Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates: March–April 2020

East York long-term care home reports eighth death, while others suffer worse

COVID-19 has struck long-term care homes across Toronto with varying consequences, according to a city report today. The St. Clair O’Connor Community Care facility in East York now tallies eight deaths while centres in suburban Toronto have been hit worse. See the full story.

24 hours of virtual cycling to support Michael Garron workers

Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford and about 300 other volunteers will be cycling for 24 hours on Friday to Crush COVID, but the immediate health beneficiaries may be the frontline workers at Michael Garron Hospital. Funds raised from the virtual event will go towards providing protective equipment for the hospital staff. Read the full story.

Business Q&A with Beaches-East York reps online tomorrow

On April 20 from 2 to 3 p.m., our local councillor, MP and MPP are hosting a small business Q&A. If you have questions about help for local businesses during or after the COVID-19 pandemic, you can bring them to Brad Bradford, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Rima Berns-McGown. Access the webinar on Facebook or Zoom.

Neighbourhood Voice bites the dust

Beaches-East York Neighbourhood Voice is among the latest newspapers to cease printing and move online for good. Publisher Torstar announced the shutdown on April 16. Get the full story.

Put out your yard waste at least one more time

The city has extended its yard waste collection for another two weeks. It had been suspended as part of Toronto’s COVID-19 response but the city resumed it for a period from April 6 to 17. Yesterday it was announced the service would be continued to May 1. For more details see our report.

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Donations for local shops collected by new site

Shops in Beaches and Leslieville are among businesses hit by the shutdown that you can support from a distance, thanks to a new website. Mayor John Tory is lauding distantly.ca, which has been set up to accept community donations for registered local businesses to help alleviate some of their expenses and help them survive the crisis.

Read all about it here.

Child care centre set up on Danforth for essential workers

Mayor John Tory announced this morning that the latest city-run day care site to be used as a child care centre for essential and critical workers’ families is to be located on Danforth Avenue, near Greenwood Avenue. The centre will be at 1125 Danforth Avenue, a facility usually used by the Danforth Early Learning and Child Care Centre, which has been closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story.

Better behaviour found in parks by enforcement officers

Have you noticed it in Kew Beach, Woodbine Beach or other local parks? Fewer people flouting the city’s social distancing rules and gathering in groups, or using closed park facilities, like playgrounds and fitness stations?

That’s what enforcement officers have discovered on the first two days of their four-day holiday weekend blitz of the city’s parks. This comes as they move from issuing warnings to issuing tickets — up to $1,000 — for infractions of the public health measures. Read more about it.

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4-day police crackdown on park gatherings

Woodbine Beach is among areas to be blitzed by police and enforcement officers from April 10 to 13 to crack down on groups congregating and people using parks facilities.

Three hundred and sixty officers will be talking to people and issuing tickets up to $1,000 to those found not complying with the city’s measures to counter the spread of coronavirus. The 10 parks targeted by officers have been the subject of public complaints or feedback from previous enforcement efforts, police say.

Read more in Streeter news.

Join the Beaches Easter Parade online this weekend

The parade on Queen Street East may have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 scare, but it’s just starting online. The Beaches Lions Club that presents the popular event each year is accepting submissions for its first virtual Beaches Easter Parade.

See the story for all the details on how to join or enjoy the parade.

Skateboarders in East York park among groups hit by distancing police

The city set a record for the number of tickets issued and people talked to for using park facilities, like playgrounds, and congregating too closely in parks on Monday. This includes a 40-member group caught using the Stan Wadlow skateboarding park near Woodbine and Cosburn avenues.

For more, see the story.

Cancellations extending into summer

By now it must be obvious to you that the Beaches Easter Parade will not be cheering young and old along Queen Street next weekend. But the shut down of local events in midtown, Central Toronto and the east end are now reaching much further — into June and even July.

Here’s our latest guide to what’s been cancelled, postponed or moved online,

Local business shutdowns to spread after premier’s announcement

A lot more local businesses will be shut down tomorrow — temporarily, it is hoped — as Premier Doug Ford has announced only “essential workplaces” can stay open in the province.

This latest move to combat the spread of the coronavirus will leave our local grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and several dozen other types of businesses operating from their storefronts and offices, while many more others are forced to close their doors. The closed shops, however, can still offer their products and services online and by phone, and eateries can still provide takeout and delivery service.

Here’s what we know so far about how it will affect the businesses in our communities. We’ll have much more about the local business scene later.

You can still get a coffee in the east end…

…though you may have to line up for it, observing social distancing. Coffee shops are setting other restrictions too. Here’s our updated and expanded guide to cafés still offering take-out treats during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now we have to avoid extreme weather too

It’s bad enough our streets are already almost empty with people avoiding the coronavirus, but now we have another reason to stay home. Toronto Public Health is asking residents to avoid non-essential travel today, according to a city media release.

This comes after Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather statement warning of possible extreme weather today. See the story in Streeter news.

Local shutdowns and cancellations prompted by coronavirus crisis

Even the Fox is shutting down now. Ontario’s and Toronto’s chief medical officers have issued their warnings and recommendations about combating COVID-19 and now the speed of local shows being cancelled, venues shut down and programs postponed has accelerated.

We’re trying to stay on top of it with an updated tips list in Streeter news. If you’ve learned of any other schedule changes in the community due to coronavirus concerns, let us know.

Coronavirus testing centre open now at Michael Garron

Michael Garron Hospital on Coxwell Avenue has opened a coronavirus assessment centre with an entrance separate from the rest of the hospital, MGH announced today. It’s to meet the expected growing demand for testing in Toronto.

But before you rush up there, be aware the centre is taking only patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 — and only by telephone appointment. Read the full story with photos of the new centre.

Garbage deal ratified by city and union

We should be getting garbage pickup and other services in this area for quite a while longer after union members and city councillors ratified a five-year deal with the city’s outside workers. Read the latest news.