Local Interest

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.

Reusable takeout containers If you order takeout locally, hate the packaging waste, and want to help the environment, an  exciting new pilot is coming to Cabbagetown. Suppli provides a reusable takeout container service that allows consumers to order food in reusable stainless steel containers, like the ones pictured here.

The service includes pick-up of used containers from your front porch, apartment front, or condo concierge, which Suppli then cleans and sanitizes through its accredited partner, Event Rental Group.

They’re starting out with a small cohort of food merchants as they run through an initial pilot. Here’s the latest list:four restaurant logosWhat’s the cost of all this? There is no cost to create an account, and Suppli has set rates at $0.99 per order as they build out the offering. 

The service goes live starting October 20th and will initially serve consumers living in postal codes beginning with M5A and M4X. They’re working hard to expand their line-up of container sizes to meet restaurants’ needs, and are keen to receive feedback from consumers that will inform updates and improvements to the service. 

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.

CITY UPDATE ON SERVICES AND ActiveTO THIS W/E  

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

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NO SURGE – SO FAR – FOLLOWING STAGE 3 REOPENING

Fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Ontario after bars and other indoor spaces were reopened have not panned out — at least so far, reports Mike Crawley, at CBC News

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CABBAGETOWN BIA LAUNCHES CafeTO WALKING ART TOUR 

Rick Matthews, the excellent new Executive Director at the BIA, has done a wonderful job with the local CafeTO patios.  He’s now launched the Cabbagetown Walking Art Tour, adding the work of seven notable Toronto-based artists to the patio fences. Enjoy their art while having a relaxing meal on one of the patios or shopping at our unique local businesses!

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UPDATE ON CITY CHALLENGE TO SACKVILLE DAYCARE

Councillor Wong Tam has shared a letter with residents that explains her position and the actions the City Solicitor is taking regarding the daycare planned at 461 Sackville Avenue.  

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CITY STARTS REGISTRATION OF SHORT TERM RENTALS 

This September, the City of Toronto will launch a new online registration system for short-term rental operators who are renting their homes on a short-term basis for a period of less than 28 consecutive days.

Read the City of Toronto news release

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CITY REPORTS FIRST CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN 2020

Health authorities in Toronto have recorded the first case of the West Nile virus in a resident so far this year, reports CBC News. There were 9 confirmed cases in 2019.

Read the City of Toronto news release

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SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT – GREEN THUMBS GROWING KIDS

GTGK supports school gardens at Rose Avenue, Spruce Court and Winchester Park Schools. In Cabbagetown for over 15 years it is somewhat unknown, except to families that attend these schools. Check out their website to find out more about the great things they are doing. And while you’re there why not donate? 

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SPRUCECOURT HOSTS SCHOOLYARD MEET-UPS

For the next 3 Mondays (August 24th, 31st, September 7th) between 5PM-6PM  please stop by the school yard at Sprucecourt to meet other families, check out the playground and say a socially distant hello to new and old friends.

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HELP DIXON HALL PROVIDE MEALS TO THOSE IN NEED

 For the past 5 years, the Dixonlicious fundraising auction has been a cornerstone of support for vital food programs in Toronto’s
downtown east and Regent Park. This year it’s gone virtual. Check it out and place some bids!

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MANY MORE CANADIANS EYEING THE SUBURBS

A recent survey found that 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in urban centres and instead would like to relocate to the suburbs or small towns, says Pat Foran, CTV News.

Food drive detailsThe Youth Advisory Council at Emily’s House is an incredible group of kids who plan events to support local community programs.

They had to cancel their 2020 annual fundraiser due to COVID. So instead they are hosting a food drive to support clients of both Emily’s House and the Philip Aziz Centre  who are facing food security issues.

If you are able to help,  please drop off a food donation on the Emily’s House front lawn (45 Jack Layton Way) on:

  • Wednesday, August 26, 5pm – 7pm
  • Friday, August 28, 5pm – 7pm or
  • Saturday, August 29, 11am – 1pm.

They will be following infection prevention protocols closely during this drive. 

Alternatively, you can drop donations off with Sean O’Donovan from the CRA, at 20 Metcalfe Street Cabbagetown, from 9am -5pm on Wednesday August 26 and he will deliver them for you.

They are accepting non-perishable items only, please see the list below for suggestions.

The kids thank you in advance for your generous support.

Food drive - list of foods

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.

