Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Stay in the loop

COVID-19 Latest Update

Published on May 17, 2021

Dear Neighbours,

The news about the pandemic continues to change rapidly and, in my office, we are trying to keep you as up to date as possible on latest developments.

Premier Doug Ford announced that the provincewide stay-at-home order will be extended until June 2 in order to "protect this summer for all Ontarians." The Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said Ontario would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts well below 1,000 before the stay-at-home order could be lifted.

The Ontario government voted down MPP Sara Singh’s motion today calling for the immediate safe re-opening of outdoor activities.

The motion was put forward on behalf of the NDP in order to give families the freedom to get outside and participate in safe outdoor activities like tennis, baseball and basketball practice.

By keeping outdoor recreational amenities closed, the Government is hurting kids and families who have been cooped up inside for months. Not only is getting outside a relief for people and children coping with anxiety and isolation — it’s safer than being indoors and is essential to our mental and physical well-being. Sign the petition here.

Stay safe and stay well,


Vaccine Pop-ups and Clinics in Spadina-Fort York

Hot Spot Pop-ups & Clinics

  • May 17 Downsview Arena, 1633 Wilson Ave: Adults aged 16 years and over who live or work in hot spot postal codes (see below) in Toronto are eligible for vaccination. Also, any High Risk Healthcare Workers who received their first dose at Humber River Hospital are eligible for their second dose at the clinic. The clinic will operate from 9 a.m. until vaccine supply lasts.
  • May 21, Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (627 Queens Quay W): First doses of Pfizer and Moderna will be offered to anyone 18 years and over living in M5V postal codes (see below). Clinic will run from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 416-392-1509. 

 

  • To obtain the most up to date information about pop-ups, consider following Vaccine Huntershttps://vaccinehunters.ca/  Twitter & Facebook: @VaxHuntersCan

 

Vaccine Information Session in Mandarin

  • MPP Jessica Bell is holding a vaccine information session in Mandarin on Tuesday, May 18, 2-4 p.m. on Zoom. To register, please contact Chi Cheng at 437-370-1733, [email protected]

or register directly at https://forms.gle/1E9FXgUnbMmLe2iC8 or scan the QR code in the flyer.

Clinics for Residents without OHIP Cards

Residents without OHIP cards who meet the current vaccine eligibility criteria can get assistance booking a vaccination appointment at a City-operated immunization clinic by contacting:

FCJ Refugee Centre

• Telephone: 416-469-9754 ext. 230 and 232; WhatsApp: 437-217-3786 (Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

• Email: [email protected]

• In-person booking (by appointment only) at 208 Oakwood Avenue

• Phone interpretation services are available as needed

 

Access Alliance

• Telephone: 416-760-8677

o Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

o Wednesday: 1 - 4:30 p.m.

o Thursday: 12:30 - 7:30 p.m.

• In person booking (by appointment only) at 761 Jane Street location

• Phone interpretation services are available as needed


Vaccine Update

Anyone 18+ Eligible to Book Vaccine Tomorrow

  • Starting Tuesday, May 18 at 8:00 am, all Ontario residents 18 years of age and over will be able to book a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone 17 years of age (and turning 18 in 2021) is also eligible but can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, so please check with the clinic in advance. The government has made this decision based on the recent increase in vaccine supply. The province will be opening eligibility up to children ages 12 to 17 for the Pfizer vaccine by May 31.

You can access the online booking system here: Ontario.ca/bookvaccine

When booking an appointment, you will be asked for information from your green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number. People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call and book through the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centre at 1-833-943-3900

Booking Your Second Dose

  • The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines require two doses. Depending on where you receive your COVID-19 vaccine, you may book an appointment for your second dose at the time of booking your first dose, or you may be asked to book an appointment for your second dose at a later date. It is currently recommended that as much as possible, the same vaccine be used for the second dose. Evidence-informed guidance will be coming shortly on mixed vaccination schedules.

In Ontario, the interval between your first and second dose is up to four months, with very limited exceptions. If you are eligible to receive your second dose earlier due to a medical condition, your health care provider will contact you directly. If you are eligible, but received your first dose at a pop-up clinic, please call 1-888-385-1910. First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals residing in urban communities, including non-Indigenous partners and household members can now also receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval.

If you received your first dose at a hospital immunization clinic or pharmacy and do not yet have the second dose booked, please contact the hospital or pharmacy directly to book your second dose. The provincial booking system that is used for booking appointments at City immunization clinics requires you to book appointments for both doses at the time of booking. At this time, you cannot change the location for your second dose appointment.

