Today we saw 574 new cases of COVID-19 reported, and over 800 this weekend. This is to be expected as schools continue to operate with in-person classes. The Province of Ontario is now reporting hospitalizations by vaccination status as well as COVID-19 data in our schools, as over 9% of Ontario schools now have confirmed cases.
As of Wednesday, residents will be required to show proof of vaccination at most indoor, non-essential public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn. The proof of vaccination requirements apply to any customer entering the indoor areas of the following premises:
- Restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, including those where dance facilities are provided such as nightclubs, and other similar establishments (excluding delivery and takeout);
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities, including facilities where spectators watch events;
- Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments;
- Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas;
- Strip clubs, bathhouses, and sex clubs;
- Racing venues (e.g., horse racing);
- Places where commercial film and television production takes place and there is a studio audience (the audience members are considered patrons).
Proof of vaccination is also required in the outdoor areas of:
- Food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs, and other similar establishments, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service
The Province has split its vaccine passport rollout into two stages. In the first step, beginning on September 22, fully vaccinated residents must navigate to the provincial website to retrieve their vaccination receipts. Residents may choose to print their receipt for their second dose or upload it as a pdf to their smartphone or mobile device. Residents will need to display either the printed copy or the pdf on their mobile devices.
Prior to entry into non-essential settings, establishments will visually verify your vaccine certificate with accompanying government-issued physical identification. You will need both the vaccine receipt as well as a piece of government photo ID. Get proof of your COVID-19 vaccine here.
This process will be in place until October 22, when the Province's QR code and verification app comes into effect. You may still use your paper copy, and government ID as well.
Explore this detailed list of situations where you will be exempt from showing a vaccine certificate. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a recent infection will not replace the vaccine certificates.
I urge everyone who is dining out or attending an event to be patient and kind with staff as they navigate the challenges of educating and informing residents of these regulations. It may take longer than usual to enter a restaurant or an event as staff check dates and names on devices. Be gentle with each other. We are all learning how to move forward. Compassion and kindness will guide us. Like in other areas of our lives, COVID-19 has demanded we slow down.
There was nothing slow about last night’s Federal election, as news outlets declared a Liberal minority government very early in the evening. Congratulations to MP Marci Ien on her commanding re-election victory in Toronto Centre. I am proud to serve with her and look forward to continuing our work together in downtown neighbourhoods. Our residents and businesses need MP Ien’s continued support in advocating for a robust recovery from COVID-19.
On Saturday night, I was devastated to learn about the fatal shooting in Regent Park. This is gut-wrenching. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones impacted by yet another tragedy. COVID-19 has made life more challenging, and especially in neighbourhoods like Regent Park. For the sake of all children, we must end gun violence in this city and country.
This shooting is also deeply personal for the Toronto Public Service, as one of the victims was a City employee who worked at the Regent Park Community Centre. Thane Murray was a youth and recreation worker who deeply cared about the children and youth in Regent Park. My sincerest condolences go out to Thane’s family, friends, colleagues, and the hundreds of community members he worked closely with.
There is no single way to grieve and no clear pathway through the trauma of experiencing gun violence. My priority is to ensure that everyone impacted is offered the support and care they need through this challenging time. As always, my office is available to connect you or your loved ones with support services. You can read my full statement on the Regent Park shooting here.
Last Friday, the City of Toronto released the sum total of money spent on the three recent and large encampment clearings. Earlier that morning, I submitted an Administrative Inquiry seeking additional information about full costs and all factors involved with the City’s operations and move forward strategy. Later that same afternoon some of my questions were answered in a press release and it is expected that the balance of answers to my questions will be reported to the City Council meeting on October 1, 2021. I know many of you, like myself, do not want to see the government squander limited resources on half measures and band-aid fixes. Ending homelessness requires permanent and sustainable housing solutions- something only achieved when all orders of government work together to achieve that common goal. I will look forward to sharing staff’s full answers with you once they are made publicly available.
On Sunday, NOW magazine published my op-ed article about public interest lawsuits and the important role they have in protecting our natural heritage and other public interests. Sadly, the story doesn't end there, as it is good citizens who end up footing the expensive legal bills. Read about my experience trying to protect the Dominion Foundry buildings in the West Don Lands and the 10 public cemeteries operated by the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries.
Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival. Wishing a happy festival to all those celebrating and I hope you’ll get to enjoy some tasty mooncake!
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
What’s In Today’s EBlast?
- COVID-19 Vaccines, Fertility and Reproductive Health
- Improving the Safety Around Trolley Crescent!
- Date Change: iPHARE Information Session
- St. James Town and Moss Park Backpack Drive
- Better Connections in Ward 13!
