January 7, 2022 – eNewsletter

ByBrad Bradford

Hi Neighbours,

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and found some time to relax, reflect and recharge for 2022.

I know this isn’t the start of the year we’d hoped for, but as we’ve continued to see across the pandemic – the care and resiliency in our Beaches-East York communities will get through this new hurdle. 

With concerns growing about the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, this week the Provincial Government announced that further restrictions are needed to slow its rapid spread. It’s tough news for many. A phone call to a neighbour, supporting local, and taking a walk for fresh air and time for yourself have taken on increased importance. I’m hopeful this is a final hurdle and that we’ll see each other again soon.   

On the vaccine front, Team Toronto and East End healthcare leaders are still working relentlessly to get vaccines to as many people, as fast as they can – and worked throughout the holiday to do so. As of today, more than 939,000 eligible Toronto residents have now received their third vaccine dose.

Thanks to everyone who has received their boosters, volunteered at a clinic, or helped get information out to friends and neighbours!

Several pop-up clinics are continuing around Beaches-East York and Toronto. With new information coming out daily about where to get your COVID-19 vaccine, I will be updating my website as new information becomes available and as new booster clinics are announced. Check here for more information.

In the weeks ahead, support local businesses whenever you can. Our local Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are doing an incredible job highlighting and supporting businesses in their areas. Get the latest from them online (The BeachThe DannyDanforth Village). Don’t forget our mom and pops and local businesses on Main Streets across Beaches-East York including Kingston Road, Gerrard Street, Main Street, O’Connor and Coxwell too.

Stay warm this weekend!

Sincerely,

 – Brad


In This Issue

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

  • Approved request for a comprehensive Road Safety Review at Coxwell/Mortimer 🆕
  • 2022 Virtual East York Levee this Sunday! 🆕
  • Moving ahead on Garden Suites at Committee  🆕
  • Frozen Pipes Prevention 🆕
  • Christmas Tree Collection 🆕
  • City’s Omicron Action Plan 🆕
  • Community Meeting on Waterfront Projects (Port Lands Flood Protection and Gardiner Construction) 
  • Update on vaccine clinics 🆕

Work in the Ward

  • Toronto Hydro – Overhead Civil & Electrical Work; Project 119 Yardley Avenue 🆕
  • Toronto Hydro – Danforth Ave. Cable Chamber Repair 🆕
  • Toronto Hydro – Kingston Road Overhead & Underground Electrical Update
  • Munroe Park Avenue Stairs Closed for Construction 
  • Williamson Ravine Upgrades
  • Metrolinx work behind Little York Road and Norwood Terrace
  • Portland Flood Protection Upgrades
  • Road Restoration on Main and Lumsden
  • Toronto Hydro – Woodbine Heights Upgrade 
  • Toronto Hydro – Danforth 4kv Conversion Work
  • Toronto Hydro – Bartley and O’Connor Upgrade
  • Construction Notice – Parkview Hills 
  • Construction Notice – Hale Court, Leander Court and Stag Hill Drive

Neighbourhood News

  • Dawes Road Library and Community Hub 🆕 
  • Topham Park Softball registration 🆕 

Community Programs

  • Virtual programming – Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community 🆕 
  • Online Wellness Senior Support Group 🆕 
  • Community Centre 55 programming goes virtual 🆕
  • Design program workshops 🆕 
  • Submit your idea for the Park People Conference! 🆕 
  • New multifaceted nursing recruitment program at Michael Garron Hospital
  • Seniors Snow Removal Program
  • Community Centre 55 Community Fridge
  • Kick-start Virtual Tutoring Program 
  • Kick-start After-school Program 🆕
  • Volunteers needed: In-home Hospice program 
  • Call for Blood Donors
  • East Toronto Food Program
  • Toronto District School Board – Essential Skills Upgrading
  • Seniors Coffee N’ Mingle – Access Alliance
  • EarlyOn Family Programs
  • Seniors Cleaning Service

Local Events

  • With most person events on pause – find the latest COVID-19 updates in this section. Hope to see you out in the community again very soon!

Local Spotlight

  • East York’s Annual Seniors Dinner 🆕 
  • A generous donation from Access Storage for the Salvation Army 🆕 
  • Community Centre 55’s Share-A-Christmas success! 🆕 
  • Community Centre 55 & Calvary Baptist Church meal deliveries 🆕
  • New Horizons Band of Toronto 
  • Amped in the Beach! 
  • Toronto Public Library’s Main Street Branch turned 100! 
  • Orange Paper Flowers for Reconciliation

Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office! Send me an email at councillor_bradford@toronto.ca, and we can get you included in our next issue.


