Grey Lockdown, Vaccine Rollout, International Women's Day, and COVID-19 Updates

While the stay-at-home order for the City of Toronto has been lifted, Toronto remains in the Grey-Lockdown of the provincial framework. The biggest change is that now retailers can open, however, they are required to limit their capacity to 25%, and allow curbside pickup. For now, restaurants will continue to offer takeout or drive-through options. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies will be permitted to have a capacity of 50%. While this is exciting, and I am ready to support our small businesses through this reopening, please continue to practice physical distancing. There are still many cases of COVID-19 as well as transmission of variants of concern. Dr. de Villa confirmed yesterday that for every new case of COVID-19, 40% are variants of concern.

Every time you leave your home, consider how you can make your trip safer. I know that everyone is looking forward to the days when we can get back to our regular lives, I urge us to proceed with caution. In this case, slow and steady progress is important. Until each resident is vaccinated, it is important that we continue to care for one another by practicing the guidelines laid out by Toronto Public Health. We are not clear of a potential third wave yet as we rush to get people vaccinated. Staying safe and maintaining capacity in our hospitals remains critical.

The City continues to make great progress in our vaccine rollout. To date, the City of Toronto has administered 206,922 COVID-19 vaccine doses. Beginning Monday, a number of Toronto hospitals and community healthcare centres are vaccinating priority groups identified by the Province of Ontario’s priority framework for COVID-19 vaccination including residents aged 80 years and over. These clinics are only vaccinating those in the priority groups who have confirmed appointments. 

We have uplifting news to share and that is on March 17, three large mass Immunization Clinics will be opening, almost two weeks ahead of schedule. We are also supporting mobile clinics and pharmacy pilots. This infrastructure is critical to ensuring swift, efficient delivery of vaccines when supply is available. At the end of the month, the City is expecting a significant delivery of vaccine doses, and we are prepared. Yesterday, the City of Toronto launched where residents can find information on booking appointments and clinic availability across the city. 

As I wrote last week, the City of Toronto has a higher population of the frontline, essential healthcare workers which means it will take us longer to complete Phase 1 of the Province’s vaccination rollout. As vaccine supply for the general population becomes widely available, more than 350 clinics, including pharmacies and mobile clinics across Toronto, will vaccinate people based on the priority framework established by the Province. As soon as supply is available, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are ready to scale up the immunization clinics, including administering vaccines 24 hours, seven days a week. The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health, in partnership with the Province of Ontario, are prepared to deliver vaccines to the general public as soon as the supply is available and the booking system is open on March 15. 

Monday marked International Women’s Day, which is a critical reminder of the disproportionate impacts COVID-19 is having on women. Yesterday, our Federal government announced a new Task Force on Women in the Economy in an effort towards equitable recovery. This group will harness the best ideas from a diverse group of experts from different sectors of the economy to advise the government on a feminist, intersectional action plan that addresses issues of gender equality in the wake of the pandemic. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have received report after report of the numerous ways COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women, and especially Black, Indigenous, and racialized women. The pandemic has pushed women's participation in the labour force down to its lowest level in three decades, with more than 80,000 women aged 15 years or older having left the labour force compared to about 25,000 men since February 2020. According to a recent RBC report:

  • 10 times more women than men have fallen out of the labour force;
  • Women within the hardest-hit sectors experienced more job losses than men; 
  • Many visible minority women face double-digit unemployment rates, compared with a jobless rate of 9.7% for women overall;
  • Women who’d arrived in Canada within the last decade were more likely to lose their jobs, and 8.6% of them remain out of work;
  • Immigrant women with children 12 and under-experienced more than double the decline in employment (in percentage terms) of Canadian-born mothers; and
  • Men and women without post-secondary education faced similar job losses, posting declines of 10.5% and 10.3%, respectively. But men with college education lost fewer jobs, and those with Bachelor’s degrees saw more job gains than their female peers.

