As of yesterday, everyone in Toronto aged 12 and older is eligible to book an accelerated second dose COVID-19 vaccine. To accommodate this surge in demand for vital second doses, the City of Toronto immunization clinics added more than 375,000 vaccination appointments – 125,000 appointments each for the weeks of July 5, July 12, and July 19 – to the provincial booking system this morning.
This is on top of our record-breaking “Our Winning Shot” clinic over the weekend. On Sunday, 26,771 Torontonians joined the City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners at the Toronto Vaccine Day “Our Winning Shot” clinic at Scotiabank Arena. The total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered are believed to be a new world record for most one-day COVID-19 vaccinations given at a single clinic.
I am so proud of our vaccine team in Toronto and grateful to everyone who took this opportunity to get their vaccines. These are the critical actions that will help us defeat COVID 19.
Toronto is reporting 130 new cases, with a total of 299 new cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, however, this includes 90 previously unreported cases from last year. Cases counts are still trending down, and this is great news for our continued re-opening.
Tomorrow, 3 days ahead of schedule, Ontario will enter Step Two of the re-opening. Step Two is designed to permit smaller indoor gatherings, and open up opportunities for larger outdoor activities. Some of these changes include outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people; indoor personal service where a face covering can be worn with a capacity of 25%; indoor social gatherings of up to five people; outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music events, and attractions at 25% capacity among many other changes.
As we step closer towards reopening many parts of our lives, please remain cautious. As of last week, 76% of Ontarians aged 18 and above have received their primary dose, while 25% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. While this is excellent news, not everyone has been fully vaccinated and there is still a risk when you have a vaccine. A reminder that you are not considered fully immunized until 2 weeks AFTER your second dose. A recent outbreak at Toronto Western Hospital was likely due to the Delta variant.
Last week, the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, likely belonging to children, shook our Indigenous communities once more. This brings the recent findings of children buried in unmarked, unreported graves at Residential Schools to over 1,000. This is horrifying. My heart breaks for our Cowessess First Nation, and our Indigenous communities. This news alone is shattering, but there is also ongoing systemic violence against the Indigenous people of this land that continues today.
The Truth and Reconciliation Report Commission’s Report was published over 6 years ago, outlining 94 Calls to Action, and there has been little movement from our governments. Part of the work that we must all do is recognize the truth of our collective history of colonial settlement in Canada. We must each reconcile with how our direct or indirect action serves oppression.
This work is timely as we approach Canada Day. While Canada is a beautiful, multicultural country, and we have lots to celebrate, we also wrestle with what it means to be Canadian. As a country built on genocide, we can and must do better for our Indigenous communities on our path towards reconciliation. I invite you to consider spending some of the dollars you might otherwise spend on fireworks, and instead donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
I look forward to time spent with my family this long weekend, and welcome the optimism of a beautiful summer in Toronto.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
What’s In Today’s EBlast?
- Launching Toronto Centre Projects!
- Sign the Petition: Stop Excessive Construction Noise
- Help to End Religious-Based 2SLGBTQ+ Hate
- Pam McConnell Memorial Competition
- The History of Basketball at Maple Leaf Gardens
- Michael Comstock Pavillion in St. James Park Commemoration
- The Ontario Line-Early Works: Lower Don Bridge and Don Yard
Launching Toronto Centre Projects!
I am proud to announce the launch of a new online platform to engage Toronto Centre residents and crowdsource ideas to make our communities more vibrant, beautiful and complete!
Toronto Centre Projects promotional graphic
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.
Through this new platform, you can:
- Submit your own ideas
- Vote and comment on ideas submitted by your neighbours
- Learn about and participate in current public consultations happening in Ward 13
When it’s safe to do so, this brand new online platform will work in tandem with in-person public consultation. With this combination, I hope to engage our residents in accessible and convenient ways. When you have the chance, I would encourage you to explore the website.
Have ideas to make our communities more liveable, vibrant, and safe? Submit them at www.TorontoCentreProjects.ca.
Stop Excessive Construction Noise
Last spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, the Province meddled with the City of Toronto Act to change permitted hours of residential construction from 7:00am - 7:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 7:00pm on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays to 6:00am to 10:00pm every day of the week. This was an unconscionable decision during a time when the Ford government was asking people to do their part to stop the spread of COVID by staying home.
