The City established the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR) in April 2020, soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to engage with Torontonians on a city-wide approach for recovering and rebuilding from COVID-19.
Dr. David Mowat was appointed to lead a public health strategy to support Toronto’s recovery and rebuild and Mr. Saad Rafi was appointed to lead TORR as Chief Recovery and Rebuild Officer.
Through the summer of 2020, TORR undertook a broad engagement of stakeholders, residents, communities, businesses, Indigenous communities and City Council members on what is needed to recover and rebuild. TORR also leveraged the subject matter, service and operational expertise from City divisions, agencies and partners. The results of TORR’s work was published in the COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report, which provided recommendations for the City of Toronto and its agencies and corporations to support the recovery and rebuild of communities, organizations, partners and businesses.
This page also includes information about the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force that operated through the early months of the pandemic and the Deputy Mayor’s Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group that completed its final report in December 2020 and provided further advice to City Council in early 2021.
The COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report outlines the results of the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild’s (TORR) work and provides recommendations for the City of Toronto and its agencies and corporations to support the recovery and rebuild of our communities, organizations, partners and businesses.
The report, and a companion engagement summary, will be two sources of information for senior City staff as they develop recommendations to City Council for Toronto’s recovery and rebuild efforts.
Developing the COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report, and its recommendations was a key focus of TORR’s work. Dr. Mowat and Mr. Rafi also advised on, and informed, many City programs, policies and actions that reduced the spread of the virus and helped reopen the economy. TORR has concluded its work with the submission of the COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report to the City Manager.
Through June and July 2020, TORR undertook a broad engagement of stakeholders, residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, racialized communities and City Council members. Engagement opportunities took multiple online forms to make them accessible, safe and available to as many residents, stakeholders and sectors as possible. The recommendations in the report reflect consultations undertaken early in the pandemic and are the start of an ongoing public conversation on recovery and rebuilding Toronto after COVID-19.
The report acknowledges the impacts of COVID-19 were, and continue to be, disproportionately and acutely felt by Toronto’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods, segments of the population, and occupations and must be addressed in recovery.
Toronto’s plans to recover and rebuild from COVID-19 may look different than neighbouring municipalities or other cities across the country. Toronto’s recovery plans will include made-in-Toronto solutions that reflect the city’s distinct characteristics and circumstances. The City will continue to respond and adapt to changes in the spread of the virus and new health information.
The authors of the COVID-19: Impacts and Opportunities report hope that the recommendations provoke further discussion and are improved, built upon and ultimately implemented.
The Engagement Summary report provides an overview of public and stakeholder feedback and advice received by the City and its partners on challenges, opportunities and priorities for Toronto’s recovery and rebuild.
Feedback was collected though online public surveys, stakeholder surveys, virtual discussions and roundtables and email submissions. The full datasets are available on the City’s Open Data portal.
The Preliminary Findings section of this report contains a high-level analysis of the input received through each engagement method. The feedback is summarized into 19 major topics, listed alphabetically:
In March and April 2020, the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force was convened. As part of the Task Force’s work, several City councillors led stakeholder engagement sessions on focused themes.
Findings from these sessions were considered by the TORR and informed the COVID-19: Impact and Opportunities report.
The report of the Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group, Co-Chaired by Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Building Back Stronger, was adopted by Council in December 2020 and included 18 recommendations grouped into four priority areas for action: economic recovery, anti-racism and inclusion, workforce development and talent, and arts and culture.
The Advisory Group reconvened for a special meeting in February 2021 to discuss immediate priorities for supporting Toronto’s economy in the next 2-6 months given the continued challenges and uncertainty facing business and culture. Following the meeting, the Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group sent a letter to the City Manager to share the Group’s feedback on priorities for supporting business and culture over the next 2-6 months.
City Council has adopted critical strategies and plans to create economic stability, social equity, environmental sustainability and a healthy city. The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild recommendations are designed to avoid replication of existing Council strategies and plans, however, there are instances where acceleration of existing initiatives is recommended.
July 6, 2021: COVID-19 Recovery July 2021 Update
April 7, 2021: COVID-19 Recovery and Rebuild Update
December 16, 2020: Update Report to City Council on Recovery and Building a Renewed Toronto
October 21, 2020: Towards Recovery and Building a Renewed Toronto
September 30, 2020: Response to COVID-19: Reopening and Preparation for a Potential Resurgence
September 30, 2020: COVID-19 Financial Update
May 28, 2020: City of Toronto Service Restart and Recovery Update