Toronto’s vaccination roll out continues. As of today, 80.4 percent of individuals over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated in Toronto. This is a huge and important milestone, and we should all be very proud. While the ongoing uptake of vaccination by Toronto residents is positive, analysis and modelling of the fourth wave demonstrates that ongoing vigilance is required to both promote increased vaccination and monitor progress towards reducing COVID-19 transmission.
Ontario is reporting 466 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which is lower than it was a week ago at 574. Of those cases recorded, the data showed 277 were unvaccinated people, 27 were partially vaccinated people, 119 were fully vaccinated people, and for 43 people the vaccination status was unknown.
Despite the very positive trends in vaccination rates, we know that we must do everything we can to protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated. That includes students and children under 11. Today Ontario is reporting 257 new student cases, 18 new staff cases, and 5 unspecified cases. Protecting students, and allowing them to maintain their school year is of the utmost importance. Toronto Public Health (TPH) has formed a COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Group to get ready to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, upon Health Canada’s approval and receipt of vaccine for this age group from Ontario’s Ministry of Health. This group includes health partners, school boards, community representatives, and the Ministry of Health. In Toronto, there are approximately 200,000 children aged 5 to 11 who are eligible to get vaccinated. To facilitate this roll out, at yesterday’s Board of Health meeting we requested the Province of Ontario to require COVID-19 vaccination for students who are eligible based on their age/year of birth.
It has been almost a week since the vaccine passport rolled out. For the most part, I have been very pleased to see how well it has been going, but I know there are concerns about how the burden of proof is being placed on frontline workers. I want to remind everyone in our community to be kind to the staff working to keep us safe and to support de-escalating situations as much as possible.
Another change was implemented last week, effective September 25, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits were increased in many of the indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres; sporting events; concerts, theatres, and cinemas; racing venues (e.g., horse racing); and commercial and film television productions with studio audiences will be increased to up to 50 percent capacity or 10,000 people (whichever is less) for indoor events. Again, please use caution and care when attending indoor events, but I hope everyone takes some opportunities to socialize, and find some normalcy in their lives.
This Thursday, September 30, 2021, marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Reconciliation is the responsibility of every Canadian. It means acknowledging the past and ensuring history never repeats itself by respecting Indigenous treaties and rights and letting go of negative perceptions and stereotypes to work towards solidarity.
I encourage you to take this day to learn and reflect on how you can work towards reconciliation in your own life and create your own personal reconciliation plan. Here are a few ways to start:
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice
- Visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website
- Donate to Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Restoration of Identity Project and Spirit Garden at Nathan Phillips Square, led by Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre in partnership with the City of Toronto
- Wear orange on September 30 for Orange Shirt Day, established by the Orange Shirt Society in 2013 to honour “Phyllis’s story”
Attend Indigenous cultural events open to the public, such as:
- Sept. 30, 11 a.m.– In the Spirit of Reconciliation Georgian College, in partnership with Indigenous Services, presents a virtual conversation with Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Honourary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Hearings, about what post-secondary institutions can do to honour the spirit of reconciliation
- Sept. 30, 7 p.m.: Shining a light on the Indian Residential School Legacy an evening of teaching with Sandra Campbell, presented by Toronto Urban Native Ministry ($10, registration required)
- Sept. 30 – Oct. 3: Rising Hearts virtual 5K Remembrance Run
National Day of Truth and Reconciliation may be difficult, as many continue to reflect, heal and confront traumas. If you require support, the following resources are available:
- Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
- Hope For Wellness Helpline for Indigenous peoples, 1-855-242-3310
- Native Youth Crisis Line 1-877-209-1266
- Anishnawbe Health Toronto
- National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides emotional and crisis referral services at a 24-hour line, 1-866-925-4419
Lastly, I join the community in continuing to grieve the tragic shooting death of Thane Murray in Regent Park. If you or someone you know needs support during this difficult time of bereavement, please see the list of community resources that are available. A Go Fund Me campaign has been established to raise funds to help Thane’s family offset expensive funeral costs here.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
What’s In Today’s EBlast?