The Ontario government has added high-risk health care workers to the list of those eligible to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the extended four-month interval. Booking details will be provided in the coming days.

Ontario Pauses AstraZeneca Vaccine

  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams announced that Ontario will be pausing the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at this time. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Williams said that, with supply of the Pfizer vaccine ramping up considerably, the province found itself in a position in which it could suspend the use of AstraZeneca for now. The province is now expecting to receive 250,000 more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine next week, a shipment that will be reserved for second shots.

Rapid Testing Portal for Essential Businesses

  • Ontario is launching a rapid testing portal for all essential businesses to access free rapid testing kits. Any essential businesses with more than 150 employees are encouraged to participate in the Provincial Antigen Screening Program by registering through the new portal. Free rapid antigen screening kits will be provided to these businesses to help screen for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Vaccine Registration Assistance for Seniors

  • The Spadina-Fort York Community Care program will be helping seniors 50 and older who are having trouble registering for a vaccine. Please email [email protected] or call 647-904-6637.

If you manage a co-operative housing building or an organization with seniors or other vulnerable residents, please complete this form to request assistance.

If you would like to volunteer with this program or other Spadina-Fort York Community Care activities, please complete this form.


Latest Developments

CNE Cancelled this Summer

  • Due to COVID-19, the CNE has been cancelled for summer 2021 and, as a result, is facing permanent closure due to the financial impacts of the pandemic. The CNE is a much-loved Toronto institution that holds special significance for many Ontarians young and old. The CNE attracts over 1.5 million visitors annually and provides 4700 jobs, primarily to youth, with 20% of summer jobs going to youth with special needs. It’s a major economic driver that generates $128 million in economic activity for Ontario each year.

After 142 years, the CNE may close its gates forever— it’s non-profit model did not provide it with the financial ability to withstand the shutdowns during the pandemic. I am calling on this government to step in and provide the financial support needed to re-open the gates of Toronto’s beloved CNE in summer 2022 and beyond.

Bill 282 and E-bikes

  • Last Friday, a new bill was passed by the current government that could make most power-assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, illegal in Ontario. Called the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, or “MOMS” for short, the bill, which classifies e-bikes by wheel size and weight, would restrict e-bikes in Ontario to 50 kg and a wheel size of at least 35 mm wide (approximately one and a half inches) and 350 mm in diameter (approximately 14 inches). MOMS would make the vast majority of e-bikes that are currently on the road in Ontario illegal. It’s not clear if the intent of the bill is to ban e-bikes that don’t meet the specifications set out in the bill or if it’s just a mistake. Questions posed at committee to government MPPs and the Ministry of Transportation have gone unanswered. Many seniors, low-income individuals and others have come to rely on e-bikes as their primary mode of transport and are concerned about the bill.

Read my article in Now Magazine for more on this.

Rail Deck Park Tribunal

  • The Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) has ruled in favour of a developer over the City of Toronto in its bid to build Rail Deck Park. LPAT said that the City of Toronto was wrong to reject a proposal by Craft Acquisitions Corporation and PITS Developments Inc., to build a 6.5 hectare “mixed use community” of towers dubbed ORCA above the open rail space south of Front Street and between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way. The City of Toronto rejected an amendment to its official plan by the developers in 2018 which then allowed the city to designate the areas of the rail corridor as parks and open space areas. The City said the developers’ proposal did not comply with its planning standards and argued it was “wrong” from a policy perspective to allow a private development in the area, given the immense need for a new park in the city’s downtown. The Tribunal said the City has done little to advance that plan over the last five years and that owned air rights are exempt from the requirement that some of them be devoted to parkland, and that weighing the need for a park in downtown Toronto was not its concern.

Corktown Station Report and Public Consultation

  • Metrolinx is looking for community feedback on a new environmental assessment for the early works required at Ontario Line’s Corktown Station. The draft Corktown Station Early Works Report is available now for public review and feedback. The 30-day consultation period ends on June 11, 2021. All feedback will be shared with the project team and will be summarized and addressed in the final report that will be published no later than July 16, 2021. More information available here.

Virtual School Learning to Continue

  • The Premier announced that virtual learning will continue for all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools. However, it was not confirmed if students would be returning to the classroom before the end of the school year. He said that public health doctors, teachers, and labour partners must all agree on the best path forward regarding the reopening schools and that this time will be used to vaccinate as many teachers and students as possible.

