Issues

CANADA FOLLOWS W.H.O. REGARDING AEROSOL TRANSMISSION 

In a significant departure from its previous advice, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) now says the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through small airborne droplets, reports Ryan Flanagan, CTV News.

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UPDATE FROM LOCAL KIDS CHARITY

Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a local charity actively creating school food gardens in order to connect children to food and their environment. They reached out to the CRA to share an update on their activities.

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NEW COLOUR CODING SYSTEM FOR BUSINESS REOPENING

The Provincial government has unveiled a new tiered system for COVID-19 restrictions allowing most businesses to reopen albeit with earlier closing times, stricter capacity limits and mandatory symptom screenings, reports Chris Fox, CP24.

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TORONTO SAYS NO TO CLEARING SNOW OFF SIDEWALKS

If ever there were a winter in need of safe, accessible outdoor walking spaces, this would be the one — you know, because of the pandemic and the fact that we’re not supposed to gather indoors, reports Lauren O’Neil at BlogTO.

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CITY LAUNCHES GEORGE ST. REVITALIZATION PROJECT

The City of Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) have issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the George Street Revitalization project, which will reinvent the northernmost block of George Street (between Dundas Street East and Gerrard Street East).

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SPEED CAMERAS BEING MOVED

The City’s 50 automated speed cameras are all being moved. The two in Cabbagetown are moving to:

  • Sherbourne Street, south of Wellesley Street East
  • Berkeley Street, south of Gerrard Street East

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COPING THROUGH COVID

Ken Shaw at CTV News leads a conversation on mental health during the pandemic.

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FEDS NOW RECOMMEND THREE LAYER MASKS

The Public Health Agency of Canada has updated its recommendations on non-medical face masks with the country’s top doctor now suggesting Canadians wear coverings that are made of three layers including a filter, reports Brooklyn Neustaeter at CTV News.

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NEW RULES FOR RE-OPENING TORONTO’S GYMS

It’s been a long 25 days without gyms, movie theatres, indoor dining and more in Toronto since Doug Ford’s and his team plunged the city back into a modified version of Stage 2 lockdown back in early October, reports Becky Robertson at BlogTO.

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ARE DINING DOMES SAFE?

Ontatrio restaurant owners unable to offer indoor dining options thought they had a way around the dilemma of keeping customers coming by during the colder months: outdoor dining domes or bubbles. But new rules question whether these igloo-like pods are safe, reports Monica Warzecha at healthing.ca. 

FORD PRESSES HEALTH EXPERTS FOR GUIDANCE ON RE-OPENING 

Ford has asked the province’s health experts to come up with a plan to allow more businesses to reopen in the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 after a 28-day period of tighter public health restrictions expires next month. 

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5 WAYS THE PANDEMIC IS AFFECTING MENTAL HEALTH

In addition to its staggering impact on physical well-being and mortality, COVID-19 is also taking an unprecedented toll on our mental health.

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MOTION APPROVED TO CAP COMMISSIONS ON FOOD DELIVERY. 

Motion requests that the Province to implement temporary cap on commissions for food service delivery companies.

Many of these services charge restaurants 30% or more for delivery.  So it’s always best to do pick-up when you can, to help out local restaurants make ends meet.

In related news. City partnership with Ritual helps more than 1,000 local businesses with free delivery until November 8.

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CITY LAUNCHES MoveTO TO ADDRESS CONGESTION

The plan includes “Smart” traffic signals, “Intelligent” intersections, and Advanced Transit Signal Priority (ATSP), reports Jessica Patton at Global News. 

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DR. TAM IDENTIFIES THREE PRIORITIES

Dr. Tam has 3 things she wants action on as Canada moves forward from COVID-19, reports Lisa Belmonte at Narcity. 

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STUDY SHOWS LOW VITAMIN D  IN COVID PATIENTS 

More than 80 per cent of COVID-19 patients at a Spanish hospital had vitamin D deficiency: study shows, reports Jackie Dunham, CTV News

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CITY APPROVES EXTENDED PATIO PROGRAM

Winter patios in Toronto are one step closer to becoming a reality after City council unanimously approved the extension of sidewalk patios through the winter months this week, reports Michael Ranger at City News.

