Welcome TO, 2021 Budget, and COVID-19 Updates

Yesterday, our Medical Officer of Health reminded us how important our continued sacrifices are in protecting our communities. COVID-19 case rates are still alarmingly high in the City of Toronto, and I want to thank you for your ongoing efforts. Please know that it still might be some time before we see the full impact of these restrictions. This doesn’t mean they aren’t working, but that it takes time.

I know the new lockdown measures can be confusing as we are all trying to keep our communities safe. It can be difficult to track some of the small changes our Provincial government has implemented through their revised framework. If you have any questions, the City of Toronto has prepared these Lockdown Dos and Don’ts. It explains some common scenarios as we each navigate work, child care, and outdoor exercise. As always, please keep wearing masks if you’re able, practice physical distancing, and only go out to make essential trips. 

As I have mentioned before, the winter months can be especially challenging, but the City of Toronto has recently launched its plan to promote outdoor winter recreation. I have been envious of other Canadian cities and their ability to keep culture and recreation alive through the colder months. Even though it’s cold, the weather shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our public space. While Welcome T.O. is a small step forward, I know it will have a big impact. 

The Welcome T.O. plan includes:

  • 23 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto;
  • Free, leisure skating at the City’s 54 outdoor ice rinks, including Nathan Phillips Square, beginning November 28, weather dependent, with a maximum of 25 participants;
  • New guided outdoor Walk Fit programs, including 45 sessions each week;
  • High Park car-free weekends;
  • City parks with additional 60 kilometres of paved recreational trails and pathways with snow maintenance;
  • 100 parks with winter maintenance, including 60 with enhanced maintenance this year including cleared parking lots and paved pathways; and
  • Up to 30-plus natural ice rinks – the City is accepting applications until December 31st for community-built and maintained natural ice rinks in City parks.

To stop the spread of COVID-19, there will be health safety guidelines in place including requiring masks, limiting participants, and customer service representatives will be onsite at City rinks to facilitate health screening, provide information, and help with line management. If you have any questions, please visit the City of Toronto website for more information

This week we had our last panel discussion for Making Cents with Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. Throughout this series, we explored important issues affecting Ward 13, and heard from 24 subject matter experts and advocates. I want to extend my sincerest thanks to all of our panelists. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping to guide our path towards recovery. My sincerest thanks to those of you who tuned in to each discussion as well.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to join us live, you can watch the whole series on my Youtube Channel.

This budget will be historic as the City of Toronto faces a deficit of almost $1.9 billion, and municipalities are not legally able to carry a deficit. We cannot afford further cuts to our already underfunded services if we truly want to prioritize an equitable recovery. Please watch your inbox for an invitation in the New Year for our budget town hall where we want to hear directly from you. I’m excited to share more details soon. 

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


Community Corner in Ward 13

Image description: a promotional poster for Cabbagetown's Deck the Holidays

COVID-19 has created significant challenges for many small businesses across the City, especially in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. It is vital to find creative ways to support our business community, especially as we embark on this holiday season as it will look very different. Deck the Holidays, an exciting partnership between the Cabbagetown BIA and the notable local designers in the area will be launching tomorrow, Friday, November 27, and continue to January 3, 2020, creating a fun, festive, outdoor event that is physically distanced, friendly and safe. These incredible designers are generously donating their time and resources to create unforgettable storefront window displays in Cabbagetown this holiday.

Many of the storefronts selected for this series are currently vacant which allows for the safe installation of the artwork, and a unique opportunity to animate these windows and the entire streetscape. The goal is that this safe, outdoor activity will not only increase foot traffic and sales for the local businesses but create an opportunity for visitors and area residents to enjoy the holiday festivities.

Below, are the storefront locations and the designers:

  • 419 Parliament Street (Andrew Pike)
  • 485 Parliament Street (TOM Interior Design + Suzanne Dimma)
  • 527 Parliament Street (Meredith Heron)
  • 557 Parliament Street (James Davie)

Share your favourite Cabbagetown holiday moments on Facebook and Instagram @cabbagetown_bia and use the hashtag #DeckTheHolidays to be entered into their holiday giveaway!

Learn more about Deck the Holidays.

