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50TH ANNUAL FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL UPDATE

 

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We’ve got SOOO MUCH Forsythia Festival news to share! First up though, big shout our to our tireless organizers, Carolyn Jarman, Katie Tozer and Shawna Pereira, who are pulling out all the stops to ensure that the 50th anniversary of the festival is one to remember – despite everything that’s going on!

  • Our Festival ‘Experience Bags’ are a HUGE hit and the orders just keep coming in! Order yours now, before it’s too late at the Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival Shopify store.
  • A big hurrah for our local retailers that have stepped up with loads of coupons, gift cards and more.
  • There’s a fun secret ‘yellow stone’ project for kids going on in Wellesley Park.
  • The Great “Think Spring” House decorating Challenge is starting – this weekend!

Hop on over to our dedicated update page to get the fully skinny on everything ‘Forsythia Festival’.

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CPA 2021 PLANT SWAP PLANNED FOR MAY 16

CPA logoIn 2020 the Cabbagetown Preservation Association couldn’t run the garden tour so they launched a Cabbagetown plant swap. Sadly they can’t do the garden tour this year either, so they are pleased to announce a 2nd Annual Neighbourhood Plant Swap. It’s a safe and sustainable way to celebrate spring and streetscapes and gardens of Cabbagetown.

Mark your calendars and start thinking of anything you need to split, cut or remove from your garden this spring. Houseplant cuttings are also welcome.

Please be sure to provide plant names and care instructions with your contributions. Social distancing and masks required.

Date: Sunday, May 16, Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm  
Locations: 89 Winchester & Winchester Park

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A DOUBLE HELPING OF NEWS FROM GREEN THUMBS

Green Thumbs Growing Kids (GTGK) runs programs in our local school gardens that provide kids of all ages and all backgrounds with a variety of settings such as native/ naturalized plantings, meadow ecosystems, native tree species in their own mini-nurseries, and small-scale agriculture, including production of kid-friendly small fruits and vegetables, aerobic/thermal and worm composting. 

This week Heather Wilberforce from GTGK shared two news items with us:

Their latest blog, entitled “A Special Garden Sign.” 

Details of a special Mother’s Day garden themed gift basket that GTGK has created in celebration of all Mother’s.

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THERE’S STILL SPACE AT CABBAGETOWN FARMERS MARKET

CT Farmers MarketThe organisers of the ever popular Cabbagetown Farmers Market are ramping up for the season in Riverdale Park (Winchester and Sumach) and spaces are still available. If you’re interested just send an email to Katya, the market’s administrator at: katya@riverdaleurbanfarming.ca

Deadline: Friday, April 30th.

 

 

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LOCAL ARCHITECT’S HOME  FEATURED IN THE GLOBE & MAIL

Trevor Wallace’s recent renovation took three months to execute but was in the offing for a full four years, reports Matthew Hague at the Globe and Mail.

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DON’T MESS WITH THE DON – LATEST NEWSLETTER

Logo for Don't mess with the Don

Don’t Mess with the Don was formed to advocate and address specific issues of unrelenting dumping of garbage and debris into the ravines of the Don. 

We just received their April Newsletter to share with you all. 

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SHERBOURNE HEALTH SEEKS BOARD DIRECTORS 

Sherbourne Health logo

We received an email from Cabbagetown resident Marcia Max Vesterfelt Kim: 
Dear Neighbours – if you are seeking an opportunity to help those living in and near our community – please check out this posting with Sherbourne Health. It’s a great opportunity to work with an organization committed to helping people who may have been under-served by conventional health care.

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THINKING ABOUT HARDSCAPING YOUR FRONT YARD? THINK AGAIN

Wallace Immen from the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District Committee shared a recent inquiry from a local resident: 

“Question: Do residents need a permit or other permission to pave over their front lawn/garden area (even if it is not to create a parking space, for which my understating is a permit would definitely be required)?”

The heritage advisory committee responded to the question quite comprehensively.

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LIVE GREEN NEWS – APRIL 2021

Live green news logo

Our friends at Live Green Toronto have issued an Earth Week Special Newsletter in recognition of Earth Day on Thursday April 22.

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HIGH PARK OPEN FOR CHERRY BLOSSOM – BUT THERE’S A CATCH

Toronto mayor John Tory has announced that the cherry blossoms in High Park in 2021 will, unlike 2020, remain open to the public throughout the blooming season  — but there’s a catch, reports Mira Millerat BlogTO.

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CITY TO OFFER MORE VIRTUAL RECREATION PROGRAMS THIS SPRING

TORONTO LOGOToronto will continue to offer virtual recreation programs following what officials called a successful spring break series. The programs are expected to be delivered weekly beginning May 3 and are meant to provide live and interactive activities for children, youth and older adults. There are about 1,000 spaces available. Report by Katherine deClerq at CTV News.

 

 

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THOUGHTS ON GARDEN SUITES? THE CITY WANTS TO HEAR THEM

TORONTO SIGNThe Garden Suites Study is one of several studies that the City Planning Division is leading to expand housing options in Neighbourhoods.

The public consultation process is currently underway with the Garden + Suites Survey. As a next step, City Planning is hosting virtual community consultation meetings where residents can learn more, ask questions, and share comments about Garden Suites.

Meeting Details:

  • Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 – Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2021 – Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2021 – Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The meetings will be Online and phone-in only. To join pre-registration is required.

Additional information about the Garden + Suites study is available at the study website.

