SAHRA eBlast – May 10, 2020

Attempted Theft from Vehicle

Further to the article about an individual checking the doors of a vehicle from the May 4th eBlast, on May 6th the police advised that the male in the video was known to them and that the video was passed on to the Major Crime Unit to let them know he is active in the area.  On May 8th, they advised that “because of the video you sent, the male in the video is now wanted for breaching court imposed conditions.”

This shows why it is an advantage in having a photo or video in cases like this and how it can really help the police.  Neighbourhood Watch Online helped in routing the video to the police.  If you would like to find out more about being a Neighbourhood Watch Online Group Captain, please contact Jim Sadler at [email protected]>.


Provincial overriding of Toronto’s Noise By-law

The Provincial Government decided to override the City of Toronto Act, to relax the construction provisions of the Construction Noise By-laws. The City’s noise by-law permits construction equipment to operate Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm, and not at all on Sundays and statutory holidays.  We could understand the government deciding to allow  construction equipment to operate at any time of the day or night for construction required for pandemic management such as the building of temporary hospital facilities until October, 2021. But the extension of construction to these hours was extended for ALL healthcare facilities, including those which have no connection to the fight against the pandemic.  Furthermore, we do not understand why the hours have been extended to 6 am through 10 pm every day, for non-healthcare facilities, and specifically to projects providing residential homes. SAHRA argued to the Premier of Ontario that the City’s noise by-law was enacted to protect the health of the public from excessive noise; that the by-law should be overridden only to deal with a greater health issue.  We therefore asked that they reconsider the construction hours for non-pandemic related construction.

The Premier’s response was: “Extended construction hours will help ensure that important health care related construction projects, like expansion of hospitals, are completed during the outbreak. It will also help speed up the building of new facilities needed to provide health services in response to COVID-19. Only construction on health care projects can now continue 24 hours a day to get this absolutely essential infrastructure in place.  In addition, there are tens of thousands of residential units being built in Ontario this year. Those projects are critical to the thousands of families who need a roof over their heads. Extended construction hours will allow for smaller work crews, more distance between workers and staggered break times.”

FoNTRA submitted a request that the non-healthcare construction hours be adjusted to the Toronto Noise By-law hours (Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm, and not at all on Sundays and statutory holidays).

Councillor Mike Colle also submitted a request on May 6, 2020 to Steve Clark (attached) asking that the Province re-instate the City’s Noise By-law #591 as it applies to residential construction.


Dealing with COVID-19 – a “how to” guide

Public Health officials have provided good advice on how to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but did you ever wonder what else needs to be washed or disinfected other than your hands?  Based on his professional background, Jim Sadler the President of SAHRA has prepared a “how to” guide.  Refer to this guide for answers to this question and others like it.


Tips to Cope with Stress

  • Have a routine. Structure your day and maintain positive habits.
  • Take deep breaths. Simple breathing exercises can help ease stress. Try breathing in deeply, counting to three, hold for a count of three, and then slowly breathe out, counting to three.
  • Call or virtually connect with loved ones. Lean on each other for support.
  • Exercise, dance and have fun. Blow off steam and boost endorphins.
  • Let in the sun. Open windows. Sunlight can improve your mood.
  • Help others. Volunteer to pick up groceries or walk the dog for a neighbour who is self-isolating. Helping someone else can make you feel good.
  • Stay informed. Check credible sources of information for updates but take breaks when needed. Taking in the news all day can be draining. Unplug for a bit and recharge – listen to music, meditate, read or listen to a podcast instead.
  • Look for the positives. Share inspirational stories of people helping one another.
  • Engage your brain. Do a word search, Sudoku, jigsaw or crossword puzzle.
  • Seek help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out. Community help is available.

Many people may feel sad, stressed, anxious, confused, scared or angry during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are normal and common responses to unexpected or stressful situations. Support is available. Visit the City of Toronto website for information on various mental health resources – https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/covid-19-mental-health-resources/.


Mount Pleasant Cemeteries Partially Re-Open

The Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries decided to close their cemeteries because too many people were not adhering to safe physical distancing and out of concern for their staff.  As of May 7th,  all Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries gates, including those connected to the Beltline Trail at Mount Pleasant Cemetery will be opened for public access during the following times:

Monday – Saturday 5:30 PM8:00 PM

Sundays* 3:30 PM – 8:00 PM 

* Note: The gates will be closed on May 10th, Mother’s Day

Commencing on Sunday May 17th, their gates will remain open during the above hours including Sundays between 3:30 PM and 8:00 PM.


Support our Shops Update

The Bedford Park Residents Organization has updated their lists of Shops on Avenue Road and Yonge that are open for business as of May 2 (see attached). This list is also available on SAHRA’s website on the COVID-19 Page.

The Bedford Park Residents Organization has also published their May 2020 Newsletter.  You can view it from our News page

https://sahratoronto.com/news/news-from-area-residents-associations/.


Defogging your Glasses

Are you having problems with your glasses fogging up when you wear a mask.  Review this suggestion – have heard from friends who have tried it that it actually works!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/05/health/how-to-de-fog-glasses-wearing-mask-wellness-trnd/index.html


City Provides More Spaces on Streets for Physical Distancing – Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 12) Newsletter May 8, 2020

The City has recently announced the ActiveTO and CurbTO programs being developed by Public Health and Transportation Services to provide more space for people walking and cycling as well as transit riders to allow for better physical distancing as part of the city’s restart  and recovery.