 

CITY DELIVERS FIRST MODULAR SUPPORTIVE HOUSING

Toronto’s first modular housing facility in Scarborough is one step closer to opening for occupancy as the first of the homes were installed this week, reports Ainsley Smith at Toronto Storeys.

Read the City News Release about this new initiative.

Update: City supportive housing project gets $203 million federal investment

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FLYING DURING THE PANDEMIC. SAFE OR NOT? 

Two new reports are painting quite different pictures about the risk of air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, says Brooklyn Neustaeter at CTV News.

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HALLOWE’EN’S CANCELLED BUT THERE’S A SILVER LINING.

Halloween celebrations may be cancelled for the most part in Toronto for 2020, but at least that means you’ll be home to catch a glimpse of the rare blue moon that’s set to light up the sky on the spookiest night of the year, reports Mira Miller at BlogTO.

EXCITING NEW CRA BOARD POSITION 

The CRA is looking for someone to join the board to head up a brand new ‘environmental and social’ portfolio. If this interests you, and you’re able to commit to a few hours to the CRA every month, we’d love to hear from you. Please Email us at info@cabbagetowner.com.

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TORONTO RECOMMENDS NO TRICK-OR-TREATING

Halloween may be different in Toronto this year, as traditional door-to-door trick or treating is officially being discouraged by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, reports Raneem Alozzi at BlogTO.

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TPH LAUNCHES ONLINE BOOKING FOR FLU VACCINE CLINICS

 In response to local COVID-19 circumstances, Toronto Public Health TPH flu vaccine clinics will only be available through online appointments to ensure that appropriate physical distancing and infection prevention.

However, getting a flu shot is already a challenge in itself, according to CBC News.

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TORONTO POSITIVITY RATE 2x HIGH ALERT RANGE

Toronto’s positivity rate on COVID-19 tests hit 4.4 per cent last week and is now nearly double the “high alert” threshold previously cited by the province, reports Chris Fox, CP24.

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CRIME UPTICK IN CABBAGETOWN?

We’ve received a few more emails about crimes in Cabbagetown recently. So be vigilant about your safety and security when you’re out and about in the neighbourhood. 

Here’s how you should report any crimes you see or experience.

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HELP US GROW THE CABBAGTOWNER AUDIENCE

This newsletter reaches over 650 Cabbagetowners every week and consistently has a read rate of well over 50%. We’re happy that it has resonated with so many of you. If you know friends and neighbours would might also like to receive it, please get them to hop over to our web site to sign-up. Membership is only $20/year, or they can just sign up for the newsletter for free.

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COVID-19 TRANSMISSION WILL CHANGE OVER THE WINTER

Winter is coming and it is expected to have an impact on how people transmit COVID-19. York University microbiology associate professor Dasantila Golemi-Kotra said a big reason for the change in transmission is colder and drier air, reports Beth Macdonnell, CTV News.

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ActiveTO CONTINUES THIS W/E

River Street from Gerrard to Bayview and Bayview from Rosedale Valley Road to Front will be closed over the weekend (From 6 am on Saturday October 24 to 11 pm on Monday October 25).   
Thanks to Doug Fisher for this article.

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COVID-19 VACCINE APPROVAL WON’T BE AN OVERNIGHT SOLUTION

There’s going to be a significant amount of time required to distribute the vaccine and then have enough doses prepared to administer to the population, reports Lauren Pelley, CBC News.

 

Posted on October 22, 2020

Over the last few weeks we’ve received a number of emails from residents across Cabbagetown, advising us of safety and security issues in our neighbourhood. Our partner residents associations in Winchester Park and Cabbagetown South are also seeing an uptick in crime in their catchment areas.

Some of the things we have heard recently:

  • People following delivery trucks around Cabbagetown in their own cars and stealing boxes off of porches – directly after they’ve been delivered!