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CABBAGETOWN PHOTO CORNER

As we’re still barreling towards the 50th annual Forsythia Festival, we thought our delightful local Forsythia bushes deserved one more kick at the can. This time, delightfully dusted with the recent April 21 snow!  

 

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VACCINE UPDATES

 

TWO LOCAL POP-UP CLINICS NOW OPEN

Two pop-up clinics have opened to serve the hotspot population in the M4X post code. They are located at St. James Town Wellesley Community Centre (WCC) and Regent Park 40 Oaks (Fred Victor). You can book appointments now at these clinic. The web site outlines eligibility criteria.

You can also visit vaccineTO.ca to check for appointments at other clinics. 

 

AN UPDATE FROM  COUNCILLOR WONG TAM

Councillor Wong Tam has also shared a useful pharmacy vaccine tracker. Visit her website to find your closest pharmacy to book your appointment.

 

BLOOD CLOT RISKS LOW VS. OTHER MEDICINES, TRAVEL, SMOKING

“Blood clots are more common with just day-to-day living than they are with any of the vaccines, including AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson said Linda Dresser, an infectious diseases expert and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.” Report by Saba Aziz at Global News. 

 

Forsythia Festival Bag frontThe Forsythia Festival “Experience Bags” are a HUGE hit in the neighbourhood. We have close to 200 bags sold and the orders keep coming in!

Everything you need to celebrate the Forsythia Festival at home can be found in the bag including: Dangling Doughnut DYI Kit, DYI Kite Kit, DYI Window Craft, yellow ribbon to decorate your door, anniversary window sticker, traditional yellow “twizzlers”, yellow chalk for side walk art and four Forsythia themed cake pops from Velvet Lane Cakes

Bag Additions From Our Local Retailers

The generosity of our local businesses never ceases to amaze! Additional adds to the “Experience Bags” include:

  • Coupon for 20% off your next order from Mark at Steak and Chops
  • $10 Gift Card from from F’Amelia
  • $5 Gift Card from Erin at Stout
  • Buy one coffee, get one free from Patti at Epicure
  • 10% off Summer Camp from Buds and Blossoms

We’ve also received a number of prize donations:

  • Gift Basket from Patti at Epicure
  • Gift Basket from Kim at Spruce
  • Gift set from Shawna at Wonderkind
  • 2x $50 Gift cards and t-shirts from Sean at Salt n’ Tobacco

Cycle Solutions and Menagerie are also doing a special Forsythia “Gift with Purchase” while supplies last.

The “Secrete Yellow Stone” project at Wellesley Park

Last week we challenged neighbourhood kids to get creativeForsythia Festival Rocks and leave their mark in the park.

They were asked to find and paint some stones yellow, leave a positive message or some pretty art work on the stones then hide their “Secrete Stone” for others to discover in Wellesley Park.

We had some pretty amazing stones painted so keep your eyes open next time you stroll through Wellesley Park!

This is an ongoing project, so parents…get your kids out there hunting for stones to paint and hide.

The Great “Think Spring” House decorating Challenge

Starting this weekend, we are asking the neighbourhood to get their homes ready for Spring by decorating the outside with the colour YELLOW!

Anything goes, the bolder the better.

Prizes will be awarded so let’s get out there and bring some Spring spirit to Cabbagetown!

Start planning your Forsythia Festival Feast now!

Sunday May, 2nd is the 50th Anniversary of the Forsythia Festival.

In normal times, we would be gathered together in Wellesley Park eating hamburgers from Steak and Chops and sharing a beverage at the beer garden sponsored by Stout.

This year, we are asking the neighbourhood to ORDER IN!

Do your own grilling and pick up burgers from Steak and Chops, order a big batch of wings and beer from Stout! Pasta and wine from Famelia! Pizza and beer from Salt and Tobacco? Drink kit from The House on Parliament? Daniel et Daniel prepared meal? Something spicy from Haldi or The Butter Chicken Factory? Sushi or Ramen from Kibo Sushi, Tokyo Ramen or Kingyo? Dessert from Absolute Bakery, Velvet Lane Cakes, Staj+Co!

With so many options to choose from in Cabbagetown there’s something for everyone! 

The Forsythia Festival is the PERFECT reason to support our local businesses and celebrate all that is Cabbagetown.

Please share your photos and don’t forget to use our hashtags:

#Thinkspring2021
#Forsythiabig50

 

Posted on April 21, 2021

In short, the answer is ‘not very likely’.

We received this update from the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District Committee, in response to a question from a local resident, which asked:

“Do residents need a permit or other permission to pave over their front lawn/garden area (even if it is not to create a parking space, for which my understating is a permit would definitely be required)?”

Their response was:

It’s not just an issue in heritage districts. Paving over front yards is something that is being strongly discouraged for a number of reasons:

Zoning requires a percentage of the front yard to be soft landscaping.    Any alterations to the existing front yard landscaping would need to be submitted to the city for a zoning review, and if variances are identified ( they would be in that case)  then the project would have to go to Committee of Adjustment (CofA).

Paving the entire yard would likely be denied at CofA. It is also environmentally harmful increasing runoff and potentially choking off tree roots.