TDSB Using Quadmester Model Next Year

  • The Toronto District School Board announced it will be bringing back the quadmester model for secondary students during the 2021-2022 academic year. This model was introduced for the first time this year and had students taking two courses at a time across four separate academic semesters. News about the plan for the fall comes in the wake of the Ministry announcing that all school boards will have to provide a remote-learning option for the next school year, regardless of whether the pandemic has subsided enough to allow for the widespread resumption of in-person classes. More information here.

Federal Public Transit Funding Announcement

  • The federal government announced it will spend more than $12 billion on transit projects in Toronto and Hamilton. Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna said that $10.4 billion in funding will go toward four transit projects in Toronto, covering about 40% of each project:
    • Scarborough Subway Extension - $5.5 billion 
    • Eglinton Crosstown West - $4.7 billion
    • Ontario Line - $10.9 billion 
    • Yonge North Subway Extension - $5.6 billion (subject to Treasury Board approval)

The federal government will also help fund a light rail transit line in downtown Hamilton and buy zero-emission streetcars for the TTC. More here.

Income Tax Assistance from CRA

  • Tax filing may be more challenging for some people this year because of COVID-19. Filing a tax return is very important as it will let the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determine if someone is eligible for certain benefit and credit payments, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the GST/HST credit. To help, the CRA will offer extra support to eligible individuals who have previously received support through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). Individuals who need help completing their income tax return can call 1-833-995-2341.

CRA has already identified a number of eligible Canadians for this program. Those individuals will receive a personalized letter from the CRA with special information to help confirm that the calls they get are legitimate. This letter may come in the mail or be available through the CRA’s My Account portal. If you have received this letter, more information can be found by going to Canada.ca/tax-filing-assistance.

Starting this month through to October 2021, the CRA will call these individuals and help them by directing them to free virtual tax clinics or to online certified tax software products (including a number of free options) and, in certain situations, the CRA agent may be able to help individuals do their taxes over the phone.

To be eligible, and individual must have:

  • a modest income;
  • a simple tax situation; and
  • used free tax clinics in the past or be eligible to use those clinics.

2021 Census of Population

  • The next Census of Population will take place in May 2021. Census information is important to all communities and is vital for planning schools, daycare, family services, public transportation, and skills training for employment. The Census Program has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the 2021 Census of Population is conducted throughout the country in the best possible way, using a safe and secure approach. Completing the census questionnaire online is safe, fast and easy. Visit the Census Website here.

Looking for a job? There are 32,000 census job opportunities across Canada. Statistics Canada employs people in their local area. More information here.

ActiveTO Returns on Lakeshore West

  • The following closures will be in place beginning Saturday, May 15 at 6:00 am until Sunday, May 16 at 9:00 pm:
    • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only), between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road
    • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue
    • Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street

Residents planning to use ActiveTO routes should do so only with members of their own household and access them by bike or as a pedestrian because nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available. Click here to learn more.

Commissioners Street Bridge Arrives at the Port Lands

  • The Commissioners Street bridge has entered Toronto from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In total, four new bridges will connect downtown Toronto to the future Villiers Island, the new island that will be created by extending the Don River through the Port Lands. The first of these bridges arrived in Toronto in November 2020. Click here to learn more.

Public Meetings & Consultations

Public Meeting on First Parliament Site May 18 6:30 pm

For more information on this project, click here.

Public Consultation on Bill G288 at Queen’s Park

Committee: Finance and Economic Affairs

This bill makes changes regarding the practice of trades in Ontario and apprenticeship training and certification. If you are interested in presenting to the committee or submitting a written deputation with your thoughts on the bill, sign up here. Each witness panel is an hour, with three witnesses receiving seven minutes, followed by questions from the members of the legislative committee.

Deadlines:

  • Verbal Presentation: Tuesday, May 18, 12:00 pm
  • Written Submissions: Tuesday, May 25, 6:00 pm

Consultation Hearings:

  • Friday, May 21 – 9:00 am - noon  AND 1:00 - 6:00pm 
  • Tuesday, May 25 – 9:00 am - noon  AND 1:00 - 3:00pm

Public Consultation for Multi-tenant Rooming Houses

  • The City is proposing the creation of a comprehensive city-wide zoning approach and enhancements to licensing and enforcement to encourage and regulate safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across the city. Public consultation is ongoing, and an online questionnaire is open until May 18. You can also attend a virtual public meeting on May 4 or 11Learn more here.