Upcoming Ward 13 Community Consultations

110 Adelaide Street East Community Consultation

What:  Zoning By-law amendment application to facilitate the development of the site for a 42-storey mixed-use building. A total of 287 residential units are proposed, as well as 66 below-grade parking spaces.

When: Monday, November 30, 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Where: Please register for the virtual consultation.

Learn more about this development application by visiting the City’s website. Please contact the City Planner on this file, Tine Major, at [email protected] for more information about this application or if you have any comments or questions. 

335 Yonge Street Community Consultation

What: Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Application for a proposed 30-storey mixed-use building comprising 165 residential dwelling units, 2096 square metres of non-residential floor area and 222 below grade bicycle parking spaces.

When: Tuesday, December 1, 6:30pm to 8pm

Where: Please register for the virtual consultation.

Learn more about this development application by visiting the City’s website. Please contact the City Planner on this file, Derek Waltho, at [email protected] for more information about this application or if you have any comments or questions.

Community Care in Ward 13

Flu season is upon us, and it is critical that we each get our flu vaccine this year more than any other. To support vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) staff continue to work with community partners in establishing flu immunization clinics. Beginning November 25, Regent Park Community Centre will be open every Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for you to drop in and get your flu shot! Clinics will be operated by Regent Park Community Health Centre in conjunction with Michael Garron Hospital.  Clinic dates and times are subject to change at the discretion of Regent Park Community Health Centre. 

When: Every Wednesday from 6:30 p.m.  to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter Street

If you have any questions, please call Regent Park Community Health Centre at (416) 364-2261.

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 Announces Planned Road Closures This Weekend

The City of Toronto announced planned road closures this weekend that will impact essential travel on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29. Members of the public are reminded to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Anyone making essential travel should plan their trip ahead and use alternate routes.

City of Toronto Enforcement Action and Next Steps Against Adamson Barbecue

This morning, City of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards bylaw officers, Toronto Public Health inspectors and Toronto Police Service officers once again attended Adamson Barbecue at 7 Queen Elizabeth Blvd.

City of Toronto Launches Welcome T.O. Winter Parks Plan

Mayor John Tory launched the City of Toronto’s Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan. Throughout the pandemic, the City has remained committed to providing people with safe opportunities for recreation. To help people stay active this winter season, the City is highlighting its offering of new and enhanced exercise-based recreation activities in parks locations across Toronto.

More information on affected City services & facilities.

More updates from the City of Toronto.

Province of Ontario Updates

Celebrate the Holiday Season Safely

The holidays are going to look a little different this year due to COVID-19. To support Ontarians as they begin to safely plan for the season, the Ontario government, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and input from the Public Health Measures Table, is providing preliminary guidance on how to safely celebrate this year and protect your loved ones.

Province Proposes Cap on Delivery Fees to Support Local Restaurants

The Ontario government is helping local restaurants by introducing new legislation that would protect them from high delivery fees. The Supporting Local Restaurants Act, 2020, would cap fees charged by food delivery companies in areas where indoor dining is prohibited to help more small and independent restaurants stay in business.

Ontario to be National Leader and Require Cleaner and Greener Gasoline

The Ontario government is making gasoline that drivers use every day cleaner by becoming the first province to require fuel suppliers to increase the amount of renewable content in regular-grade gasoline to 15 per cent. This change is expected to result in an annual reduction of up to one megatonne of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 - the equivalent of taking 300,000 cars off the road every year.

Ontario Orders New Management at Mississauga Long-Term Care Home

The Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued a Mandatory Management Order naming Joseph Brant Hospital to temporarily manage Tyndall Nursing Home in Mississauga. This order was issued to the home as it has an increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. Enhanced management is necessary to return the home to normal operations and protect residents.

More updates from the Province of Ontario.

Government of Canada Updates

CTA Releases “What We Heard” Report on Phase II of its Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today released its “What We Heard” report summarizing the input received during its consultations on Phase II of its Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR).

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Announces a Judicial Appointment in the Province of Ontario

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The Government of Canada is Leading by Example on Combatting Climate Change

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, announced the publication of the updated Greening Government Strategy, setting new targets for net-zero, green and climate-resilient government operations.

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: 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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Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W, A5, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2