  1. Part of the front yard probably belongs to the City, since the front property line is not typically at the sidewalk.  The home owner should check their property survey for the location of the front property line.  The section of the front that belongs to the City falls under the jurisdiction of Transportation Services, Right of Way Management.  To do any work on City property – i.e. new fence, new walkway, paving, retaining walls, etc. – let alone parking – you need an encroachment agreement from Transportation;
  2. The part of the front yard between the front wall of the house and the front property line belongs to the home owner BUT it falls under the jurisdiction of the Zoning Bylaw and the Building Department.  Under the Zoning Bylaw you have to maintain a certain % of the front yard for “soft” landscaping – so you cannot pave it over.  The intent of the soft landscaping is to allow storm water runoff to percolate into the ground on your own property, and not on the neighboring property or onto the sidewalk, etc. ;
  3. If there are trees on either the private or city-owned portions of the front yard (or in adjacent yards), then Urban Forestry has jurisdiction of what happens to the ground / landscaping around the tree – the bigger the tree, the more area is involved; and
  4. Since the property is in an HCD, Heritage also has a say in what happens in both the private and City-owned portions of the front yard, re. landscaping, fencing, etc.

In addition: new front yard parking pads are no longer being allowed by the city– if you have a driveway that goes through your front yard to a legal parking space behind the front wall of your house (could be in a side or rear garage or carport), you can park in the driveway in front of the house.  Otherwise, you are not allowed to park in the front yard – either on your own property, or on the City’s right of way.

It is extremely unlikely paving would be permitted.

If it is private property Bylaw 569-2012, 10.5.50.10 Landscaping would apply.  

If it is the City ROW, a walkway that is no more than 1.5m is permitted. Bylaw 743-31 explains this. (Select section 31 in the contents). 

 

 

2021 MARKS THE  FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL’S 50th YEAR!

Since we can’t gather as a group this year to celebrate the arrival of Spring, we wanted to bring the Forsythia Festival to your doorstep!

To make this easy for you, we’ve created limited edition 50th Anniversary “Experience Bags” featuring specially commissioned art work that depicts the Forsythia Festival and the various events held at Wellesley Park.

Each bag includes: DYI dangling doughnut kit, DYI kite kit, tote bag DYI window craft, yellow chalk, 50th Anniversary window sticker, a giant yellow ribbon to hang on your door, four forsythia themed cake pops from Velvet Lane Cakes and two of the ever popular traditional parade twizzlers.

Also offered this year for purchase are limited edition yellow Forsythia Festival t-shirts. So no more excuses for not having anything yellow to wear to the Forsythia Festival!

Purchases of both can be made on the Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival Shopify store.

Forsythia king and queenApril has been declared Forsythia Festival Spirit Month! Keep an eye on the various CRA Social media platforms, as we will be running weekly contests and challenges.

Instagram: @torontocraboard

Facebook: @cabbagetowner

Real prizes will be handed out so get out there and help bring some much needed Spring Spirit to Cabbagetown!

Don’t forget to hashtag any photos you post with: #Thinkspring2021 #ForsythiaBig50

Let’s embrace this month as a neighbourhood and neighbours and make this the BEST (distanced) Forsythia Festival celebration we can.

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NEW  STAY AT HOME ORDER TRASHES CRA SPRING CLEAN-UP 

garbage bagFollowing this weeks announcement by Premier Ford, the CRA Spring Clean-up event will be postponed to another date.  While we were confident this event could be run safely with good observance of physical distancing there is no way we could, in good conscience, continue with it, in the face of these new restrictions.  The CRA thanks all those who planned to participate today and hope that we can share a rescheduled date with you in the near future. 

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INSURING OUR HERITAGE DESIGNATED HOMES

The CRA recently received an email from Wallace Immen, Chair of the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District Advisory Committee (CHCD).

It reports that some homeowners are finding that home insurance is becoming an issue, as insurers seem to be worrying about the liability of a heritage designation. You can read more about it here.

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“A NEW BEGINNING” ARTWALK PRESENTED BY THE CABBAGETOWN BIA

A New Beginning is an art walk across Cabbagetown featuring the workcabbagetown graphic of a selection of local, notable artists. Centered around the themes of community, hope, and rejuvenation, these works are meant to inspire and bring our community together. This community art event, is brought to us by our local BIA and will run through to late Spring.

 

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SPRUCECOURT CO-OP SEEKS NEW PROPERTY MAINTENANCE WORKER

Spruce Court is a non-profit housing provider that owns and manages 77 apartments in ten low-rise buildings in Cabbagetown.  They are currently seeking to fill a permanent position of Maintenance Worker who must be on-call after business hours if there is a Maintenance emergency. They are seeking a self-motivated, responsible and tolerant individual who demonstrates a broad-based experiential skill set in building maintenance. The ideal candidate will have an aptitude for learning and development given our unique historical buildings and building systems. Click here to view the full job description, required qualifications, and instructions on how to apply. No phone calls please!

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LIVE GREEN NEWS – APRIL 2021

Here’s the latest update from Live Green Toronto 

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CABBAGETOWN PHOTO CORNER

Don’t forget, if you have a photo to share, email it to us along with a caption and/or some background info. info@cabbagetowner.com 

This week, what else but a few snaps of Forsythia:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RULES FOR TORONTO UNDER THE NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER

Ontario’s new 28 day stay-at-home order started this week, with changed-up rules regarding what people in Toronto can and cannot do. Lauren O’Neil at BlogTO provides an overview of what’s what.

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CITY COUNCIL APPROVES EXPANDED ActiveTO PROGRAM

April 7 – Today, Toronto City Council approved the return of a more flexible and expanded ActiveTO program in 2021. Major Weekend Road Closures will return and include opportunities to expand or adapt locations and dates to support communities as well as planned construction. The cycling network will also be expanded through a new complete street pilot project along midtown Yonge Street.