An increase in the number of:

  • Home invasions, during the day and night.
  • Assaults/sexual assaults on streets and in parks, sometimes in broad daylight.
  • Bicycle thefts, back laneway car break-ins/thefts and garage break-ins/thefts.

I should point out that most of the more serious crimes identified above are not, to our knowledge, occurring regularly in the CRA catchment area (St James Cemetery to Gerrard, Parliament to the Don River). However, if you are out and about in the neighbourhood, it’s simply a reminder to stay vigilant, safe and sound.

TIPS ON THINGS TO DO TO REDUCE CRIME

Here are a few commonsense tips on how to stay safe and secure:

  • Don’t walk or take pets out late at night/very early in the morning. If you have to, walk with someone else.
  • Parking on the street? Make sure nothing is visible in you car. Even a small amount of change can be enough for someone to smash your window.
  • Make sure that your back gates and garages are securely locked and bolted at all times.
  • Store bicycles out of site and securely locked, ideally indoors.
  • Ensure that all entry/exit doors and downstairs windows are locked at all times.
  • Secure outdoor furniture and garden decor whenever possible to deter thieves from stealing them.
  •  Invest in an alarm system if you don’t have one, ideally connected to a monitoring provider. 
  • Install video cameras at the front and back of your house, or at least a video doorbell  (well known brands include Ring, Arlo, Blink, Nest).
  •  Lighting is a great way to deter intruders from coming onto your property. Go outside your residence after dark and do an audit. Are there dark spots? Do the bushes and trees need to be trimmed?  Consider installing security lights in back laneways and/or front and back gardens. You can now get inexpensive and effective solar-powered options with motion detection that are a breeze to install.
  • Have parcels delivered to local depots like Penguin Pick-up or the Post Office (for Amazon), or elect for signature on delivery, so the parcel is not left on your doorsteps.
  • Report any streetlights that are out in your neighbourhood. Especially the lights in our alleyways They all have individual numbers and it’s important that they all remain operational. 

REPORTING A CRIME IS CRITICAL

It’s really important to report ALL crimes. The more the police know about them, the more local police we have and the more patrols they do. But remember, getting an incident number assigned is all important. Once your report has an incident number, it becomes part of the crime statistics. Here’s all the different ways you can report crimes in our neighbourhood.

 

TORONTO CENTRE BY-ELECTION

Election day is approaching.  Voters who are self-isolating, or quarantining are strongly encouraged to apply to vote by mail.

Advanced voting dates are 16, 17, 18 & 19 October.

Need information on: Where to vote? What ID do I need? Registering to vote? Who are my candidates? Visit elections.ca.

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LANEWAY PARK-ING IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT

The Laneway Project would like to invite you to participate in an upcoming improvement project in Central Hospital Lane. (Between Carlton and Gerrard, East of Sherbourne)

Project Kickoff E-Meeting
October 20, 2020, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Site Analysis Meeting
October 27, 2020, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

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COVID-19 ANTIBODY DERIVED IMMUNITY HAS LIMITS

Antibodies may feel like an extra shield of protection for recovered COVID-19 patients, but experts warn against relying on them to stop the spread, reports Jonathan Forani, CTV News

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WILL COVID-19 BECOME ENDEMIC?

No one knows when the pandemic will end, but one possibility is that COVID-19 never really goes away but becomes another endemic infectious disease that scientists learn to anticipate and control, reports Graham Slaughter at CTVNews.

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ONE CLEAR PUBLIC HEALTH MESSAGE NEEDED FOR HALLOWE’EN

The mayors and chairs from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) asked for provincial guidance this week to help communities prepare for the day, reports CBC News.

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FLU SHOT REQUESTS OVERWHELM TORONTO PHARMACIES 

The flu shot is now available across the province and pharmacies are dealing with a huge demand for the vaccine as Ontario copes with a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and enters flu season, reports Kerrisa Wilson at CP24

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MAKING CENTS – WITH KRISTYN WONG-TAM

In advance of Council budget season, our Councillor will be hosting a series of five virtual panel events, discussing critical issues facing Torontonians.  Subject matter experts, will help unpack the budget process and explain how investing in community supports sustains healthy neighbourhoods.

