Re-Opening Safely, Redesigning Downtown Yonge & COVID-19 Updates

Today, the City of Toronto officially begins Stage 2 of the recovery and rebuild framework. The City continues to carefully oversee the safe restart of some services and partial reopening of many businesses. 

Businesses that can reopen for modified services with appropriate public health measures in place and subject to conditions include:

  • restaurants and bars for delivery, takeout and outdoor dining only;
  • shopping malls, except for indoor dining spaces including any tables and seating in food courts;
  • personal care services, such as barber shops, hair styling, nails, tattoos and aesthetic services (but not for the care of a patron's face, such as facials and beard trims); and
  • drive-in cinemas and drive-thru concerts, theatrical productions, performance or artistic events.

The City is working hard to help businesses re-open safely.  Staff has created 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. 

As residents and customers, we must all do our part to keep each other safe. COVID-19 as a virus hasn’t changed and it will continue to be a problem until we can sustainably reduce opportunities for transmission, reduce susceptibility or create a vaccine. Without a vaccine or new treatment methods, limited contact with others remains our best defence. 

While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that people wear a face mask or covering when in public. This is especially critical when it is difficult to maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from others, such as on transit, in an elevator, when shopping or when entering and leaving an apartment building. 

To learn more about how to safely use a face mask or covering, please see this resource from Canada Public Health. 


Walk this Way: Redesigning Downtown Yonge Street to Put People First

I have been championing a major redesign of “Canada’s Main Street” for years. When COVID-19 hit, I tried hard to get the City to re-imagine how we allocate space on Yonge Street for active transportation, specifically to accommodate the need for physical distancing on our sidewalks. 

On July 2 at 3:00 p.m., I am proud to join the Ryerson City Building Institute (CBI) by participating in “Walk This Way: Redesigning Downtown Yonge to put People First.” It’s a webinar to examine new perspectives on street design, and how they can inform the City’s YongeTOmorrow project to revitalize downtown Yonge. You can join us by registering here

Walk_This_Way_lg.pngThe Urban Innovation Café is a Ryerson CBI discussion series focusing on innovative approaches to critical urban issues with industry thought leaders, academics, practitioners and policy makers, moderated by top journalists.


CampTO Registration Opens Thursday Morning

An important reminder: Registration for City of Toronto CampTO programs begins tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. for Toronto and East York. The City is offering summer camps across Toronto beginning July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative, following the Province of Ontario announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Province’s Stage 2 reopening.

The quickest and easiest way to register is online at Phone registration will also be available at 416-396-7378. As Civic Centres and community recreation facilities remain closed, in-person registration will not be available.

Residents can call 416-396-7378 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for help preparing for registration. Extended hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. are offered today.


Process for Progress

Finally, there is still time to call your City Councillor and urge them to support my and Councillor Matlow’s motion to defund the police and rebalance and reinvest in community-led policing alternatives.  We need your help to get these recommendations passed. Call Mayor Tory and City Councillors who have not yet committed to supporting this first step in defunding the police.


Community Care in Ward 13

Today’s Community Care shoutout goes to the co-founders of Fort York Food Bank, Devi Arasanayagam and Ravi Sreedharan. Remaining open at 380 College Street during the pandemic, they’ve worked hard to ensure that the community continues to access their food program. They have also been fundraising so that their racialized clients have access to fresh and culturally sensitive produce. Thank you for everything you do today, and every day. Learn more about this volunteer run organization here.

Fort_York_Food_Bank.jpgPlease continue to email my office at [email protected] to share examples of community care in your neighbourhood and ways you are supporting your community at this time. I’ll be happy to promote it, space permitting, in our communication to the residents and business owners in Ward 13. Every bit goes a long way!

COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread

As we begin to ease our public health measures, we will all be living a new normal. 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 where physical distancing is difficult to maintain; and 
  • Staying home whenever we are sick for any reason. 

When you are unable to keep a six feet/two-metre distance from others, wear a mask or face covering. This includes when you are:

  • In elevators, common areas, waiting rooms or shopping;
  • Using transit, taxi or rideshare services; and
  • Sick and going to a medical appointment.

Be respectful of others who choose not to wear a mask. Some health conditions make it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering.


How to Create a Safe Social Circles

As we continue our shared fight against COVID-19, you can now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. Social circles are a way to safely expand the number of people with whom you can come in close contact. Think of your social circle as the people you can hug and touch, or those who can become part of your daily and weekly routines.

social_circles_small.pngThank 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 to Resume Limited Toronto Island Park Ferry Service with COVID-19 Precautions Starting June 27

The City of Toronto will resume its public ferry service to Toronto Island Park on June 27, as permitted by Transport Canada. The ferries will operate at 50 per cent maximum capacity, with a number of COVID-19 guidelines and procedures in place to protect passengers and staff, developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health.

In order to allow for physical distancing on the ferries and in the terminal, ferry tickets will be limited to 5,000 per day and must be purchased online at Visitors should purchase their tickets ahead of time. Tickets are only valid for the date selected at the time of purchase. Additional staff will be on hand at the ferry terminal to assist visitors with these new requirements.

City of Toronto Announces Funds for Community Services to do More for Vulnerable Populations

Mayor John Tory announced that approximately $4.97 million will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund has been created from $2.81 million of the City’s allocation of the Social Services Relief Fund from the Province of Ontario and $370,000 from the Scheinberg Relief Fund through the Better Toronto Coalition Fund at Toronto Foundation. In addition, the City has an agreement in principle with the Canadian Medical Association Foundation for a $1.79 million allocation from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations, a collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

More information on affected City services & facilities.

More updates from the City of Toronto.

Province of Ontario Updates

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15, 2020. This extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature earlier today, provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support frontline health care providers in the fight against COVID-19.

Ontario Appoints New Chair for the Minister's Patient and Family Advisory Council

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, announced the appointment of Betty-Lou Kristy as the new Chair of the Minister's Patient and Family Advisory Council. In this role, Ms. Kristy will help the government's ongoing work to engage with patients, families and caregivers and deliver patient-centred care.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council provides advice to the Minister of Health on key health care priorities that have an impact on patient experience and patient care. The inaugural council made significant contributions to patient care in Ontario, including developing a Patient Declaration of Values and provided strategic advice on digital health, home and community care, mental health and addictions, integrated and coordinated care and primary care. 


More updates from the Province of Ontario.

Government of Canada Updates

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

As of the end of the day on Tuesday, June 23, there were 101,963 confirmed cases including 8,454 deaths and 63% have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 2,482,869 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, the country has been testing an average of 36,000 people daily, with 1% testing positive. These numbers change quickly and are updated daily, in the evenings on

Government of Canada Publishes New Regulations to Prevent Harassment and Violence in Federal Workplaces

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, is announcing an important step toward a strengthened federal framework that protects workers, while also supporting employers. The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations are now published in Part II of the Canada Gazette and will come into force, along with the legislation, on January 1, 2021.

The Regulations outline the essential elements of a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, as well as the procedures that must be in place to respond to incidents of harassment and violence if they do occur.


More updates from the Government of Canada.

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: 

Telehealth Ontario
Call if you develop symptoms!
Telephone: 1-866-797-000

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
Email: [email protected]

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

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 or to can also call their non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. In the past, by diligently reporting criminal activity, residents were able to see our community policing and other service levels increase. You can do your part: see it, report it.

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Phone: 416-392-7903
Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W, A5, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2