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CHILDREN AND COVID VACCINES. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

While in the initial two waves of COVID-19 cases among children and adolescents were low, the recent surge of variants could change who contracts the virus in Canada, reports Christy Somos at CTV News.

 

Posted April 7, 2021

The CRA received the following email from Wallace Immen, Chair of the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District Advisory Committee (CHCD): 

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Hello All, 

Insurance is becoming an issue as insurers seem to be worrying about the liability of a heritage designation. The Globe and Mail will be doing a story about  insurance being denied on the basis of heritage designation in Cabbagetown.

Here’s what we’ve been able to find out. You might want to post this on your websites/ blogs:

 

Insuring Homes in a Heritage Conservation District

The Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District Advisory Committee has been hearing from home owners in the HCD that they have recently had difficulty renewing their replacement-value home insurance policies and some have faced delays or higher rates in obtaining insurance coverage from another insurer. The insurance brokers clam the issue is the heritage designation.

We have been in touch with the city and Heritage Preservation Services, which says the issue is a misunderstanding by insurance agencies of the rules of heritage preservation. Heritage buildings should not face higher premiums because of designation.

Kristen Flood of HPS  explains:

“We have had instances where insurers believe that properties located within HCDs must be reconstructed in their original form if they are subject to fire or substantial demolition; this misconception may result in higher premiums or increased replacement value estimates. This is not correct, however; reconstruction of the original house is not required under the Cabbagetown HCD Plans. New houses may be built of contemporary materials and to a contemporary design that is sympathetic and compatible with the character of the neighbourhood.

Here is a link to an info-sheet prepared by the province regarding insurance and heritage properties.”

 

Some of The Significant Items on This Info Sheet:

Will heritage designation make my property insurance premiums go up?

Your premiums should not go up as a result of a heritage designation. A variety of other reasons cause insurance companies to increase premiums for older buildings if there is a higher level of risk, such as services (out-dated wiring, old heating systems, etc.). In fact, some companies do not insure buildings over a certain age. Designation itself, however, does not place additional requirements on the insurer and therefore should not affect your premiums.

What happens if a building is destroyed by fire, or some other accident? Would it have to be rebuilt as it was?

The intent of designation is to preserve the historic, physical, contextual or other community heritage value of a property. If a building on a heritage property is completely or partially destroyed, the designation by-law does not oblige the owner to replicate any lost heritage attributes. A replacement building, for example, can be of a different design.

What if I want the original features of my property to be replicated in case of damage?

if this is what you want, make sure you’re properly covered. Insurance coverage for this depends on the degree of risk you and your insurance company are prepared to share. The age, quality and condition of your building will affect what coverage is available and the premium charged. “Replacement cost” coverage requires prior insurance appraisal of the building. It generally provides for the property to be repaired or replaced with like kind and quality up to the amount stated in the policy.

APRIL 10 = CRA SPRING CLEAN-UP. PLEASE JOIN US

Riverdale Park signageCalling all Cabbagetowners! 

Spring is in the air and it’s once again time to reclaim our parks and green spaces from that layer of winter garbage.  Every year the CRA organizes a community wide Spring cleanup and your help this year is more urgent than ever, as last year’s event was cancelled due to the onset of COVID-19. 

Please mark your calendars for Saturday April 10th.  Volunteers should assemble at either the Wellesley Park splash pad or the top of the stairs at Riverdale Park West any time after 10:00 am. 

In accordance with Covid-19 protocols we encourage everyone to wear masks at all times and practice physical distancing throughout. The CRA will provide collection bags, rubber gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks, as needed.  This is a family event, open to all ages, and we encourage kids to attend to foster a message of community responsibility.  We also encourage the adult volunteers to assist in the areas beyond the park boundaries to really attack the accumulated trash at our fringes. 

Trash bags can be left alongside the city bins for collection by the Toronto Sanitation.  We look forward to your involvement on April 10th!

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STANLEY’S VARIETY TAGGED WITH ANTI-ASIAN GRAFFITI
Stop racism image
Image courtesy of Freepik.com

Rick Matthews from the Cabbagetown BIA reported on Wednesday that the Gou Family, who own and operate Stanley’s Variety (at Ontario and Gerrard), had their building tagged with anti-Asian Graffiti. As you would expect they were shaken up and saddened by the hatred directed towards them. 

The BIA delivered flowers from the community to the Gou Family  and planned to paint over the  graffiti on the north side of their store this week. 

The BIA thanked the Moss Park Community Officers from 51 Division who were quick to respond. Special thanks go to Staff Sargent Henry Dyck, who went over the same evening to start to paint over the hateful graffiti. 

 Racism is not welcome in our neighbourhood. The BIA and the CRA encourage residents to stop by Stanley’s Variety to say hello, show support for the Gou family’s small business and let them know that they are a vital and welcome part of our community.  

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HAVE YOU HEARD OF ‘DON’T MESS WITH THE DON’?

Logo for Don't mess with the DonDon’t mess with the Don describes itself as a group of nature-loving granola munching Torontonians that spend a good deal of their free time enjoying the vast trail system that we are lucky to have in the middle of our great city.  To this end, they feel great pain when they come across abuse and disdain for the trails and ecosystem and have formed a group to advocate and address specific issues of unrelenting dumping of garbage and debris into the ravines.

Interested in learning more or helping out? Sign up for news updates.

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CABBAGETOWN RESIDENT BRINGS VACCINE TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

“The pilot won’t let you on the plane if you’re not dressed for survival”: This Toronto doctor travelled to Northern Ontario to vaccinate people in fly-in Indigenous reserves. Article and photo care of Toronto Life.

