Booster Vaccine, Staying Safe Over the Holidays, and COVID-19 Updates

I know many of you are concerned about the rising cases of COVID-19 and the new Omicron variant. Yesterday, Ontario reported 1536 new cases of COVID. As a result, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health have restricted gatherings to just five people for the next week. This is in an effort to curb COVID’s spread as the region’s hospitals warned of limited capacity. Dr. Gerald Evans, Chair of Infectious Diseases at Queen’s University, predicts Kingston is about three days ahead of the rest of Ontario, and that Toronto will see a similar spike.

Kingston and its region is not the only place experiencing a spike in cases. We have now seen both the NBA and NHL postpone games as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks, and the NFL will be requiring booster shots for all personnel, coaches, and players before December 27, 2021. Sporting events operating at 100% capacity in close quarters without masks creates more opportunity for COVID-19 to spread, and with these new outbreaks, it’s clear that’s exactly what’s happening. 

Last week, Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Ontario, asked residents to limit their social contacts. With this warning, the Provincial government has yet to make any significant changes to public health protocols and the Omicron variant now accounts for 31% of cases of COVID-19. In the absence of stricter public health guidelines, I would encourage everyone to take the advice of our Chief Medical Officer and consider how you can make your activities safer, including limiting them. I would also encourage anyone who has not received both vaccine doses to book an appointment today

City of Toronto vaccine info and eligibility infographicCity of Toronto vaccine info and eligibility infographic

People 50 or older who received their second dose at least 168 days ago (approximately six months ago) can book a booster dose through the province’s COVID-19 vaccine portal, by calling the provincial vaccine contact centre at 1-833-943-3900, accessing Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, and participating pharmacies. Beginning January 4, the province will be expanding the booster program to anyone 18 years or older. The booster shot continues to be an important way to combat COVID-19 as it helps amplify protection against more transmissible variants. 

I know you are frustrated. I am too. It has been almost two years of living with COVID-19 in Canada, and with vaccines, we are now better protected. Although we are tired, we cannot ease up yet and need to continue to utilize layers of protection including getting vaccinated, wearing our masks if you’re able, and limiting social contacts. These are some of the tools we can use to help keep our communities and loved ones safer. I would encourage you to use careful judgment and take precautions as we enter this holiday season. I know we want to see our friends and families, and I do too. I believe that proceeding with caution will go a long way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

This week, my colleagues and I will meet for the last City Council meeting of the year. COVID recovery will be top of mind as well as voting on the rate-supported budget. Additionally, City Council will consider the temporary road closures as proposed by Metrolinx, a weak plan which will close some of our downtown streets for seven years. I have worked with the Mayor and a number of amendments have been advanced to City Council for final approval in an effort to better support our communities, and businesses. 

City Council will also be voting on the proposed framework for The Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a brand new 22,000 sq ft facility dedicated to Indigenous innovation in the heart of Ward 13. With broad community support, I have been championing this remarkable initiative since my first term and when it opens in 2023, the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will become one of only a handful of incubators in Canada dedicated to Indigenous economic empowerment and business development. It will also be the largest one of its kind in the world, located at 200 Dundas Street East, it will be emblematic of our continued long journey toward reconciliation. 

As we start to turn our minds towards the City of Toronto’s budget process, I am proud to have City Council consider my motion requesting staff examine how we can better support our communities. In 2010, Mayor Rob Ford reversed City Council’s order of business by personally setting the tax rate before any debate got underway about which essential programs and services get funded. This has led to a decade of chronic underfunding, service deficiencies and missed opportunities. As part of our recovery from COVID-19, we need to consider the future of Toronto and how we can move our economic renewal forward to support struggling residents and business owners. It will not be easy, but it’s important to have a sober look at the challenges we continue to face and make necessary changes to support our recovery. 

In the New Year, the City will be reviewing and debating the operating and capital budgets and we need your support in promoting the needs of Toronto Centre. I would encourage you to revisit a panel series I hosted called Making Cents. Featuring 25 panelists over five sessions, we explored issues facing residents and provided suggestions of how to move forward through COVID recovery. To support this work, my office developed a Budget 101 tool to help inform residents and business owners about how they can get involved in the municipal budget process. Learn more about the 2022 City Budget and how you can get involved!

Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.

Kristyn


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Sign Up: City of Toronto Winter Recreation Programs

City of Toronto winter recreation program promotional imageCity of Toronto winter recreation program promotional image

Registration for Toronto winter recreation programs and March Break CampTO starts December 11 and 15, 2021! Find out which date applies to which district on How to Register for Recreation Programs. Most programs start the week of January 8, 2022.