Updates & Announcements from City Hall

Approved request for a comprehensive Road Safety Review 🆕

This week, Toronto and East York Community Council members voted to support mine and Councillor Fletcher’s request for a comprehensive Road Safety Review around the intersection of Coxwell/Mortimer Avenues.

A gateway to vital services in the #EastEnd – we’re kicking off the measures to improve safety for the healthcare workers, students, teachers, and seniors who help make this area a unique East York destination.

Check out the below for details:

2022 Virtual East York Levee this Sunday! 🆕

Exciting news! This Sunday (January 9), Mayor John Tory will join myself and Councillor Paula Fletcher for the 2022 East York Levee! Keeping the East York tradition alive through these challenging times, we will be meeting virtually to discuss what’s ahead for EY in 2022! We are looking forward to catching up on your holidays, hearing your goals for 2022, and celebrating the New Year as a community. Register here! Don’t forget to submit your questions to councillor_bradford@toronto.ca

Moving ahead on Garden Suites at Committee 🆕

Allowing garden suites in Toronto is a key part of our work to expand housing options in neighbourhoods. Whether you know them as coach houses, granny flats, or garden suites, we’re bringing forward a thoughtful and researched plan to make them official in Toronto. This is an important step to allow Torontonians to build garden suites on their property, to increase housing choices, and to provide more options that fit the evolving housing needs of our city. Looking forward to the report and discussion at Planning and Housing Committee on January 12. Check out the full details on the initiative here.

Frozen Pipes Prevention 🆕

It’s that time of year – temperatures go down and pipes have the possibility of freezing. ❄️🌡️Make sure you are taking steps to avoid frozen pipes in your home. Some tips you can follow can be found at toronto.ca/frozenpipes

Christmas Tree Collection 🆕

REMINDER! Christmas trees will be collected on your first two scheduled garbage collection days in January. 🎄Remember to remove decorations, stands, nails and bags. Check your #CityofTO collection schedule at: toronto.ca/collection-schedule

City’s Omicron Action Plan 🆕

Due to the rise in the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the city has taken several measures to respond to this challenge and to ensure it aligns with current provincial restrictions. 

As of January 5, indoor drop-in and registered recreation programs have been cancelled. Outdoor ice rinks remain open and outdoor registered and drop-in skating programs continue. There is also the closure of non-essential counter services at City Hall and civic centres.Toronto Public Library will be temporarily closing 44 of its branches as of Monday January 10, 2022 due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages.In Beaches-East York, Dawes Road Library will be temporarily closing. Fifty-two of TPL’s largest and most-used library branches will remain open and staff from closed locations will be reassigned to these branches. Check here for more information from TPL. More information from the City of Toronto is available here.


Community Meeting on Waterfront Projects (Port Lands Flood Protection and Gardiner Construction) 

Back in December, I joined Councillor Paula Fletcher and several hundred community members from Wards 14 and 19 to discuss some of the major projects happening across our east end waterfront. We heard from Waterfront Toronto and shared important information about the Gardiner construction work.

There was a lot of valuable information in the meeting including details on the multi-billion dollar investment happening at the mouth of the Don River to protect 2,400 hectares of land from flooding, created 240 hectares of new parkland and revitalize one of the largest downtown waterfront areas in all of North America.

The work being done to the Gardiner and the removal of the Logan Ramp is being done to achieve those long-term benefits. Many residents have asked me about the loss of access to the Gardiner from Lake Shore East. Although the access is closed during construction, once construction is complete there will be a new eastern Gardiner connection. The ramps will connect directly from Lake Shore but from the west of the Don River instead of east of the river like the current ramps.  

More information on all of this is available in the meeting presentation available for download here. You can also watch a recording of the meeting here

Updates on vaccine clinics 🆕

Appointments can be booked in advance at ca/VaccineAppointment. You can also use the provincial booking system online or at 1-833-943-3900.

Michael Garron Hospital and Toronto East Health Network have been hosting pop-up vaccine clinics in the east end and will continue to do so – check here for an updated list of where you can get vaccinated.

CLINIC LOCATIONS:

THORNCLIFFE PARK COMMUNITY HUB

First doses, second doses and third (booster) doses for individuals aged 5 and older who are eligible available by appointment. Book an appointment.

Location: 45 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON M4H 1C2
Located on the east end of East York Town Centre. Enter the mall through Entrance 6 and take the escalator or elevator to the second floor. 

Hours:

  • Open every day from 8:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Registration ends at 7:45 p.m. – please arrive before this time to ensure you receive a vaccine.

SHOPPERS WORLD DANFORTH

First doses, second doses and third (booster) doses for individuals aged 12 and older available by appointment. Book an appointment.

