City of Toronto mandating stricter restrictions to decrease COVID-19 transmission in Toronto

Posted on November 12, 2020

Today, the Medical Officer of Health announced a number of public health measures to be introduced when the City of Toronto is moved by the Province of Ontario into the provincial COVID-19 response framework on November 14.

Dr. de Villa’s recommendations come as the city sees its COVID-19 numbers going in the wrong direction. Beyond her recommendation that Toronto be moved into the Red – Control category in the provincial framework, Dr. de Villa introduced a number of directives to help reduce the spread of the virus in our community.

After carefully examining the situation, City officials determined Toronto requires strengthened protections and guidance for high-risk sectors and activities.

On November 14th, Toronto will be moved into the Red – Control level of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework . Given the current situation and epidemiology in Toronto, enhanced measures are planned to reduce COVID-19 activity.

Details on the measures are available here .

City of Toronto launches COVID-19 Immunization Task Force to prepare for arrival of COVID-19 vaccine

Posted on November 12, 2020

COVID-19 continues to circulate in our community. There are 31,908 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 504 new cases today. There are 161 people hospitalized. In total, 26,814 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,411 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

The City of Toronto has formed a COVID-19 Immunization Task Force as part of its pandemic response and recovery efforts.

While it is not yet clear when a safe and effective vaccine will be available, this Task Force will ensure that the City is ready to play its role in helping Torontonians get vaccinated. This Task Force will be led by Chief Matthew Pegg in his role as the City’s COVID-19 Incident Commander and will use the COVID-19 incident management system that the City has developed.

The Task Force has brought together staff from across key divisions including Toronto Public Health, Toronto Fire, Toronto Paramedics Service and the Emergency Operations Centre to create a comprehensive plan that will ensure that the city is ready once a safe and effective vaccine is available for Toronto residents.

All three levels of government will play essential roles to make the goals of the Task Force a success. Each has very specific roles and responsibilities in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination strategy and implementation. A clear understanding of these roles will be a key success factor as all levels of government, and community and public health agencies work together to get Torontonians vaccinated.

For example, the Government of Canada is responsible for the procurement and approval of vaccines for use in Canada. The Province of Ontario is responsible for the overall immunization strategy, which could take a phased approach, and will determine specific population prioritization and distribution of the vaccine to potential delivery agents such as public health units, doctors and pharmacies.

Once guidance from the Province is received, the City’s role will be to lead implementation at the local level. This could range from allocating and distributing allotted vaccine doses, working with medical practitioners, administering vaccines through clinics and other methods and providing data to the Province to evaluate the success of the campaign.

The City and Toronto Public Health together bring a great deal of experience to this undertaking, including the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, the yearly flu vaccination clinics run by Toronto Public Health and a full-scale emergency mass immunization exercise conducted in 2016. The lessons learned from these experiences are being applied to the COVID-19 immunization plan.

Reducing Plastic and Supporting Local Businesses go hand in hand!

Posted on November 12, 2020

Roncy Reduces and Parkdale High Park for Climate Action (PHP4ClimateAction) are two community groups that are encouraging residents and businesses to phase out single-use plastics and instead Bring Your Own (BYO) bags and containers:

During the pandemic, use of single-use plastic packaging has increased dramatically. It is visible in our community, and invisibly works its way into the ground, water and our bodies. But over 100 global scientists and health experts (1) as well as the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment CAPE (2) confirm that reusable bags and containers are safe. Toronto Public Health simply requires containers to be clean and leaves the decision with businesses whether to accept reusables. (3)

As individuals and a community, we are already starting to change our “disposables” lifestyle, ahead even of the 2021 proposed federal ban of 6 plastic items. Many places accept BYO bags, cups and containers in Roncesvalles, including: Coffee shops: All That Jazz, Extra Butter, Sunny Joe’s; Restaurants: The Goods, TDot Jerk, Shadi Shawarma, Sushi Kira, Kami Sushi, The Dizzy, Sunrise Grill and Crepe, Café Polonez, Round the Horn, Cinco Mexican Restaurant; Refill/Bulk: Kim Natural Foods, Ecotique, Pollock’s; Produce stores: Maple Produce, Roncesvalles Fruit Village. While many chains and bulk stores officially have policies of non-acceptance, many have not been preventing shoppers bringing their own bags for loose items/produce, especially at, self check-out. It’s worth a try! And a discussion!

Experiments with deposit and return systems will soon be launching in our neighbourhood — look at start-ups such Inwit (containers) (4) and Muuse (coffee cups) (5). You can also check out Roncy Pickup Dinner for a monthly takeout dinner in deposit & return containers (supported by Roncy Reduces) — the next one is November 27.

