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.

Survey: City of Toronto – Community-Based Crisis Response

Posted on October 29, 2020

The City of Toronto has launched a survey to understand the public’s priorities for what a community-based crisis response could look like. This survey is anonymous, takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and asks for the general public’s (including service providers) thoughts on the key components of a community-based crisis response program, such as how to access it, who responds, how personal information is used and a complaints process. Input will be used, along with research from other cities, to consider made-in-Toronto options. Deadline for responses is November 9, 2020

SurveyFlyer_CityofToronto_CommunityBasedCrisisResponse

Notice of Intention to Designate 41 Wabash Avenue under Ontario Heritage Act

Posted on October 29, 2020

Decision Body

City Council

Description

Take notice that Toronto City Council intends to designate the lands and building known municipally as 41 Wabash Avenue under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The property at 41 Wabash Avenue is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value, and meets Ontario Regulation 9/06, the provincial criteria prescribed for municipal designation under all three categories of design-physical, historical-associative and contextual value.

Description

Located on the south side of Wabash Avenue, east of Sorauren Avenue, the property at 41 Wabash Avenue is a two-and-a-half storey rectangular-plan, brick-clad volume constructed for the National Equipment Company Ltd. in 1912 in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value

The building, originally known as the National Equipment Company Ltd. and more recently known as J. S. Addison Plumbing, has physical and design value as a representative of an early twentieth-century, industrial warehouse typology.  This is evident in its location on the north edge of the property with no set back, the simple block massing, brick cladding and regular distribution of window openings which is interrupted to accommodate functional requirements such as loading bays and entrances.  Although an industrial form, the building has architectural refinement in the raising of the parapet into a broad pediment on its principal (north) elevation facing Wabash Avenue and in the arrangement of the window openings in a classical manner which features hierarchy and symmetry presented in the double width of the central window aligned with the pediment and flanked by two windows, half its width on either side at both upper levels.

The building has historic value as it is associated with the industrial development of area which was encouraged by location of the railways to the east of this section of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.  The purchase and development of the property at 41 Wabash Avenue in 1911 by the National Equipment Company followed several other industries which located between Sorauren Avenue and the railway line in the triangular area just south of Dundas Street West including the Canada Linseed Oil Mills Ltd on the north side of Wabash Avenue. These industries provided employment for the Roncesvalles neighbourhood to the west and south and to Brockton village to the east.

Contextually, with its century-old materials, composition and form, this industrial block has heritage value as it maintains the industrial character of this eastern section of the historic Roncesvalles neighbourhood. Located to the south-east of Dundas Street West and the railway lines, the neighbourhood has had a continuous mix of low-rise industrial and residential buildings for over 110 years.  The addition of Sorauren Park and the smaller Charles G. Williams Park has added important amenity to the area which will be enhanced by the adaptive re-use of the Canada Linseed Oil building on the north side of Wabash Avenue as a community centre.  The integration of heritage and its adaptive re-use will build on and enhance the richness and variety of the sense of place in this historic and evolving neighbourhood.

Heritage Attributes

The heritage attributes of the property at 41 Wabash Avenue are:

–   The setback, placement and orientation of the industrial warehouse building on the south side of Wabash Avenue

–   The scale, form and massing of the two-and-a-half-storey building including the raised parapet with it gable form on the north elevation

–   The materials including the brick cladding, the stone lintels over the loading bays, the bush-hammered stone sills, the stone blocks set as the top masonry course beneath the top of the windows on the north elevation, and projecting wood window hoods over the second storey windows on the north elevation

–   On the north elevation the arrangement of openings including the wide window openings flanked by two narrower windows at the upper levels, the door at grade and the adjacent opening presumably originally used for loading and now filled in with blocks

–   On the west elevation, at all three levels, the three pairs of long narrow window openings with segmental-arched headers towards the south end (one of the openings has been extended to floor level) and the loading dock opening at the lower level at the north end (filled in) with a single narrow, segmental-arched headed opening above at the upper level

–   The brick clad east elevation and remaining visible window openings

The rear, metal-clad, single-storey addition is not included in the heritage attributes. The south elevation is not included in the heritage attributes as it has been overclad in metal siding.

