Community News Update - July 21, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario reported 135 new COVID cases and four new deaths. Meanwhile, the fully-vaccinated rate for all eligible Ontarians (12+) rose to 64.7%.

Though case counts and hospitalizations have decreased, the spread we are seeing of the Delta variant remains a concern for the province.

Here’s the reality: if we’re going to put COVID-19 behind us, we need more people to get vaccinated. If you haven’t got your first shot yet, please register to get it as soon as possible. If you know someone in your life who is vaccine hesitant, please reach out to them. If you know someone who has barriers to access, please help support them in their efforts to get vaccinated.

We can do this – but only together. You can register for your vaccination here.

Our beloved Krave Coffee remains closed as they recover from an early morning fire that damaged their building last week. Earlier today, I spoke to CityTV about the impact of the fire, and the struggles that small businesses across Ontario are facing as they recover from the pandemic (airing tonight on CityTV's evening news). The owner of Krave Coffee, Calay Hall, has been a community hero during COVID-19, and stepped up to provide paid sick time, and paid leave for employees to get vaccinated – before either was mandated by the province.

Her Krave Coffee is just one example of why more supports are still needed to better answer the needs of small business owners.  

The Ford government has NO excuse for not providing better supports, as a report released by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) found they’re sitting on $10.3 billion promised in comprehensive pandemic relief - all while people and small businesses have suffered. The time is NOW – and not a moment later – to invest in small businesses to recover and rebuild this province into the thriving, inclusive economy it can (and will) be. Until then, there is a GoFundMe set up for Krave to cover costs that insurance won’t, including employees’ wages. If you have the means to do so, you can help get this pillar of our Toronto-St. Paul’s community back up and running by chipping into their GoFundMe.

Click here to chip into the GoFundMe.

It’s hard to believe that September is less than a month and a half away, and I know that for Ontario children, this new school year can’t come soon enough. While I share in the excitement for a new school year, we must acknowledge that more needs to be done to ensure our school year can happen safely. We can’t have a school year that starts – and then stops again.  The science shows clearly that making investments in smaller class sizes, better ventilation, and asymptomatic testing programs across the province, will make our classrooms safer.

In the meantime, the Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre is offering kids the chance to hone their drawing skills while exploring their community through their OV Explorers online art program. Through this, children aged 7-11 of the Oakwood-Vaughan community will be given a free drawing kit to draw and write about places in their home or community that mean something to them, which will then be put on display at the library in a community-building display of their collective works. The deadline for enrollment has been extended to July 26.

For more information or to register, please email [email protected].
 
Construction at Yonge & Eglinton will commence as early as Sunday, August 1, lasting approximately 15 days. The work will shift traffic on Yonge Street to the west side of the street, while traffic on Eglinton remains restricted on the south side. Traffic delays and added noise from construction activities can be expected between the hours of 7AM to 7PM, and there may even be some overnight work. This is allowed through Ford’s overriding of Toronto’s bylaws to allow 24-hour round-the-clock work for ‘essential construction’ - an excessive and unwarranted change with severe impacts on residents who can now be woken up at any hour by the noise of construction.

I’ve started a petition demanding that the Ford government reinstate the previous city by-laws and I invite you to sign by clicking here.

Reminder: On August 1st, in memory of the many children who have been found in unmarked graves at former residential school sites across the country there will be a walk in our community.

The event, Peaceful Solidarity Walk: In Honour of the 215+ Children will be an Indigenous-led walk down St. Clair Ave W, that will begin with folks gathering 10:30AM at the Santa Chiara Parkette (St. Clair West – just east of Dufferin). At 11AM, those in attendance will walk to Wells Hills Park at St. Clair West – just west of Bathurst. This event is being organized by Germaine Catchpole, of Mnopgwad Preserves. 

If you would like to attend, you can see all the details and RSVP here.

Finally, after being rained out last weekend, our Community Food Tables are scheduled to return this Saturday from 11AM to 1PM. As always, we welcome volunteers and food donations at any of our four locations. To register or learn more, click the relevant links below;

Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave)
Click here to register to volunteer.

St. Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
Click here to register to volunteer.

We hope to see you there!

In Solidarity,

Jill 

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