A Note from John About COVID-19 – Sept 25

A Note from John About COVID-19 – Sept 25

I was holding out hope that recent COVID spikes would cause enough Toronto residents to change their behaviour for us to see a leveling off the upward trend. After today, with its 237 new cases, I’m finding that increasingly less likely.

That’s at the tail end of a week that saw Toronto cases hit 1,104 – up from previous weeks of 617, 385, 265, 206, and 161. Simple math shows that, over those five weeks, the number of cases increased by 685%. Project that ahead to …

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New Mural in Willowdale Thanks to StreetARToronto

New Mural in Willowdale Thanks to StreetARToronto

If you’re using Sheppard Station to hop on the subway, you should consider entering off of Harlandale Ave and enjoy the brand new mural painted by Jieun Kim and Erika James.

The new design includes several large-scale local birds perched on trees and on rooftops, and the buildings in the background represent our neighbourhood’s mixture of high density dwellings, and residential housing.

The mural was funded through StreetARToronto, a program that has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism in Toronto and replacing it with vibrant street art, …

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Schools Should be Growing With Our Neighbourhoods

Schools Should be Growing With Our Neighbourhoods

By Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

As a dad sending young kids to school this fall, I’ve shared apprehension with many parents about how this year is going to work. Can kids be adequately distanced in these spaces, especially with surging COVID-19 numbers in our community?

I’ve made a few observations over the first couple of weeks. First, teachers are working very hard and adding great creativity doing their instruction in a completely different and difficult educational environment. Second, schools simply don’t have the resources or …

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Toronto Sign Returns to Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto Sign Returns to Nathan Phillips Square

Last Friday, the City unveiled the new Toronto Sign on Nathan Phillips Square and the sign’s first celebratory wrap. The new sign is a more durable replica of the original which was installed in July 2015 for the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games.

The sign’s first wrap, Patterns of the People, was designed by Danilo Deluxo McCallum in recognition of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. Woven into the colourful patterns are African cultural symbols like the Adinkra Sankofa bird, which …

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City Urges Federal-Provincial Partnership on Housing

City Urges Federal-Provincial Partnership on Housing

The City of Toronto is calling for a Federal-Provincial-City partnership to create 3,000 permanent, affordable homes over the next 24 months, for homeless, vulnerable, and marginalized residents. 

While the average cost to operate a shelter bed in Toronto was more than $3,000 per month pre-COVID-19, the cost has now doubled as a result of the increased space and protective resources required by the pandemic. 

Moving 3,000 people out of shelters and into permanent housing with supports could provide a cost savings of up to $15 million per …

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New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

The Province has responded to an alarming rise in new COVID cases in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa with new restrictions on meeting size and much tougher penalties for those who don’t follow the rules.

The size of social gatherings, such as backyard barbecues or parties, has been reduced to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors.

Fines for those who organize gatherings above those numbers can range from $10,000 to $100,000, with the possibility of up to a year’s jail time. All guests who attend illegal events face …

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Speed Cameras Issue 580 Tickets in Willowdale

Speed Cameras Issue 580 Tickets in Willowdale

Two new speed enforcement cameras in Willowdale have resulted in 580 tickets during their first four weeks of operation.

A total of 372 tickets were issues in the first two weeks. That dropped to 208 for the second two weeks – still an extremely unacceptable number but a slight improvement which shows that the cameras are at least partially meeting their intended purpose of getting people to slow down. Those who don’t face standard fines for speeding.

Both the highest recorded speed (85km in a 40 km …

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Our Collective Responsibility

Our Collective Responsibility

Before the cold weather sends us indoors, before students are fully back to school, and before the second wave hits, COVID cases are rising at an alarming rate.

This week’s Toronto total is 617, up from 385 last week and 285 the week before. As recently as early August, we had it down to 141. You only need to chart that on the back of an envelope to see where this is heading.

Public Health officials began sounding the alarm several weeks ago when numbers started going …

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ActiveTO Expands to Yonge Until End of September

ActiveTO Expands to Yonge Until End of September

The City is expanding its ActiveTO program to include Yonge Street, between Davenport Road and Queen’s Quay, on the final two Sundays in September.

Roads will begin to close starting as early as 8 a.m. and be reopened by 3 p.m. each day. Vehicle access on these sections of roads will be closed and the City will actively manage traffic through signal timing adjustments on adjacent routes. Motorists who normally travel northbound on Yonge Street on Sundays should plan ahead and use alternate routes.

During the closure, …

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Recreation Programs Returning to Toronto

Recreation Programs Returning to Toronto

Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

As a parent with young kids at home, part of the back to school routine for us includes registering for recreation programs to enrich their experience. The City of Toronto offers a huge range of activities for children of all ages (including the grown-up ones) that are both reliable and reasonably priced. This fall, registration beings for the North York District on Tuesday, September 15.

After a successful summer camp season at our community centres, they return to more familiar offerings including …

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Willowdale Road Safety Survey 2020



Councillor Filion Looking for Your Input on Improving Willowdale’s Road Safety

Councillor Filion is working with residents and City Staff to develop a list of priorities and projects for the next 2+ years that will see a number of significant improvements to road safety in Willowdale. This survey will help Councillor Filion gather important insight and feedback from Willowdale residents.

This survey is also part of a series of virtual community conversations with Councillor Filion throughout September. If you have any questions then please contact Councillor Filion’s …

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Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis

Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis

The number of COVID cases and deaths tell only part of the tragic story that has been unfolding in our city since March.
In Toronto alone, 27 people died in July from opioid overdose. That’s almost one death per day and the highest monthly total ever recorded in Toronto. In the first five months of the pandemic, opioid overdose deaths increased by 85%. In British Columbia the situation is even worse, with a 200% increase compared to the same period last year.There appear to be three …

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