Vaccine Rollout, Encampment Clearings, Pride, and COVID-19 Updates

As the province moves quickly through their vaccine rollout, more opportunities to book second dose appointments are becoming readily available. As of tomorrow, any individual who received their first vaccine dose before May 30 becomes eligible to book their second dose through the provincial booking system. I have been receiving a lot of questions from residents about mixing doses, and what is safe. Right now, the safest dose is the first one you can get, and that includes mixing doses for your first and second shot. Those who had Moderna or Pfizer for their first dose can now have either for their second dose, while people who had AstraZeneca for their first dose can either have the same, or opt for Moderna or Pfizer.

Beginning last Sunday, adults in Toronto who booked COVID vaccine appointments at city mass clinics will receive Moderna, regardless of their first dose due to a delay of a Pfizer-BioNTech shipment of more than 162,000 doses that was supposed to arrive yesterday. Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines work in the same way, giving cells instructions to make a protein that triggers the immune system to develop antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. All evidence indicates that it is perfectly safe to mix them. I would encourage you to visit my website and review updated vaccine information and use the mRNA drop-down menu. 

It is important that despite delays in any vaccine delivery, all residents keep current vaccine appointments, and continue to make them as they become eligible. The City of Toronto has been successful at getting vaccinated and we need to keep up the trend in order to protect ourselves and our communities. 

We can also expect adapted public health regulations for individuals who have received both vaccine doses. Yesterday, the Federal government announced that fully vaccinated Canadians or Permanent Residents will not have to quarantine upon return into Canada as of July 5, 2021. Last Thursday, Health Minister Christine Elliott assured that guidance will be coming soon on what Ontarians can do after they are vaccinated.

I want to encourage everyone to continue to be cautiously optimistic in the reopening of Ontario and Toronto, to keep practicing physical distancing, and if you’re able, wear a mask. I know it is tedious and frustrating at every step of our reopening. But the Delta variant is still prominent in our communities. We can look to the United Kingdom as an example of how critical these next steps are. They were preparing to reopen the country, and now are at serious risk of closing once more due to the Delta variant. I know we are all excited, but let us each do our part to ensure that the safety of our communities is at the forefront of our minds. 

As the weather gets warmer and we feel the sweltering heat, the City of Toronto has opened an additional 46 outdoor swimming pools across Toronto as of last weekend. This follows the early opening of 10 City pools on Saturday, June 12, 2021. 

Reservations for 45-minute leisure or lane swim sessions must be made in advance online at Toronto Swim. Blocks of new swim reservation spots are released Thursdays at 8 a.m. for the following Monday to Sunday. To ensure fairness, bookings are restricted to one per day, per person. A select number of spaces at each outdoor pool location will be held back to ensure swimming remains accessible to people with limited access to the Internet. These spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

To ensure there is adequate space for physical distancing, capacity at outdoor pools continues to be reduced to 25% and staff have worked with Toronto Public Health (TPH) to meet guidelines ensuring residents can swim safely. Patrons visiting the City’s outdoor pools will be required to sign in and provide their first name and an email or phone number to facilitate TPH contact tracing should it be required.

Today, the City of Toronto also moved to clear the encampments at Trinity Bellwoods Park. I am very frustrated that the City continues to use a large police presence to clear encampments, as I believe this work is better suited for outreach and housing workers. This is not reasonable or measured. You can read my full statement here

Finally, this weekend we celebrate Pride Weekend with digital parades, and special events to cap off Pride month. I would encourage you to connect and tune into the many events this weekend through the Pride Guide!

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, this year represents the 30th anniversary of the first proclamation of Pride in the City of Toronto, and the 30th anniversary of the election of the first out gay City Councillor, Kyle Rae. 2021 also marks the 40th anniversary of Pride Toronto and gay bathhouse raids where 286 men were arrested by the Toronto Police making it the largest mass arrest in our city’s history to that date. Pride represents joy and celebration in how far we have come while affirming our need to continue fighting for dignity and full acceptance of all 2SLGBTQ people. 

Despite decades of Pride, this year made it clear why it is still so important for our community to be visible and proud. I know many are still reeling from the hate crime at Hanlan’s Point on Saturday, June 5, 2021. The Toronto Police Services have announced that they have made an arrest and charged the suspect with Aggravated Assault. Toronto Police are hoping to speak to two women who they believe were in the area at the time and are described as white, in their 20s, and with brown hair as this remains an active investigation. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

I’m glad that Toronto Police were able to identify a suspect quickly, but I am saddened that we must continue to fight against homophobia. I am hopeful of a time when each and every one of us is free and safe to be themselves. Hate is unacceptable. When you see homophobia, we need to stand up against it and affirm the safety and acceptance of our fellow humans. I look forward to a day when we no longer need to fight for our safety. 