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ENOUGH WITH COVID-19 – LET’S GET CREATIVE!

Too much COVID-19 doom and gloom in this newsletter I curate got me looking for ways to raise some spirits, which brought me to this article in Toronto Life. If you love to eat and drink, this one’s for you.

NEW, TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS TO BEAT THE SURGE

Ontario is imposing stricter measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 as the province’s curve climbs ever steeper.

Read the City news release.

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HEALTH MINISTER SAYS DO VIRTUAL THANKSGIVING

Canadians are being advised by health officials to hold virtual Thanksgiving celebrations this year as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in several parts of the country, reports Brooklyn Neustaeter at CTV News. 

The City of Toronto is saying this now as well.

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ActiveTO STILL GOING THIS WEEKEND

River Street (Gerrard to Bayview) and Bayview (Rosedale Valley Road to Front Street) will be closed from 6 am, Saturday Oct. 10 to 11 pm, Monday Oct. 12 as part of the ActiveTO program.

(Thanks to Doug Fisher and the CNR for this post) 

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NEW RULES FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS

From Thursday October 10, if you’re drinking or dining out in Toronto, you’ll notice that things will be a little different at bars and restaurants now that they are adhering to the new rules put forth by Toronto Medical Officer of Health, says Becky Robertson at BlogTO.

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REUSABLE TAKEOUT CONTAINERS COME TO CABBAGETOWN!

If you order takeout locally, hate the waste, and want to help the environment, an exciting new pilot is coming to Cabbagetown.

Here’s a short news article from City News on this great new service.

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SPOTLIGHT ON NEW CABBAGETOWN FOOD OUTLET

Noushe just moved into 200 Carlton. They are a Persian-inspired kitchen offering catering, a new Food Market and, in November, private dining on site for 6-14 people and cooking classes for up to 5 people. You can order meals online, with delivery in Cabbagetown on Thursdays and Saturdays and curbside pickup on Fridays.  

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ONTARIO’S NEW COVID-19 TESTING RULES

New rules for getting a COVID-19 test in Ontario come into effect this week, meaning you can no longer just show up to an assessment centre, get in line and expect to get tested, reports Mira Miller at BlogTO.

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REMINDER – ROOMING HOUSE INFO SESSION FROM DIXON HALL

Dixon Hall has been tasked with renovating and then running all services at the vacant rooming houses at 502-508 Parliament (just South of the LCBO). They are holding a community information session on Wednesday October 14 to provide an overview of project plans; an anticipated timeline; and a chance for questions from the community.

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THINKING TAKE-OUT FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER?

Can’t be bothered cooking this weekend? A bunch of local restaurants are offering Turkey with all the trimmings. Doug Fisher at The Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Review created a comprehensive list. Just scoot on over and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thanks Doug!

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CABBAGETOWN BIA – COMMUNITY UPDATES

The Cabbagetown BIA has progressed in leaps and bounds since Rick Matthews took over as Executive Director. Here’s his latest Community Update. 

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THE LATEST EDITION OF ‘LIVE GREEN NEWS’ JUST CAME IN

Thought it might be of interest to those of you that like to read about local climate action news around Toronto.

As mentioned in our weekly newsletter on September 26, the Council was set to meet September 30 – October 1 to discuss Motion MM23.28, brought by Councillor Wong-Tam.

In advance of this meeting, the CRA sent a letter to all Councilors and the Mayor, in which we reiterated our concerns about neighbourhood safety and security:

“The Cabbagetown Residents Association’s objection to the siting of a drop-in and respite centre at 233 Carlton Street (in the heart of the commercial strip in Cabbagetown) has been driven, from the outset, by an overriding concern for the safety and security of residents and local businesses. Council is surely aware of the challenges brought about by pimps and drug dealers operating in the Sherbourne and Dundas neighbourhood around the Margaret’s Respite Centre. Our concern is that these same predators will migrate north to prey on the female clientele of this new respite centre. This is a real community concern, born out by the troubles that arose so rapidly, so extremely and so publicly in midtown communities adjacent to the Roehampton Hotel.”

