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COVID-19 Updates – March 25 2020

COVID-19 Updates – March 25 2020


In response to requests from community organizations wishing to circulate information regarding services being provided and/or changed during this time, I have established a new COVID-19 Community Corner on my website. Please click on the following link to view the COVID-19 Community Corner: http://karygiannis.net/wp/category/covid-19-community-corner/

If you would like information regarding your organization to be posted on the COVID-19 Community Corner, please e-mail me at jim@karygiannis.net or call 416 392 1374 and leave a message.


Once again, I want to thank those of you who have reached out and offered to help someone in need in our community. If you are in need of assistance with picking up groceries and essentials, please do not hesitate to reach out. I can be reached by e-mail at jim@karygiannis.net or by phone at 416 392 1374.


City of Toronto

  • The City of Toronto has announced the closure of all parks amenities across the City.  The closures are effective immediately. This includes all City-owned:
    • Playgrounds;
    • Sports fields, including soccer, multi-use fields and baseball diamonds;
    • Basketball courts;
    • Tennis and Pickleball courts;
    • Off-leash dog parks and trails;
    • Skateboard and BMX parks;
    • Picnic areas and park shelters;
    • Community gardens;
    • Frisbee, golf locations and outdoor fitness equipment in City parks;
    • Outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities; and,
    • Parking lots attached to the parks system.
  • Beginning tomorrow (March 26), signage will be erected to advise of closures, including playgrounds. Where fencing or gates exist, they will be locked. Unfenced playground structures will be signed and taped off.
  • Violations of municipal bylaws related to accessing a closed, City-owned parks amenity vary depending on the offence, but can result in fines of up to $5,000.
  • All condominiums, Toronto-area schools and Toronto Community Housing have also been recommended to close all playgrounds and public amenities.
  • Municipal Licensing & Standards is collaborating with Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Police Service to ensure non-essential businesses are complying with the order to close.
    • Compliance audits started yesterday morning and will continue 7 days a week. Non-essential businesses found to be open may be provided with a Notice under the Provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.


Toronto Community Housing


Toronto Community Housing staff is reaching out to tenants who may need help with the tasks of daily living, such as having food and medicine delivered to their home. Staff members are also doing wellness checks for all tenants who have been previously identified as having vulnerabilities. TCHC is also encouraging tenants to tell us if they are self-isolating or ill. This helps TCHC connect tenants to supports they may need.


Food security

  • Food banks operated by agencies remain open in our buildings, with special precautions in place for cleanliness and social-distancing.
  • TCHC is working with volunteer networks to ensure we can deliver food to tenants who need supplies during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • TCHC is also working with our partner agencies, including health agencies and food bank providers, to fill any gaps when agencies have had to cut back services.


Social distancing measures

Toronto Community Housing has put in place these social distancing measures to protect public health and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Offices are open, but closed to walk-in visits until further notice. Staff will meet with tenants by appointment.
  • Community rooms, recreation rooms and amenity spaces are closed.
  • Food programs delivered by agencies will continue to operate.
  • Laundry rooms remain open and will be cleaned several times a day.
  • TCHC continues to provide emergency repairs, but all other requests will be completed at a later date.
  • In-suite capital work is suspended until further notice, except for repairs to fire life safety equipment and window air conditioner exchanges. Vendors doing this work will wear personal protective equipment to safeguard tenants.
  • All 2020 Tenant Election activities and all public meetings are suspended.


Other measures

  • TCHC is cleaning and disinfecting buildings three times daily, seven days a week, with a focus on common areas and all frequently touched surfaces.


Government of Ontario


  • The Toll-Free Line 1-888-444-3659 has been launched to provide support to Ontario businesses with questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces. It is open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Minister of Finance Rod Phillips released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).
  • The Government’s Action Plan includes $7-billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs.
  • It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets, for a total of $17-billion. It includes:
    • A dedicated $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments.
    • A $2.5 billion reserve increased contingency fund of $1.3 billion to provide continued flexibility to respond to changing global circumstances.
    • A $3.3 billion in additional health care resources to protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario.
    • For the exact breakdown of the $17-billion Action Plan, please click on this link: https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2020/03/ontarios-action-plan-responding-to-covid-19.html


Government of Canada

  • Measures under the Quarantine Act have been invoked. There is now a mandatory self-quarantine of 14 days for anyone coming into Canada, effective midnight (12:01 AM March 26). Criminal sanctions and fines will be imposed on those who break quarantine.
  • The Prime Minister today announced the launch of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2,000 a month for the next 4 months to workers who have lost their income due to the virus.
    • This will replace the two benefits that were announced last week, the emergency care benefit and emergency support benefit.
    • An application portal online will soon be released and people should receive money within 10 days of applying.  The target date for this to be delivered to Canadians is April 6th.
  • Indigenous communities will receive financial support from the federal government that is adjusted based on population and geographical location.
    • Inuit communities will be allocated $40-million.
    • Métis communities will be allocated $35-million.
    • $15-million will go to supporting regional, urban and Indigenous organizations supporting those who live away from their communities.