As the summer comes and the city starts up again, it’s expected people will be out and about more often. Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa’s, advice to residents to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid rushing out to create conditions that would encourage people to congregate, has helped slow the spread of the virus. It has protected the health of Toronto residents and saved lives – which is the primary objective at all times. But, people cannot stay home forever and they will need to go outside. More space on our streets is needed to ensure that Torontonians can go outside while maintaining distance from others. Right now, vehicle and pedestrian traffic are at an all-time low, while bike traffic has stayed about the same in certain downtown locations. In anticipation of changes in traffic patterns in the coming weeks and months, the Mayor and City Council requested City staff look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the restart and recovery.

The plans include:

Creating Quiet Streets
Approximately 50km of local routes throughout Toronto will have traffic calming measures implemented to enable local car traffic only and open up space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Major Streets for Active Transportation
Transportation Services staff and Toronto Public Health recommend closing some major roads adjacent to major trails or recreational attractions where crowding on weekends and holidays has been observed. These would include some locations with complete closures to all car traffic and would be delivered through recurring short-term road closures, such as on weekends. When this happens, on a trial basis, staff will be monitoring adjacent routes with real-time data and will make adjustments as necessary.

Expanding Cycling Network
More bike lanes will help people move around the city as the restart gets underway. This plan would see the cycling network expanded and temporary active transportation lanes installed. The City will expand and accelerate key parts of the council-approved Cycling Network Plan that connect the cycling network, as well as bikeways that mirror major TTC routes.

Pedestrian Queueing Hotspots
The CurbTO program will provide additional space to encourage physical distancing in areas where it is challenging due to lineups for businesses. City staff have worked to identify key hot spots where there are lineups or pinch points on sidewalks that public health and transportation officials have determined need to be addressed to continue to encourage physical distancing and protect overall public health. The program focuses on creating curb lane pedestrian zones to increase space for pedestrians, as well as temporary parking pick-up zones that will allow for quick medicine and food pick-ups at essential businesses. Residents and businesses that would like to get more information on the program are encouraged to visit the City’s website at this link, and call 311 to report any suggestion locations they may have for the program.


Donations to the North York Harvest Food Bank / Armour Heights Church support

During these days of COVID-19, there are families and individuals in our area that are in need of food from the food bank.  The North York Harvest Food Bank  is the local food bank provider for our area.  For a long time, Armour Heights Church has been a supporter of the North York Harvest Food Bank.

The North York Harvest Food Bank is  in need of food and monetary donations.  Here’s how you can help:

Drop off food items outside the office door of Armour Heights Church at 105 Wilson Ave (the office door is off the parking area on the east side of the Church on Wilson). The  Church will ensure the items are collected each day and added to the food bank box.  Once the box is full, Harvest Food collects the food.  The most needed items are canned tomatoes, canned beans, canned fish, rice and household size oil.

Or you can donate money to the Harvest Food Bank by clicking here.


211 Toronto

211 Toronto connects people living in the GTA to over 4,000 programs and social services such as financial help, employment services, mental health, home care, housing, shelters, food and childcare. It offers a 24/7 confidential service in 150 languages, including online, text (21166) and chat services.


Revised Due Dates for City of Toronto Property Tax and Utility Bills – Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 12) Newsletter May 8 2020

The 60-day grace period for property tax, utility bill payments and late penalties extended by the City during the COVID-19 response ends on May 15. There are important changes to instalment amounts and due dates for customers on all payment schedules. All customers will receive a mailed notification of their revised interim bill due dates. Final tax bills will be mailed in mid-May as usual.

Property taxes for the remainder of 2020 will be due on the following dates:

  • Two-instalment plan: July 2 payment has been moved to Aug 4
  • Six-instalment plan: April 1 now due on June 1, May 1 now due on July 2, July 2 now due on Aug 4, Aug 4 now due on Sep 1, Sep 1 now due on Oct 1
  • Eleven-instalment plan: Apr 15 now due on Jun 15, May 15 and Jun 15 instalment amounts are now spread evenly over Jul to Dec payments; Jul 15, Aug 17, Sep 15, Oct 15, Nov 16 and Dec 15.

Customers on the 11-instalment plan will have their original May and June interim instalment amounts combined with the final billing and spread evenly over July through December payments. Customers who are already enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan don’t have to re-enroll – payments will start again automatically on the new due date. Customers who have sent the City post-dated cheques do not need to re-send cheques for the revised due dates, as any cheques previously submitted will be processed on the new due dates. Any cheques received after April 1, 2020 will be cashed according to the date on the cheque.

Those who pay their taxes via their mortgage payment should contact their mortgage company or financial institution to understand how this grace period will affect their mortgage amount and/or mortgage payment schedule.

Customers who paid their property tax and utility bills during this time will see any payments made reflected on their account. Property owners can access their property tax account details by using the online Property Tax Lookup tool available at here.

For utility bill customers, due dates appearing on utility bills have been automatically adjusted to reflect the 60-day grace period.


Better Living Website COVID-19 Updates

Better Living  Health and Community Services actively updates their website to provide you with access to up-to-date and reputable sources of information and reference sources on COVID-19.  They have a number of special support programs for Seniors.  You can access their website here: https://mybetterliving.ca/covid-19-resource-page/