In this letter we asked Council to demand clear, detailed, and unequivocal responses to each of Councillor Wong Tam’s questions. We also asked them to consider addressing a number of other questions that have gone unanswered since the 233 Carlton Street project was kicked-off by the Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) in mid 2019.

Similar letters were also submitted by other local residents associations and concerned neighbours. 

In advance of the Council session, the city published a ‘Report for Action’, as a response to the three questions in  Motion MM23.28. Unfortunately, this report provided no substantive or objective insights into the SSHAs decision making process when leasing this property.

The Cabbagetown Coalition sent an email response to this ‘Report for Action’ to its own subscriber database, pointing out the various deficiencies in the report. This email was also copied to members of the Council.

All of these communications were appended to the supporting documents related to Councillor Wong-Tam’s Motion. Unfortunately, the Council meeting was extended through October 2, and Councillor Wong-Tam’s motion came up 5 minutes before the end. To ensure proper review, she deferred the motion to the next Council meeting, scheduled for October 28-29.

This is an ongoing story and we will provide additional updates as they become available. 

233 CARLTON STREET UPDATE

Read about recent community activities in the run up to the Council meeting of Sep. 30.

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RENOVATION OF ROOMING HOUSES AT 502-508 PARLIAMENT STREET

Dixon Hall has been tasked with renovating and then running all services at the vacant rooming houses at 502-508 Parliament (just South of the LCBO). They are holding a community information session on Wednesday October 14 to provide an overview of project plans; an anticipated timeline; and a chance for questions from the community.

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PUMPKIN PARADE CANCELLED 🙁

Toronto Parks Forestry & Recreation emailed us this week saying that permits for pumpkin parades will not be issued this year, following the City’s reduction in allowable gathering size to 25 people outdoors. Boo Hoo!

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COUNCIL VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO STRENGTHEN COVID-19 BYLAWS

City Council voted unanimously in favour of stronger measures to protect residents from COVID-19 and slow the ongoing resurgence of the virus in the community. 

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NEW COVID-19 MODELLING SHOWS CASES CONTINUING TO  SPIKE 

The number of new cases reported daily are doubling every 10 to 12 days and Ontario could see it spiking to as many as 1000/day by October 30, new data modelling shows.

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OPEN DOOR PROGRAM TO SUPPORT AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING

The City 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.

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CITY EXTENDS ActiveTO ROAD CLOSURES INTO OCTOBER

Major streets in Toronto will continue to be closed to make room for socially distanced cyclists and pedestrians thanks to the ActiveTO program being extended, says Amy Carlbery at BlogTO. 

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TPH RECOMMENDS ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO CONTAIN COVID-19

In a recent report to Council, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health stressed the need for more actions to mitigate the impact of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. 

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NUIT BLANCHE UNVEILS VIRTUAL PROGRAM

The 15th annual Nuit Blanche Toronto will be reimagined as a virtual experience on Saturday, October 3 starting at 7 p.m. until October 12. The online event will present five streams of programming that will include talks, podcasts, a release of the 14-year archive called Nuit History, live streams, and artworks in augmented and virtual reality.

Read the City News Release.

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LET’S TALK FALL COLOURS!

Fall colours in Ontario simply can’t be beat, and the province is full of beautiful remote spots where you can both observe and appreciate them, says Mira Miller at BlogTO.

Admittedly, it’s still a little early in the season to catch the foliage in its prime, but leave it to the Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report to tell you when and where the colours have already started to change.

The Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) has ruled that a developer can proceed with establishing a daycare in Cabbagetown, a plan which has been in the offing for several years.

The building in question is located at 459 and 461 Sackville St., on the South East corner of Sackville and Amelia Streets. The original application for variances was rejected by a City Committee of Adjustment in April 2018, as committee members were concerned that the lack of parking spaces for child drop-off /pick-up at the daycare would lead to traffic and safety problems in the immediate neighbourhood.

