Message from Gord – May 7, 2020

Dear Ward 4 residents,

This week is Mental Health Week. As this is a particularly challenging time for many of us, I would like to remind you that if you or someone you know needs help, mental health support and resources are available by calling 211 or visiting http://211toronto.ca.

As per the Province’s amendments to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, community gardens will begin to open this week on a location-by-location basis and allotment gardens will begin to open during the week of May. This will coincide with the resumption of regular yard waste collection. By fully resuming this seasonal collection, gardening and outdoor work will be further enabled. I hope this encourages residents to continue to stay home.

Earlier this week, the Province announced reopening of certain businesses as long as they comply with strict public health measures and open safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. As of Friday all nurseries and garden centres can open and on Saturday hardware stores can fully open. All retail stores with a street entrance can reopen for curb side pickup on Monday. For the latest information, please read the Government of Ontario’s list of essential businesses. Ontario businesses who have questions about the emergency order can call the Province’s toll-free line: 1-888-444-3659.

In addition to loosening restrictions on retail store, the Province is also allowing below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue. I will share more information on the City’s response as it becomes available.

The City announced the new ActiveTO program being developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services to provide more space for people walking and cycling as well as transit riders to allow for better physical distancing as part of the city’s restart and recovery. ActiveTO initiatives include expanding the Cycling Network Plan and creating “Quiet Streets” enabling local car traffic only.

It is critical to our response that people who are homeless and who are ill with COVID-19 have a safe space to recover outside of the shelter system to prevent the spread of infection. As part of City of Toronto’s comprehensive three tier response to COVID-19 for people experiencing homelessness, a second recovery program will open this week and enhanced PPE measures will be in place across the shelter system. The new site has a capacity for up to 250 individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

For accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19, continue visiting toronto.ca/covid-19.

Gord