Central Toronto Daily Updates: March–April 2020

Jesse Ketchum child care for essential workers shut down

A child care centre has closed for 14 days after three staff tested positive for COVID-19 and more staff and children are awaiting results. Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre was set up on April 21 to care for children of essential and critical services workers.

For more information about the closure, see the story.

Local long-term care homes hit more lightly than in other parts of city

COVID-19 has struck many long-term care homes in Central Toronto but with less dire consequences than in other parts of the city, judging by a city report today. The St. Clair O’Connor Community Care facility in East York now tallies eight deaths while centres in suburban Toronto have been hit worse. See the full story.

Prowler pursued in Annex

Not everyone is keeping themselves confined to their own home apparently. Police chased and lost a prowler in the backyards of the Spadina Road and Lowther Avenue area this morning, according to a police message on Twitter.

Fatal fire in Rosehill Avenue highrise

Firefighters found one injured person when they put out a fire on April 14 in the 29-storey residential building at 33 Rosehill Ave. The person, whose identity has not been released, was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead. More on this story.

Put out your yard waste at least one more time

The city has extended its yard waste collection for another two weeks. It had been suspended as part of Toronto’s COVID-19 response but the city resumed it for a period from April 6 to 17. Yesterday it was announced the service would be continued to May 1. For more details see our report.

Movie house helping send films into homes during pandemic

The big screen at the Royal Cinema is not showing films during the pandemic, which has closed theatres. But the movie house is helping programmers, who would normally be presenting films at the Royal, live-stream them online, so they can be watched at home.

Patrons are also rallying to support the landmark theatre with messages of hope, buying membership cards and donating money. Read the full story of how the Royal Cinema is ensuring it will survive the pandemic.

Better behaviour found in parks by enforcement officers

Have you noticed it in local parks? Fewer people flouting the city’s social distancing rules and hanging in groups, or using closed park facilities, like playgrounds and fitness stations?

That’s what enforcement officers have discovered on the first two days of their four-day holiday weekend blitz of the city’s parks. They’ve also had fewer people calling 311 to complain about it.

This comes as they move from issuing warnings to issuing tickets — up to $1,000 — for infractions of the public health measures. Read more about it.

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Pride parade and car show the latest to fall to coronavirus

Pride Toronto and the Yorkville Exotic Car Show are among the latest to announce their events have been shut down in the latest wave of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the cancellations, postponements, and moves to the internet extend right into summer. See our updated guide to the changes.

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Local cancellations now extend into mid-May

The next concert in the acclaimed B-Xalted! series, scheduled for May 13, is the latest victim of the coronavirus shutdown. Local events scheduled over the next two months have been cancelled, postponed and — in rare circumstances — moved online. See our full list of closures in midtown, central Toronto and the east end.

Local business shutdowns to spread after premier’s announcement

A lot more local businesses will be shut down tomorrow — temporarily, it is hoped — as Premier Doug Ford has announced only “essential workplaces” can stay open in the province.

This latest move to combat the spread of the coronavirus will leave our local grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and several dozen other types of businesses operating from their storefronts and offices, while many more others are forced to close their doors. The closed shops, however, can still offer their products and services online and by phone, and eateries can still provide takeout and delivery service.

Here’s what we know so far about how it will affect the businesses in our communities. We’ll have much more about the local business scene later.

Now we have to avoid extreme weather too

It’s bad enough our streets are already almost empty with people avoiding the coronavirus, but now we have another reason to stay home. Toronto Public Health is asking residents to avoid non-essential travel today, according to a media release this morning.

This comes after Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather statement warning of possible extreme weather today. See the story in Streeter news.

Local shutdowns and cancellations prompted by coronavirus crisis

Ontario’s and Toronto’s chief medical officers have issued their warnings and recommendations about combating COVID-19 through local distancing. And now the speed of local shows being cancelled, venues shut down and programs postponed has accelerated.

We’re trying to stay on top of it with an updated tips list in Streeter news. If you’ve learned of any other schedule changes in our communities due to coronavirus concerns, let us know.

Dangerous medication stolen in Cabbagetown area

Yesterday police reported medication, including 120 Percocet and 84 Diazepam pills, has been stolen near Parliament and Shuter streets.

The drugs could be dangerous and potentially fatal if ingested, especially by children, police warn.

Local events cancelled across our neighbourhoods

We’re starting a running list of events that have been cancelled or postponed and venues that have shut down or reduced hours in the local areas due to the growing coronavirus crisis. See the list in Streeter news. And let us know of any other changes we can tell readers about: send an email.

Petition growing to save three spaces on Church Street

Crews & Tangos have signed a two-year lease but local supporters of the bar and its neighbouring spaces are still concerned about the property owners’ long-term plans for the area.

More than 30,000 people have signed the online petition to save the place from becoming a condo development. Read the full story.

Rosedale public school students warned of exposure to coronavirus

Toronto’s medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa has sent a letter to Whitney Junior Public School warning that its community may have been exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus, several media are reporting this morning.

An individual who was not symptomatic at the time, was at the school on March 4 and later tested positive for COVID-19, said the letter reportedly sent to members of the Whitney school community on Saturday.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops, as well as news on any other instances of the virus in the local area.

Garbage deal ratified by city and union

We should be getting garbage pickup and other services in our neighbourhoods east of Yonge Street for quite a while longer after union members and city councillors ratified a five-year deal with the city’s outside workers. Read the latest news.

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