CITY UPDATE ON SERVICES AND ActiveTO THIS W/E  

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

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FOOD DRIVE FOR LOCAL HOSPICES NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT

The Youth Advisory Council at Emily’s House is hosting a food drive to support clients of both Emily’s House and the Philip Aziz Centre  that are facing food security issues.

Please lend your support to this local community initiative.

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TLAB APPROVES SACKVILLE DAYCARE

Last week the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) ruled that a developer can proceed with establishing a daycare in Cabbagetown, a plan which has been in the offing for several years. But there are (potentially big) strings attached.

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HOW TORONTO COULD CHANGE FOR THE BETTER AFTER COVID

Great article from Toronto Life, who asked the city’s smartest thinkers to predict the post-pandemic future of everything. 

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DOCTORS BRACE FOR VIRAL OVERLOAD FROM COLDS + FLU + COVID

Doctors are anticipating that the collision of COVID-19 and cold and flu season could bring a new host of health-care challenges when the cold weather sets in.

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50 ESSENTIAL SUMMER DAY TRIPS FROM TORONTO

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by exploring the wealth of towns and attractions that are just a short drive, bus, or train ride away – Curated by BlogTO

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THE LANEWAY PROJECT

Not yet active in Cabbagetown , this is a really interesting initiative to leverage Toronto’s laneways to help small businesses, improve walkability and better integrate laneways into everyday life.  

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BIKE SHARE FREE RIDE WEDNESDAYS RETURNS

Through the new Bike Share Toronto – CAA South Central Ontario partnership, Bike Share riders can ride for free every Wednesday in the month of September.

Bike Share has also launched a pedal assist electric-bike (e-bike) pilot program as a new feature of Bike Share Toronto’s 2020 expansion.

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CITY OF TORONTO PREPARES FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

The City of Toronto prepares for back to school with public health resources, fall recreation programs and after-school care

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SPEED CAMERA LOCATIONS

Check out this handy map to show you where speed cameras are located in TO. In CTown there is one at Spruce and Gifford and one at Dundas St E and River.

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29TH ANNUAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL GOES ONLINE

Gina Dineen has put the beloved annual short film festival online so everyone can still get that festival feeling this September! One ticket, still $15,  gets you 12 outstanding international shorts, lots of comedy as well as drama and doc, from 3:00-20:00, available for streaming over three days.  You can binge all at once or spread it out over three days.

 

CITY UPDATE ON SERVICES AND ActiveTO THIS W/E  

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

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UPDATE ON CANNABIS STORE AT 307 WELLESLEY

Several residents lodged submissions in objection to the location of a  Cannabis store on a residential street. The AGCO has confirmed that the Registrar is reviewing these submissions but they cannot provide a date by which this will be completed. However the AGCO did confirm that:

“Individuals that filed written submissions before the public notice deadline, will receive a letter from us. It will either state that the Registrar has deemed the issuance of the licence at the location to not be contrary to the public interest, or contrary to the public interest.”

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MAX 10 PERSON SOCIAL CIRCLES HERE FOR A WHILE

Premier Doug Ford says 10 person limit will likely last until at least January — unless a vaccine emerges first.

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PERMIT PARKING ENFORCEMENT RESUMES 

Enforcement of City of Toronto Residential On-Street Permit Parking program to resume August 14 at midnight.

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CITY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS ~ JUL 28-29

Check out the highlights of the latest Toronto City Council meeting from the end of July.

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CITY ANNOUNCES FAMILY WELL-BEING PLAN

The Mayor announced the Family Well-Being Plan developed in partnership with community agencies and social service providers, to highlight the supports available to those who may be experiencing family violence during the pandemic.

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TTC SAFETY UPDATE

The TTC has shared an overview of measures it continues to take to provide safe and accessible transit for our customers, along with additional safety and COVID-19 related information. 

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502-508 PARLIAMENT STREET TO BE RENOVATED

The City has announced progress on the partnership between the City of Toronto, Dixon Hall and Toronto Community Housing to renovate and revitalize affordable, supportive, multi-tenant (rooming house) units at 502-508 Parliament St. (next to the LCBO). Revitalization to proceed this fall and be ready for occupancy in spring 2021.

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COVID-19 CONTACT TRACING APP. NOW AVAILABLE

If you haven’t heard via your cell phone, the Govt. has launched a safe and secure contact tracing app. 

 

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