Grants and Programs

Bentway Community Incubation Program

  • The Bentway is now accepting applications for the 2021 Community Incubation Program. The program provides financial and logistical support to emerging artists, designers, community members, and others based in the CityPlace neighbourhood to create a new program at The Bentway Studio – The Bentway’s new office and programming space located adjacent to the Canoe Landing Recreation Centre – this fall. The Community Incubation Program will help develop the capacity of local community members and provide some fantastic programming for CityPlace!

Public information session (Zoom): May 20, 2021 at 6pm – 7pm. Register here.

Deadline for submissions: June 4, 2021

Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

  • The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant portal is now open for applications. The grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector. Businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) are not eligible for the new grant. The OSBSG was designed to help businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the provincewide shutdown effective December 26, 2020. 

Application deadline: Friday, June 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm EDT.

Eligibility and application process here.

Ontario Restaurant & Bar Support Fund

  • The Fund is a private sector, registered not-for-profit organization established to help support as many Ontario food and beverage establishments as possible to reopen and recover from the financial setbacks of the pandemic. The Fund’s website has details for businesses wanting to become a corporate sponsor in support of the hospitality industry in Ontario. Visit www.RestaurantandBarSupportFund.ca. There is a GoFundMe page for patrons who wish to donate the cost of a night out (i.e. $25) in support of restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments: www.gofundme.com/ontario-restaurant-and-bar-support-fund.

Community Building Fund for Non-Profits and Indigenous Communities

  • The Ontario government is providing funding to non-profits and Indigenous communities in the community arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation sectors to help sustain their operations and create new attractions, experiences and events. Grants are 6 or 12 months in length for amounts of $10,000 to $250,000. NEW application deadline is Wednesday, June 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET.

More information is available here.

Eligible organizations looking for application support can:

Applying for an Ontario Arts Council Grant

  • Applying for an arts grant can be confusing or overwhelming. This spring, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is offering a series of webinars for Ontario-based artists and arts groups to learn the basics of applying for OAC funding. These webinars are for people who: 
    • have never applied for an arts grant before
    • have an idea for an arts project in mind and are wondering how to apply for funding
    • have applied for a grant before, but did not receive one
    • want to learn more about what makes a successful application

If you already have a project in mind, and you have a specific question about your project, please email [email protected].

Click here for a list of upcoming webinars.

Pathways to Success Program for Indigenous Youth

  • The Indigenous Professional Association of Canada’s Pathways to Success Program creates new opportunities for internships and summer work experiences for Indigenous youth (17-29) in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton. They are currently looking for employers and Indigenous youth to participate in the program. For more information, visit the Pathways to Success website and signup page.

Private Refugee Support Network Ontario

  • The Private Refugee Sponsor Network Ontario (The Network) is a volunteer-driven organization with 260 sponsors working together in response to community need, offering information, education, problem solving, and networking opportunities to enable private sponsors to better support refugee families. The Network is playing a significant role in resolving post-arrival issues, addressing potential sponsorship breakdown and creating relationships with settlement agencies that will lead to more effective service delivery in the sector. To learn more about the Private Refugee Sponsor Network Ontario, email [email protected], or visit the website at www.refugeesponsornet.ca.

Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance Program

  • Do you need help around your home? This program enables older adults and individuals with disabilities to continue to live independently and safely in their own homes with support from brokered home maintenance workers. Services at reasonable prices include: lawn and garden maintenance, snow shovelling, light housekeeping, odd jobs around the house. For more information, visit www.tigp.org, email [email protected] or call 416-531-8447 ext. 501.

Teens Learn to Drive

  • Teens Learn to Drive (TL2D) is recruiting Ontario high school students for the 2021-22 school year to become Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN) Ambassadors. If you have teens, nieces, nephews or friends that might be interested, please share this information. The VZYN program is free and has lots of benefits for selected students and their schools.  Ambassadors will work with the TL2D Team, police and other partners to close the knowledge gap for young drivers, riders and pedestrians and make Ontario roads safer.  The time commitment required is 5 hours per month.

Round 1 of applications close June 1, 2021. Please share this video with high school studentshttps://youtu.be/ktjC9onfTss

                                     


Fun Things To Do

  • Book Club Night with MPP Glover: Join MPP Chris Glover and author Olive Senior on Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm for a reading from her newest book “Pandemic Poems”. Register here.

