VaxTO, First Parliament Master Plan, 311 Updates, and COVID-19 Updates

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Halloween weekend. I know that my family and I were able to get dressed up and celebrate. We have been very lucky to experience a new curiosity of Halloween through the eyes of our toddler. 

At last week’s Board of Health meeting, vaccinations for children 5-11 years old was a top priority for discussion. In preparation for the approval of vaccines for young children, Team Toronto is proactively conducting outreach and education sessions, including hosting town halls, to build vaccine confidence and assist in planning for vaccine distribution. 

Last Friday, all parents of children aged five to 11 attending public schools received an email and invitation to participate in a survey to support vaccination planning. Independent schools will have also received an invitation for parents with children in this age group to participate. Toronto Public Health (TPH) and the City of Toronto’s VaxTO campaign have launched a survey to better understand parents’ intent to vaccinate their children, how they would prefer to have their children receive their COVID-19 vaccine, and to obtain critical information on socio-demographic factors such as race and income. This will help ensure a focused and effective vaccination campaign. The survey is open until November 17, 2021. Additional parent and caregiver town halls as well as targeted multilingual and neighbourhood-based telephone town halls will be announced in the coming weeks.

To support this work, this motion was moved at the Board of Health meeting to request that the Province of Ontario provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine to pediatricians and family doctors in their health care facilities, in addition to Team Toronto's plans to administer vaccines to children aged 5 to 11 in a variety of settings. Additionally, the motion requests the Province of Ontario mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all publicly-funded school staff, volunteers, bus drivers, and visitors in all Toronto schools. We cannot afford to let this opportunity slip past uncoordinated as it has before. 

Last week, the Executive Committee adopted two important sets of recommendations regarding the First Parliament site including the long-awaited First Parliament Master Plan and the staff report explaining the Expropriation of Land by Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario. The reports formally respond to the many motions that I have moved regarding the First Parliament site and the Provincial expropriation of city-owned land for Infrastructure Ontario's oversized "transit-oriented development" and the construction staging area for the building of the Ontario Line's Corktown station.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to the community leaders and residents who deputed at the meeting, including representatives from the West Don Lands Committee, the Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association, St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, Corktown Residents and Business Association and the city-led First Parliament Working Group. We heard about the critical importance of local planning and the need to honour the years of hard work assembling these public lands and robust consultation that went into the creation of the First Parliament Master Plan. I echo and fully support the community concerns expressed about the necessity of a significant public park, affordable housing, heritage interpretation and commemoration, as well as a new district public library. I will continue to champion the First Parliament principles contained in the master plan which are critical to building inclusive and complete communities. Read my full statement available on my website

Lastly, I am thrilled to announce that yesterday the City of Toronto shared its new 311 service improvements. With the launch of this new service experience, all of the approximately 600 services that 311 offers are now available online, including requests for snow plowing and tree maintenance, overflowing catch basins, dogs off-leash, and inadequate heat in apartment buildings.

This announcement comes after years of advocacy and my recent motion directing staff to streamline 311 and improve customer service. There are still improvements to come as part of a larger assessment on how to improve City response to complaints. Thank you to City staff for moving quickly to improve methods, services, and tracking for residents. Thank you to everyone who wrote in and talked about your experience with 311, so that we could work together to make the experience better. I look forward to seeing how this technology improves access, continues to harmonize by-law enforcement, and develops rapid responses

Through the centralization and streamlining of 311 processes, an improved Knowledge Base will provide easier access to information and improved usability. The 311 Toronto Knowledge Base holds approximately 5,000 records on City programs and services, accessible to anyone at any time. It is now easier than ever to search and locate exactly what you are looking for, enhancing the user experience.

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

Kristyn


What’s In Today’s EBlast?


You’re Invited: The Unveiling of Nightshift

Promotional poster for NightshiftPromotional poster for Nightshift

On Friday, November 12, 2021 students and neighbours are invited to join City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto District School Board Trustee Chris Moise, and artist Dereck Revington to celebrate the unveiling of Nightshift, the brand new illuminated fence at the Church Street Junior Public School.  

The renovation of the Church Street Junior Public School fence, once haggard, now breathes new life into the community. Bringing renowned artist Dereck Revington, whose work is featured internationally in Rome, Lisbon, New York, and Madrid, to develop a transformative and beautiful piece of public infrastructure. Years of coordinated work as well as $1.8 million allocated from Councillor Wong-Tam’s office for the original artwork, entire fence replacement and other school improvements ensure this beautiful fence will be enjoyed for years to come.

When: Friday, November 12, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m. (reception to follow)
Where: Corner of Church Street and Alexander Street

If you plan to attend the indoor reception afterwards, please ensure that you have proof of vaccination. COVID health protocols will be followed.


