A message from Gord – April 16, 2020

Posted on April 16, 2020

Dear Ward 4 residents,

The advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: to stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible.

To assist residents experiencing stress and anxiety due to being isolated, quarantined with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, experiencing financial hardships or other mental health stressors, the City has partnered with key mental health service providers to support the mental wellbeing of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents during this time.

Residents can call 211 to access support and get connected to one of seven primary mental health service partners for direct phone support. Mental health service information is also available at 211toronto.ca.

During this time, individuals experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable. There are currently 30 confirmed client cases of COVID-19 in the city’s emergency shelter system. The City, with the help of our community and heath sector partners has put measures in place for active screening, testing and providing isolation spaces to slow transmission and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our emergency shelter system.

We have moved over 1,000 people to programs that meet a range of client needs, including spaces in community centers, hotel rooms, and permanent housing and we are on track to move another 1000 into new spaces by April 30.

While these measures are being taken to directly address the issue at hand, I have and will continue to advocate for permanent housing for all to fight for housing as a human right.

To stay updated on the City’s ongoing response to COVID-19, visit https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ .

Sincerely,

Gord

Suspension of Planning Timelines

Posted on April 16, 2020

The Government of Ontario’s Emergency Order (O. Reg 73/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods set out in legislation and regulation.  This suspension of time periods applies to all Planning Act procedural timelines, including complete application and decision timelines. This includes Committee of Adjustment timelines to appeal a decision. In addition, all procedural periods under the Heritage Act and the City of Toronto Act will be suspended. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.

This order also impacts the operations and current proceedings before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB).  The LPAT has issued directions regarding current appeal proceedings before the LPAT which can be viewed at https://elto.gov.on.ca/tribunals/lpat/about-lpat/.  The TLAB issued a similar direction. It has suspended all hearing events and will not schedule any new ones until May 29, 2020. TLAB public offices are closed at 40 Orchard View Blvd. All hearings are postponed and a notice of the new hearing date will be provided by the tribunal at a future date.  Both the LPAT and the TLAB have indicated that they will be monitoring the situation and will reconsider their directions if circumstance warrant.

The situation with COVID-19 is unprecedented and is evolving every day. The City of Toronto will continue to follow directions from provincial and federal authorities and health agencies.  For a list of City facilities and services, including City Planning services, affected by Toronto’s State of Emergency due to COVID-19 please visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/.

1488 Queen Street West Development Update

Posted on April 16, 2020

A rezoning application to construct a 6-storey building has been filed for 1488 Queen St West, current site of Guardian Drugs. The application proposes 190 m2 of non –residential gfa with 29 residential dwelling units and 3 parking space. Details are available on the City’s Application Information Centre at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/application-information-centre/

A pre-application meeting was held on February 20th, 2020. City Planning Staff will begin work on a Preliminary Report reviewing the application.

There will be further community consultation, however the format is not yet confirmed.

Note: At this time, the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Order suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods set out in legislation and regulation.  This suspension of time periods applies to all Planning Act procedural timelines, including complete application and decision timelines. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.

 

1375 Queen Street West Development Update

Posted on April 16, 2020

A rezoning application has been filed by Skale Developments to construct an 8-storey

mixed-use building at 1375 Queen St West, at Close Ave. The application proposes 443 m2 of non –residential gfa with 46 rental dwelling units and 1 car share parking space. Details are available on the City’s Application Information Centre at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/application-information-centre/

A pre-application meeting was held on February 25th, 2020. City Planning Staff will begin work on a Preliminary Report reviewing the application.

There will be further community consultation, however the format is not yet confirmed.

Note: At this time, the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Order suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods set out in legislation and regulation.  This suspension of time periods applies to all Planning Act procedural timelines, including complete application and decision timelines. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on April 16, 2020

Digital Main Street was created by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) in 2016 to assist main street businesses in growing their operations through technology with easy to use tools and resources.

Since its launch, the Digital Main Street program has engaged more than 6,000 Toronto businesses and provided direct one-on-one support to 2,159 businesses, delivering more than 9,200 hours of support, training and education. Prior to working with the Digital Main Street program, 30 per cent of businesses had no online presence. These businesses now do and an additional 66 per cent of businesses expanded their existing online presence.