We can help our struggling local businesses who are still taking up the challenge of reducing plastic both by our patronage and by reducing their packaging expenses when we BYO. Let’s support them now, when they really need it.

Parkdale Art Window Project Nov. 13- Dec. 5

Posted on November 12, 2020

Gallery 1313 is pleased to present the Parkdale Art Window Project.

With the reduced foot traffic to many businesses due to COVID-19, Gallery 1313 is launching this project to help bring more attention to businesses in a safe way. This project will feature artwork by local and Toronto based artists in various storefront windows across Parkdale.

The artworks will be placed in businesses all along Queen West (between Roncesvalles Ave . and Dufferin St.) and will be presented as an art crawl, encouraging people to explore Queen West to see the works. The businesses featuring artwork will also have a logo featured to signify they are part of the project as well as a link to a map on our website showing all of the businesses involved. Visit gallery 1313’s website for more information.

The Junction’s 1st Annual Window Wonderland

Posted on November 12, 2020

Magical ‘Window Wonderland,’ Toronto’s First Augmented Reality Outdoor Art Exhibition, Opens This Weekend in the Junction

Window Wonderland is a new interactive and magical way to shop, walk and discover the Junction. Take a stroll along Dundas St. W. and become immersed in winter-inspired artwork from 20 local artists brought to life by Augmented Reality.

TORONTO, ON, Nov. 9, 2020 — Discover Window Wonderland, The Junction’s first annual immersive urban art-walk, presented by MEDS Junction Pharmacy. From Nov. 14, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, the Window Wonderland exhibition will transform the Junction neighbourhood into an outdoor gallery that is interactive, engaging, and magical. The exhibition will feature local artists and animators who will paint ten storefront windows brought to life by Augmented Reality (AR) to create an impressive public art display. This will be the first activation of its kind in the City of Toronto.
Window Wonderland is presented in partnership with Buds Collective, a Canadian non-profit organization based in Calgary that provides local artists and makers with opportunities, visibility, fair compensation and access to tools and resources, and with Augle, a Canadian-made art and lifestyle mobility platform, that allows users to see an enhanced point-of-view of the world through augmented reality.

Visitors can see the creations ‘come to life’ by downloading the Augle App and pointing their phone cameras at the large-scale artwork displayed on the windows of ten storefronts to engage with this exciting public art experience outdoors.

“We needed to think outside the box and find new ways to support the Junction community, our local artists and businesses, during the pandemic. With creative thinking and collaboration, we’ve now turned a challenging circumstance into an incredible outdoor exhibition. Window Wonderland presents an opportunity for us to see the work of our local artists in an entirely new way; large-scale and brought to life on the storefronts of Dundas Street West,” said Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Junction BIA. “Window Wonderland is bringing our eclectic neighbourhood to life and giving families a great reason to get outside this winter. Our goal is to support local artists, shops and businesses during the colder months with a safe and magical experience that all Torontonians will enjoy.”

Window Wonderland visitors will become immersed in local art like never before. By downloading the Augle App and pointing their phone at the artwork displayed in each of the ten large-scale art installations, visitors will see the artwork transform and transport them to a digital world of wonder. Here’s how it works:
● Local artists paint various scenes on windows along Dundas St. W., inspired by the shops and their owners
● Each scene is animated by local animators to align with the painted windows
● “Meet at the Pacific Wall Mural” and follow the flags to discover the ten interactive painted windows along Dundas St. W. in the Junction
● Using the Augle AR app, visitors point their phones at the art to see an entertaining series of digital animations bringing the window artworks to life!
“I built my installation at Junction Pharmacy to transport the visitors of Window Wonderland into an enchanting snow globe scene, to create the feelings of whimsy and wondrousness that winter and the holidays bring,” said Jasmin Pannu, owner of Jasmin Pannu Art Studio. “The Junction is such a beautiful community, and I wanted to include design elements that inspire us to explore and connect.”

Window Wonderland is a safe and family-friendly outdoor public art experience that everyone can enjoy, allowing for social distancing by following Ontario’s health and safety guidelines. Window Wonderland is the best way to get outdoors this winter to support our local artists and businesses. Take a walk in Window Wonderland to experience all that the Junction offers, from coffee shops to art galleries and local small retailers.

The Junction BIA is a community-driven non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the economic & cultural vitality of The Junction. We provide a beautiful, safe space where the local business community can flourish as part of the robust neighbourhood anchored at Dundas St. West and Keele St., east to Indian Grove, west to Quebec Ave.



November 2020