 

 

 

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CRIME REPORT INFOGRAPHIC FROM 51 DIVISION

This handy infographic on how to report a crime arrived in our inbox just in time for this week’s newsletter. Thanks to Staff Sargent Henry Dyck at 51 Division for sending it in. 

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CABBAGETOWN PHOTO CORNER

Don’t forget, if you have a photo to share, email it to us along with a caption and/or some background info. info@cabbagetowner.com 

This week we have two more photos with caption from CRA board member Lise Flynn:

Park snacks

Spring has Sprung…and it’s Open Season for Park Snacks.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream & then some!
Tues- Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun. 10am-5pm.

park snacks frontage

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TORONTO SEEKS RESIDENTS INPUT ON GARDEN + SUITES INITIATIVE

street scape drawingThe Garden + Suites project is one of several studies that the City of Toronto is leading through its Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative. A Garden Suite is a detached housing unit, usually located in the rear yard, and is separate, or detached from the main house. Garden Suites, like Laneway Suites, are generally smaller than the main house on the lot and are intended to function as a rental housing unit.

Find out more about this city housing initiative and share your thoughts in the residents survey on the idea of Garden + Suites.

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CITY LINKS FOR VACCINE BOOKINGS – NOW 70 AND OVER

This online resource from the City helps people who are looking to clarify where vaccines are being offered and who is eligible.

If you (or a loved one) are 70 or older, (YES – the City of Toronto COVID-19 immunization clinic appointments are available to seniors age 70 and older starting March 27) the time to book your appointment is now. While registrations reached 100 per cent capacity during the first week of City-run clinic operations, more bookings are available following the initial booking rush, in addition to additional clinic capacity and increased vaccine supply.

Booking an Appointment
There are several options to book an appointment at a City-operated clinic or at a preferred hospital. The easiest ways for eligible seniors to book appointments are:
•       Online (City-operated clinics 
•       Phone (City-operated clinics): 1-888-999-6488 
•       Online (hospital clinics)
•       Phone (hospital clinics): 1-888-385-1910

For those not sure which clinic location is most convenient or looking for directions, a map of vaccination options in Toronto is on the City’s COVID-19: Vaccine Clinic Locations webpage. 

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ActiveTO RETURNS, PLUS YONGE STREET CYCLE PILOT 

TORONTO LOGOThe City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee today approved a staff report on ActiveTO recommending the return of Major Weekend Road Closures as well as a complete street pilot project along a section of Yonge Street to support the local economy and CaféTO with an expansion of the temporary ActiveTO cycling network.

The report, which will now be considered by Toronto City Council starting on Wednesday, April 7 identifies key findings and outcomes from the 2020 ActiveTO program.

ActiveTO was introduced in May 2020 as a quick-start COVID-19 response program. It was designed to provide more space for people to practise physical distancing while outside, support the overall wellbeing of residents and to quickly connect and expand Toronto’s cycling network by installing safe, separated temporary bike routes that mirror major transit lines.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RED AND GREY ZONES IN ONTARIO

With Toronto entering a newly-modified form of the same colour zone under the provincial government’s reopening framework this past weekend, people are starting to lose track of what these colour levels even mean, reports Lauren O’Neil at BlogTO.

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HAD COVID? ONE DOSE OF VACCINE MAY BE ENOUGH 

Scientists at the National Advisory Committee on Immunization are reviewing research that suggests people who have been infected with COVID-19 can turbocharge their antibodies with just one dose of a vaccine, reports Hina Alam at the Canadian Press.

 

LOCAL/CITY NEWS

 

CRA NEWSLETTER MOVING TO BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION

It was almost a year ago that we switched up to weekly publication of the CRA Newsletter to help Cabbagetown residents navigate the strange times we had all entered – and oh my, how strange they turned out to be!

Now the trials and tribulations of the last 12 months are slowly moving into the rear view mirror, it seems like a good time to move the Newsletter to biweekly from this issue onwards. 

If you have ideas on content that you would like to see more (or less) of, please share your thoughts with us at info@cabbagetowner.com.

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RACIST ABUSE REPORTED IN CABBAGETOWN

A local resident had informed us that their partner was the subject of a verbally abusive and racist attack in Cabbagetown this Thursday just before 1:30pm. 

A man followed her from a block west of Riverdale West Park on Winchester Street to Jet Fuel coffee on Parliament. He was carrying a racist anti-Asian/Chinese sign saying something to the effect of ‘Go Home’ on one side and “Asian girls stop taking pics of me…”  on the other to obscure his face for pictures. He was talking to her while following to try and make her stop and read his sign, she walked as quickly as possible to keep her distance.  

Two very helpful men and others stepped in at Jet Fuel and eventually forced the man to leave and the victim was escorted home.

The man in question was described as a white middle-aged male, balding, heavy framed, average height.  He had a yellow sign he was carrying with him.  He was wearing a Realtree sweatshirt and grey sweatpants.  If you have photos or information about this individual please contact the police.

The incident has been reported to Police at 51 Division.

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TWO LOCAL BAKERIES GET SHOUT OUT FROM BlogTO

Congratulations to Velvet Lane Cakes and Staij & Co. for making the shortlist of 15 bakeries in Toronto making beautiful cakes. 

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LIVE GREEN NEWS – MARCH EDITION

Find out what our friends at Live Green Toronto are focusing on this month in the latest issue of Live Green News.