- Senior Assistance Home Maintenance Program
- Have Your Say: Digital Infrastructure Plan
- Toronto Centre Projects
COVID-19 Vaccines, Fertility and Reproductive Health
COVID-19 Vaccines, Fertility and Reproductive Health vent promotional graphic
Led by the Sickle Cell Awareness Group Ontario and the Black Health Alliance, join our friends for an expert question and answer session on Covid-19 Vaccines, Fertility, and Reproductive Health. Experts include Dr. Modupe Tunde-Byass, OBGYN and President of Black Health Alliance led by the Sickle Cell Awareness Group Ontario and the Black Physicians of Canada, and Dr. Melanie Kirby-Allen, Division of Haematology and Oncology at SickKids.
When: Saturday, September 25, 2021
Time: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Register and learn more!
Improving the Safety Around Trolley Crescent!
Beginning on September 15, 2021, residents around Trolley Crescent can expect to see construction on the long-awaited design improvements. These refinements will help deter vehicles from entering and driving through Underpass Park and preserve the pedestrian priority nature of the local street.
My office alongside local residents, stakeholders and Waterfront Toronto have collaborated over throughout the pandemic to improve safety conditions around Trolley Crescent. We have prepared motion after motion, and delegated over $260,000 in Section 37 funding. I am proud to see this work finally being realized and can’t wait for residents to feel safe once more in their local park.
I’d like to extend my special thanks to Waterfront Toronto, Transportation and Parks staff for their contributions and dedication to seeing these conditions improved.This has been a large coordinated effort between multiple divisions at the City of Toronto and a partnership with Waterfront Toronto. I look forward to once again enjoying Underpass Park!
Date Change: iPHARE Information Session
iPHARE info session details
In order to accommodate the Federal election, the City of Toronto has rescheduled its planned iPHARE information session to September 28, 2021. Members of the public are invited to attend an online meeting to learn more about iPHARE, the Integrated Prevention and Harm Reduction initiative. iPHARE is a joint effort between Toronto Public Health, the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division, community agencies and community members to provide support to shelter residents and address opioid-related overdoses in City shelters.
When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Time: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Join the meeting here!
Event password: HarmReduction! (if prompted)
If you’re joining by telephone: 416-915-6530 (Access code: 177 977 5037). Learn more about iPHARE, and access the video from the August 9, 2021 session.
St. James Town and Moss Park Backpack Drive
Councillor Wong-Tam and friends at the St. James Town and Moss Park backpack drive
Earlier this month, students across Ontario returned to school after the summer break. Many students were returning to in-person learning after months of virtual classrooms due to COVID-19. Returning to school is always an exciting time and back to school shopping for the essentials is a typical end-of-summer activity for students and their parents. However, there are many students and families that face financial barriers preventing them from purchasing their own supplies, including in many neighbourhoods located within Ward 13.
St. James Town and Moss Park backpack drive
The need for school supplies is great and it is imperative that students are well-prepared for school. During a time when the global pandemic has exacerbated issues of financial equity, corporate partnerships and other avenues of support are needed to offer relief to communities that need it the most. Last week, local developer Broccolini donated over $10,500 to purchase school supplies and grocery gift cards for students and families in St. James Town and Moss Park. Through a coordinated partnership between our office, TCHC, Downtown Yonge BIA, St. James Town Community Corner, and Broccolini helped distribute 300 backpacks filled with calculators, notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, and other supplies to students who are most in need. In addition, Medallion Corporation, which owns and manages several apartment buildings in St. James Town also generously donated additional $25 gift cards to local tenants who signed up for the backpack drive.
A group photo of everyone holding up backpacks at the St. James Town and Moss Park backpack drive
During these incredibly difficult times as we collectively work together to recover from the pandemic, it is imperative that we help those in need by attempting to reduce barriers to accessing necessities like school supplies. Thank you to all the wonderful community partners who worked with our office to make this happen!
The City of Toronto invites residents to show love for their city.
The City of Toronto created ShowLoveTO in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and funded in part by the Government of Ontario to encourage local tourism and foster community engagement and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. From hitting the patio to supporting local art and shops, ShowLoveTO encourages residents to get out and do the things they love safely.
ShowLoveTO is the City of Toronto’s hyper-local initiative launched to help Toronto recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative encourages residents to show love for Toronto by safely connecting with neighbours, supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring their city neighbourhoods through a series of City-led and partner programs and events. For more information, visit toronto.ca/showloveTO.
Better Connections in Ward 13!
The Toronto Transit Commission has announced new routes in Ward 13. These changes will provide greater connection to our neighbourhoods, and better connections to the downtown.
New Route – 150 Eastern Ave: The TTC is proposing that a new route on Eastern Ave operate local bus service between Woodbine Loop (Kingston Road and Queen Street) and King St W and University Ave, via Eastern Avenue and the King Street Transit Priority Corridor. This route will serve new residential and employment developments along Eastern Avenue and high-density development in the Corktown Commons neighbourhood, connecting these areas directly to the downtown core.