I have heard from too many Torontonians whose mental health and work have suffered from this greedy giveaway to developers. Extending construction hours should have never happened in the first place, but it’s certainly well past time that this decision was reversed.
Working with Councillor Matlow, we have developed a petition to the provincial government. Please sign this petition and send an email to Premier Ford to demand the province take action by redacting Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 of the City of Toronto Act that allows for “construction activity in the City between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.” This represents a significant departure from the City's By-laws, which permit noise from construction between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays.
Help to End Religious-Based 2SLGBTQ+ Hate
Help to End Religious-Based 2SLGBTQ+ Hate
Rainbow Faith and Freedom (RFF) needs your support to end religious-based discrimination of LGBTQ2S+ people in Canada. As an emerging not-for-profit organization, Rainbow Faith and Freedom is confronting the most vocal and influential source of discrimination against LGBTQ2S+ people – religious leaders and communities who weaponize their beliefs to justify exclusion.
2SLGBTQ+ people in Canada have some of the best legal protections in the world, yet many continue to face discrimination from religious communities, faith leaders, and religious social services. The shared experience of LGBTQ2S+ people from a broad spectrum of faiths shows how important it is to have an organized, multi-faith, and community-centered approach to fighting faith-based discrimination. This is all the more important today as the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted 2SLGBTQ+ people, leading to higher rates of mental health issues and economic marginalization.
Fundraising during the pandemic has been very difficult, and as a result, RFF’s Canadian program is at risk. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money, with the goal of raising $40,000. Donations will be used to fund and expand important activities that are a part of Rainbow Faith and Freedom’s Canada Program. You can learn more and donate to this important cause here.
Pam McConnell Memorial Competition
A picture of the late Deputy Mayor, Pam McConnell
The City of Toronto is inviting professional artists (including artist teams) to submit proposals for an outdoor three-dimensional sculptural public artwork that captures the likeness of the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell, and has an element of engagement and accessibility with the viewer.
The memorial/commemorative artwork is to highlight the outstanding contributions of the former teacher, public servant, and political leader, whose dedication to community and social justice facilitated solutions to many challenges facing lower-income communities, such as child poverty and hunger, literacy, homelessness, and affordable housing.
The art component of this new public space will be selected through an open, one-stage competition, with a net budget of approximately $250,000 (+HST). The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: all fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.
The primary site for artists to consider is south of the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre, located at 640 Dundas Street East (at the corner of Sumach Street) in the grassed landscaped area to the west of the walkways that criss-cross the park-like setting. The submission deadline is August 16, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. and the contract will be awarded in September/October 2021.
Professional artists (artist teams) are invited to respond by submitting two PDF documents, with the following information:
One PDF file labelled: Last Name First Name_file 1_Pam McConnell
- Written proposal concept, maximum three pages.
- Proposal concept sketches, renderings, design details, a plan to show location.
- Details on proposed materials and any other relevant information to explain the proposed project.
- A preliminary budget outlining critical costs such as production/fabrication, professional fees, such as engineering drawings, etc., transportation and installation.
One PDF file labelled: Last Name First Name_file 2_Pam McConnell
- CV (one for each team member, if applicable).
- Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).
- Maximum ten images of previous and relevant work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable).
The PDF applications must be labelled with the name of the artist and project as noted above.
The documents should be emailed to [email protected] with subject line: “Last Name First Name_file 1_Pam McConnell” and “Last Name First Name_file 2_Pam McConnell” and should not exceed 20 MB total size per email.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Johnson Ngo, Public Art Officer, at [email protected] or by calling 437-881-2998.
The History of Basketball at Maple Leaf Gardens
To commemorate Toronto’s rich history of basketball, I secured a small portion of community benefits to install a plaque at Maple Leaf Gardens to be installed in September 2021. This plaque shares the history of the City’s pro basketball league from the 1940s to the Toronto Raptors title win in 2019. Many Toronto-area players have excelled in the NBA, such as Jamaal Magloire, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.
A picture of the history of basketball plaque
The plaque reads:
“On November 1, 1946, at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Toronto Huskies and New York Knickerbockers played the first-ever game in the Basketball Association of America, a league created by hockey arena owners to fill seats between hockey games. The Huskies folded at the end of the first season and the BAA merged with a rival league to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949.
