This weekend marked yet another tragic milestone in our battle against COVID-19. We have lost over 3,000 lives in our city, and my heart goes out to family and friends who are grieving. My heart breaks for the family of Emily Viegas, one of the youngest people in Canada to die from COVID-19. As a parent, I cannot imagine losing a child. Please keep her family in your hearts as they grieve.
Unfortunately, the variants of COVID-19 continue to affect younger people, and at a deadly pace. With more and more people dying at home due to COVID-19, it is critical that we each remain vigilant. This is a virus that can take people very quickly. Please, if you are feeling ill, get tested and see a doctor. Do not wait. Over 520 Ontarians have died this month, compared to 386 in March. These are devastating numbers as we are battling new variants while simultaneously, urgently vaccinating residents.
To date, the City of Toronto has administered over one million vaccine doses. This is an exciting, hopeful moment in this time of uncertainty, and I’d like to thank our #TeamToronto as well as Toronto Public Health and their community partners for tirelessly working to achieve this target.
Early this morning, the Province of Ontario announced some very important updates to vaccine eligibility. As of 8:00 am today, all individuals who are 45 and over in 2021 and living in one of the Provincially designated high-risk neighbourhoods, will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a mass immunization clinic through the provincial online booking system and call centre at 1-833-943-3900. In Ward 13 that includes M4X, M5A & M5B. It does NOT include M4Y.
For residents aged 18-49 years old, there are currently two pop-up vaccination clinics in Ward 13:
- Regent Park: 40 Oaks (Fred Victor), 40 Oak Street
- St. James Town: Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne Street
Both of these locations have been booking vaccines for residents aged 18-49 years old in the following postal codes: M4X, M5A, M5B, and M4Y. These are both operated by Unity Health and can be booked online.
These two pop-ups should be considered a high-need, acute setting. They do not have the capacity to do the mass vaccination that the city-operated clinics do. As such, appointments at 40 Oak and Wellesley Community Centre have been regularly fully booked
Moving forward, pop-up clinics will be providing notice 24 hours in advance via their website (Sherbourne Health and Regent Park Community Health Centre) and social media channels prior to the release of additional appointment times. I encourage eligible individuals to check these channels for updates.
Additionally, as of Thursday, April 29, 2021, child care workers in licensed child care settings will be eligible to book an appointment through the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible workers in licensed child care settings will have to bring a letter from their employer confirming their eligibility for the appointment. We anticipate eligibility will be expanded to child care workers in unlicensed child care settings across the province in the next few weeks.
We are very hopeful that we will see vaccine access expand in the next week, and more appointments will be made available. To get up-to-date notices, in addition to email-based notifications, if you live in Ward 13 - Toronto Centre I would like to invite you to sign up for text message updates by texting (647) 424-5358 or visiting this link and filling out your information.
Along with getting as many residents vaccinated as possible, there are still legislative tools the Premier can use which can drastically curb the transmission of COVID-19. We will need both in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe.
City Council and health care experts continue to advocate for evidence-based Provincial policy changes like paid sick days. Recently, Ford’s Conservative government voted down a bill put forward by the Liberals that would have granted all workers access to paid sick days provided by their employers. When Ford repeatedly ignores these calls, he plays politics with people’s lives.
I urge you to direct your frustration at the Premier and his government by calling 416-325-1941 or emailing the Premier and his ministers. Demand that they:
- Focus on policies that target indoor spaces.
- Close all but truly essential workplaces.
- Support people, so they can stay at home when sick.
- Vaccinate those most at risk.
- Limit contacts and don’t travel.
We must all work together to curb the rate of transmission. We need to keep pressure on Ford and his government to take the advice of health experts to truly get this third wave under control.
On Friday, a new Section 22 Class Order took effect that applies to workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks. Either full or partial closures of businesses began yesterday after each business was notified. Updated closures will be posted every Thursday on the COVID-19 dashboard. At this time, the majority of affected workplaces are manufacturing buildings, making non-essential items. Enforcing a full or partial closure of these businesses after an outbreak will prevent employees from bringing the virus home to their families.
I am so excited to announce that ActiveTO closures will begin this weekend, three weeks earlier than last year, along Bayview Ave and Lakeshore East. After the success of ActiveTO last summer, City staff have been working hard to deliver a bigger and better program for this upcoming season. Strolling and rolling are great ways to stay active and get fresh air while remaining physically distanced.