Women are experiencing the brunt of job loss and fewer job gains as they make up the majority of workers in industries most affected by pandemic-related restrictions such as service, hospitality, and tourism sectors. Additionally, women are socially and culturally expected to shoulder the majority of care work responsibilities, such as child care and homeschooling. According to RBC’s recent report, in the last year, 12 times as many mothers as fathers left their jobs to care for toddlers or school-aged children. Any recovery must include a gender equity lens, and it must support all women. 

Thank you essential health care workers graphicThank you essential health care workers graphic

This week also marks the one-year anniversary of how our lives have shifted over the past 12 months because of the pandemic. Last March, my team and I began working remotely and the Province of Ontario declared a state of emergency. With vaccine rollout underway, I want to take a moment to thank our health care workers, and essential frontline staff, who have been tirelessly navigating this pandemic and helping to keep our communities safe. I am grateful for the dedication of Dr. de Villa, Chief Pegg, and all of Toronto Public Health for your continued leadership and sacrifice. Thank you. 

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


Community Corner in Ward 13

A promotional image recruiting volunteers for Meals on WheelsA promotional image recruiting volunteers for Meals on Wheels

Dixon Hall’s Meals on Wheels program is currently experiencing a shortage of volunteers due to the pandemic. They are actively seeking Drivers and Runners to support their homebound Seniors to receive a nutritious meal during the week. For more information, or to volunteer visit: or email Joyce Affroh, Manager Volunteer Program at [email protected].

Community Care in Ward 13

The City of Toronto wants to hear from you! Shelter Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) is looking to strengthen its engagement with our communities, local residents, and businesses regarding new homelessness services. All members of the community are welcome and encouraged to share their ideas, whether or not they have participated in a community engagement process before or live near a shelter or a service for people experiencing homelessness

There are two ways residents and businesses can provide input into the Community Engagement Review process:

  1. Participate in an anonymous online survey
  2. Participate in a virtual focus group

There will be two more opportunities for a virtual focus group
Date: March 9, 2021
Time: 7-8:30 p.m 

For residents who live near a shelter or homelessness service site
Date: March 11, 2021
Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m. 

Learn more about the ongoing engagement review process here. 

If you have any questions about the project or the outreach to local residents, you can get in touch with Amber Krogel, one of the outside consultants supporting the Community Engagement Review, at [email protected].

Allan Gardens Palm House Restoration

A picture of Allan GardensA picture of Allan Gardens

The City’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation, alongside Friends of Allan Garden has embarked on heritage building restoration of the Palm House (1910) at Allan Gardens. This restoration is a long time coming and sorely needed as the last major alterations and repairs that were done at the Allan Gardens Conservatory complex were in 2002-2003.  I am excited to see City staff and Friends of Allan Gardens embark on the Palm House Restoration.

The City has hired the following architecture and building engineering consultants:

  • Zeidler Architecture inc.
  • RJC Engineers Read Jones Christofferesen Ltd. - Structural engineering 
  • The Hidi Group - Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering 
  • AREA Architects Rasch Eckler Associates Ltd. - Heritage Building Architects 

Currently, staff are working on the construction of the washrooms to the conservatory administration building. The public washrooms that currently exist will be completely replaced by new facilities. Construction tendering will be complete in July, and I look forward to providing more information as it becomes available.

TDSB Update From Trustee Chris Moise

Trustee Chris Moise promotional bannerTrustee Chris Moise contact banner

This Thursday, join TDSB Trustee Chris Moise at his next ward forum for a panel discussion to provide insight and practical strategies to help you and your family cope through the pandemic. Parents and caregivers can gain the skills to support children and teens manage and regulate their emotions and to support their mental health and well-being. 

This meeting will feature panelists’s presentations, Q & A, and discussion including special guests Shameen Sandhu, System Leader for Mental Health and Professional Support Services (TDSB); Adolph Williams, Manager, Social Work and Attendance Services (TDSB); and Amanda Lamb, CYW, RP, Community Coordinator (Pine River Institute) as well as Updates from the Trustee, Superintendents, PIAC, SEAC, and FSLAC Representatives. 

When: Thursday, March 11, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Register to attend. 

