Major Outdoor Events Cancelled

Major Outdoor Events Cancelled

With the vaccination of residents not expected to be completed until early fall, it will likely continue to be unsafe for large groups to gather until then.

Sadly, the always-popular Canada Day concert and fireworks at Mel Lastman Square has been cancelled again this year, as have the in-person components of all other major events requiring city permits, until at least July 1.

Other events affected by the permit cancellation

Toronto Marathon, half Marathon, 5k, 10k and relay (will be a virtual event)
Sporting Life 10k (will be a …

Read More »

The Vaccine at the End of the Rainbow

The Vaccine at the End of the Rainbow

Amid ongoing confusion and missing information, Ontario residents over 60 living independently at last have some news on when they can realistically expect to be vaccinated.

All residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes in Toronto should already have received both vaccine doses. For others aged 60 and up, the Province announced the following schedule:

March 15: By this date, a provincial website will open to schedule vaccinations for residents over 80 living independently.  Shots will start being administered about a week later.
April 15: ages 75 …

Read More »

Willowdale to Receive Permanent Housing to Assist Homeless

Willowdale to Receive Permanent Housing to Assist Homeless

Early one morning years ago, I was awoken by an excited caller. “Have you ever seen a homeless person in Willowdale?” he demanded.

“Who is this and why are you asking?” I wondered, still half asleep.

“It’s Mel,” he said.

It was Mel Lastman’s first run for mayor of the newly-amalgamated city, and he had been met by a media storm that morning after declaring that nobody was homeless in North York.

Later that day, a homeless woman was found dead in a North York gas station. But that …

Read More »

Federal Government Extends COVID-19 Supports

Federal Government Extends COVID-19 Supports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced extensions to several federal programs designed to provide financial assistance to Canadians during the pandemic.

The Canada Recovery Benefit as well as the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit will be extended to cover 38 weeks, up from 26 weeks previously.

CRB is the program that replaced CERB, providing income supports for people who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic who are not eligible for EI, with the caregiver benefit for those who are caring for healthcare workers

The Canada Recovery Sickness …

Read More »

Whats New in COVID: Numbers Fall, Fears Rise

Whats New in COVID: Numbers Fall, Fears Rise

A growing fear of COVID variants is keeping Toronto’s stay-at-home order in place until at least March 8. Restrictions were to loosen this coming Monday in Toronto and neighboring Peel, following weeks of improving case numbers.

But the Province today said it would maintain current restrictions, following requests from the Medical Officers of Health in both regions, in addition to warnings from multiple health experts that numbers could skyrocket if the variants take hold. Restrictions in York Region are being relaxed – for no apparent reason …

Read More »

Wear a Three Layer Mask That Fits

Wear a Three Layer Mask That Fits

If you’re still wearing the mask you got last spring, chances are you’re overdue for an upgrade.

That’s partly because we now know more about how the virus spreads – through smaller aerosol particles that can hang in the air and be expelled just from breathing, for example, in addition to the larger particles spread through talking, coughing, or sneezing. More important this month is the urgency of reducing the spread of the more transmissible variants, which requires a higher level of protection.

Recommendations from official Canadian …

Read More »

Protecting Ourselves From the Variants

Protecting Ourselves From the Variants

Despite declining COVID numbers across Ontario and, to a lesser extent, in Toronto, we’re entering a time of greater danger.

As most of us know by now, the UK variant already spreading through the population is expected to be the dominant form of the virus by next month.  A random screening this week found that more than 5% of new cases in Ontario were the more transmissible UK variant, many of them from an outbreak in Simcoe Muskoka.

Variants originating in South Africa and Brazil, though currently …

Read More »

City Cracks Down on Masks in Condos and Apartments

City Cracks Down on Masks in Condos and Apartments

The City of Toronto is conducting additional education and enforcement in residential apartment buildings and condominiums where multiple complaints have been received about mask usage in enclosed common spaces.

The City had received 1,950 complaints about improper mask usage in shared residential spaces since the new by-law came into effect in August of last year. Of these complaints, 263 locations have received three or more complaints and 12 locations have received more than 10 complaints related to mask wearing. The City will be following up with …

Read More »

A Deadly Footrace

A Deadly Footrace

If all one looked at were this week’s trends, it would be easy to think we’d turned a corner and were on our way home. For the second straight week, new infections in Toronto fell, as did numbers in Ontario and across North America.

In the city, we averaged about 600 new cases per day – still terribly high but moving in the right direction. Hospitalizations and ICU occupancy were down slightly. And the reproductive number dropped to .8, which should cause numbers to keep falling.

With …

Read More »

Hello In There – A Note About LTCs

Hello In There – A Note About LTCs

In some cultures, caring for the elders is both an obligation and an honour.

And then there’s us. I’m supposing that the neglect that has caused thousands to die and many more to suffer in our homes for the aged is unintentional, because we’re not that mean. It’s more like we’re …well…you know…kind of busy with other things.

Individually, we care about our aging parents and grandparents. But as a society – and for people we don’t know – not so much.

When the Government of Ontario quietly …

Read More »

Jan 22 COVID-19 Update

Finally, most of us seem to be taking this pandemic more seriously. Traffic data shows that many more are heeding the plea to stay home and, for the first time since August, COVID numbers are moving in the right direction.

Over the past week, Toronto cases dropped to 5068, an average of 724 per day. New hospitalizations also fell. Another critical statistic, the number of people each new case infects, declined to .86. When this number is above 1, as it has been, cases rise. If …

Read More »

Ontario Issues Temporary Moratorium on Evictions

Ontario Issues Temporary Moratorium on Evictions

The Ontario government has issued an emergency order to temporarily pause the enforcement of residential evictions during the provincial declaration of emergency and while the stay-at-home-order is in force. While this does mean that non-payment of rent will not result in an immediate eviction, it does not mean that an eviction will not happen at the end of the State of Emergency.

The Landlord and Tenant Board will continue to hear eviction applications and issue orders, but the enforcement of eviction orders will be postponed for …

Read More »