The following closures will be in place beginning Saturday, May 1 at 6 am until Sunday, May 2 at 9 pm:
- Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street
- Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue
Residents are being asked to stay close to home exploring the many paths, ravines, and hydro corridors with trails throughout Toronto that continue to be open and available every day for fresh air and exercise. Learn more about ActiveTO.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
What’s in Today’s EBlast?
- St. Lawrence Market’s Seasonal Outdoor Farmers Market Returns!
- Information Session: 76 Church Street
- Healing as ONE
- COVID-19 Fund
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Updates
- Province of Ontario Updates
- Government of Canada Updates
- COVID-19 Information and Resources
St. Lawrence Market’s Seasonal Outdoor Farmers Market Returns!
A picture of St. Lawrence Market
The seasonal outdoor area of the St. Lawrence Market Saturday Farmers Market will return to Market Street on Saturday, May 1, 2021! Like last year, Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street will temporarily close to allow vendors and customers space to safely share their mouth-watering stock.
The Market is taking every precaution to keep vendors and customers safe. In compliance with restrictions under the Province of Ontario's COVID-19 response framework and the current Stay At Home Order, the outdoor Farmers Market area will be open from 7 am-3 pm.
The indoor Farmers Market area continues to operate from 5 a.m.- 3 p.m. and the South (main) Market building is open on Saturdays from 5 a.m. - 4 p.m. Customers are reminded to shop alone or with one other person if they need help carrying items and to wear a mask at all times including in lines and while in both indoor and outdoor areas.
Information Session: 76 Church Street
As part of the George Street Revitalization Project, 76 Church Street has been leased by the City of Toronto to serve as a temporary municipal shelter for residents of Seaton House during the redevelopment of George Street.
Seaton House is one of the largest shelters in Canada, and currently operates 581 beds out of its location at 339 George Street. As part of the long-term revitalization of George Street, Seaton House will be transformed into a world-class facility and community hub, including a long-term care home with 378 beds; a 100-bed emergency shelter for men; an innovative 130-bed “transitional living” service for men and women, a service hub for program clients as well as members of the surrounding community; and 21 units of affordable housing with supports.
To assist with the revitalization of Seaton House, the City has needed to temporarily acquire spaces to house residents during construction. 76 Church Street is one of those facilities that have been leased for this purpose. This site was previously leased by the City as a temporary shelter to accommodate physical distancing in the shelter and respite system during COVID-19.
Please join us for an information session about 76 Church Street to learn more about the site and to ask questions about future operations.
What: 76 Church Street Information Session
When: May 3, 2021, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: By computer at www.toronto.ca/PhysicalDistancingShelters OR by phone at 416-915-6530, Access code:133 673 2730
Residents are encouraged to send questions in advance of the virtual information session to the Community Engagement Facilitators.
Maria Crawford and Violetta Ilkiw
- Community Engagement Facilitators
- Barnes Management Group
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Phone: 416-800-2914 x 202
Healing as ONE
Healing as ONE logo
Healing as ONE is a grassroots youth group based in the Regent Park community bringing the community together to create an open dialogue and pave understanding. In 2020, together they founded the RamadanMeals program delivering 10,523 meals to those in need; 455 Good Food Boxes delivered to families and 100 packages of dried goods and cooking essentials. This year, on the first day of Ramadan, they distributed over 300 meals, an increase of over 150% from their first day of distribution in 2020.
If you are in need, and would like to request a meal, you can register here and it has been shared on social media. If you are interested in volunteering for the program, you can register to volunteer here. Lastly, they have a GoFundMe campaign to help support program delivery. If you can, please visit their campaign page to donate. Learn more and donate here.
Above is an image of the Councillor receiving the gift cards from Bob, Adrian, and Andrew
At the onset of COVID in March 2020, a group of real estate developers made significant contributions to a fundraising initiative primarily targeted at addressing the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line workers, and more recently helping TCHC residents and small businesses in Ward 13. A year ago, Bob Blazevski (DiamondCorp), Adrian Rocca (Fitzrovia), and Andrew Joyner (Tricon Residential) and major contributors (CentreCourt, Metropia, State Building Group, Choice Properties, and Tridel) championed an innovative program to source materials and work with architect partners to 3D print face shields for hospital workers and long-term-care workers.
As PPE inventories grew in 2020, the group pivoted direction to help out in the community. Recently, they supported TCHC residents and restaurants in Ward 13 through the purchase of gift cards at local restaurants - Como en Casa, Fusilli, Mengrai Thai, Paintbox Bistro, Stout Irish Pub, The George Street Diner, The Tilted Dog Pub & Kitchen – which will be distributed to 350 TCHC households, helping ease a food burden and enjoy a delicious meal during the latest lockdown.