Please note that some recreation programs require proof of full vaccination in order to participate. Find out who this affects and what is required on COVID-19: Proof of Vaccination. Learn about the City’s COVID-19 safety measures for recreation programs. With over 11,000 registered programs and 2,200 drop-in programs on offer, there’s something for all ages, interests, and skill levels this winter. Explore programs and sign up here!


COVID Testing and Vaccines at Auduzhe

Auduzhe is offering COVID-19 testing and vaccines for all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) people. Learn more about the services they are providing below:

COVID Testing

Auduzhe is providing free COVID tests for FNIM community members and close contacts living in the same household. Please call 416-654-4184 to book your COVID-19 test appointment on any of the following days:

  • Mondays:  1 - 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays:  2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Fridays:  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Vaccine Clinics

Auduzhe will also continue to offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine every Saturday and Tuesday for December. They will be closed on Saturday, December 25th, and Saturday, January 1st

When: Saturdays and Tuesdays
Where: 22 Vaughan Road (near Bathurst and St. Clair)
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Clinics are open to any Indigenous person (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people regardless of status or registration) and close contacts living in the same household that are 12-years-old and over. Eligibility includes:

  1. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis persons, who received only two Astra-Zeneca doses or non-indigenous direct client-facing front-line workers working within the Indigenous community are welcome to book a third dose, and we appreciate your understanding and patience while we work to get those most at risk protected.  
  2. First and second doses are available! You can book your 1st and 2nd dose appointments here
  3. Third doses available for those who are immunocompromised 8 weeks after their second dose.
  4. Third dose is available for those who received their second dose 6 months earlier (June 5, 2021). Please note they are prioritizing the elderly and immunocompromised. Please call them at 416-654-4184 OR email [email protected] for more information or to book an appointment.

If you need support in calculating the length of time between doses please click here.


St. James Town Community Corner Holiday Meal

St. James Town Community Corner Holiday Meal promotional posterSt. James Town Community Corner Holiday Meal promotional poster

Brought to you by many community partners, come out to Ward 13’s St. James Town Community Corner holiday meal on December 16! The Corner is a fully accessible set of offices, meeting spaces, program rooms, and community kitchen dedicated to local initiatives and services, as well as a venue for recreational, educational, and community-based activities to benefit the neighborhood in St. James Town.

To attend the St. James Town Community Corner holiday meal, pre-register by calling (416) 964-6657, or visit the St. James Town Community Corner at 200 Wellesley Street East

When: December 16, 2021
Where: 200 Wellesley Street East
Time: 12 p.m.


Maggie’s Toronto Vigil and March 

Maggie’s Toronto Vigil and March promotional posterMaggie’s Toronto Vigil and March promotional poster

On Friday, December 17, join Maggie’s Toronto for a community vigil and march for sex worker justice on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This day is a globally recognized date to commemorate the lives of sex workers lost to violence, abuse, and criminalization. 

Join Maggie’s Toronto at Barbara Hall Park (519 Church Street) to reflect on the last year, create space to honour the lives of those we've loved and lost, and march through the downtown east to send a clear message: sex workers deserve to live lives free from violence today and every day. The vigil will take about 90 mins followed by a short night march (30 minutes).

When: Friday, December 17, 2021
Where: Barbara Hall Park,  519 Church Street
Time: 6 p.m. 

More information here.


Yonge Street Mission Toy Market Collection 

The Yonge Street Mission (YSM) Toy Market for community members is now open from December 13 to 17, 2021! Up to 400 YSM families turn to YSM for help to give their kids a holiday to remember. They hope to have at least one special surprise for their child(ren) to open on Christmas morning – something just for them which will bring joy!

YSM invites you to join them for this special event by donating new toys or volunteering. Learn how to donate or sign up to volunteer on their website


The 519 COVID and Flu Vaccine Clinic

The 519 COVID and flu vaccine poster

The 519 COVID and flu vaccine posterThe 519 COVID and flu vaccine poster

Wednesday, December 15, is the last day of 2021's weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinic at The 519. Come by from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines. The clinic will be back on January 12, 2022.

First, second, and third doses are being offered, as well as flu shots. Buzz the Front Desk at the South entrance and let them know you are there for the vaccine clinic. See more information and eligibility below:

  • For ages 12+
  • For 2SLGBTQ+ communities and allies
  • Pfizer and Moderna are available
  • Ontario Health Card not necessary, but good to bring along if you have it
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd doses: Available to those eligible according to the Ministry of Health guidelines
  • For Flu Shots, go to the 3rd floor and let the team know you are interested in receiving the flu shot

Those getting their COVID-19 vaccine can complete a short survey to be entered to win a $100 gift card from a local queer-owned business. 


