With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
I hope you are all continuing to keep well as we settle into autumn. We will likely be required to make some adjustments to our usual seasonal activities, just as we’ve had to do this past spring and summer, but I am certain we will still find a way to enjoy this time of year in our great city.
As of the writing of this article, it’s too early to predict the extent to which such adjustments will interfere with events, such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. To avoid such inconveniences, it is important that we continue to be diligent in practicing proper hygiene etiquette and social distancing, in addition to following the most up to date advice of our senior medical officers. As has been made evident over the last few weeks, we are not in the clear quite yet. By failing to comply with health guidelines, we run the risk of experiencing spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases. Along with such a scenario, comes the potential need to revert to previous stages of the City and Province’s respective recovery plans and this, of course, will deter with our efforts to return to some degree of normalcy.
Despite the many adjustments we’ve had to make, the City has introduced a number of new programs with the goal of renewing our sense of community and connectivity to one another. These programs will be rolled out under the ShowLoveTO banner. This multifaceted initiative has the purpose of encouraging residents to show their love for Toronto by safely connecting with neighbours, supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring city neighbourhoods. In doing so, we will work together to help rebuild the social and economic fabric of Toronto. The ShowLoveTO initiative is composed of the following components:
• BigArtTO is a temporary public art initiative occurring throughout the City. It seeks to animate Toronto’s neighbourhoods through the use of large-scale projections in each of the City’s 25 wards. Each art installation is the brainchild of talented Toronto artists. The visuals will be projected outdoors onto local buildings and landmarks and will play on 10-minute loops Wednesday through Saturday evenings. This component of the ShowLoveTO initiative is planned to run until December 5th.
• StrollTO presents self-guided itineraries for each of the City’s 25 wards to guide residents in discovering the unexplored shops, stops, places and spaces on local main streets.
• DineOutTO is a partnership between Destination Toronto and the City which celebrates Toronto’s culinary community by showcasing Toronto’s diverse food culture through a digital platform offering content, special offers and unique culinary experiences.
• HistoricTO features time-ticketed, guided neighbourhood walking tours anchored at Toronto History Museums. The tours operate with the objective of connecting Toronto’s communities to local history, heritage and land-based learnings. Please be advised that tours must be booked in advance.
• CaféTO, which launched this past summer, has continued into the fall to provide more outdoor dining areas to help eligible restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patio patrons. The program currently supports 760 restaurants and bars in 58 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) through installing 407 curb lane closures (occupying 9,015 square metres), creating 44 public parkettes and adding 374 curb ramps for improved accessibility.
For further information on ShowLoveTO, please visit the following link:
I truly would like to thank you all for your continued diligence and cooperation through this ongoing challenge. I realize it has been difficult for you and your families to make adjustments for such an extended period of time. With that being said, I believe there are still opportunities for us to enjoy the season and spend time with one another, albeit in an altered manner. The ShowLoveTo initiative is a step toward restoring these important connections.
As always, if you require assistance with any municipal matters, please do not hesitate to contact my office.