As we know, Pride is both a protest and a celebration. Let us all be united in our convictions that love is love is love. Happy Pride!

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

Kristyn


What’s In Today’s EBlast?


Missing and Missed Implementation Team

On April 13, 2021, the comprehensive Report of the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations titled ‘Missing and Missed’ was completed. As part of this report, Justice Epstein made 151 recommendations to improve police policies, procedures, training, and culture. The recommendations also seek to restore public confidence in the Toronto Police Service and to continue to build bridges within each community.  

As part of the recommendations, the creation of a Missed and Missing Implementation Team (MMIT), comprised of a diverse group of community representatives, with attention given to the 2SLGBTQ+, marginalized and vulnerable communities, as well as the Toronto Police Services would develop an implementation plan and report regularly on progress. Members should ideally include individuals who have already acquired knowledge of the issues identified in the report, either as members of the advisory group that recommended the review and drafted its Terms of Reference, or as members of the review’s Community Advisory Group. Those who have LGBTQ2S+ lived experiences with the issues outlined in Justice Epstein’s review are encouraged to apply to be part of the implementation process. If you are interested in applying, the deadline is Friday, June 25, 2021, and you may click here to apply. Applicants will be short-listed and may be asked to participate in an interview. The final selections will be made by June 30, 2021. 

Led by TPS Acting Staff Superintendent Pauline Gray and Interim Community Co-Chair Charles Payette, the MMIT will meet monthly beginning in July 2021, to consult on the development of the implementation plan and monitor progress. All recommendations are expected to be implemented by December 31, 2023, at which time the work of the MMIT will be complete.

If you require an application in another format or need further information, please contact Inspector Michael Perreault at [email protected] or 416-808-0111.


2SLGBTQ+ Vaccine Pop-Up

Vaccine pop-up promotional graphicVaccine pop-up promotional graphic

This Saturday, The 519 and Toronto Public Health are offering a vaccine pop-up clinic offering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The teams will be offering first and second doses, though second dose eligibility will be dependent on the provincial guidelines on the day of the clinic.

When: Saturday, June 26, 2021
Time: 11 a.m to 5 p.m.
Where: The 519, 519 Church Street

If you are undocumented, or do not have OHIP, you are more than welcome to drop in! If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]


We’re Hiring: Join the Team

My office is looking for a Planning & Policy Advisor to join the team in Ward 13 Toronto Centre. Toronto Centre is one of the most diverse and populous wards in Toronto and growing much faster than the city average. We’re looking for someone familiar with urban planning who can advise on a range of issues related to planning, development, and infrastructure and act as a key link between the Councillor’s office, City Planning, and the community.

This position is ideally suited for an energetic self-starter who is keenly interested in understanding the mechanics of municipal government on a day-to-day level.

The Planning & Policy Advisor will provide stakeholder and policy support related to city-wide and local issues and will also develop inclusive outreach strategies to engage residents and other community members.

The position is a fixed-term, full-time contract to November 2022 and begins immediately. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning immediately. We thank all interested applicants; however, only those candidates being considered for an interview will be contacted.

Please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] using the subject line “Application: Planning & Policy Advisor”. More information can be found here.


Bike Share Annual45 Pilot

Over the past five years, the Bike Share Network has expanded by 680% in support of active mobility. With this in mind, Toronto Parking Authority adopted a motion to introduce a 45-minute Annual Membership pilot program for Bike Share Toronto. 

This new pilot includes a 45-minute ride option for annual members as part of a 1-year pilot program ending July 1, 2022. Current annual members will be offered a 45-day promotion where they will be able to upgrade their membership at a cost of $5. Members will have the opportunity to choose either an Annual 30 or an Annual 45 membership. Bike Share Toronto will report back to the Toronto Parking Authority on the early results of the pilot at the end of 2021. 

This is a great opportunity to expand the program, and offer residents the chance to take their bike farther as they explore all Toronto has to offer.


Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community: Story Time!

Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community: Story TimeToronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community: Story Time promotional graphic

Since 1986, Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community (TIGP), a non-profit, charitable organization, has been a leader in intergenerational programming. At TIGP, they aim to bridge the gaps in communities through meaningful programs and create quality relationships with different generations. 