- Have Your Say: Our Plan Toronto Consultation Program
- Don’t Mess with the Don- Community Clean Up
- You Might Be Interested In: Funding Our Future
- Have Your Say: Review of Parking Requirements for New Development
- Toronto Hydro Construction Notice
- Toronto Centre Projects
Have Your Say: Our Plan Toronto Consultation Program
Our Plan Toronto is hosting a series of upcoming public meetings on key Official Plan policy areas that are currently under review as part of the Our Plan Toronto consultation program. I would encourage you to attend any combination of meetings that interest you. Meeting summaries will be available upon completion. You will also find a link to a survey on expectations for Toronto 2051.
Environment and Climate Change
Key topics include climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience, protection of natural heritage and water resources, biodiversity, reducing consumption of natural resources, management of stormwater, green infrastructure, reduction of urban heat island impacts, and addressing density targets for Major Transit Station Areas that overlap with the Green Space System.
When: Monday, October 4, 2021
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Register to attend
Affordable Housing and Intensification
Key topics include ongoing policy work on inclusionary zoning, Major Transit Station Area delineations and minimum density targets, and other components of the intensification strategy.
When: Thursday, October 7, 2021
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Register to attend
Once you have registered for a stakeholder meeting you will receive a confirmation email from Dillon Consulting with a calendar invitation and meeting link. Agendas for each meeting will be circulated to registered attendees prior to each meeting.
Don’t Mess with the Don- Community Clean Up
Councillor Wong-Tam at Don’t Mess with the Don's community clean up event
This weekend I was thrilled to join Don’t Mess with the Don and over 50 volunteers to help clean over 5000 pounds of garbage from Rosedale Valley road. Working alongside Councillor Layton, we helped move over 150 bags. The weather was perfect, and it was so great to be outside, working with such a dedicated community.
Don't Mess with the Don is a non-profit group that began in 2018 to clean up garbage dumped in Toronto's Don Valley ravine. This beautiful area is a key recreational corridor that connects city dwellers to nature. Since 2018, Don't Mess with the Don has engaged hundreds of volunteers who have removed more than 68 000 kg of garbage from the area, often dealing with mud and difficult terrain to collect tires, gasoline cans, mattresses, and assorted refuse. The volunteers also remove invasive weeds, such as dog-strangling vine, and plant native species, such as milkweed and cup flower, to help restore the habitat for butterflies. Outreach to community members, business owners, and residential property managers had led to solutions for reducing the amount of garbage going into the valley.
No wonder this incredible community organization has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s Canadian Museum of Nature - Nature Inspiration Award for the Community Action Award!
Learn how to get involved at https://www.dontmesswiththedon.ca/
Hope to see you at the next clean up!
You Might Be Interested In: Funding the Future
Our friends at Human Nature Projects Ontario, a student-led, non-profit organization, aims to educate our community, province, and nation regarding the consequences of climate change. They hope to provide solutions to prolong the preservation of the environment.
To support their work, they are hosting a fundraiser, Funding the Future, from Monday, September 13 to Thursday, September 30, 2021. The funds will support their ongoing work as well as a donation to the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. If you’re interested in supporting this work, check out their GoFundMe for further details.
Have Your Say: Review of Parking Requirements for New Development
The City of Toronto is advancing its work to review the parking requirements in new development applications. The major draft changes are removing minimum parking standards city-wide, except for visitor parking and accessible parking, and introducing maximum parking standards, except for low-rise housing. Feedback from the public meetings will inform proposed changes to the By-law which will be presented to the Planning and Housing Committee on November 25 and City Council in December. Learn more here.
When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 (tonight!)
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
Register to attend
When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 (tomorrow)
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Register to attend
If you have any questions, I would encourage you to reach out to Michael Hain, Program Manager, at 416-392-8698 or [email protected].
Toronto Hydro Construction Notice
Toronto Hydro will be upgrading the overhead electrical cables and installing hydro poles within city-owned property in areas of Ward 13 until December 2022. The boundaries for the project include Macpherson Avenue (North), Bay Street (East), Grosvenor Street (South), and Davenport Road (West). The work is expected to start in October 2021.
Toronto Centre Projects
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.
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;
- 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.
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.