Too Little Too Late

Too Little Too Late

A new lockdown is here – an “emergency brake” response when a well-planned approach to a highly visible danger would have done a far better job.

We are now well into a third wave that will inevitably get worse. Because it typically takes about two weeks for virus spread to show up as cases, and even longer until those cause spikes in hospitalizations and admissions to Intensive Care Units, actions taken today are too late to have any impact on the disaster facing us the first …

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Meeting on 175 Cummer – April 6th

Meeting on 175 Cummer – April 6th

The second formal community information meeting (in addition to several informal ones) for the proposed supportive housing at 175 Cummer Ave. will be held this coming Tuesday, April 6, at 7 pm. You can find more information about this project, including how to join the meeting at: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/community-partners/affordable-housing-partners/modular-housing-initiative/

I have received many emails on the issue – with large numbers both in favour and opposed, with others seeking more information. I have tried to provide straightforward answer to all questions.  Unfortunately, many of the emails contained …

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Vaccine Age Lowered to 60

Vaccine Age Lowered to 60

Due to a surprisingly low response from older residents, Toronto clinics are expanding appointments to anyone born in 1961 or earlier. Those in the new 60-69 age group can begin registering for an appointment at 8 am tomorrow (Friday) morning. If you are willing to travel a bit, you might even be able to get vaccinated this weekend.

As of yesterday, there were 12,000 unfilled appointments available at city clinics over the next few days. Willowdale’s highly-popular Mitchell Field site, however, is fully booked until at …

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Ages Further Expanded for Vaccination

Ages Further Expanded for Vaccination

The federal vaccine supply appears stable. The provincial website to schedule vaccinations seems to be functioning well. Multiple vaccination locations are opening up rapidly across the city.

Now, as we are prioritizing ages where most deaths have occurred, who would have thought that our biggest problem would be getting people to sign up?

Residents 80 and older in Toronto were able to start booking website appointments starting March 15. When not enough did, the age limit was lowered to 75. Today, with thousands of openings still sitting …

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Walking Through the Storm

Walking Through the Storm

At this point in our year-long war against COVID, we’re winning some battles but losing others.

Vaccinations in long-term care homes have been overwhelmingly successful in preventing deaths and serious illness. And, if we were still only battling the original form of the virus, we’d be looking at a continued decline in cases. The reproduction rate for classic COVID is less than one – meaning that each case, on average, infects less than one new person.

But, as predicted, the much more transmissible variants are taking over, …

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A Message Regarding Anti-Asian Hate in Toronto

A Message Regarding Anti-Asian Hate in Toronto

Canadians like to reassure themselves that, as a people, we are less racist than our neighbours. But, such comparisons ignore the reality that no level of racism is tolerable and that hate-fueled intolerance is far more prevalent than we would like to think.

This week, a new report from the Chinese Canadian National Council highlighted a rise in verbal insults and physical assault experienced by Asian people in Canada, a situation that has worsened substantially since the start of the pandemic.

The document’s release came the week …

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Mitchell Field Vaccination Site Opens Monday

Mitchell Field Vaccination Site Opens Monday

For Willowdale residents, the greater eligibility coincides with the opening of a COVID vaccination clinic at Mitchell Field Community Centre (Church Ave., just east of Yonge) this Monday. My office has been working with city staff to make sure the opening runs as smoothly as possible.

If you have an appointment booked at Mitchell Field, please note the following:

If you are able to walk or take transit, please do so
Please do not arrive well ahead of schedule because this can create parking problems and a longer …

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Housing the Homeless

Housing the Homeless

I remember him as the most popular boy in my Grade 8 class, the one the girls had crushes on and the other boys wanted to be just like: good looking, terrifically funny, the best at every sport. Many years later, after decades of physical and mental health problems, he was broke and out of work. He lost his house in a nice neighbourhood. He and his wife separated. An old friend helped him move into a basement apartment and navigate the application for ODSP …

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Vaccinations Begin by Age Group

Vaccinations Begin by Age Group

Throughout the week, we’ve been bringing you information on how to get vaccinated as soon as we’ve received it. What follows is a recap of what we’ve already sent out this week, with some updates. We’ll continue to provide new information as it becomes available.

It looks like Toronto is now being allocated enough doses from the Province to vaccinate everyone 80 and over. This is defined as anyone born in 1941 or before, so that it includes those who won’t turn 80 until later in …

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No, We’re Not There Yet

No, We’re Not There Yet

The declaration of a pandemic, a year ago yesterday, is permanently etched in our memories. The same for the year that followed, full of grim milestones.

Twelve months into it we understand a lot more about effective individual precautions.  And sooner than was initially thought possible, we have multiple vaccines that work. It’s possible we could all have a shot by summer. (See the article below for more on vaccination).

Deaths from COVID in long-term care homes have all but ended, as almost all residents there have …

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March 8 Vaccine Update

March 8 Vaccine Update

Although I don’t usually send out mid-week newsletters, there were a number of vaccination announcements today that many of you have asked about.

Although the Province decides which groups gets vaccinated in what order and is also in charge of the vaccine supply, Toronto has been asked to play a large role in actually getting needles into arms. The City has developed the capacity to administer a remarkable 970,000 doses a month, dependent on an adequate supply from the Province. With that qualifier, today’s news was …

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Vaccine Update – Are We There Yet?

Vaccine Update – Are We There Yet?

News about the supply of vaccines continued to be positive this week even as the rollout remained plagued by ever-changing information about how, when, and where to get your shots – especially if you live in Toronto.

Last week, Ontario announced the March 15 opening of a website through which residents could start booking vaccination appointments, starting with those aged 80 and over, gradually moving lower in 5-year increments. Within days, much of that information was out of date as health units outside Toronto set up …

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