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DON’T FORGET THE CLOCKS ‘SPRING’ FORWARD THIS WEEKEND

Yes it’s that time of year, when we lose an hour’s sleep on Sunday morning. Ever wanted to know a bit about the background to this  biannual time change? The Daily Hive provides some insights.

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CITY LAUNCHES POTHOLE REPAIR BLITZ THIS SATURDAY

The City of Toronto is launching its first pothole repair blitz on March 13 to repair as many potholes as possible on Toronto’s major roads, neighbourhood streets, and expressways.

City crews have performed proactive daily patrols throughout the winter months to help keep Toronto’s roads in a state of good repair. This Saturday marks the first weekend with favourable enough weather conditions for a pothole repair blitz – daytime temperatures are expected to be above zero with dry roads.

Residents who are driving or biking for essential travel on Saturday are advised to expect minor delays. The public is asked to be safe by respecting work zones and giving crews space while they make repairs.

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PLANS TO REVITALISE WATERFRONT AT BASE OF PARLIAMENT ST.

Lakefront view
Rendering of waterfront park at end of Parliament Street

A swath of land along Toronto’s eastern waterfront previously abandoned by Sidewalk Labs will soon be getting an entirely new look.

Waterfront Toronto released their vision for the 12 acres of land on Wednesday as they announced the launch of an international competition to find a developer to undertake the project. Report by Laura Hanrahan at Toronto Urbanized.

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DRIVERS LICENCE RENEWAL EXTENSION REMAINS IN EFFECT

It’s been over a year since the province introduced an extension on renewing Ontario driver’s licences, and the extension remains in place.

Documents that expired on or after March 1, 2020 remain valid and legal, until further notice, including licence plate stickers, driver’s licences, Ontario photo cards and accessible parking permits.

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CABBAGETOWN PHOTO CORNER

This week we are starting a new segment, highlighting photos of Cabbagetown by Cabbagetown folk. If you have a photo to share, email it to us along with a caption and/or some background info. info@cabbagetowner.com 

We kick things off with two photos, accompanying captions and a backgrounder from CRA board member Lise Flynn:

Photo of cow at Riverdale Farm
You talkin’ to me? Then who the heck else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me?

“I miss visiting Riverdale Farm and can’t wait until we are re-united once again. Here’s a little bit of farm history for those that don’t know it. Between 1888 and 1974, this was the site of the Riverdale Zoo. The zoo began with the donation of deer by Toronto Alderman Daniel Lamb. In 1974 the zoo relocated to a much larger facility in Scarborough and became the Toronto Zoo. In 1978, Riverdale Farm opened on the west bank of the Don River adjacent to Riverdale Park. The main barn was first constructed in 1858 in Markham and moved to the present site and rebuilt in 1977. The farm specializes in pioneer breeds of farm animals that are hard to find on commercial farms.”

Horse
Old Cabbagetown-Had a Farm- Ee i ee i o. Ringo-“Do you like my Bangs”? Daphne- “Do you like my #PhotoBomb”?

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PANDEMIC UPDATES

Just under 12 months ago we also started to include Coronavirus related news in the CRA Newsletter. Hopefully we are through the worst of it by now, so we have  decided to wind down our  dedicated pandemic updates section. Going forward we’ll fold any related items into the main newsletter.  

 

 

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LOCAL/CITY NEWS

 

OUR HOLIDAY LIGHTS WENT ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…!

Cabbagetown Family
Alison, Ryan and Lola Slight, Spruce Street

With Spring now firmly on the horizon, we want to thank everyone for heeding our call to keep their holiday lights twinkling a little longer this challenging winter season and also thank you all for participating in the 2020 Holiday Lights Competition.  It was the most successful year for the competition to date, with an amazing 17 homes nominated across Cabbagetown and a record 2,300 votes cast, from all over the city, country and globe, as word spread enthusiastically!  We celebrate the broad exposure that it gives to our neighbourhood.  A special (and somewhat belated!) congratulations to the Slight family from Spruce St.  who were this year’s winners, garnering just over a third of the total vote.  We look forward to everyone’s participation in next year’s competition!

 

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LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS PUT IRV GASTRO PUB AT RISK 

Regan Irvine, the owner of Cabbagetown’s Irv Gastro Pub and part-owner of the bar Super Bargain released a public letter on Wednesday evening calling out Premier Ford, Mayor Tory, and Dr. Eileen de Villa for prohibiting dine-in, report by Tanya Mok at BlogTO.

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DIXON HALL WANTS TO HEAR YOUR VOICE

Dixon Hall’s Rooming House Project Team, has put together a community survey to better understand and define what is important for the Cabbagetown community. Your feedback will be important for helping Dixon Hall plan out future community services and offerings, while enhancing community culture and well-being. 

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LOCAL MPP SUPPORTS AMMENDMENT TO CANNABIS ACT 

MPP Suze Morrison wants to give cities more say on cannabis retail licensing through Bill 235 which amends the Cannabis Licensing Act. You can find out more on Suze Morrison’s web site.   

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CATALYTIC CONVERTOR THIEVES TARGETING CABBAGETOWN

A Cabbagetown resident posted on Life in Cabbagetown that her car’s catalytic converter and oxygen sensor had been cut out a few nights ago. Apparently it can be done very quickly and thieves often do more than one car to make it worthwhile, she reports. Our investigations show that these sorts of thefts are on the rise, unfortunately.

