The City of Toronto has, since April, been hard at work planning for the eventual restart of City services and the reopening of the economy. Last month, under the leadership of Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the City’s Office of Emergency Management, the Emergency Operations Centre created a “restart roadmap” to help guide the restarting of City operations and to support businesses in their safe reopening. Today’s announcement by the Province of Ontario, outlining the next phase of provincial reopening plans, supports the work the City has completed to date.
From the onset of COVID-19, City priorities have been focused on preventing the loss of life from COVID-19, preventing the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, and protecting the city’s social and economic fabric. Based on public health guidance and advice, the City’s restart roadmap requires divisions to undertake planning assessments before any restart or reopening can occur.
Before restart, divisional and agency assessments and plans will be completed by City staff for each of the following:
The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild is working directly with each City division and agency on assessments to complete required plans before restarting any service.
The City has already implemented and communicated plans for the reopening of some sectors, such as curbside retail pickup, curbside pickup at the Toronto Public Library, and the reopening of some parks amenities. Since March, emergency childcare services have been in place, with eight childcare centres operating for frontline workers in Toronto. Last week, the City outlined public health guidance for the reopening of dine-in restaurants and personal care services. Through the CampTO program, the City has taken steps to be prepared when day camps are able to resume. The CaféTO program has brought together a number of divisions to plan for the expansion of patios to enable restaurants to reopen with more outdoor space.
Later this week, the City will outline plans for day camps, as well as the opening of splash pads, wading pools, outdoor swimming pools and lifeguards at beaches.
Restarting City services, as well as reopening sectors of the Toronto economy, does come with the risk of new cases of COVID-19 in the community. Toronto residents must continue to practice physical distancing, wear a non-medical mask or face covering where physical distancing cannot be assured, such as in a retail environment or on the TTC, wash hands regularly and, if sick, stay home.
The City of Toronto will continue to work with the Province and businesses to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and ensure dates and timelines of reopening and restart are appropriate and safe for residents, staff and businesses. As services and activities are able to reopen, the City will widely communicate details with residents.
“City staff have been working non-stop to get ready to support this reopening. We appreciate the Province’s sensitivity to regional concerns – this will mean some businesses could reopen here as early as June 19, just a week after businesses in other parts of the province. This is a responsible decision from provincial officials and recognizes that we must continuing this reopening in a safe manner based on public health advice. I want businesses to open as soon as it is safe to do so. And we are doing everything we can to make sure the City government supports the reopening.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We are all looking forward to enjoying our city once again. My team continues to use the best available evidence to develop public health guidance to share with our local businesses and community to support the safe reopening of our city. As we learn to live with COVID-19, your individual contributions continue to be central to our success in this COVID-19 battle. Please remember that all your efforts are worth it. Every action you take brings us one step closer to getting our city back. So please, continue practising physical distancing and please continue to take care of each other as we move forward together.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at facebook.com/cityofto.