To be able to join, you must register by Wednesday, March 10. Meeting links and dial-in numbers will be sent to your email address on the morning of the ward forum. Email [email protected]or call 416-395-8787 for more information.

Funding the Future: Feminist Philanthropy in Practice

Funding the Future event promotional graphicFunding the Future event promotional graphic

To mark International Women’s Rights Day, Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, Environment Funders Canada, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples, and the Equality Fund are joining forces to discuss feminist philanthropy in a special edition of #WebinarWednesdays. What does feminist philanthropy mean and how does it impact philanthropy practices as philanthropy continues to build a new kind of relationship with the communities it serves? What are the differences, if any, between the impact of feminist philanthropy, diversity, equity and inclusion, and intersectionality on tangible philanthropic practices? And how do these concepts relate to the climate crisis and to social movements occurring worldwide, and what does it mean for philanthropy? 

Join a group of women leaders and myself, from the philanthropic sector and beyond, as we discuss the foundations of intersectionality, feminist philanthropy, shifting philanthropic practice, and gender-transformative philanthropic giving and investment in an interconnected ecosystem.

When: March 10, 2021

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Where: Register to join!

Learn more about the event, and register to join.

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.

Face Masks and Coverings Offer Best Protection

Image description: Informational graphic from Toronto Public Health titled, "Face Masks & Coverings Offer Best Protection." Through visual examples, the graphic shows recommended and not recommended ways of wearing a mask. The recommended way for wearing a mask says, "should cover your nose, mouth, and chin without gaping." The following are not recommended: face shields, masks with exhalation valves, or clear plastic masks.

How to Safely Wear a Mask

Image description: Toronto Public Health infographic about how to safely wear a mask. Information on the infographic is listed below.

  • Do wash your hands before putting it on and taking it off
  • Do make sure it fits to cover your mouth and nose
  • Do wash your cloth mask in the laundry
  • Do clean surfaces that a dirty mask touches
  • Don’t touch your face or mask while using it
  • Don’t use masks on children under 2 or those who can’t breathe with them on
  • Don’t share your mask with others
  • Don’t wear medical masks, keep them for health care workers
  • The best protection is to stay home, keep a 6-foot distance, and wash hands often.

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 to Receive Enough COVID-19 Vaccine to Open Three of its Mass Immunization Clinics Starting March 17

Toronto Mayor John Tory today announced that three of the City of Toronto’s mass immunization clinics will open early to vaccinate residents who are over the age of 80 starting on March 17.

Toronto COVID-19 Vaccination Update

The City of Toronto is working with all our healthcare partners and Toronto Public Health to administer all available COVID-19 vaccines.

City of Toronto Supports Moving Toronto into Grey Zone of Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. The Province of Ontario announced Toronto will be moving into the Grey Zone of the Lockdown Regulation under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework at of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8. A move to the Grey Zone will better align Toronto restrictions with surrounding regions and help Toronto’s economy as retail businesses are permitted to open for limited in-person shopping.

New Locations for City of Toronto’s Automated Speed Enforcement Devices in May

The City of Toronto’s 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) devices will begin rotating to the third round of locations in May to reduce speeding at more areas with safety concerns, encourage a wide-ranging deterrent effect and raise public awareness about the need to slow down and obey posted speed limits.

City of Toronto’s Natural Ice Rink Program Helps Residents Stay Active This Winter

As part of its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan this season, the City of Toronto worked closely with community groups to facilitate 46 natural ice rinks in parks across the city. Every winter, residents build and maintain natural rinks on parkland, providing a family-friendly and safe recreation activity in parks across Toronto.

City of Toronto Health Sector Partners Making Progress Vaccinating Toronto Residents 80 Years of Age and Over

The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are working with the Province of Ontario and health sector and community partners to vaccinate people across Toronto as quickly as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Implements Section 22 Class Order for Workplaces as Province Considers Moving Toronto into Grey Zone of Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the City’s measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto. Mayor Tory and Dr. de Villa explained the City is requesting to move to the Grey Zone next week.

