Report on the CaféTO program to help local restaurants

Posted on January 21, 2021

A report that recommends an expanded CaféTO program starting this spring to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars during the ongoing pandemic will be considered at the meeting of Executive Committee on Wednesday, January 27.

It outlines key findings and outcomes along with recommendations on how to ensure the program is bigger and better this year.

During the summer of 2020 when outdoor dining was permitted, CaféTO helped hundreds of restaurant and bar operators by making it easier to open patios in curb lanes and along sidewalks, expand them and access additional space for physical distancing. The space helped operators generate revenue and enliven nearby public spaces.

The report indicates that the City would again work closely with BIAs and local restaurant and bar operators and make the following enhancements including:

  • Updating the registration process so that it is even more clear and straightforward. Registrations would start as early as February.
  • Developing comprehensive and safe traffic management plans – to help make sure the curb lane cafés are as a safe as possible for people dining, employees and people using the road.
  • Supporting quick CaféTO installations – so that we can begin helping approved businesses as soon as possible once winter is over.
  • Allowing owner/operators to build decks and platforms for curb lane café areas, where applicable.
  • Ensuring there is accessible furniture for public parklet areas.

As described in the report, within a revised registration process and contingent on prevailing public health orders, the first approved CaféTO curb lane closure locations for 2021 could be in installed as early as May – almost two months earlier than last year.

The report also includes the outcomes of a City-led CaféTO survey. Approximately 2,800 respondents comprising restaurant and bar owners/operators and members of the public, indicated the following:

  • 95 per cent of respondents want to see CaféTO operate in 2021.
  • 90 per cent of those surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with their patio experience.
  • 66 per cent of operators said their restaurant would not have been financially viable without CaféTO.

In 2020, CaféTO supported 801 restaurants in 62 BIAs, as well as 96 restaurants outside of BIAs. An additional 44 public parklets in BIAs were activated. The 439 curb lane closures converted 9,683 metres of traffic lanes into new outdoor dining space for restaurants.

The report also includes details about the CurbTO program – another quick-start pandemic response program. In 2020, 108 Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones and 154 Temporary Parking and Pick up Zones (TPPZs) were installed. As of January 5, 2021, 113 TPPZs are in place. The report calls for City staff to be prepared to work with health officials and local business owners to continue the CurbTO program in a way that best supports prevailing public health direction and guidance.

The full CaféTO and CurbTO – Pandemic Response Programs report is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.EX20.6

 

Sanitary Main Replacement in Etienne Brule Park

Posted on January 12, 2021

The City of Toronto will replace the sanitary forcemain (a pressurized sewer pipe that transports wastewater from a lower to higher elevation) through Etienne Brule Park and Home Smith Park, which has reached the end of its life cycle.

 

This work will commence this January and is expected to be completed by May 2022. This work includes construction of sewage valve chambers, shaft construction, and microtunnelling (an efficient trenchless method for construction of small diameter tunnels) beneath the Humber River. It also involves connecting the new sanitary forcemain outside the existing Baby Point Sewage Pumping Station.

 

The construction work will proceed in stages and the entire work area may not be under construction at the same time. See below for more information on the project.FINAL_Baby Point Forcemain Replacement Construction Notice_Jan 11 2021

Toronto Water – Frozen Pipes Prevention

Posted on January 7, 2021

Cold weather can cause your water pipes to freeze, resulting in no water & expensive property damage. Take steps to protect your water pipes from freezing.

  • Know where to find your main water shut-off valve and how it works (in case your pipes burst).
  • Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage. This can be done with foam pipe covers available from building supply or home improvement stores.
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in. Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
  • Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let the taps drain.
  • If your pipes are prone to freezing, there may be a problem you cannot see. Consider contacting a plumber for advice on how best to protect your home.
  • Commercial water customers – protect fire lines by wrapping all lines exposed to the cold

Learn more about how to prevent or thaw frozen pipes: www.toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

 

 

PollinateTO Community Grants deadline extended

Posted on January 7, 2021

The application deadline for the PollinateTO Community Grants has been extended from January 8 to January 18, 2021.

Through its PollinateTO grants program, the City funds pollinator habitat creation projects that educate and engage the community.

Up to $5,000 per project is available.

Are you interested in gardening and protecting pollinators? Would you like to:

  • Create pollinator gardens or rain gardens in your neighbourhood or at your school?
  • Enhance or expand existing gardens with native pollinator-friendly plants?

If you answered yes to any of the above, please apply to PollinateTO for funding to support your idea!

All resident-led groups are encouraged to apply. More information is available on the City website.

The deadline to apply is January 8, 2021.

TTC updates for Ward 4 – Parkdale High Park

Posted on January 7, 2021

Runnymede Station is TTC’s 50th Accessible Station! Please see the 3 page e-newsletter to see other highlights TTC updates in our ward

Ward 4 Councillor Perks TTC Update 2020-12

City opens Warming Centres to help those experiencing homelessness

Posted on December 17, 2020

The City of Toronto opened its four Warming Centres this week to give those who are vulnerable and may be experiencing homelessness an additional place to rest and access snacks, washroom facilities and referrals to emergency shelter.

