Based on recommendations from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to help slow the rate of COVID-19 infection in Toronto and protect vulnerable populations including seniors, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals experiencing homelessness, the City of Toronto is cancelling all programs and closing a number of its facilities as of 12:01 a.m. today. Families across the city already greatly affected by teachers’ strikes feel abandoned as they struggle to find a way to pay keep their work and families together.
Impacted programs and facilities:
-City-operated March Break camps are cancelled
-All licensed child care centres
-Community and recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, arenas, pools, fitness centres, and ski hills are closed
-Libraries are closed
-City-operated museums and galleries are closed
-Council and Committee meetings are suspended for the current meeting cycle
-Public consultations are suspended
-All event permits for City facilities, including civic centres, recreation facilities, and parks are cancelled (wedding ceremony permits for civic centre Wedding Chambers will be honoured)
Reimbursements for cancellations will be processed as soon as possible. The tentative date for services to resume is April 5, 2020.
Emergency and critical services continue unaffected:
-Emergency response by Toronto Police, Fire Services, and Paramedic Services is not impacted
-TTC service will continue to operate. The mass gathering recommendation announced today by the provincial government does not include public transit
-Toronto Water operations continue, including drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management
-Garbage, recycling and organics collection continues
-Shelters, respites, and drop-in centres continue to operate with measures already established
-Long-term care homes continue to operate with strict visitor restrictions in place
-Road, sidewalk, and bikeway operations and maintenance, including snow removal, continues
-City Hall, Metro Hall, and civic centres will remain open.
Dr. de Villa is also strongly encouraging all residents and visitors to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in Toronto from any country, including the United States. Public Health Ontario’s guidelines for self-isolation are available online: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate.pdf.
Any outstanding questions about service delivery and program impacts please call me at 416 392 1374
More information on the COVID-19 situation in Toronto and the City response is available at https://www.toronto.ca/coronavirus/