Location: 3003 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON M4C 1M9
Enter the plaza from Danforth Avenue or Victoria Park Avenue. Enter the mall using the entrance under the Lowe’s sign between Nature’s Health Food and Royal Shawarma & Kabob. The clinic will be located inside the mall to your immediate left.

Hours:

  • January 1-9: Open every day from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration ends at 5:45 p.m. – please arrive before this time to ensure you receive a vaccine.
  • January 10-31: Open Monday to Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Sundays. Registration ends at 5:45 p.m. – please arrive before this time to ensure you receive a vaccine.

GERRARD SQUARE SHOPPING CENTRE

First doses, second doses and third (booster) doses for individuals aged 12 and older available by appointment. Book an appointment.

Location: 1000 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON M4M 3G6
Located on the south side of mall to the left of Freedom Mobile. Please follow the signage upon arrival.

Hours:Open every day from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration ends at 5:45 p.m. – please arrive before this time to ensure you receive a vaccine.

Check below for pop-up clinics happening in the east end this weekend – please check and ensure you meet eligibility requirements. 

I have been updating my website as news develops regarding COVID-19. I know it can be overwhelming to keep track of the latest clinics and updates. Having accurate information you can access all in one place is crucial. Check here for the latest updates.


Work in the Ward

Toronto Hydro – Overhead Civil & Electrical Work; Project 119 Yardley Avenue 🆕

*Work is expected to begin January 2022.

Toronto Hydro – Danforth Ave. Cable Chamber Rebuild 🆕

Toronto Hydro – Kingston Road Overhead & Underground Electrical Update

Toronto Hydro will be undertaking improvements to the electricity system in the following area: 

  • Kingston Road between Southwood Drive (East) and Glen Stewart Crescent (South). 

*Work is expected to begin December 2021.

Munroe Park Avenue Stairs leading to Silver Birch Beach Closed for Construction 

Please be advised that the Munro Park Ave stairs leading to Silver Birch Beach will be under construction. The existing wood and brick staircase is being removed, and concrete steps with a metal handrail are being installed. Weather permitting, this is expected to wrap by late fall.

The cancellation of another project allowed Parks Construction to quickly prioritize this important work, hence the last-minute nature of this advisory.

Access to the Beach can be gained from Neville Park Blvd and Nursewood Rd to the east, and Silverbirch Ave and Willow Ave to the west.

Williamson Ravine Upgrades

Urban Forestry is proposing to plant native trees and shrubs this fall in Williamson Ravine. These plantings are intended to increase the urban tree canopy, improve biodiversity, restore the native plant community, and to prevent soil erosion, following invasive vegetation management. This work is being done as part of the City’s Ravine Strategy.

Metrolinx work behind Little York Road and Norwood Terrace 

Portlands Flood Protection Upgrades

In addition to the information provided on Waterfront Projects above, here is the detailed construction notice relating to the work happening in the Port Lands which relates to the Gardiner East ramp closure and improvements to Lake Shore Blvd East.

My website also has a two pager and other links you can access for fuller details. 

Road Restoration on Main and Lumsden

Toronto Hydro – Woodbine Heights Upgrade

Toronto Hydro – Danforth 4kv Conversion Work

Toronto Hydro – Bartley and O’Connor Upgrades

Construction Notice – Parkview Hills

Construction Notice – Hale Court, Leander Court, and Stag Hill


Neighbourhood News

Dawes Road Library and Community Hub 🆕

Back in December, Toronto Public Library and I hosted a meeting where we were joined by the consultants and designers of the planned Dawes Road Library and Community Hub development. A beautiful new library and community hub are coming to Dawes Rd. Thanks to Toronto Public Library and City of Toronto staff for talking to the community about the new design and community services the rebuilt library will support.It is especially important to see the project being led in partnership with Indigenous architects andincorporating design that reflects the Indigenous heritage of the area.Stay tuned for more updates! 

Registration starts for new players for Topham Park Softball 🆕

Registration for new players for Topham Park Softball starts January 16, 2022. For more information on the season ahead, visit here.

Community Programs

Virtual programming – Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community🆕 

TIGP is a non-profit, charitable organization and has been the leader in intergenerational programming since 1986. At TIGP, their main objective is to create quality relationships with different generations and to bridge the gaps in communities through meaningful programs.

In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent restrictions TIGP has prioritized the adaptation of its programming to the online world by developing and producing free, weekly interactive Zoom sessions.

Their newest offering, called Fun & Games, will begin the week of February 1 and will run for 8 weeks. A different game will be played each week. The target audience for the program is children aged toddler – 6 or 7; any child who is interested in playing fun and interactive games! Participants can attend each session or drop in whenever they can.

