Anti-Muslim Hate, Ontario Step One Reopening, and COVID-19 Updates

I am heartbroken and angered to hear of the Muslim family who was intentionally struck by a vehicle in London, Ontario. A child is left without his family because of anti-Muslim violence. There is no place for Islamophobia in our lives, and we must each do our part to speak out against it. If you need it, there is a Muslim youth helpline where you can connect with confidential support 7 days a week from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m EST at 1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342), or visit naseeha.org/contact-us

Yesterday, the Province announced that Ontario will be entering Phase 1 of their Re-Opening plan three days ahead of schedule. This decision comes after seeing a steady decline in new cases of COVID-19 and an increase in vaccine rates. 

On June 11, 2021, Ontario will enter Step One. This first step focuses on opening outdoor activities where transmission is much lower and includes allowing groups of 10 to gather outdoors, and outdoor dining with up to four people per table. Essential retail will have a capacity of 25% and non-essential retail will be permitted to open for indoor shopping at a capacity of 15%. 

Additional activities permitted include: 

  • Religious services, rites, and ceremonies indoors at 15% capacity and outdoors with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 meters
  • Outdoor sports training (no games or practices), fitness classes, and personal training up to 10 people
  • Day camps
  • Overnight camping at Ontario Parks
  • Outdoor pools and wading pools

I know I’m not alone in my excitement for returning to some normalcy and in my desire to gather once more with friends and family. In this excitement, I want to urge everyone to proceed cautiously. We have been in this situation twice before, and both times we’ve seen the results of re-opening too soon. While many are getting vaccinated quickly on the province’s accelerated timeline, there are still variants of concern. Through each step, we need to ensure that our hospitals and ICUs are not overwhelmed. As part of the re-opening plan, the Province has advised that they will wait a minimum of 21 days in between each stage. We need to keep holding them accountable for the health of our communities. We cannot rush this again or we risk closing once more. Please continue to consider how you can make your trips safer including practicing physical distancing and if you are able, wear a mask. 

The vaccine roll out continues to exceed expectations, and thousands of people are getting their second dose ahead of schedule. Beginning yesterday at 8 a.m., anyone 70 years or older as well as individuals who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before April 18, are eligible to book a second dose appointment at a mass immunization clinic using the provincial booking system

There are now 327 pharmacies in the Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington public health units offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, and nearly 450 additional pharmacies offering the Moderna vaccine.  

Last week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Health Canada approved mixing the first dose of AstraZeneca with a second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. I have heard from many of you with concerns about the safety of mixing vaccines. There are several studies on the safety and effectiveness of mixing vaccines, especially in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.

Mixing vaccines is not a new concept, and has helped complete vaccine schedules for influenza, hepatitis A and others. By allowing mixing doses the province has the ability to be more flexible in delivering second doses quickly to our communities. If you are comfortable and received AstraZeneca for your first dose, consider receiving a second dose of AstraZeneca. But also understand that if you wish, you may also receive a second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna. 

This has been a heavy and tiresome year and a half, but we are almost able to put some of it behind us. I look forward to the days to come when we can all be together once more.

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

Kristyn


What’s In Today’s EBlast?


Community Climate Action - Summer Student Position Available 

Rethink Sustainability Initiatives has two summer student vacancies available as part of their Community Climate Action project.

Driven by the vision of a more inclusive, healthy, and resilient multi-residential community, the Community Climate Action project is designed to provide a broad platform for residents, landlords, and other people in the St James Town community to voice their thoughts and discover actionable solutions to some of the key social, economic, and environmental impacts of climate. The position will be available for 8 weeks beginning July 5 through to August 27, 2021 (inclusive) but dates can be flexible.

Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ2S+, Newcomers, Persons with Disabilities, and Women are heavily encouraged to apply. Learn more here.

Send a cover letter and resume (no more than 2 pages) to [email protected] stating your suitability and interest by NOON, Friday, June 11th, 2021. Please reference “Summer Student Roles - CCA” in the subject line of your application.


200-230 Front Street East and 311-351 King Street East Community Consultation

200-230 Front St Easy and 311-351 King St East

200-230 Front St Easy and 311-351 King St East proposal

The City has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit two new buildings on the block containing the Globe and Mail Centre (to be retained). On the west side of the block is a 39-storey residential building (140 metres tall). The existing Coca-Cola/George Brown building would remain in place. In the middle of the block is a 27-storey office building (119 metres tall). The footprint of the new office building would replace some of the existing retail uses fronting on Front Street East. The existing buildings fronting on King Street East would remain in place. A 1,200 square metre POPS (Privately Owned Public Space) space is proposed fronting onto Front Street East.

Join us at the Virtual Community Consultation Meeting to learn more about the development proposal, which will include presentations and a Question and Answer portion providing local residents and stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

When: Thursday, June 10, 2021

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Where: Register to join online.

Please visit the site's Application Information Centre website for more information.

If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in an online City event, please let the organizing staff know as soon as possible after you have registered to ensure they can work with you to determine a suitable accommodation.

If you wish to provide a comment to City Planning before or after the meeting, please contact Kevin Friedrich, Senior Planner, City Planning Division, at [email protected].