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IN MEMORIAM – GERRY GRAVES

From the Cabbagetown BIA:

It’s with a heavy heart that we share the news that Gerry Graves of RE:Print on Parliament St. passed away on February 16th. His obituary appeared on the Globe and Mail last weekend.

Gerry was a lifelong entrepreneur. He founded two companies, Re:Action Marketing Services in 1977 and Re:Print Copy and Printing in 1978, both of which have served a wide range of clients here in North America and in Europe over the past 40 years.

Beyond being a businessman, Gerry was a great supporter of our community, his friends, and his family and he truly enjoyed helping others. He sat on the boards of the BIA and the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, while also contributing to a number of other community causes; Re:Print has been a long-time sponsor of Blair’s Run.

He was a kind, sincere, and generous man.

Please take a moment to leave a message here. Those who wish to remember Gerry with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Trauma and Neurosurgery Program Patient Comfort Fund at the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation.

Our sincere condolences to his family, friends and the entire Re:Print family.

Gerry will truly be missed, but never forgotten.

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TORONTO SPEED CAMERAS ARE ON THE MOVE AGAIN 

The City of Toronto’s 50 Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) devices will begin rotating to the third round of locations in May to reduce speeding at more areas with safety concerns. New locations in our neighbourhood are:

  • Homewood Avenue, near Maitland Place
  • Parliament Street, north of Oak Street 

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LEARN HOW TO COMPOST – ON-LINE!

Local Charity Green Thumbs is running a FREE virtual workshop on March 15 covering why and how to bring your soils to life indoors and out. Explaining how healthy compost helps our planet in three ways for a WIN WIN WIN.

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CABBAGETOWN SOUTH – SPRING NEWSLETTER

Our counterparts in the Cabbagetown South Resident’s Association just issued their Spring 2021 Newsletter for everyone to enjoy.

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CITY TO REVIEW NATURAL GARDEN PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS

Do you think residents in Toronto should be able to grow a natural garden without applying for a permit? Share your point of view by March 31.

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BEWARE – RACCOON BITES ARE ON THE RISE IN T.O.

City officials are warning residents to avoid contact with raccoons after an uptick in reported raccoon-related injuries.

Between January 2020 and February 2021, Toronto Public Health saw a 62 per cent increase in reports of people bitten or scratched by raccoons compared to the two-year average between the years 2018 and 2019, reports CBC News.

Read the City news release about the issue

More about dealing with City wildlife from the City of Toronto. 

 

PANDEMIC UPDATES

 

TORONTO MOVES TO GREY ZONE ON MONDAY

Toronto and Peel Region will move into the grey zone of the province’s COVID-19 reopening framework Monday, lifting the stay-at-home order and allowing some businesses to open their doors for the first time since last November, reports Sean Davidson at CTV News.

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MAJOR UPDATE IN VACCINE ROLL-OUT TIMING

An update on Ontario’s vaccination timeline has been released showing details on who can expect a vaccine as part of Phase 2, including, but not limited to, secondary and elementary school staff, seniors 60 and up and COVID hotspots, reports Lucas Casaletto at 680 News. 

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WHY CANADA IS DELAYING THE SECOND DOSE OF VACCINES 

Experts say efficacy of 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose is a ‘game changer,’ but critics call delay an ‘experiment, reports Adam Miller at CBC News.

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PHARMACIES WILL SOON ADMINISTER COVID-19 VACCINES

Ontario pharmacists will soon be able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine after the Ford government signed an agreement to harness the reach of 4,600 pharmacies across the province, reports Colin D’Mello at CTV News.

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MAP SHOWING DIFFERENT RESTRICTION LEVELS ACROSS ONTARIO

The most recent colour coded framework helps Ontarians navigate the rules, restrictions, and zones for every region throughout the province based on how they are faring with the virus. This handy interactive map visually helps you understand the designation for each region.  

 

CITY/LOCAL NEWS

 

CSRA PRESENTATION ON HOW TO RESEARCH HISTORIC HOMES

This Sunday, Cabbagetown South Residents Association is running a free virtual presentation on everything you need to know about researching your home’s history. 

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SPRUCECOURT SCHOOL COUNCIL NEWS

This just in from our friends at Sprucecourt School. 

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WELCOMING NEW SHELTERS INTO COMMUNITIES

We received this email from the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration. The City is inviting local residents to share their perspectives about its community engagement process – what works well, and what can be improved. 

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SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE 127 STRACHAN AVENUE

A concerned citizen reached out to us this week to ask for support of a petition started by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s Toronto Branch to save 127 Strachan Avenue from demolition. Yes, it’s not exactly in Cabbagetown but who best to help save an historic building than us Cabbagetowners!

Here’s some more depth on the story from BlogTO.

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LOCALICIOUS AT 75 T.O. RESTAURANTS – ON NOW THRU MAR. 7.

A network of restaurants across Canada including 75 in Toronto are doing reasonably priced prix fixe menus next week in an effort to raise money for charity and support local, reports Amy Carlberg at BlogTO.

Cabbagetown restaurant Haldi is on the list too!

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22 THINGS TO DO AROUND THE HOME/ CITY THIS MARCH

To help pass the final few weeks of chilly weather, here’s a list of virtual events to socially-distanced outings, to amazing stuff you can do at home. A round-up from Curiocity.  

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TORONTO RAMPS UP AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM

The City of Toronto has drafted a report recommending the creation of 971 affordable units across 15 new developments, which will be sent to City Council for approval, reports Laura Hanrahan at Daily Hive/ Urbanized. 

Read the City News Release.