To register, email Kevin at kevin@tigp.org

Online wellness senior support group 🆕

The last two years have been extremely tough. Incredible organizations right here in our city are trying to take the loneliness out of COVID-19 by turning it into something very positive. The Gerstein Centre is working in partnership with Toronto Seniors Helpline to host an online wellness support group for adults over 55.Sessions will be hosted on Zoom every Wednesday starting January 19 to March 23, 2022.To register, please visit the Gerstein Centre.

Community Centre 55 programming goes virtual 🆕

Community Centre 55 has put together some pre-recorded exercise classes for you to try! Try them out below – click each link for a recorded fitness session.

Pilates & Yoga: http://ow.ly/ENr650HfBx3

Fitness: http://ow.ly/WmvR50HfBx2

Ball Class:http://ow.ly/lnEi50HfBx0

Unfortunately, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, CC55 had made the decision to delay in-person seniors programming. For those that have registered for the winter classes, they will process your form and send a confirmation as well as hold your spot for when they are able to resume in-person.

Design Program Workshops 🆕

UofT’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design will be hosting several workshops from Jan 16 – 27 2022.These workshops are available for ages 8+ & will help develop skills in a broad range of design tools & techniques – explore your creative potential!- Daniels Minecraft Program (ages 8-14 years old)- Daniels Digital Design Program (ages 12-15 years old)- Daniels Design Bootcamp (ages 16-18+ years old)Registration is open, sign up today!

Submit your idea for the Park People Conference! 🆕

Calling all park professionals, community park group leaders, and non-profit organizations! Submit your idea for the Park People Conference 2022 and showcase your city park work, find collaborators and change the future of city parks.The central question for the conference is: How can we use the pandemic as a portal to shift toward a more abundant future for city parks? 🌳Submit your proposal by January 10, 2022!

New multifaceted nursing recruitment program at Michael Garron Hospital 

In very exciting news, Michael Garron Hospital recently launched their new multifaceted nursing recruitment program which is aimed at responding to the needs and values of today’s nurses in a post-COVID-19 recovery climate. 

They know the past 20 months have had devastating impacts on Ontario nurses and healthcare workers. Now more than ever before, it is absolutely vital that employers are concentrating efforts on caring for both the personal and professional well-being of their people and teams. At MGH, this means offering nurses and healthcare workers a supportive, inclusive and safe environment to learn, grow and cultivate their careers.

To learn more, visit their website.

Seniors Home Maintenance Program 

Community Centre 55 Community Fridge

Community Centre 55 operates a community fridge where community members are encouraged to donate food to keep it from going to waste and to help those who may be in need. The fridge is located at Community Centre 55 at 97 Main Street at the south side of the building. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9:15am-3:45pm. You can donate fresh produce, dairy, bread, proteins, and frozen meals in the fridge/freezer section or non perishable goods in the pantry section. For safety reasons, the Centre asks that you don’t leave any opened items or items set to expire in the next 48 hours in the fridge. If the fridge or pantry are full, bring your donation inside and the volunteer team will make sure it’s stored appropriately. If you have any questions you can reach out to them at 416-691-1113 or info@centre55.com. 

Kick-start Virtual Tutoring Program 

Kick-start After-school Program 


Please note: 

Due to guidelines and regulations due to COVID, the Kick-Start afterschool program is currently running virtually for the remainder of January 2022. Additionally, when in-person programming is resumed, any new applicants will be placed on a waitlist as our in-person program is currently full.

However, applicants on the waitlist are welcome to join our virtual program until a spot becomes available for in-person (please note that there is no guarantee that a spot will become available before the end of the 2022 school year).

Volunteers needed: In-home Hospice program 

APPLY / FIND OUT MORE HERE

Call for Blood Donors

There is an immediate need for new and returning blood donors to fill open appointments. The need for blood continues in our healthcare system.

There are three permanent Canadian Blood Service centers in Toronto: 2 Bloor Street East, 67 College Street, and 163 King Street West. If you’re in good health, please visit blood.ca to book an appointment and for the latest updates.

Toronto District School Board – Essential Skills Upgrading

Seniors Coffee N’ Mingle – Access Alliance

Every Friday at 4pm, seniors have a chance to connect, hear each other’s voices and exchange and share their experiences during this difficult and unprecedented time while we deal with COVID -19. Seniors enjoy their virtual tea/coffee with other participants while chatting on different topics. Email sazami@accessalliance.ca to register

Seniors Cleaning Service

Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships in Community Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) program provides assistance to seniors, as well as disabled and convalescing individuals, who need work done in and around their homes and apartments. Work includes garden and yard work, snow removal, light housekeeping and odd light jobs. These services enable individuals to direct their own care while living safely and independently in their own homes longer. For additional information or to register click here.