Richmond Street Cycle Track Art Project

Artwork by Anastasia Eve and Paul DolgovArtwork by Anastasia Eve and Paul Dolgov

Last week, work began on the Richmond Street Cycle Track Art Project. This work is a Transportation Services Divisional collaboration to celebrate Toronto Streets and public spaces and amplify the benefits of active transportation through a celebration of diverse and inclusive murals. More than 125 diverse street, mural, and graffiti artists are involved in creating the 253 murals that will line this bike-able art gallery along Richmond Street from Parliament to Bathurst when the project is complete ~July 18th. 

The artistic theme for this project is “Cycling is Elemental.” The project site has been divided into four thematic ‘zones’ from east-to-west as follows: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Each zone consists of between 86 to 88 individual concrete barriers. Themes provide a cohesive visual language and source of inspiration for artists when creating their mural designs.

Earth is Parliament to Church – May 28-June 8
Air is Church to Simcoe – a small portion of Air is in the above section, the remainder are painted June 10-June 21
Fire is Simcoe to Spadina – June 23-July 4
Water is Spadina to Bathurst – July 6-July 18

This work has required a temporary closure of lanes on Richmond Street East to allow artists to safely paint the murals, with sections planned to reopen once work is complete.

For more information, please visit StreetARToronto’s Instagram and website.


Bay Cloverhill Community Association’s New Website!

Since I first was elected, I have had the pleasure of working with the Bay Cloverhill Community Association. Together we have taken many strides to improve the community. 

As they continue to represent their community, they’ve been taking some time to showcase their good work on a brand new website! If you have the opportunity, I would encourage you to visit www.baycloverhil.com and explore! Congratulations! 


CampTO is Now Open!

Registration for Summer CampTO opened today! Programming will be offered across Toronto from Monday, July 5 to Friday, August 27, following the Province of Ontario’s announcement that summer day camps can operate during Step One of reopening.

City staff will work closely with Toronto Public Health over the course of the summer season to ensure an effective COVID-19 response. Each camp group will stay together for the entire week and will not interact with other camper groups. Caregivers will receive a phone call prior to camp start to review procedures and do a pre-camp health check. CampTO campers and staff are expected to wear cloth face coverings or masks both indoors and out. Campers will be required to bring two to three clean face coverings or masks to camp each day.

In addition to in-person camps offered at City locations, CampTO Virtual will also be available. These 45-minute-long live and interactive workshops will be available to campers age four to 12, with interactive games and creative programming. Programs will also be available for people living with disabilities.

You can register for Summer CampTO and CampTO Virtual online here. Phone registration will also be available at 416-396-7378.


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 Manager’s Report Outlines City of Toronto’s Ongoing Efforts to Protect People Experiencing Homelessness and Ensure the Safety of the City’s Shelter System

The City Manager issued a report to City Council entitled, “COVID-19 Response Update: Protecting People Experiencing Homelessness and Ensuring the Safety of the Shelter System.” The report outlines the unprecedented action the City of Toronto has taken to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of the shelter system. As stated in the report, the City and its community partners will continue their commitment to reduce the risks of COVID-19 in the shelter system and work with the federal and provincial governments to secure investments in a range of affordable and supportive housing solutions.

City of Toronto’s “VaxTO” Campaign Expands Features of Text Line to Further Help Connect Toronto Residents with Vaccines

The City of Toronto has added new features to its “VaxTO” campaign text line, which launched last week to help connect Toronto residents with COVID-19 vaccination appointments and information.

City of Toronto Launches New ParkFitTO Outdoor Fitness Programming

Mayor John Tory announced the launch of ParkFitTO, a new pilot initiative offering residents outdoor fitness programming. With provincial restrictions still in place, the City of Toronto’s recreation centres will deliver fitness programs during the summer season at outdoor locations.

More information on affected City services & facilities.

More updates from the City of Toronto.


Province of Ontario Updates

Ontario to Move to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Ontario Continues to Support Families, Businesses and Workers During COVID-19

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada. 

Ontario Expanding Accelerated Second Dose Booking to More Ontarians Ahead of Schedule

Due to an increasing supply of vaccines, the province is inviting individuals aged 70 and over as well as individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) on or before April 18, 2021, to book an accelerated second dose appointment ahead of schedule.

More updates from the Province of Ontario.


Government of Canada Updates

Canadians Invited to Help Shape Canada’s First Disability Inclusion Action Plan

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the lives of Canadians with disabilities. The pandemic has shed a light on the long-standing challenges that negatively affect the health, financial security and social well-being of persons with disabilities. As part of its response, the Government of Canada is moving forward with its first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) and wants to engage Canadians, especially persons with disabilities, in the process.

Government of Canada Launches New Pilot Program Aimed at Removing Barriers to Women’s Employment 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all Canadian workers, but some groups – including women – have been disproportionately affected and their economic recovery has been slower. The Government of Canada recognizes that a robust and inclusive recovery is necessarily a feminist recovery as well and that supports such as child care are critical to achieving that goal. Investing in new training and employment supports for women, with a focus on removing barriers to accessibility and inclusion, will ensure that no one is left further behind and that everyone takes part in Canada’s economic recovery.

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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