In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home directives, TIGP has prioritized the adaptation of its programming to the online world by developing and producing free, interactive Zoom sessions. Story Time Adventures, beginning the week of July 5 and running weekly for 10 half-hour sessions, will feature readings of selected stories by Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch followed by an interactive activity based on the story being featured that week. This program is wonderful for children who are between 3-7 in age and are interested in hearing dynamic Canadian stories as well as participating in fun, story-based activities.  This program is free and registration closes June 30, 2021. 

To register for this free program, or if you have any questions, you can contact Kevin Pook at [email protected], or by calling 416-676-5993.


Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards

Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards promotional graphicAccess, Equity and Human Rights Awards promotional graphic

Do you know someone who is working to create a more equitable city? Celebrate their important work by nominating them for an award! Nominations are open for the 2021 Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Awards. For more than 15 years, the AEHR Awards have been the City of Toronto's highest honour to recognize people or organizations that have created a more equitable city by addressing discrimination and working to eliminate barriers to equality. The five AEHR Awards are: 

  • Mino Bimaadiziwin Award (Indigenous Award)
  • Disability Access Award
  • Constance E. Hamilton Award for Women’s Equality
  • Pride Award
  • William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award

Award recipients will be recognized at a virtual public event on December 10, 2021. Nominees must be Toronto residents or non-profit organizations. The deadline for nominations is July 30, 2021. Learn more or submit a nomination.


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.


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.


City of Toronto COVID-19 Updates

City of Toronto Announces Toronto Vaccine Day at Scotiabank Arena on June 27 – “Our Winning Shot” Clinic Planning to Vaccinate More than 10,000 People

Team Toronto announced thousands of new COVID-19 vaccination appointments for Toronto Vaccine Day at Scotiabank Arena on June 27.

City of Toronto Clinics Scale-up Moderna Doses as Provincial Pfizer Shipment Delayed

On Saturday, June 19, the province informed Toronto Public Health that the anticipated weekly Pfizer shipment of more than 162,000 doses destined for Team Toronto immunization clinics will be delayed. The shipment was to arrive in freezers on Monday, June 21. Clinic operations and appointment bookings run on timely delivery of vaccine supply. To ensure that every booked appointment is honoured at City-run immunization clinics over the coming weeks, Toronto Public Health is increasing the administration of the Moderna mRNA vaccine as it is interchangeable with Pfizer. Our vaccination partners around the city are making similar adjustments.

Completed and Paused Construction in Downtown Toronto Reduces Congestion, Supports CaféTO and Pride Month

The City of Toronto announced today that recently completed and paused construction in three areas of downtown Toronto will help reduce traffic congestion this summer, allow for more CaféTO opportunities to support local businesses, and contribute to Pride Month celebrations in the city.

Team Toronto Vaccination Partners Celebrate Three Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Administered, More than 30% of Adults Now Fully Vaccinated

Team Toronto has now administered more than three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The City of Toronto and all vaccination partners want to thank every person who has been vaccinated for their help in fighting COVID-19 and protecting their family, friends and the wider community.

The City of Toronto Continues to Take Significant Action to Assist and Protect People Experiencing Homelessness and Ensure the Safety of the City’s Shelter System

The City of Toronto continues to assist and protect people experiencing homelessness through COVID-19 vaccination, an increased focus on infection and prevention control (IPAC) measures in the shelter system, a pilot COVID-19 rapid testing program for new shelter residents and referring people to safer inside space with supports including meals, laundry, harm reduction and access to a housing worker.

More information on affected City services & facilities.

More updates from the City of Toronto.


Province of Ontario Updates

Accelerated Second Dose Eligibility Continues Ahead of Schedule

With a majority of Ontario adults having received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and over three million doses of the Moderna vaccine arriving in June, the province is continuing to accelerate its vaccine rollout by expanding eligibility for second doses ahead of schedule.


More updates from the Province of Ontario.


Government of Canada Updates

Helping Indigenous Youth Get Skills Training and Supports Needed to Get Good Jobs 

During National Indigenous History Month and on the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, it is important to recognize the history, heritage, cultures and countless contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We know the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Indigenous peoples. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make historic investments and work collaboratively to ensure Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous youth, have the supports and opportunities they need to build long-lasting careers to support themselves and their families.

Update on COVID-19 and Vaccine Guidance

On June 17, 2021, federal government officials will hold a news conference to provide an update on COVID-19, including the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s updates to its Statement on Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 Vaccines.

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

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
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.

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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