Notice of an objection to the proposed designations may be served on the City Clerk, Attention:  Ellen Devlin, Administrator, Toronto and East York Community Council, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2, within thirty days of October 27, 2020, which is November 26, 2020. The notice of objection must set out the reason(s) for the objection and all relevant facts.

For More Information Contact

Toronto and East York Community Council
teycc@toronto.ca
Phone: 416-392-7033
Fax: 416-397-0111

Additional Information

Background Information

Notice of Intention to Designate – 41 Wabash Avenue – View

References

2020.TE13.6 – Inclusion on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register and Intention to Designate under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, Alterations to a Heritage Property and Authority to Enter into a Heritage Easement Agreement – 41 Wabash Avenue
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.TE13.6

2020.PB13.2 – Inclusion on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register and Intention to Designate under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, Alterations to a Heritage Property and Authority to Enter into a Heritage Easement Agreement – 41 Wabash Avenue
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.PB13.2

Bloor West Bikeway Construction Update

Posted on October 22, 2020

Project Wide:

  • The Bloor West Bikeway construction is almost complete! Some changes to concrete curbs, bollards, signage, bike parking and pavement markings are still underway.
  • Accessible loading platforms, to make it easier for Wheel Trans and accessible taxis to pick-up and drop-off passengers, are being installed in October.
  • CaféTO installations are planned for removal in November.

Indian Road to Symington Avenue:

  • Bikeway installation has been delayed due to infrastructure upgrades by Toronto Hydro, and road closures elsewhere such as Howard Park Ave that have rerouted buses through the Dundas and Bloor intersection.

Indian Road to Dundas Street West:

  • Bikeway installation is planned for October and November after pavement restoration by Toronto Hydro work is complete. Physical separation is planned for November and December after the pavement markings are installed.

Dundas Street West to Symington Avenue:

  • Toronto Hydro continues to replace their infrastructure underneath the road.  It is expected that this segment will see bikeway pavement markings installed in late November or early December after Toronto Hydro work is complete.
  • The rail bridge is scheduled for rehabilitation in 2021. The work will likely require lane restrictions during construction so physical separation for people cycling will be installed after this work is complete.

Traffic signals and signal timing:

  • Intersection and traffic signal upgrades are planned at the Runnymede Road, Clendenan Avenue, Keele Street, Dundas Street, Dufferin Street and Dovercourt Road intersections to improve safety between people cycling and motorists.
  • Some intersection signage improvements is planned at the Indian Road, Lansdowne Avenue, Brock Avenue and Ossington Avenue intersections to further highlight the new turning restrictions.
  • Traffic signals will be synchronized to facilitate traffic flow on Bloor Street West once all traffic signals are installed.
  • These improvements are planned for installation in November-January.

Please refer to the http://www.toronto.ca/bloorwestbikeway website, under the “Construction Update” tab to find the latest updates on the timeline.

City Manager’s Report, Towards Recovery and Building a Renewed Toronto, to go to Executive Committee October 21

Posted on October 15, 2020

On October 21, a report from Toronto City Manager Chris Murray will go before the City’s Executive Committee. The report outlines the City Manager’s recommendations to best position Toronto for recovery from COVID-19 and its profound health, economic, equity, social and financial impacts on the city.

The report is one in a series of reports to Toronto City Council that outlines actions the City of Toronto has and will undertake to address the challenges of the pandemic, key accomplishments, findings from other jurisdictions, insights from engagements and research, and advice to Council on how the City should move towards recovery and prosperity, amidst this evolving emergency.

The report emphasizes that the City’s continued collaboration with other orders of government to effectively apply taxpayer resources and create the greatest positive impact on shared recovery goals with clear outcomes is essential to recovery. An integrated response to issues, including addressing the social determinants of health, and exploring partnerships with community agencies, academia and the private sector, is also key.

The report offers a path forward towards Toronto’s recovery that includes what the City has learned since the start of the pandemic, with insights from the Toronto Office of Recovery & Rebuild, public health data and advice, engagement findings, financial pressures and sustainability, impacts on equity, intergovernmental relationships, partnerships with the non-profit, private and academic sectors and existing plans, strategies and Council directives.