As basketball grew, NBA teams tested the Toronto market. During the 1970s, teams like the Cincinnati Royals, Los Angeles Lakers, and Buffalo Braves played at Maple Leaf Gardens. A failed plan to relocate the Cleveland Cavaliers here resulted in the creation of the short-lived Toronto Tornados of the Continental Basketball Association in 1983.
In 1993, Toronto received an NBA expansion franchise and the Raptors entered the league in 1995. Until 1999, the team played at the SkyDome (later renamed the Rogers Centre). The Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors to win their first NBA title on June 13, 2019.”
Thank you to staff at Heritage Toronto, Ryerson University, and all involved in the effort to memorialize Toronto’s rich sports history. The plaque is due to be installed in September at Maple Leaf Gardens facing College St.
Michael Comstock Pavilion in St. James Park Commemoration
Last week, the new pavilion in St. James Park was commemorated in honor of the late Michael Comstock.
A picture of the Michael Comstock Pavilion
Michael a community volunteer and advocate in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and Corktown. As long-time President of Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, he helped advocate for healthy main streets. Within the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood, he advocated to help improve tourism, highlight the local heritage character, and improve local street furniture and wayfinding.
This naming follows a motion from the late Councillor McConnell in 2014 to name the former gazebo in the park after Michael Comstock.
The Ontario Line-Early Works: Lower Don Bridge and Don Yard
Metrolinx has released the Early Works report on the Lower Don Bridge and the Don Yard. Under the Environmental Assessment Act, early works are any components of the Ontario Line Project that Metrolinx proposes to proceed with before the completion of the Ontario Line assessment process, such as station construction, rail corridor expansion, utility relocation or bridge replacement or expansion.
The Lower Don and Don Yard early works include:
- Building a new bridge, north of the existing rail bridge over the Lower Don River that will carry Ontario Line tracks;
- Shift of GO tracks in the Don Yard and nearby Rail corridor west of the bridge to accommodate the construction of the Ontario Line;
- Modifying the existing rail bridge to accommodate future GO track shifts and Ontario Line infrastructure; and,
- Relocating and protecting utilities and signal infrastructure in the area
I would encourage you to review the early works report, and provide your feedback to Metrolinx. The form is available now through July 22, 2021. Please submit your feedback or any questions you have in advance of the July deadline.
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.
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.
City of Toronto COVID-19 Updates
More Than 1 Million Toronto Residents Now Fully Vaccinated, Team Toronto Reaches New Vaccine Milestone With More Than 40 Per Cent Of Adults Having Received First And Second Doses
The City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners are working to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccine against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. As of yesterday, 76.6 per cent of adults have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 41.8 per cent of adults have received their first and second doses and completed vaccination. In total, 1,087,979 Toronto residents are now fully vaccinated.
City Of Toronto Vaccination Clinics Prepared For Surge In Second Dose Eligibility, Adding 375,000 July Appointments To Booking System
As of yesterday morning, everyone in Toronto age 12 and older is eligible to book an accelerated second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. To accommodate this surge in demand for vital second doses, Mayor John Tory announced today that City of Toronto immunization clinics will be adding more than 375,000 vaccination appointments – 125,000 appointments each for the weeks of July 5, July 12 and July 19 – to the provincial booking system tomorrow morning.
In June 2020, City Council received a petition calling for Dundas Street to be renamed. The street is named after Scottish politician Henry Dundas, who scholars have concluded played an instrumental role in delaying the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire.
On June 27th, 26,771 Torontonians joined the City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners at the Toronto Vaccine Day “Our Winning Shot” clinic at Scotiabank Arena. The total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered are believed to be a new world record for most one-day COVID-19 vaccinations given at a single clinic.
On June 24th, the Province of Ontario announced Toronto can enter Step Two of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen on Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m. The City of Toronto is prepared to advance to Step Two reopening.
Province of Ontario Updates
On June 25th, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued the following statement thanking Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, for his years of service to the province.
The Ontario government is moving women’s economic empowerment forward through the creation of Ontario’s Task Force on Women and the Economy. The new task force fulfills a commitment in the 2021 Budget – Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy to establish a task force on inclusive economic growth that will seek to address the unique and disproportionate economic barriers women face, particularly in an economy that will look different after COVID‐19.
Government of Canada Updates
The Government of Canada invests in the recovery and safe reopening of the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors.
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.