Playgrounds Officially Re-Opening

Playgrounds Officially Re-Opening

Parents and caregivers that have struggled to keep kids entertained at home will be very glad that as of today, the City of Toronto is officially re-opening its 800 playgrounds.  Please be aware however that the City will not be sanitizing this equipment.  Make sure that kids stay supervised, that they wash hands before and after play, physical distance as much as possible, and wear masks if playing in closer proximity to others. If playgrounds get too busy, it might be smart to find a different …

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Masks Mandatory Condos and Apartments

Masks Mandatory Condos and Apartments

Masks will soon be required for anyone using the enclosed common areas of condos and apartment buildings. As of August 5, condo boards and the owners of apartment buildings will be required to have policies in place covering such areas as elevators, laundry rooms and lobbies.

Although some owners and boards had already voluntarily adopted such measures, others have not, prompting Council to make it mandatory at its meeting earlier this week.

The move came amid concerns about keeping the number of new cases low as Toronto …

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What Phase 3 Means for Restaurants and Bars

What Phase 3 Means for Restaurants and Bars

Under the Province of Ontario’s Stage 3 re-opening order, bars and restaurants will be permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, as long as new measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to the current rules and guidelines set out by the Government of Ontario, City Council passed new by-laws this week to further ensure the safety of Toronto restaurant patrons. These include:

Making sure customers remain seated except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying
Separating tables by at least two metres …

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Learning To Live Safely With COVID

Learning To Live Safely With COVID

It’s a risk, to be sure, but one that’s being cautiously managed.

Starting today, Toronto moves to Stage 3. This means that restaurants and bars can now seat customers inside. Other re-opening permissions include larger indoor and outdoor gatherings and the long-awaited ability for children to return to public playgrounds. For a list of what can open, with restrictions, click here.

With many businesses hanging on by their fingernails and all of us needing to return to whatever semblance of normal life we can do safely, this seemed like …

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HistoricTO Brings Toronto History Home

HistoricTO Brings Toronto History Home

Gibson House is launching a new walking tour of Gibson Park, Dempsey Park, and York Cemetery while City of Toronto guides teach you about some of the history of the local neighbourhood. The tours happen four times daily from Wednesday to Sunday every week. To purchase tickets, you can click here.

These tours are a part of the new HistoricTO initiative, which has walking tours at all of Toronto’s Historic Museums. While the museums themselves will all remain closed until September, the city has provided never before seen access to their …

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Homelessness in Willowdale – How We’re Doing

The global pandemic has impacted many aspects of our City and community.  This includes some of the most vulnerable among us. Homelessness has increased across Toronto during the pandemic and Willowdale has not been immune.

The City has been able to move over 1300 people off the streets and into stable housing since mid-March. Our office has received more calls and emails than usual in the last two months expressing concern about the increased visibility of homeless people in Willowdale. The volume of calls and the …

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Checking in on Community Safety Issues

This week, I had a chance to check in with Sgt. Jonathan Collin, Community Response Unit Manager at Toronto Police Service 32 Division. We discussed some of the ongoing trends and challenges facing community policing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of note to residents, the trend of high-end auto theft in the area continues to be an issue that police are dealing with. Sgt. Collin offered a number of tips to residents last month that were reported in this newsletter, and Willowdale residents should remain proactive in keeping vehicles …

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John on Police Accountability

John on Police Accountability

Police Accountability

For the past 1,103 days the Toronto police officer convicted of assaulting Dafonte Miller has been at home collecting full salary.

To summarize the judge’s findings in what has come to be known as the Dafonte Miller case, although he was not the one on trial: Michael Theriault, an off duty Toronto police officer, chased and beat Miller, who he believed was trying to break into a car in Theriault’s driveway; Miller, 19 and black, was beaten so badly that he lost an eye; Michael …

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Ravine Litter Picking Program

From July 20 to August 14, Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will be visiting ravines in the North York area to carry out littler picking as part of the Ravine Strategy approved by Council in January. This includes several locations in and around Ward 18, including the ravine at Maxome Ave., and the ravine on the south-west corner of Finch and Bayview.

Staff still have some limited capacity to add additional locations, if you know of a ravine area where litter is an issue, let us …

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Farmers Market to Reopen!

We were happy to work with the North York Farmers Market to enable their return to Mel Lastman Square on Thursday July 16. This will be welcome news for many of our residents, who have been missing this opportunity to support our local farmers and businesses. The following vendors in attendance: Willowtree Farm, Motherdough Mill & Bakery, Superior Meats, Elfsong Apiaries, De La Terre Bakery, Thames River Melon and Jack’s Farm.

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Mandatory Masks and Other Community News

Mandatory Masks and Other Community News

Dear Friends,

With several weeks of much lower case numbers and hospitalizations, we are slowly and carefully resuming small parts of our pre-pandemic lives. But let’s not lose sight of how quickly that progress can reverse – as we’ve seen in parts of the United States that opened up too much too fast and residents have resisted simple precautions.

Among the most important things we’ve learned about the virus is the extent to which it is spread by those not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) as well as …

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Cracking Down on Utility Companies

Cracking Down on Utility Companies

When construction crews are working in our neighbourhoods, residents expect efficient, high quality work, effective communication, and accountability if something goes wrong.  These are all important principals of customer service that should guide City contracts and third party companies doing work on City property.

In 2019, Rogers Communications began a multi-year project for the installation of fiber optic cables in Willowdale and across Toronto. Over the past several months, we have received a number of complaints regarding work being done on sidewalks and city streets in …

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