City Combats Anti-East Asian Racism

City Combats Anti-East Asian Racism

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a rise in incidents of racism against all East Asian communities in Toronto, including in our community in Willowdale.

There have been over 150 incidents of anti-East Asian Racism across the city, since the start of the pandemic. That’s why the City launched a social media campaign to bring attention to the need to combat racism in our city, including anti-East Asian racism earlier this week.

The campaign includes a video that showcases the real impact racism has on the lives …

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TTC Line 1 Closure This Weekend

TTC Line 1 Closure This Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, there will be a closure on Line One from Finch to Eglinton as the TTC continues to complete critical work during scheduled subway closures.

As well, the subway will be closing at 11 PM between Sheppard-Yonge and Eglinton from October 19th to the 22nd.

Any updates or changes to the schedule will also be posted online at: http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories/Subway_closures/index.jsp

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COVID Testing Protocol Update

COVID Testing Protocol Update

Last week, because the government was facing a severe backlog in processing COVID-19 tests, and it looked like testing capacity would be overwhelmed, the provincial government made changes to the rules about who could get tested for COVID-19. As well, the government has decreed that there will no longer be drop in tests, instead moving to an appointment only model. This is being done to cut down on lines at testing centres, which were sometimes over 6 hours long.

With the series of changes, there has …

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

A few years ago, I attended a talk by an author who had written a book about the year he had spent scrupulously following Biblical guidelines. He was asked which practices he’d decided to stick with after the year was up.

“Giving thanks for something every day,” he replied without hesitation. A simple act that is undeniably good for the soul. It’s something some of us do without thinking and others never think to do.

In this very difficult year for everybody, I feel very fortunate. I …

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New Measures to Curb COVID

New Measures to Curb COVID

The Province has announced immediate measures to curb the very alarming rise in new COVID cases.

Ontario had a record 939 new cases today, topping the previous record of 797 set yesterday. Toronto also saw a very alarming 326 new cases today. The weekly Toronto total was 1900, down slightly from last week’s 2001 but still a dangerously high number to be levelling off at. That number needs to be driven way down before a true second wave, widely expected this fall and winter, sweeps over …

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Scouts Canada Offering Free Trial Until December

Scouts Canada Offering Free Trial Until December

Scouts Canada is offering a free trial of their co-ed program until the end of the year. There are several Scout groups in Willowdale, offering a variety of online and safe outdoor programs, from ages 5-26.  Adult volunteers are welcome too!

While scouting is normally seen as an outdoor, in person activity the Scouts have been running “Scouting At Home” activities as part of their programs during COVID-19. These include:

Regular meetings on Zoom with games, weekly challenges, cooking, and crafts,
Virtual Campfires,
Guest speakers,
STEM activities, and
Earning badges.

For more …

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Work Continues on Community Basketball Courts

Work Continues on Community Basketball Courts

By Markus O’Brien-Fehr – Chief of Staff

Construction is currently underway for two community basketball facilities that will help keep communities active and youth engaged.

In 2019 John secured funding to help pay for the reconstruction of a basketball court at a TCH community in Willowdale. The construction began this past summer and will include a larger and new playing surface, a new perimeter fence, new basketball nets, and a community-led mural at centre court. The whole project should be completed in the next couple months.

New courts …

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Learn What’s Safe to go Down the Drain

Learn What’s Safe to go Down the Drain

Every day many items are flushed down toilets or poured down drains that don’t belong there. That is why Toronto Water has begun its annual ‘Not Down the Drain’ public education campaign to prevent damage to your home, and to city sewer systems.

These items, such as fat, oil, grease, wipes and dental floss, can cause damage to:

Home plumbing, which could lead to basement flooding,
The City’s sewer pipes located under the streets, which can also back up and lead to basement flooding,
Pumping stations and wastewater treatment …

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Changes to Visitor Policy at Long Term Care Homes

Changes to Visitor Policy at Long Term Care Homes

Effective October 5, Long-Term Care (LTC) homes in Ontario will be restricting entrance to staff members, essential visitors and essential caregivers to ensure that all long-term care homes are able to continue to keep residents safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new Provincial guidelines state that:

Essential visitors include a person visiting a very ill or palliative resident.
An essential caregiver provides direct support to the resident, such as feeding, personal hygiene or assistance in decision-making.
This person could be a family member, from the …

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Help Celebrate Meridian Hall’s 60th Anniversary

Help Celebrate Meridian Hall’s 60th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the city-owned theatre that was first known as the O’Keefe Centre. The first production was the worldwide premiere of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot.

Soon after it opened, my parents took me there to see the musical Guys and Dolls. In later years, it was home to some of my favourite concerts: Jefferson Airplane, the O’Jays, Paul Simon, Alison Kraus, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine.

Now, as the theatre marks this milestone, TOLive, the city body that operates the theatre (which is …

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Frightening Numbers Require Decisive Action

Frightening Numbers Require Decisive Action

The careless disregard that a relatively small number have shown for the wellbeing of others has sent us backwards into the frightening world of out-of-control COVID and pandemic shutdown.

This week, Toronto had an astounding 2001 new cases. That’s almost 50% more than the 1104 cases which sounded loud alarm bells last week. As recently as early August, Toronto had less than 100 new cases in a week.

Today, Toronto Public Health reached the unhappy conclusion that pleas to act responsibly were not working and much more …

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Backlog of COVID Testing a Growing Concern

Backlog of COVID Testing a Growing Concern

Yesterday I received a call from my son’s school.  He was in the office with an upset stomach, a condition he deals with from time to time.  As “nausea” was one of the screening symptoms for COVID-19, I picked him up resigned to the fact that we’d be spending today standing in line at a local testing site.

As it turned out, the Ontario government also announced new screening rules yesterday, indicating that a student showing a single, less severe symptom, such as a runny nose …

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