Proposed locations include 130 River Street (at Dundas St E) and 393 Dundas St E. (at Ontario).

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WHAT TO WATCH IN MARCH

NOW Toronto provides a round up on new stuff to watch on Crave, Amazon Prime and Netflix in March. 

 

PANDEMIC UPDATES

 

LATEST VACCINATION SCHEDULE FROM RET. GEN. RICK HILLIER

An online portal for booking appointments for COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario is set to launch on March 15, the head of the province’s immunization task force said Wednesday, but it will likely be months longer before many people are able to get a reservation.

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LOSS OF TASTE AND SMELL CAN LAST FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS

A preliminary study involving 813 Quebec health-care workers who tested positive for COVID-19 has shown that people with the coronavirus could lose their sense of smell and taste for up to five months, reports Tom Yun at CTV News. 

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COVID-19 POSITIVITY RATE DOWN 18-FOLD IN LTC HOMES

680 News reports that weekly positivity rates at long term care homes has dropped from nearly 11 percent during early November to 0.6 percent by the week of February 7. Dr. Eileen de Villa says the numbers show “the power of vaccines”. 

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ALL IN-PERSON EVENTS CANCELLED UP TO CANADA DAY

Toronto residents who were hoping to see most public health restrictions lifted and a return to some version of normal by the summer will be disappointed to learn that the city has officially cancelled all in-person, city-run and city-approved events until at least July 1, reports Mira Miller at BlogTO.

Read the City News Release.

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GOT ZOOM FATIGUE? SCIENCE HAS A REASON FOR THAT

An influx of virtual meetings might not be the only factor causing “Zoom fatigue” in potentially millions of people during the pandemic. The very design of video-conferencing apps could be wiping you out too, according to a group of U.S. researchers, reports Jonathan Forani at CTV News.

 

 

CITY /LOCAL NEWS

 

CONCERNS ABOUT POT STORE ON WELLESLEY REJECTED BY AGCO

The CRA received an approval notice this week, regarding the contested Cannabis Retail Store application at 307 Wellesley Street East. It states:

“After carefully considering all of the available information, the Registrar has determined that issuance of the cannabis Retail Store Authorization for the above noted premises is not contrary to the public interest.”

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SJTCA SEEKS VOLUNTEER TREASURER TO JOIN BOARD

St. James Town Community Arts (formerly Reaching Out Through Music), a small charitable organization based in St. James Town, is looking for a Volunteer Treasurer to join its board. A financial background is essential (CPA preferred). Here’s the job description.

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DIXON HALL URGENTLY SEEKING VOLUNTEERS

Dixon Hall urgently needs weekday volunteers for its Meals on Wheels program (runners and drivers) to deliver meals to its homebound Seniors. This follows an 80% reduction in volunteers and a 30% increase in demand for services due to the pandemic. If you can help please email them at volunteer@dixonhall.org.  

(Full COVID safety protocols are in place for all volunteers.)

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LOCAL FURNITURE SUPPLIERS GET THE NOD

Congratulations to Parliament Street Furniture and Eclectisaurus (on Gerrard) for being included in Narcity’s recent round-up of 7 Toronto furniture stores that sell trendy home pieces at affordable prices. 

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YOUR VERY OWN CABBAGETOWN NEWS SOURCES

We’ve heard from a few people recently that they didn’t know about some of the very useful local news sources in our neighbourhood. So here’s a list, for anyone that might be missing out:
Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Review – Doug Fisher’s excellent weekly email/blog about news and events in the area
Cabbagetown BIA newsletter – Our local Business Improvement Area newsletter
Parliament St. News – Local news and events around Parliament Street

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RYERSON MBA STUDENT IDENTIFIES SHELTER CLUSTERING

Brandon Arkinson has used the city’s ‘open data initiative portal’ to  identify a clustering of homeless shelters in 3 main areas – the Downtown Core and two locations in Scarborough. His analysis shows that 26 neighbourhoods are shouldering 98% of the city’s shelter capacity while 107 neighbourhoods maintain no capacity whatsoever. Many of these 26 neighbourhoods have high levels of COVID-19 and poverty. Check out Brandon’s interactive neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood map.

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IS COMFORT FOOD KEEPING TORONTO RESTAURANTS AFLOAT?

Comfort food is back in a big way, but the chicken sandwich revolution is forcing restaurants to rethink more than the menu, reports Kelsey Adams at NOW Toronto.

 

PANDEMIC UPDATES

 

GOOD NEWS FOR 14.5 MILLION CANADIANS!

The federal government has released an updated COVID-19 vaccination timeline, showing that at least 14.5 million Canadians will be immunized by the end of June with the approved Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna shots. Report by Rachel Aiello at CTV News.

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WHO’S NEXT IN LINE FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINE?

Ahead of the anticipated arrival of more COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, the province has now confirmed who will be prioritized next for its vaccination program, reports Codi Wilson at CP24/CTV News.

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PREPARING FOR THE VACCINE – CONSIDER AVOIDING PAINKILLERS

Medical professional don’t recommend taking pills like Tylenol and Advil near time of vaccination, saying some common painkillers could blunt the effect of the vaccine, reports Amina Zafar at CBC News.

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LOCAL SCIENTIST THAT DISCOVERED mRNA LOOKS TO FUTURE

“It’s likely we’ll see another pandemic in the next 20 years”: The Toronto scientist who invented the Covid vaccine technology says we need to prepare for the next virus. Interview by Courtney Shea at Toronto Life.

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