     

  • C-O-N-T-A-C-T: Immerse yourself in this world as you plug into this poetic and cathartic experience. An app created especially for this exciting new show will sweep you away with state-of- the-art 3D sound design as you use your smartphone and headphones to navigate the performance. Yonge-Dundas Square & College Park. April 8 - May 16.
  • College-Montrose Children’s Place provides free programs and resources for children 0-6 years old, their parents and caregivers. Virtual programs include play-based learning activities, social time for children and adults, as well as topic specific workshops (nutrition, infant related etc.) One on one support is offered along with information about other community resources. Visit cmcp.ca for more information.
  • Family Feud Canada – Auditions: Think your family has what it takes to be in Season 3 of this popular game show? Apply by submitting your virtual audition. April 12 - August 31.
  • Garrison Creek Lotuses: This new art installation by Amsterdam-based artists the Verhoeven Twins is nearly complete under the Gardiner Expressway near Bathurst St.
  • High Park Cherry Blossoms: Watch the beautiful cherry blossoms bloom in the comfort of your home via the BloomCam livestream. The 24-hour camera will be up and running once peak bloom period begins, which could happen as early as the last week of April this year.
  • Merce Cunningham Double Feature: A program on one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century. Catch on-demand performances from Fall for Dance North’s 2019 event at the Art Gallery of Ontario.Until May 21.
  • Mini Art Crawl on Toronto Island: Explore local artists’ works displayed in elevated miniature display cases as you stroll along the island’s cozy streets. Plan your ferry ride and view the map here.
  • Music of My Life at The Royal Conservatory: A new free web-based series where stars of the stage and screen discuss music that inspires them. Season One kicks off with Grammy and Emmy winner Eugene Levy, most recently of Schitt’s Creek. RoyalConservatory.Live
  • Myseum Intersections: The 6th annual festival is now underway with plenty of exciting virtual events starting with Images of Resistance: An Archive of Action, an exhibit that reflects on the historic 2008-2009 Tamil demonstrations in Toronto, culminating in a blockade of the Gardiner.
  • Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival: This 25th anniversary edition launches in May and features a redesigned website with an array of online conversations, audio features, videos and photo essays. More information here.

  • Soulpepper’s Around the World in 80 Plays: Audiences are invited on a guided tour of the rich theatrical practices of the world with eight audio dramas celebrating the global ‘canon’, with works from Russia, India, Argentina, Jamaica, Iran, Nigeria, Italy, and Canada. Audiences also receive free companion documentaries from CBC Ideas, and Extend Your Stay recommendations from TIFF, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Festival of Authors, and Small World Music.  Available now until June 30. Soulpepepr.ca/80Plays
  • St. Lawrence Farmers Market: The Saturday Farmers Market returns to Market Street (between The Esplanade and Wilton Street) on Saturday, May 1. The indoor Farmers Market area operates from 5am-3pm and the South (main) Market building is open on Saturdays from 5am-4pm.
  • Queen Street Virtual Tours: Riverside BIA (Queen St East) and Queen Street West BIA have teamed up to create three virtual walks highlighting local restaurants, public art, and historical elements of these two beloved Toronto neighbourhoods.
  • The H.O.O.D. Virtual Open Mike: Alexandra Park Community Centre presents this series via Zoom entitled W.R.I.T.E.S (Willfully Recording Impactful Thoughts Empowering Spirits) inviting residents interested in rapping, poetry, spoken word or singing. Every Saturday 1-3 pm. For more information email [email protected].
  • Toronto Railway Museum at Home: Celebrate International Museum Day on May 18th with this virtual program packed full of activities for train lovers and enthusiasts to enjoy at home, including crossword and jigsaw puzzles, virtual tour guides, scavenger hunts and more.
  • Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market: The market will operate May 4 to October 26, 2021, every Tuesday (rain or shine) from 3-7pm. Dundas & Shaw at the northwest end of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Reaching Out

Birthday & Anniversary Greetings:

  • My office sends out congratulatory scrolls to people across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like to request a scroll, please email us at [email protected].

Calling Local Artists:

  • If you are a local artist, we would love to share your work with the community by publishing it in my newsletter and on this website. If you’re interested in sharing your art, please email us at [email protected]. Art submitted must be accompanied by a short description (50 words or less). Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community. 

Mental Health Supports

Need immediate help?

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance use emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of your local hospital.  
  • If you are not sure if it is an emergency, or just need to talk through the situation, consider reaching out to:

General Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Covid-19 Specific Resources:

Resources for Students

Resources for Caregivers