 

Pride Toronto Three Year Strategic Plan

Pride Toronto is currently developing a 3-year Strategic Plan to identify new goals and priorities to ensure that the organization is aligned with the needs of diverse and dynamic 2SLGBTQ communities, sponsors, and partners across the City. The Strategic planning committee of Pride Toronto will be collaborating with Elevate Equity and REFLEX Urbanism to move this initiative forward and are eager to hear from the community.

Residents are welcome to share their thoughts by responding to a  Community Survey that asks community members to respond to a set of strategic questions that will guide Pride Toronto.


Cleaning Program at Dundas and Sherbourne!

My office has worked with community partners to institute a new full-time cleaning program in the area surrounding Margaret’s Housing and Community. We have heard from residents with concerns about community safety and cleanliness at the intersection of Sherbourne Street and Dundas Street E. The cleaning program is being managed by two full-time members, as well as contributions from volunteers in the area, and consists of three cleaning shifts daily covering 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 

Since the program’s implementation, my office has heard very positive feedback from residents. Thank you to Margaret’s, partners, and community stakeholders for their commitment to neighbourhood safety and cleanliness.


Gift Card and Backpack Drive in Moss Park 

The pandemic has been hard for many and that is why I have been working with a number of community service providers to address the needs of vulnerable residents in our neighbourhoods. From the early days of securing personal protective equipment, delivering hot meals to seniors to raising money for food banks, I’ve been supporting residents where the greatest needs are. Recently I partnered with Broccolini as well as the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area in order to provide school supplies for students in need. My office coordinated with Toronto Community Housing to deliver school supplies through a backpack drive in St James Town and Moss Park to students and families in need. 

Picture of a resident with a grocery cardPicture of residents with a grocery card

We organized the distribution of $50 grocery gift cards provided by Broccolini in collaboration with Toronto Community Housing Corporation. These gift cards were given to the families in Moss Park that received backpacks for their children a few weeks ago. 

Picture of a resident with a grocery cardPicture of a resident with a grocery card


Have Your Say: Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods

Drawing of houses in a rowDrawing of houses in a row

The City is working to expand opportunities for “missing middle” housing forms in Toronto, ranging from duplexes to low-rise walk-up apartments. All of these housing types can be found in many parts of Toronto today, but they are also limited in where they can be newly built. Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is one solution among a range of City initiatives to increase housing choice and access and create a more equitable, sustainable city.

Priority projects endorsed by Council to be advanced in 2020-2021:

  • permitting new types of accessory housing such as garden suites and coach houses
  • allowing more residential units in forms compatible with existing houses, such as duplexes and triplexes, where they are currently not permitted
  • zoning to allow more low-rise housing options on major streets
  • Beaches-East York Pilot Project

The City is soliciting your feedback until December 31, 2021 and you can take this short survey until then. Learn more about the City of Toronto’s housing initiatives.


Celebrating the Success of our Neighbours! 

I wanted to extend my sincerest congratulations to Lorin MacDonald, Ward 13 resident, who has been awarded two national awards. They have been formally recognized by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada and recognized by WXN as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Inclusion Vanguard

As a human rights lawyer living with a disability, Lorin has spent time educating people about the devastating impact of COVID on the lives of Canadians with disabilities. We have seen firsthand the importance of advocacy through the pandemic, and that not all situations are equal. I’m proud to see one of our own neighbours recognized for their ongoing work to serve our vulnerable residents.


You may be Interested in: Distillery District Career Fairs

Distillery career fair promotional posterDistillery career fair promotional poster

Dixon Hall Employment Services is having a hiring information session as well as two career fairs with The Distillery District Restaurants. They are hiring for more than 60 positions including bartenders, hosts/hostess, line cooks, restaurant servers, and server supporters.

Distillery Restaurants Hiring Info Session
When: Monday, November 8th, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST
Register to attend

Pre-Christmas Distillery District Restaurants Career Fair
When: Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
Register to attend

OR

When: Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
Register to attend

Register for these events on Eventbrite and submit your resume to [email protected]. For more information, please contact Cora Wong at 416-677-3538 or [email protected].


Toronto Centre Projects

​​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. Read about new and ongoing proposals and projects below:

Proposals Now Open for Allan Gardens Dog Off-Leash Area

What features, surfacing, fencing, etc would you like to see in a revitalized OLA for Allan Gardens? Submit your proposals or vote on existing ones for the revitalization of the Allan Gardens OLA at www.torontocentreprojects.ca.

Allan Gardens OLA graphicAllan Gardens OLA 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.

Have ideas to make our communities more liveable, vibrant, and safe? Submit them at www.TorontoCentreProjects.ca.


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.


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.

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.


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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