More information on affected City services & facilities.

More updates from the City of Toronto.

Province of Ontario Updates

Ontario Completes All First Dose COVID-19 Vaccinations in Northern Remote Indigenous Communities

Ontario has reached a key milestone in protecting remote and isolated Indigenous communities against COVID-19, having visited all 31 fly-in northern communities and Moosonee to offer first doses of the vaccine as part of Operation Remote Immunity.

Ontario Colleges Now Accepting Applications for Accelerated Personal Support Workers Program

Ontario colleges are now accepting applications to Ontario's new accelerated training program for personal support workers (PSWs). The Ontario government is providing $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers for high-demand jobs in the health and long-term care sectors. This is part of the government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, one of the largest PSW recruitment and training drives in the province's history.

Ontario Launches Consultation to Strengthen Municipal Codes of Conduct

The Ontario government is launching consultations with the municipal sector to strengthen accountability for council members. The province wants to ensure that councillors and heads of council maintain a safe and respectful workplace and carry out their duties as elected officials in an ethical and responsible manner.

Ontario Ready to Rollout Phase Two of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

The Ontario government is preparing to move into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. This approach is designed to save lives, protect those at risk of serious illness and to stop the virus from spreading.

Populations Eligible for Phase Two COVID-19 Vaccination

Phase Two of Ontario's vaccination distribution plan will focus on age and risk to prevent further death, hospitalization and transmission. 

Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound Public Health Regions Returning to Strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework

The Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is transitioning Toronto, Peel and North Bay Parry Sound District public health regions out of the shutdown and into the revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the "Framework"), with the Stay-at-Home order no longer in effect. In addition, seven other public health regions are being moved to new levels in the Framework. All decisions were made in consultation with the local medical officers of health and are based on the latest trends in public health indicators and local context and conditions.

Ontario Increasing Mental Health Supports for Indigenous Peoples, Families and Communities

The Ontario government is investing over $12.8 million to immediately expand and enhance culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services for Indigenous peoples, families and communities across the province. This funding is part of the $176 million being invested in the government's mental health and addictions plan, Roadmap to Wellness. The plan is delivering high-quality care and building a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.

Ontario Provides Additional Support for Municipalities During COVID-19

The Ontario government is providing an additional $500 million to help the province's 444 municipalities address ongoing COVID-19 operating costs. The new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services and keep capital projects on track.

More updates from the Province of Ontario.

Government of Canada Updates

Government of Canada Legislation Targets Intimate-Partner Violence

Many people living in Canada, especially women and children, are victims of intimate-partner violence (IPV). The Government of Canada is committed to protecting public safety. That is why the Government introduced new firearms legislation to keep Canadians safe and to make sure that guns stay out of the hands of people who may pose a serious risk to themselves or others.

Modified COVID-19 Vaccines for Variants to be Fast-Tracked

Health Canada announces new guidance issued today by the Access Consortium—a coalition of regulatory authorities from Canada, the U.K., Australia, Singapore and Switzerland.

Government of Canada Supports Recovery and Growth of Women-Led Businesses Across Ontario Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Canadian women entrepreneurs are critical to the economic success of communities across the country. At the same time, they often face unique barriers when starting and growing their businesses and have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada has long supported women entrepreneurs and is committed to making the necessary investments to position them for success in the future.

Health Canada Authorizes Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

Health Canada authorized the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Janssen Inc. Health Canada received an application from Janssen Inc. for authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine on November 30, 2020. After a thorough, independent review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the vaccine meets Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance: Wage and Rent Subsidy Amounts to Remain Unchanged Through to June

We are announcing that the government will extend the current rate structures for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support from March 14 to June 5, 2021.

Government of Canada Helps Over 30,000 Research Staff Through Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that the Government of Canada has provided wage support for up to 32,000 research staff whose salaries were adversely affected by COVID-19, and who were not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Government Announces Members of New Task Force on Women in the Economy

The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, announced the members of a new Task Force on Women in the Economy.

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: 1-866-797-0000

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

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 You can also call their non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. 

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