COVID-19: Vaccine Information
For updates about Toronto’s vaccination rollout and booking system, please visit my website.
Book an appointment at a City-operated vaccination clinic by phone through the provincial call centre, 1-888-999-6488.
Book an appointment at a City-operated vaccination clinic online at www.toronto.ca/covid-19. For online bookings, you will need:
- Information found on your Government of Ontario photo health card;
- Postal code; and
- Email address or phone number.
The provincial system will verify your eligibility to book an appointment for vaccination based on this information and will then guide you to the scheduling system.
Please do not call 311 or Toronto Public Health to book an appointment. The City 311 contact centre and Toronto Public Health staff do not have access to the booking system.
COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread
As we begin to again restrengthen our public health measures, we will all continue to live in this new normal. Wearing a mask or a face covering is mandatory in all public indoor spaces and on the TTC. Our commitment must be to continue minimizing the impact of COVID-19, especially on our most vulnerable residents, while reducing negative social, economic, and broader health impacts on our community. In the coming months what this means for our residents is:
- Continuing to work remotely, wherever possible;
- Maintaining physical distance from people outside our household or social circle/bubble;
- Avoiding crowds and congregations in closed indoor settings;
- Wearing a cloth mask or face covering in any public indoor setting, including stores, transit, offices; and where
- physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Staying home whenever we are sick for any reason.
City of Toronto COVID-19 Updates
Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto is investing $2 million to strengthen mental health support for residents. The funds will be allocated to community groups and non-profit organizations to assist them in addressing mental health challenges, with an emphasis on supporting individuals in the neighbourhoods hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding for this investment was approved by City Council in February 2021 and will be allocated through the TO Supports Investment Fund.
Mayor John Tory announced that registration will be opening for virtual spring recreation programs starting April 22. The City is offering numerous virtual programs to provide safe, at-home activities for all ages and abilities, including art, fitness, and martial arts programs.
City of Toronto and Partners Launch Team Toronto Sprint Strategy to Triple Vaccine Access in 13 Hot Spot Neighbourhoods
Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the Team Toronto effort to get vaccines to those that need them most, including a new mobile vaccination sprint strategy with Toronto health sector partners to triple the amount of vaccine in hot spot neighbourhoods.
City of Toronto Readying Paramedic and Fire Services to Support Mobile Vaccination of Vulnerable Communities
The City of Toronto, in collaboration with Ontario Health Team partners and under the leadership of the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine and Toronto Public Health, is significantly expanding mobile vaccine team capabilities by staffing new mobile clinic teams with Toronto Paramedics and Firefighters.
The COVID-19 situation in Toronto remains dire and further action is needed in workplaces where the risk of transmission is high. The Section 22 Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health is effective Friday, April 23 at 12:01 a.m.
Province of Ontario Updates
The Ontario government is expanding booking for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to individuals 45 and over in designated hot spot communities in 13 public health units, as identified by postal code, through its provincial booking system. Child care workers in licensed child care settings across the province will also be eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the following statement on the province's first confirmed case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in a patient after receiving the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.
The Ontario government, in collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart, will offer 24/7 COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals aged 40 and over at 20 pharmacy locations, with the majority located in hot spot communities.
Government of Canada Updates
All updates from the Government of Canada can be found at the link here.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
Now is the time to stay informed through credible sources, and to follow the advice of our public health professionals. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19.
Phone lines for telehealth, TPH and 311 continue to experience very high volumes. Please help keep the phones lines open for people who are sick by visiting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19
Call if you develop symptoms!
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Email: [email protected]
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services, or to report people
Telephone: 311 (The City is only accepting 311 requests through phone)
Support for People Living with Homelessness
If you see someone living with homelessness and in need of support you can call Streets to Homes at 416-338-4766. For mental health support, the Gerstein Crisis Centre is a valuable 24-hours a day, seven days a week service in our community and they have crisis workers on standby at 416-929-5200. More resources, including additional how to report information, are available on my website at kristynwongtam.ca.
If you or someone else is confronted with life-threatening danger, please call 911 immediately. Alternatively, the Toronto Police request that online reports be submitted at torontopolice.on.ca/core or to torontopolice.on.ca/community-complaints. You can also call their non-emergency line at 416-808-2222.