Space will be offered at the following:

  • 129 Peter Street
  • 5800 Yonge Street
  • Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre
  • Scarborough Civic Centre

Warming Centres are traditionally activated when the City, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, issue an Extreme Cold Weather Alert (ECWA) based on a forecast from Environment and Climate Change Canada of minus 15 degrees Celsius or colder.

While the temperature forecast has not reached this threshold, the City is activating the Warming Centres in an abundance of caution due to colder nighttime temperatures, snow forecasted over the next few days and because this is the first spell of colder weather of the season. The Warming Centres are currently scheduled to remain open, 24/7, until Friday at noon.

In addition to the Warming Centers, the City’s Streets to Home outreach team dispatched additional 24/7 teams to connect with people living outside and encourage them to come indoors. Staff will also hand out blankets and sleeping bags.

Residents should contact 311 if they see a person experiencing homelessness in need of assistance and the City will dispatch an outreach team to investigate. If the person is in distress or needs immediate assistance, call 911.

All services at the Warming Centres will be delivered following ongoing COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of those using the centres. This includes encouraging physical distancing and the mandatory use of masks, ensuring hand washing, conducting symptom screening and monitoring, increasing infection control and prevention measures such as enhanced cleaning, and providing isolation and recovery sites for individuals that await results or test positive to recover.

The Warming Centre spaces are being opened as part of the City’s 2020/2021 winter services plan to help those experiencing homelessness. This is the first year that the City has offered more than one Warming Centre, which will increase access to these services across Toronto.

In addition to Warming Centre capacity, through the winter plan the City is opening approximately 620 additional spaces through a combination of shelter and 24-hour respite beds, hotel rooms and housing units with supports. This is on top of the City’s base shelter system, which provides more than 6,000 spaces for those experiencing homelessness each night.

The winter plan will be in effect until April 2021. The need for services will be monitored and the City will adapt as required to respond to changing circumstances.

To learn more about the winter plan, visit:

https://www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-2020-2021-winter-plan-for-people-experiencing-homelessness/.

 

Reduce, reuse and recycle right this holiday season

Posted on December 17, 2020

The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to be mindful of the amount of waste they generate over the holiday season and to look for opportunities to reduce and reuse.

This holiday season, the City is reminding everyone to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19. Toronto Public Health strongly recommends individuals avoid in-home gatherings and celebrate in-person only with the people that they live with and celebrate virtually with those outside the household.

The City manages approximately 900,000 tonnes (two billion pounds) of waste each year which requires money, energy and resources, and takes up valuable landfill space. Small changes can have a big impact. During the holiday season remember the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle right, and waste less with the following tips.

Reduce

  • Consider low-waste gifts such as buying gift cards from local shops and restaurants or a charitable donation in a loved one’s name.
  • Get creative and make gifts from materials that you have around the house.
  • Say “no” to single-use items such as cutlery, plates and cups when ordering delivery and takeout.
  • Plan meals ahead and store food correctly to reduce the amount of food waste.

Reuse

  • Save gift bags, gift wrap, ribbons and bows to reuse year after year.
  • Get crafty when wrapping by using reusable fabrics, newspapers, old cards and calendars.
  • Shop online for quality second-hand options.

Recycle right

As more people turn to online shopping this season, it’s important to know how to properly sort items used for shipping. Reuse online packaging if possible and check how to dispose of items before placing them in the Blue Bin.

  • Recycle flattened cardboard, paper gift wrap and rinse plastic plates and plastic cups before placing them in the Blue Bin.
  • All mailer bags including those labelled as compostable go in the garbage.
  • Bubble wrap, bubble envelopes, plastic strapping from boxes and packing peanuts go in the garbage.
  • Dispose of foil/metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and fruit crates in the garbage.
  • Use the Green Bin (organics) for fruit and vegetable scraps, meat including bones, spoiled cakes and cookies.

Never put recycling in black bags or throw black plastics in the Blue Bin (recycling).

As a precaution in response to COVID-19, soiled paper napkins and tissues should be placed in the Garbage Bin and all garbage should be bagged.

For more tips and ideas on how to reduce waste this holiday season, watch for your 2021 waste management calendar in the mail or visit www.toronto.ca/reduce-reuse.

More information about how to properly dispose of holiday items is available at www.toronto.ca/wastewizard.

Toronto Drop-In Network – meal programs udpate

Posted on December 17, 2020

The winter holiday meal list of drop-ins and other meal programs operating between Dec 21, 2020 to Jan 21, 2021 is now available on the Toronto Drop-In Network’s website at https://tdin.ca/resource.php?id=712

The document will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. Please visit the webpage regularly to view the most up to date information.

Planned City of Toronto holiday camps and instructional programs cancelled due to COVID-19

Posted on December 17, 2020

The City of Toronto is cancelling all planned 2020 holiday CampTO camps and winter instructional programs, including Learn-to-Skate and Instructional Ski, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 as Toronto’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise. This decision follows recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the City’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa while Toronto remains in the Grey – Lockdown category of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

The City’s holiday camps were scheduled to run at 30 locations beginning December 21 to align with the winter school break. Approximately 706 participants had registered this year for City holiday camps. This year, there were close to 441 registrations for Learn-to-Skate programs and 4,919 instructional ski spaces. Registration for instructional ski spaces had not yet occurred. The City is issuing refunds automatically to all current camp and Learn-to-Skate registrants. While registrants do not need to request a refund, they can contact pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca with any questions.

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