Local Events

While Local Events in Beaches-East York have ramped down to stop the spread of COVID-19, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is still an incredible community, always finding creative ways to be there for one another. 

To keep up to date on any changes regarding vaccines, testing, restrictions and other information – head over to my website where I will be updating all of this information in one place. 

Stay safe – and I can’t wait to see you all in-person soon!


Local Spotlight

East York Annual Senior’s Dinner 🆕 

I kicked off Christmas Day with one of East York’s best traditions – the annual senior’s dinner. Though this is the second year it’s looked different, it still brought that warm community spirit that is so important to BEY.With almost 400 hot meals and care supplies going out to seniors across the community, I’m so grateful organizer for Kam Babulal and all the volunteers who have been working hard for weeks to make today happen!Warmth, joy, community – that’s what it’s all about.Hope you had a Merry Christmas, #BEY❤️🎄❄️

A Generous donation from Access Storage for the Salvation Army 🆕 

We witnessed some true leadership in our community last month. Food banks make a huge difference in our local communities by helping those in hunger – and the need has increased to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Salvation Army in Canada has been essential to families across the East End, providing thousands of meals and resources.Our friends from Access Storage Canada generously $10,000 to the East Toronto Citadel of the The Salvation Army in Canada to help further support the most used resources. At the brink of the holiday season, this generous donation couldn’t have arrived at a better time.As we begin a new year, if you are in a position to be able to support an organization in our community, please do!

Community Centre 55’s Share-A-Christmas success! 🆕

Grateful to have joined Community Centre 55 in December to hand out gift cards to grocery stores that were delivered to local families.As always, CC55 continues to show up for the Beaches-East York community, and we are extremely thankful for them. A huge thank you to the many volunteers who delivered gift cards and toys to families this morning!

Community Centre 55 & Calvary Baptist Church Meal Deliveries 🆕

A huge thank you to Community Centre 55 & Calvary Baptist Church in organizing and preparing the delivery of meals and gift cards to residents in the community. Both are incredible leaders in #BEY, putting those in need first.Grateful to have joined MPP Rima Berns-McGown in getting these out to our neighbours in the east end.

New Horizons Band of Toronto 

I had a fantastic time visiting the New Horizons Band of Toronto. I learned about the numerous changes they’ve put in place to make participating a safer experience for everyone amidst the pandemic.

These changes have included multiple air filtration systems and advanced technology which let members rehearse from home — expanding the accessibility options for those looking to play an instrument.They have shown incredible resiliency and adaptability through the last two years, changing the way music is learned and accessed – while still bringing joy to people. They are truly dedicated to enriching the lives of others through music. I want to extend big congratulations to these folks on their first performance tonight since the start of the pandemic! To learn more, visit their webpage.

#TBT – Amped in the Beach! 

With colder days all around us, a sunny throwback to our incredible summer bringing Amped in the Beach to the community through the Amplified Live Music Pilot program. 

We had great experiences with performers – in the last show of the Pilot, the Beach BIA set up Queen Street to have musicians perform on two separate CaféTO patios at once. The patio they were performing on had a regular speaker set up, and the technology that the BIA set up transmitted the music to the second patio (on the other side of the road) so the music was heard on both patios.

Check it out here!

A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this pilot project a success. Patio season will be back sooner than it seems!

Toronto Public Library’s Main Street Branch turned 100!

Main Street Branch celebrated its centennial on December 15, 2021. Formerly named Eastern branch, its inception actually began in 1903 in the YMCA building on Main Street between Gerrard and Danforth before settling at its current location on Main Street just south of Gerrard at 137 Main Street. 

Two major renovations have taken place since the opening in 1921; in 1928, a south wing was added to the building and in 1977 reading and magazine rooms were added in the North and West wings, and Eastern was renamed to the branch we know today: Main Street. 

Orange Paper Flowers for Reconciliation

A local resident, Margot Rockett, is making and selling orange paper flowers to raise money for Reconciliation Canada and raise awareness for Truth and Reconciliation Day later this year. Margot will make at least 215 of these flowers to honour the 215 lives lost at the Kamloops residential school.

The large flowers are $10 each, with smaller flowers available for $4 each or $10 for 3. For information on ordering the orange paper flowers, please send a text to Margot at 647-208-5388 or email her at margot­_rockett@hotmail.com.


Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office! Send me an email at councillor_bradford@toronto.ca and we can get you included in our next issue.