Ravine Grants Now Available

Ravine Grants Now Available

This week Parks People launched the InTO the Ravines Grants program, to promote community initiatives like sketching, bird watching, scavenger hunts, and Indigenous knowledge sharing about Toronto’s ravines.

Community groups, Indigenous organizations, park friends groups, community associations, BIAs, neighbourhood groups, local community agencies, and others can apply to stage events between July 14 and November 14, 2021.

You can find the application process on the Parks People website. The deadline is June 6.

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What’s Good, Not So Good and a Little Bit Confusing This Week

What’s Good, Not So Good and a Little Bit Confusing This Week

What’s good is that vaccines have been rolling out rapidly in City clinics this week, Health Canada has approved Pfizer for anybody 12 and up, and the federal science body dispensing immunization advice has provided greater clarity on the relative merits of the two types of vaccines.

What’s not so good is that those who don’t yet have appointments may have trouble getting one soon. And a lot of people don’t like it when scientists give nuanced answers to complex situations.

Vaccine Availability

When the Premier announced last …

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Pop-up Vaccination Returns to Newtonbrook; New Eligibility in Hot Spots; 50+ for All Starting Thursday

Pop-up Vaccination Returns to Newtonbrook; New Eligibility in Hot Spots; 50+ for All Starting Thursday

Since Friday’s newsletter, the Province has announced several changes in vaccine eligibility, and North York General Hospital has announced another pop-up clinic. Here’s the breakdown, starting with what is happening today, followed by information on additional eligibility starting Thursday.

1) 18+ Eligible to Book at City Mass Immunization Sites Online

Anyone born in 2003 or earlier, who lives in a hot spot, is eligible to book a vaccination appointment for their first dose at any of the City’s nine mass immunization clinics beginning today. In Willowdale, that …

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Waste Drop-Off Depots Closed due to COVID

Waste Drop-Off Depots Closed due to COVID

Due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases among the City’s Solid Waste Management Services’ staff, the City is closing Drop-Off Depots to the general public beginning Friday, April 30.

Until the provincial Stay-At-Home order is lifted, only those with an existing registered account can continue to bring materials to depots.

If you need to dispose of hazardous household waste, Toxic Taxi continues to run for pickup of household hazardous waste and appointments can be made by calling 311.

Collection of garbage, Blue Bin recycling, Green Bin organics and yard waste is continuing, as scheduled.

To learn more, click here

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Paid Sick Days – Good Bad and Ugly

Paid Sick Days – Good Bad and Ugly

by Markus O’Brien Fehr, Chief of Staff

You’d be excused for losing track of the fast changing policy of paid sick days in Ontario.  They were introduced in 2017 by the Provincial government, only to be eliminated by a new government less than a year later.  As a critical public health tool throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue came back in a big way in 2020.  This week the provincial government has introduced a new sick leave program, despite voting against one only a few days …

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Get Ready to Roll Up Your Sleeve

Get Ready to Roll Up Your Sleeve

If the amount of vaccine coming into Ontario and Toronto matches the ambitious immunization schedule announced by the Province this week, all of us will be able to breathe much easier by early summer.

Below is a simplified version of who is eligible to be vaccinated at any of the nine city-run clinics.  Note that we are using “week of” because the Province has not yet announced specific dates. On the date you become eligible, you can book at Toronto.ca/COVID19.

Because the rollout dates (as determined by …

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Vaccinations and Postal Codes

Vaccinations and Postal Codes

Until now, decisions around who gets vaccinated first has been based mostly on age, reflecting the fact that more than 95% of COVID deaths in the first two waves were among those 60 and older.

As those vaccinations continue and vaccine supply increases, the focus is shifting to those most likely to get infected. Across the city, this tends to be the folks who keep our retail and manufacturing businesses going, who live in apartment buildings, and who can’t work from home. Many don’t have paid …

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Moving at the Speed of Variants

Moving at the Speed of Variants

In an acknowledgement of how dangerous this third wave has become, causing Ontario’s Intensive Care Units to overflow with younger COVID patients who are getting sicker faster, the Province this week imposed a new Stay At Home order.

The Government also announced a faster and more urgent vaccination rollout as vaccines become more plentiful. (See vaccination article below).

This week’s daily Toronto case numbers hovered around 1000, triple the number from just a few weeks ago. Today they jumped above 1300, as the number hospitalized in our …

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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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CampTO In Person Programs Cancelled

CampTO In Person Programs Cancelled

Due to rising case counts, in person CampTO programs that were scheduled for the April Break have been cancelled. if you have purchased space at a CampTO program, you will be refunded automatically.

Virtual CampTO workshops are still available, and have 950 spaces remaining. These 45-minute long live and interactive online workshops are available to campers age four to 12, every day over the course of the break. More information about virtual CampTO workshops is available at toronto.ca/campTO.

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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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