The Toronto Office of Recovery & Rebuild (TORR) has produced the COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report (appended to the City Manager’s report). The COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report outlines the results of TORR’s work and provides recommendations to the City Manager to support the recovery and rebuild of Toronto communities, organizations, partners and businesses.

TORR was established in April to coordinate a city-wide approach for recovering and rebuilding from COVID-19, informed by public health advice and best practices. The office was led by Mr. Saäd Rafi as Chief Recovery and Rebuild Officer, supported by a public health strategy led by Dr. David Mowat.

Throughout the spring and summer, TORR undertook a broad engagement of stakeholders, residents, communities, businesses, Indigenous communities and City Council members on what is needed to recover and rebuild. TORR also leveraged the subject matter, service and operational expertise from City divisions, agencies and partners.

The resulting COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report from TORR is divided into inter-connected themes including: public health considerations and actions, critical City services; climate change and resilience; equity, vulnerable communities and partnerships; government and financial renewal; business; culture; and inspire Toronto.

The COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report, as well as data from Toronto Public Health, demonstrates the disproportionate impacts COVID-19 has had on racialized and other equity-seeking communities and the deepening concerns arising from inequalities across residents, neighbourhoods and communities. The City Manager’s report emphasizes the need for disaggregated data to inform decision-making while calling for strengthening of the City’s equity and reconciliation infrastructure to ensure this divide closes and is not deepened.

The City Manager’s report outlines how the City will continue to take action towards recovery and building a renewed Toronto in the face of unprecedented financial pressures by making difficult decisions about costs, services, service levels, capital projects, and placing staff on emergency leave, among others. It recommends continued evaluation of which services are delivered and how they are delivered, as well as continued partnerships with other governments, community, academic and business partners, while simultaneously funding the services that will be critical to public health, economic growth, and improving equity.

The report from the City Manager to the City’s Executive Committee is available online.

Toronto Heritage Grant Program – Deadline November 6th, 2020

Posted on October 15, 2020

Since 1986, the Toronto Heritage Grant Program has provided matching grant funds for eligible heritage conservation work to owners of properties that are designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Heritage Grant Program assists property owners repair and retain defining heritage attributes, including masonry, windows, doors, wood detailing, and slate roofs.

More information is available online here. Applications for this year’s Program are due November 6th, 2020.

Call for applications – Open Door program to support building new affordable rental housing

Posted on October 1, 2020

The City of Toronto has released the 2020 Call for Applications for the Open Door program. The program provides an opportunity for private, co-op and non-profit affordable housing organizations to apply for support from the City to create affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income households in Toronto.

The Open Door program encourages private, co-op and non-profit housing organizations to develop affordable housing by providing successful applicants with a range of financial contributions, which could include an exemption of fees, charges or property tax as well as capital funding. Successful Open Door applications also benefit from the Open Door Planning Service which fast-tracks approvals.

The 2020 Open Door application is similar to previous years, but there are changes aimed at providing greater affordable housing benefits. These changes include:

  • The minimum affordability period of 40 years
  • A minimum of 50 per cent of the total buildable gross floor area must now be affordable housing
  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted by the City

The application and full program details are available online.

Key dates in the application process are:

  • October 15, 10:30 a.m. – Online information session
  • October 26, 4:30 p.m. – Last day to submit written questions
  • November 17, 4:30 p.m. – Deadline to submit applications
  • January 2021 – Staff report to Planning and Housing Committee and City Council with recommended projects

The Open Door program was first approved by Council in 2016. To date it has invested $739 million of City financial contributions in affordable housing projects, supporting the creation of more than 8,960 new homes across Toronto. The Open Door program is part of the City’s 10-year housing action plan, HousingTO 2020-2030, which targets assisting more than 341,000 households across the housing spectrum, with actions that include the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes.

ActiveTO major road closures will be extended into October

Posted on October 1, 2020

Major weekend road closures, as part of the popular ActiveTO suite of programs, will be extended into October.