Friends of Ruby Winter Clothing Drive 

Join Friends of Ruby for their Winter Clothing Drive drop-in starting today! Friends of Ruby will be running the Clothing Drive at 489 Queen Street East, at the lower level all week. Timing is as follows:

  • December 14 to December 17, from 1:30 - 6 p.m.
  • December 18, 1:30 - 5 p.m.

Please contact Friends of Ruby if you have any questions. 


St. James Town Holiday Vax and Snax for Families 

St. James Town Holiday Vax and Snax for Families posterSt. James Town Holiday Vax and Snax for Families poster

Are your children vaxxed yet? Do you have any questions about children and vaccines? Do you need to make an appointment over the break? Talk to the St. James Town Holiday Vax and Snax service providers and ask your questions outside of Rose Avenue Public School, Winchester Public School, and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School on December 17th from 3 - 4:30 p.m. 

They will also be providing ‘vax and snax’ after school from 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne Street) to get your kids vaccinated! Drop-in or make an appointment by calling (416) 347-0943. Join them for holiday treats, hot chocolate, and get connected to community resources for your family!


Toronto Centre Projects

Toronto Centre Projects is designed to engage community members and crowdsource neighbourhood projects supported by the Councillor's office and your neighbours. Over the next year, my office will be launching consultations for several parks and dog off-leash area revitalizations, public realm improvements, and more.

Have ideas to make our communities more liveable, vibrant, and safe? Submit them at www.TorontoCentreProjects.ca.

Featured Proposals

Automated Outdoor Public Toilets, Submitted by Johanna

Toronto Centre Projects proposal promotional posterToronto Centre Projects proposal promotional poster

One proposal by community member, Johanna, advocates for The City of Toronto to install Automated Outdoor Public Toilets, like the City of Vancouver has done. Read the proposal and vote now on the Toronto Centre Projects website.

Active Public Consultations

Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods

Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is a City of Toronto initiative to facilitate more low-rise housing in residential neighbourhoods to meet the needs of our growing city. The City is working to expand opportunities for “missing middle” housing forms in Toronto, ranging from duplexes to low-rise walk-up apartments. All of these housing types can be found in many parts of Toronto today, but they are also limited in where they can be newly built. Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is one solution among a range of City initiatives to increase housing choice and access and create a more equitable, sustainable city.

From now and until December 31, 2021, we’re looking for your feedback on expanding permissions for multiplexes across the city. Fill out a short survey and have your say.

[Button] Take the Survey 

Property Standards Bylaw Review

Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) is reviewing the Property Standards Bylaw to ensure that all properties are safe and well maintained and that rules and standards for property owners and occupants are clear and consistent.

The first phase of the review will explore the following topics:

  • Issues with external light in residences
  • Surveillance cameras on neighbouring properties
  • Timing of snow and ice clearing and enforcement of snow removal on private property
  • Implementing safety measures for vacant-derelict properties
  • Security and safety measures for dormant development sites and
  • Right of access to adjoining land to make repairs or alterations to your property.

Toronto residents are invited to participate and provide input on these topics through a survey available on the Property Standards webpage. The deadline to complete the survey is December 20, 2021.

[Button] Take the Survey

Who else wants to be a changemaker? Submit your ideas to make our communities more liveable, vibrant, and safe at www.TorontoCentreProjects.ca.


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;
  • Birthdate;
  • 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.


Vaccinated Against COVID-19? What Does It Mean For Me?

By getting vaccinated, you benefit from the protection you get against COVID-19 and the easing of restrictive measures in your community. You still need to follow local public health advice in public settings (e.g. workplaces, public transit). Their advice considers community risk levels. 

A majority of people in Canada have now had their first shot and many will soon be fully vaccinated. Below is a handy chart created by Public Health Canada to inform your actions depending on your vaccination status. This advice is based on the current state and will be updated as vaccination rates continue to increase and cases decrease.


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.

Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our communities. For more tips on social distancing, please visit the City’s website or download this info sheet.


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

Telehealth Ontario
Call if you develop symptoms!
Telephone: 1-866-797-0000

Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Telephone: 416-338-7600
TTY: 416-392-0658
Email: [email protected]

311 Toronto
311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency City services, programs and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 311 can offer assistance in more than 180 languages.
Telephone: 311
Website 
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489

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.

Toronto Police

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. 

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