TORONTO – “Almost six months ago when this pandemic began and we were facing grim projections of what the impact of COVID-19 would be along with seeing this virus raging in other cities like New York and in countries like Italy, Labour Day seemed a long way off. And many of the things that the City has accomplished this summer didn’t seem possible. But thanks to the people of Toronto – the vast majority who have followed public health advice throughout – along with our City staff and countless partners in the non-profit and private sector, we have stopped the spread of the virus, we have flattened the curve and we have moved to restart our city – Canada’s economic engine. And while we are going to continue to be cautious as we move past Labour Day and into the fall and winter, it is this progress through the spring and summer that should give us confidence we can face what is ahead,” says Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Since mid-March, the City of Toronto’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last six months, the City has made significant strides to contain the spread of the virus and support the recovery and rebuild of the city.
Toronto has made it through the summer with good progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Much of the summer was spent gradually reopening the city, bringing back many of the important services that were locked down in the spring and restarting the local economy.
Five key accomplishments the City has delivered this summer that have helped our restart and recovery are:
1. Creating more than 9,000 metres of new patio space through CaféTO across the city helping 760 restaurants, creating 44 public parklets, and helping 58 business improvement areas.
2. Reopening 22 City-operated child care centres this summer to provide care for 670 children.
3. Delivering summer day camps and summer day programs and activities in our parks and recreation centres across the city. There were more than 17,900 registrations for CampTO and over 18,000 visits to our ParksPlayTO and Summer in the 6IX programs. The City also employed 900 young people to help deliver these programs.
4. Providing active transportation options through ActiveTO including more than 10 kilometres of open major roads on weekends for cycling, walking and running, more than 40 kilometres of bike lanes – the largest one-year installation of on-street bike lanes in the city’s history, and more than 60 kilometres of Quiet Streets in neighbourhoods across the city.
5. Moving quickly based on public health advice to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by making masks and face coverings mandatory on the TTC, inside public places including stores, and in common areas in apartments and condos.
These accomplishments are on top of all the regular frontline City services we continued to deliver all summer long including outdoor pools and splash pads, bylaw enforcement, TTC, police, fire services and paramedic services, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in major road construction, Toronto Water, and other infrastructure projects.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for answers to common questions.