The popular weekend closures have provided space for thousands of people to be physically active, respect physical distancing and contributed to the overall wellbeing of residents. The routes run adjacent to some of Toronto’s busiest and most popular trails where people can walk, run and bike and have helped to reduce virus spread over the summer months.

There were a number of considerations that went into extending the program including recent changes in public health advice to limit contact and keep at least six feet apart from people you don’t live with, as much as possible as well as forecasted warm weather for the early part of month that encourages people to be outside more.

For this weekend, closures will be in place from Saturday, October 3 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, October 4 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

Parking lots at Sunnyside Park, Budapest Park and Sir Casimir Gzowski Park, along Lake Shore Boulevard West, will be closed all weekend during ActiveTO closures. Overnight parking is not permitted in these lots and any vehicles should be moved before midnight on Friday.

Last week, the City announced data that showed an average of approximately 18,000 cyclists used the Lake Shore West closure on warm summer days.

Residents planning to use those roads should access them by bike or as a pedestrian because nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available. ActiveTO weekend closure locations are subject to change based on nearby road restrictions and closures and other considerations.

The City of Toronto delivered at least one ActiveTO major road closure location on approximately 20 consecutive weekends from May to September.

City staff will report back in January 2021 on lessons learned from this year’s ActiveTO programs, including the impacts on traffic, and in consultation with residents and businesses, recommendations for modifications to the program for 2021.

More about ActiveTO, including Major Weekend Road Closures, is at http://www.toronto.ca/activeTO.

Major weekend road closure data from the summer was announced last week at

https://www.toronto.ca/news/updated-data-from-city-of-toronto-activeto-major-road-closures-shows-successful-summer/.

 

Registration of short-term rentals begins in Toronto

Posted on September 10, 2020

On September 10, 2020 the City of Toronto launched a new online registration system for short-term rental operators who rent their homes on a short-term basis for a period of less than 28 consecutive days.

Short-term rental operators must register with the City in order to operate in Toronto. Operators are only allowed to rent their principal residence on a short-term basis. A principal residence is the residence where they live and the address used for bills, identification, taxes and insurance. Registration for short-term rentals must be completed online: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/housing-shelter/rental-housing-standards/short-term-rental/short-term-rental-operators-hosts/.

Registration is a mandatory step to legally rent out homes for short-term stays. A valid City-issued registration number must be included in all advertisements and listings. To continue short-term renting, current operators must be registered by December 31, 2020. Future operators will be able to register on an ongoing basis, but must do so before short-term renting their homes.

When registering online, short-term rental operators need government-issued identification to demonstrate that they are over the age of 18 and to show evidence of principal residence. Only an Ontario Driver’s Licence or Ontario Photo Card that shows the address are accepted. Operators also need to provide the City with information, including:

  • contact information and address;
  • details of the short-term rental, including a description of the type of building in which the rental is located and which parts of the home operators will short-term rent; and
  • the name and telephone number of an alternate (emergency) contact who will be available 24 hours a day during rental periods.

The registration fee of $50 must be paid online using a valid credit card. The registration process is contactless and can be completed in a matter of minutes online.

In Toronto, short-term rentals are regulated by the City’s zoning bylaws and the Licensing and Registration of Short-Term Rentals bylaw:

  • City bylaws permit short-term rentals across Toronto in all housing types in residential zones and the residential components of mixed-use zones.
  • People can short-term rent their principal residence only. This is the residence where they live and where the address is used for bills, identification, taxes or insurance.
  • Both homeowners and renters in any housing type (for example house, apartment, or condominium) are allowed to short-term rent their home.
  • People can rent up to three bedrooms in their principal residence for an unlimited number of nights per year or their entire home for a maximum of 180 nights per year.
  • People can host a short-term rental in a secondary suite (for example, a basement apartment) or a laneway suite, as long as the suite is their principal residence.

The City continues to respond to short-term rental issues on a complaint basis. Residents can contact 311 to report issues related to short-term rentals, such as noise, waste and concerns if others are renting homes that are not their principal residence.

More information about short-term rentals can be found at toronto.ca/ShortTermRentals.

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