The expansion of the Digital Main Street program is a part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’s short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses.

Local businesses can complete the Digital Main Street onboarding process and receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/toronto/

City of Toronto urges drivers to obey rules of the road

Posted on April 16, 2020

The City of Toronto is urging drivers to slow down, stay alert and obey the rules of the road to save lives, keep streets safe and accessible, prevent traffic-related collisions and reduce the strain on the city’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto’s medical officer of health and all City officials continue to urge all residents to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Drivers should stay off the road as much as possible and only travel for essential reasons.

While the City has seen a dramatic drop in traffic volumes, Toronto Police report that from March 15 to March 31, there was a 35 per cent increase in speeding tickets and an almost 200 per cent increase in stunt driving compared to the same period last year.

Starting this week, officers from the Toronto Police Service’s Vision Zero Enforcement Team will begin rotating in daily shifts across the city and patrol for motorists who are speeding or stunt driving. All red light cameras in the city are active and tickets are being issued to motorists who disobey traffic signals.

For more info about the COVID-10 impacts to road, sidewalk and bikeway maintenance, visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/?accordion=road-sidewalk-and-bikeway-maintenance

City of Toronto to continue yard waste collection for another two weeks – April 20 – May 1, 2020

Posted on April 16, 2020

The City of Toronto will continue yard waste collection for another two weeks from April 20 to May 1 to accommodate residents. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics).

The City recently resumed yard waste collection for a two-week trial period from April 6 to 17 and has determined that it can continue to provide the service for an additional two weeks. In the last nine days, the City has collected approximately 5,700 tonnes of yard waste. After these additional two weeks, the City will assess if it can continue to collect yard waste.

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. If yard waste is not picked up on collection day, residents are asked to leave it out until it’s collected. It is not necessary to call 311 to report a missed collection.

If possible, residents should use a yard waste bag. Otherwise, a rigid open-top container can be used. Brush and branches should be secured in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (two feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs).

A reminder to residents that the following Solid Waste Management Services continue to be impacted, to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff and sustain operations:

  • Drop-off depots are closed to the general public. Only those with an existing registered account can continue to bring material to Depots. No new account requests will be processed at this time. Cash will not be accepted and depots will not operate on Saturdays.
  • Toxic Taxi services and household hazardous waste drop-off are suspended. Hazardous waste should be safely stored until services resume.
  • Bin exchanges are suspended. Existing service requests will be completed once full service resumes. Bin repair and missing bin requests will continue to be processed.
  • All community Environment Days scheduled in April, May and June have been cancelled.

The collection of garbage, recycling, organics, and oversized and metal items has not been impacted and will continue as scheduled.

For more information about the COVID-19 impacts to Solid Waste Management Services visit https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/?accordion=garbage-recycling-and-organics.

 

City of Toronto begins sweeping streets this week as part of spring cleanup

Posted on April 16, 2020

Beginning this week, street sweepers are busy cleaning up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets to help keep roadways clean and safe.

Street sweeping is taking place during the day and in the evenings, servicing both neighbourhood and main roads throughout April. Street sweeping helps to remove dust, dirt and other contaminants that would otherwise enter the environment. It also assists in improving the overall air quality and is an important part of Toronto’s flood prevention strategy, since litter and debris are removed from roadway catch basins.

During COVID-19, the City of Toronto continues to operate essential and critical services to keep Toronto functioning, like ensuring a clean and safe water supply, solid waste services, maintaining infrastructure, and emergency services.

This year, a new fleet of 32 street sweeping vehicles will complement the existing fleet of 17 vehicles that are currently on the roads. City staff will be trained on the new vehicles starting the week of April 20, so they can be fully deployed later this spring. These vehicles are highly efficient and effective at sweeping debris from roads, include improvements that support operator use and overall vehicle maintenance and feature new safety equipment such as 360 degree cameras, better lighting, improved turning radius and high contrast yellow paint.

Once again, the City has contracted additional street sweeping vehicles throughout April to help clear Toronto’s busiest roads of heavy dirt and debris following the winter season.

City of Toronto street sweepers are responsible for cleaning more than 5,600 km of Toronto streets throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Toronto’s busiest roads – expressways and main (collector and arterial) roads – are swept regularly to support a safer and cleaner city.

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