As Torontonians enjoy the last weekend of the summer, and families get settled into their back-to-school routines, it remains critically important that residents continue to follow Toronto Public Health advice to stay home when ill, and to wash their hands often, practise physical distancing, and wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public spaces when going out.
Following the Province of Ontario’s announcement yesterday and amendments to orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, the maximum number of people permitted to attend social gatherings and organized public events in Toronto – including parties and dinners – is now 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
ActiveTO road closures expand to Yonge Street
Parts of major roads in the city will be closed this weekend for ActiveTO, from Saturday, September 19 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, September 20 at 11 p.m.:
As well, the following roads will be closed this weekend on Sunday, September 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of ActiveTO presents Open Streets Toronto:
Residents planning to use those roads should access them by bike or as a pedestrian as nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available. Parking lots at Sunnyside Park, Budapest Park and Sir Casimir Gzowski Park will be closed all weekend during ActiveTO closures. Overnight parking is not permitted in these lots and any vehicles should be moved before midnight on Friday. More information can be found on the ActiveTO webpage at toronto.ca/activeTO. To learn more about the Yonge Street expansion as part of ActiveTO visit openstreetsto.org/
Vision Zero measures to keep students safe
As students make their way back to class, all road users are encouraged to be mindful of their surroundings, share the road, stay alert and obey the rules to ensure everyone’s safety. The message to drivers is simple: slow down and pay full attention. This year, the City’s 50 Automated Speed Enforcement cameras will be fully operational throughout the back-to-school season to protect the health and safety of children by curbing speeding and providing an opportunity to walk and cycle in a safe environment. Additionally, 742 school crossing guards are stationed at 737 locations across the city to help children safely cross the street and remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians at key intersections. For more information visit toronto.ca/ase.
The City of Toronto, in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto, has launched ShowLoveTO to help Toronto recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative encourages residents to show love for Toronto by supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring their neighbourhoods through a series of City-led and partner programs and events. ShowLoveTO is delivered with guidance from Toronto Public Health to provide a safer environment for participants. More information is available at toronto.ca/showloveTO.
Community Environment Days
The City of Toronto will hold its second 2020 Community Environment Day event this Sunday, September 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Scarborough Drop-Off Depot located at 1 Transfer Place. The drive-thru event will allow for the safe disposal of household hazardous waste and electronic items, and donation of household goods and clothing for reuse. Free bagged compost will be available for pickup with a limit of two bags per vehicle while supplies last. Environment Days will be held at the City’s Drop-off Depots on Sundays until November 1. More information is available at toronto.ca/environment_days.
City splash pads and indoor pools
This is the last weekend to enjoy the City’s 140 splash pads. Parents and caregivers are reminded to supervise their children at all times.
Indoor pools are open and offer an online reservation tool for drop-in lane swim: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/sports-fitness-leadership-programs/fitness-programs/. In order to allow for physical distancing, pool capacity has been reduced and swimmers are limited to 45-minute sessions to allow for cleaning. Residents can contact their local pool or visit toronto.ca/swim for hours of operation or more information.
Permits for City parks and community recreation centres
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government has set a new limit on gatherings, reducing the number of people permitted to attend social gatherings to 10 people at an indoor gathering and 25 people at an outdoor gathering. This new limit affects all permits for special gatherings in City parks and community recreation centres and permit holders must ensure they comply with the new limits. City staff are contacting permit holders affected by this change, and permit fees will be refunded for those who wish to cancel their special gathering permits.
Parks and beaches
The City’s beaches are no longer supervised by lifeguards. Swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard is not recommended. For more information on the City’s beaches visit toronto.ca/beaches.
Amenities in City parks, including playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment, remain open. Consistent with guidance from Toronto Public Health, outdoor playground equipment is not sanitized. Signage with public health guidance is posted. Residents visiting a park must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding. The new provincial limits on outdoor social gatherings and organized public event are in effect. More information on parks is available on the City’s website.
Residents visiting a beach or park must practise physical distancing, avoid crowding, and behave responsibly. Bonfires on beaches, and organized parties, with excessive drinking and DJs with amplification of sound, are prohibited.
Bylaw officers, Toronto Police and Toronto Fire will have a highly visible presence at beaches and parking lots to ensure that crowds, bonfires and other prohibited activities do not occur or are dealt with quickly should they occur. Bylaw enforcement officers and Toronto Police will issue tickets related to bylaw infractions, including littering. Under the City’s Parks bylaw, parks and beaches are closed from 12:01 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. As needed this weekend, enforcement officers will be enforcing beach closure hours and clearing beaches after 12:01 a.m.
Parking restrictions will be in place on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at Cherry Beach and Bluffer’s Park. Toronto Police will be present at all parking lot entrances. Vehicles leaving beach parking lots after 7 p.m. will be able to do so freely. Parking enforcement will also have a significant presence, with tagging and towing of illegally parked vehicles in the vicinity of beaches where parking is restricted.
Construction affecting downtown intersection and expressways
There will be a partial intersection closure at Lake Shore Boulevard and Lower Sherbourne Street this weekend so crews can safely remove and replace sections of the Gardiner Expressway above, as part of work to renew the expressway between Jarvis and Cherry Streets.
From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 19, westbound Lake Shore Boulevard will be reduced to one lane leading up to Lower Sherbourne Street. Eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard will be reduced to two lanes leading up to Lower Sherbourne Street and there will be no left turns permitted in all directions. During this period, there will be no southbound access to Lower Sherbourne Street from Lake Shore Boulevard.
From 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Sunday, September 20, the westbound Gardiner Expressway from the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) to Jarvis Street will be closed overnight to install overhead signage on the expressway. During this time, the westbound Lake Shore Boulevard on-ramp at Logan Avenue and the southbound DVP on-ramp to the Gardiner Expressway will also be closed.
In addition to these closures, two southbound lanes on the Don Valley Parkway near Bloor Street will be closed overnight from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Sunday, September 20 for planned TTC construction on the Bloor Viaduct.
Shops, restaurants and bars
Toronto Public Health is stressing the need to maintain physical distance and wear a mask or face covering when shopping in a store, mall or flea market. Those shopping in person are encouraged to shop at times stores may be quieter or to try shopping online, when possible. Residents should always wash or sanitize their hands after being in a store or public place and not go out if they are feeling ill.
In food and drink establishments, additional requirements to protect the health and safety of customers remain in effect. These include ensuring that all customers remain seated except when entering or exiting, using the washroom or paying the bill. Customers can expect to be asked for basic personal information as management of food and drink establishments must keep customer logs that include names and contact information for each party in the event contact tracing is required. Learn more about requirements for food and drink establishments.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check toronto.ca/COVID19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311. For more information about requirements during Stage 3, visit toronto.ca/ReopenTO.
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 the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.