The interim decision and order from TLAB Member Stanley Makuch, in allowing the zoning variances stated that, “This proposal provides an opportunity for a reuse that benefits and supports heritage conservation. ” However, it also said that, “Having made a finding that the variances should be granted there are nevertheless issues of implementation.”

While the development has now successfully passed the appeal related to its initial variances, this remains an interim decision conditional upon the owner getting the required approvals from the city and the province. Another TLAB hearing has been scheduled for December 3, 2021, so that the applicant can report back to TLAB to confirm they have successfully obtained the requisite approvals, including, among others, that:

  • Street parking is approved by City council for 4 or 6 dedicated on street (permit) parking spaces in the morning and afternoon for drop-off/ pick-up.
  • A provincial license is obtained demonstrating that such matters as street parking, play areas, garbage and stroller storage, and access and egress have been properly addressed.
  • A site plan is approved by the Chief Planner, including such matters as a landscaping plan addressing conversion of green space to hardscape paving and City approval and lease to use the boulevard/right of way.

Assuming the TLAB determines that the above conditions have been satisfied by the December 3, 2021 hearing date, TLAB’s interim approval will be final and in force on December 10, 2021. However, one of the involved parties may still request a TLAB Review of Decision, and after that proceeding, a party may also seek leave for a Judicial Review in Ontario Divisional Court. So, the ongoing efforts to establish a daycare in Cabbagetown could continue for some time.

Update from Doug Fisher at the Cabbagetown Neighbourhood review:
Ward 13 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam wants more daycare in her Ward but says “The problem with the application is that it doesn’t address how day to day operations of a daycare of the size being proposed could safely function given existing conditions.”  The City Solicitor is now reviewing the decision with the possibility of pursuing more legal appeals – an approach that the Councillor supports.

DINE-IN RESTAURANTS/BARS PERMITTED TO OPEN FRIDAY

Under the Province of Ontario’s Stage 3 order, which takes effect Friday July 31, restaurants and bars will be permitted to offer indoor dine-in service.

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CITY UPDATE ON SERVICES AND ActiveTO THIS W/E  

Update from the City on things that are open this weekend. 

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ONTARIO COVID19 CASES DIPS BELOW 100

For the first time since March 24 Ontario has reported fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19.

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MASKS NOW MANDATORY IN APARTMENTS AND CONDOMINIUMS

City Council has voted in favour of a temporary bylaw requiring masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums to protect the health and safety of our communities. 

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HOW THE CITY PLANS TO MANAGE COVID19 DEBT

 City Council voted to adopt the recommendations of a report to address the experienced and anticipated financial impacts of the pandemic and proposed options for mitigation.

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WHAT CAN  REOPEN IN STAGE 3?

Here’s the official list of businesses that can reopen in Stage 3, care of BlogTO.

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TORONTO MOVES TO STAGE 3 

Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 3 of Ontario’s COVID-19 recovery plan this Friday, as the province reported its fewest number of new cases since March 23.

Read A framework for reopening our Province – Phase 3 for details on what this means and the restrictions that will remain in place. 

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DON’T RETIRE THOSE SWEAT PANTS JUST YET!

Working from home in Ontario will be recommended for the ‘foreseeable future’ after Health Minister Christine Elliott said that Ontario will remain in Stage 3 until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.

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SWIMMING WARNINGS AT SOME CITY BEACHES

Unfortunately for anyone looking to cool of at a local beach, officials are warning about high levels of E. coli at some of the most popular ones.

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RIVERDALE FARM GETS $200,000 DONATION

The animals at Cabbagetown’s Riverdale Farm should be getting some new digs and more, thanks to a surprise $200,000 gift from a long-time admirer who died last year. 

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Q&A WITH CITY’S CHIEF CONTACT TRACER

Omar Ozaldin leads a team of disease detectives, dedicated to stopping the spread of Covid-19. He talks to Toronto Life about the challenges of the job, how helpful Torontonians can be, and what will happen if we get a dreaded second wave.

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