Modified Route – 65 Parliament: The TTC is proposing to modify the 65 Parliament by extending the bus service to Dockside Drive via Queens Quay East. This route extension will provide new service from Parliament Street to George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus and Queens Quay East, providing another connection from Line 2 to the lake. The 65 would no longer serve its current terminal looping around the St Lawrence neighbourhood, but is still within walking distance to customers on The Esplanade.
Senior Assistance Home Maintenance Program
Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance program promotional graphic
The Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program has been coordinated by Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community since 1996. It matches brokered workers to provide assistance to older adults or people living with disabilities in communities within the City of Toronto. This service is intended to help residents remain independently and safely within their own homes.
Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community are seeking clients who need assistance with their autumn cleanup! Please contact Kevin at [email protected] or by calling 416-676-5993. Learn more about TIGP!
Have Your Say: Digital Infrastructure Plan
Digital infrastructure plan consultation meeting promotional graphic
Since late 2019, the City has been working on a Digital Infrastructure Plan (DIP) to help modernize and formalize the roles, functions, and procedures within which digital infrastructure decisions are made at the City and a plan to shape Toronto's digital future. The purpose of these consultations is to give the public and stakeholders the opportunity to review the draft DIP, ask questions, and provide feedback. A report containing the Digital Infrastructure Plan will be brought to Executive Committee in January 2022.
When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Register to attend
When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Register to attend
If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to Alice Xu, Manager, Connected Community at 416 392-2085 or by e-mail at [email protected].
Toronto Centre Projects
Toronto Centre Projects promotional graphic
Toronto Centre Projects is designed to engage community members and crowdsource neighbourhood projects supported by the Councillor's office and your neighbours. Over the next year, my office will be launching consultations for several parks and dog off-leash area revitalizations, public realm improvements, and more.
Have ideas to make our communities more liveable, vibrant, and safe? Submit them at www.TorontoCentreProjects.ca.
COVID-19: Vaccine Information
For updates about Toronto’s vaccination rollout and booking system, please visit my website.
Book an appointment at a City-operated vaccination clinic by phone through the provincial call centre, 1-888-999-6488.
Book an appointment at a City-operated vaccination clinic online at www.toronto.ca/covid-19. For online bookings, you will need:
- Information found on your Government of Ontario photo health card;
- Postal code; and
- Email address or phone number.
The provincial system will verify your eligibility to book an appointment for vaccination based on this information and will then guide you to the scheduling system.
Please do not call 311 or Toronto Public Health to book an appointment. The City 311 contact centre and Toronto Public Health staff do not have access to the booking system.
Vaccinated Against COVID-19? What Does It Mean For Me?
By getting vaccinated, you benefit from the protection you get against COVID-19 and the easing of restrictive measures in your community. You still need to follow local public health advice in public settings (e.g. workplaces, public transit). Their advice considers community risk levels.
A majority of people in Canada have now had their first shot and many will soon be fully vaccinated. Below is a handy chart created by Public Health Canada to inform your actions depending on your vaccination status. This advice is based on the current state and will be updated as vaccination rates continue to increase and cases decrease.
COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread
As we begin to again restrengthen our public health measures, we will all continue to live in this new normal. Wearing a mask or a face covering is mandatory in all public indoor spaces and on the TTC. Our commitment must be to continue minimizing the impact of COVID-19, especially on our most vulnerable residents, while reducing negative social, economic, and broader health impacts on our community. In the coming months what this means for our residents is:
- Continuing to work remotely, wherever possible;
- Maintaining physical distance from people outside our household or social circle/bubble;
- Avoiding crowds and congregations in closed indoor settings;
- Wearing a cloth mask or face covering in any public indoor setting, including stores, transit, offices; and where
- physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Staying home whenever we are sick for any reason.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
Now is the time to stay informed through credible sources, and to follow the advice of our public health professionals. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19.
Phone lines for telehealth, TPH and 311 continue to experience very high volumes. Please help keep the phones lines open for people who are sick by visiting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19
Call if you develop symptoms!
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Email: [email protected]
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services, or to report people
Telephone: 311 (The City is only accepting 311 requests through phone)
Support for People Living with Homelessness
If you see someone living with homelessness and in need of support you can call Streets to Homes at 416-338-4766. For mental health support, the Gerstein Crisis Centre is a valuable 24-hours a day, seven days a week service in our community and they have crisis workers on standby at 416-929-5200. More resources, including additional how to report information, are available on my website at kristynwongtam.ca.
If you or someone else is confronted with life-threatening danger, please call 911 immediately. Alternatively, the Toronto Police request that online reports be submitted at torontopolice.on.ca/core or to torontopolice.on.ca/community-complaints. You can also call their non-emergency line at 416-808-2222.