’s communities by providing inclusive access to local history, heritage and land-based learning at Toronto History Museums. HistoricTO will offer access and experiences that have not previously been available.
HistoricTO walking tours, a time-ticketed, guided neighbourhood walking tour experience, will offer visitors an opportunity to engage in discussions and explore Toronto through diverse perspectives. Tours will be held from July 30 to September 4, will be 60 minutes in length and vary in content. Themes include: colonization and the evolution of land use over time, the impact of urban development and industrialization, settlement patterns and immigration, Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+ and women’s history.
Tickets must be purchased in advance starting July 29 at toronto.ca/museums. Tickets will be pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10. Hours of operation will be Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As well, the City is offering never-before seen access to the Museums’ artifact and fine art collections through Toronto History Museums Artifact Collection, an online virtual database, available at toronto.ca/museums. This collection consists of 150,000 artifacts, 1.1 million archaeological specimens and 3,000 works of art reflecting the 11,000-year span of human occupation of the Toronto area.
HistoricTO also includes a new youth engagement advisory group that will develop a plan for introducing dynamic youth programming at all City-run museums.
Withrow Park Farmers’ Market is running on Saturdays. This is a grab and go market and you must wear a mask or face covering. The market will be accepting online pre-orders available for pick-up at the market each week. The market opens at 9 am for pre-order pick-ups and at 10 am until 1 pm for other patrons. https://withrowmarket.ca/
Leslieville Farmers’ Market is running on Sundays 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. You can pre-order in their virtual market which is open every Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm, and then pick-up on Sunday. The market is using a “one-way” street design and is asking people to keep physical distance. Please wear a mask or face covering. https://www.leslievillemarket.com/
The Leslieville Flea is back at the Ashbridge Estate (1444 Queen St. East) August 9th from 10 am to 5 pm. Public health measures will be in place. https://leslievilleflea.com/
Thank you to all of our health care workers and frontline workers, and everyone else who is working to keep us going and keep us safe. And thank you again to everyone for following public health measures. We’re in this together.
I will continue to send out regular updates to keep you informed. Please check toronto.ca/covid19 for the latest information.
Remember to take care of yourselves and please contact my office if we can be of assistance.
Working for you,
Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth