Where to buy N95 and KN95 face masks online to fight Omicron

Wearing a mask helps keep us safe from COVID and its variants. And the more costlier N95/KN95 masks are the best. To support those in our broader community who may not be able to afford them, the Stone Soup Network (Windermere United Church) and local government launched a campaign to distribute 10,000 of these masks to those very people in need.

To learn more and help, click here.

The City is holding a public meeting to receive and review input to the proposed amendment to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law regarding rear garden suites. Homes in our neighbourhood fall under this proposal. The virtual meeting details are as follows:

Date: January 12, 2022
Time: 9:45 AM
Place: Video conference via this link.

You can send written comments via email to phc@toronto.ca or via mail to:

Nancy Martins, Administrator, Planning and Housing Committee, 100 Queen Street West, 10th Floor, West Tower, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2.

High Park Zoo – City of Toronto

Friends of High Park Zoo is pleased to announce the FHPZ Holiday Trees at High Park Zoo; a FREE family friendly event taking place 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from December 5, 2021 through to January 8, 2022.

Fifteen decorated fir trees stand along the boulevard in High Park Zoo for this special event. Each tree has been sponsored and decorated by a local company or organization from across Toronto. Walk through High Park Zoo and admire the decorated fir trees and say hello to your favourite animals too! Zoo visitors can vote on their favourite holiday tree on Friends of High Park Zoo website and share photos of their favourite tree/s on Instagram with hashtag #HighParkZooTrees.

In addition, for two (2) special nights, High Park Zoo will host the Snowflake Walk and be open to the public on Sunday, December 12 and 19th from 5-6 pm. The Holiday Tree and other lights will be sparkling in the dark. Once the event closes on January 8, 2022, the fir trees will be used as enrichment toys for the enjoyment of some of the zoo animals.

Find out more about these two events, here. Tickets for the Snowflake Walk are available here.

As the final community consultation, City Planning has provided the following documents on the Garden Suites website for review by the public: 

– Proposed Garden Suites regulations
– Draft Official Plan amendments and draft Zoning By-law amendments 
– A video explaining the regulations with illustrations.

A reminder that Bloor Street West residents have until November 30th to submit their comments. Planning will be preparing their Final Report for submission to the Planning and Housing Committee in January, 2022.
Toronto wants to add garden suites to neighbourhood housing options | The  Star
Coyotes – City of Toronto

Yes, there have been sightings.

We have received information from Jasmine Herzog-Evans at Toronto Animal Services that there will be a community meeting regarding the coyote situation in our neighbourhood, on November 11th, 2021 at 7 pm, via Zoom, being led by Toronto Wildlife Centre. A Toronto Animal Service representative will also be in attendance,

Here are the details:

Thursday, November 11th at 7pm.

Topic: Coyote Meeting
Time: Nov 11, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86558373233?pwd=UDltRFNYMktMOExXc0RyTWhweXppdz09

Meeting ID: 865 5837 3233
Passcode: 099981

The history of Bloor West Village in Toronto

Imagine walking through your neighbourhood and being able to pull back the curtains of time as you go. What do seniors remember from decades ago? What family anecdotes do they have to tell? What used to be where that condo now stands? What did newcomers experience when they settled in Toronto?

These are some of the questions Back Lane Studios hope to answer with their newest project, Mapping our Memories. Here’s their plan: Build a team to collect memories and historic information about our neighbourhoods in the west part of Toronto, including ours. Then, make the material easily accessible through links to digital maps. They will be focusing for now on Roncesvalles and High Park, Parkdale, Swansea, the Junction and Weston, with
some forays into Etobicoke.

Back Lane Studios decided to embark on this project when one of their videos, Growing up in the Junction, gained more than 2,000 YouTube views in fairly short order. In the documentary, Lois Broad, 94, who has a remarkable memory, reminisces about places and childhood experiences in west-end Toronto. The video showed the strong interest people have in what life in their neighbourhoods used to be like, and they decided to create a way to
continue collecting and organizing seniors’ memories geographically.

Mapping our Memories is supported by funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. They are using the grant to pay instructors and cover the cost of developing the website mapping platform. Most of the work is being done by volunteers. Current funding runs until February, 2022 however, they are hoping to build a team of volunteers, involve interested partners and seek further funding to continue this as a long-term Back Lane Studios’ project with expanded geographic reach.

If you want to help or support, here is their contact details: info@backlanestudios.ca.

A call out to local landlords: Would you consider renting the apartment to a refugee family?

Techfugees Toronto is working with Romero House on a new project called the Refugee Housing Network to help families living at Romero House transition from temporary to affordable permanent housing faster.

We are looking for landlords who agree to be contacted by Romero House in the event that a settlement worker identifies a potential match with a refugee family living there. Settlement workers will only make tenant recommendations if the tenants have stable income.

Conditions for joining as a housing provider:

  • Agree to share your unit information with Romero House (location, price, availability)
  • Agree to be contacted by Romero House if a settlement worker identifies a potential match with a family
  • Agree to meet with the settlement worker and the family if a rental arrangement is possible (with no obligation to rent)
  • Acknowledge that many refugee claimants do not have a credit score upon arrival and that many receive stable income from provincial assistance

Email toronto@techfugees.com to learn more about #VacanciesForRefugees. Techfugees Toronto is a local chapter of the global social enterprise Techfugees, which is an impact-driven organization dedicated to nurturing a sustainable ecosystem of tech solutions to support the inclusion of displaced peoples.

We’re reminded that CaféTO is supporting nearly 1,200 restaurants this season with expanded outdoor dining space in curb lanes and on sidewalks. The have launched a new survey, which will help the City to better support recovery of the restaurant industry, enhance understanding of the appropriate use of public sidewalks and curb lanes, and identify the effects of expanded patios on private properties.

The survey is currently live and will be open until September 19, 2021. You can find the survey at toronto.ca/CafeTO.

Outdoor dining features heavily in our neighbourhood and so we encourage all residents of Bloor West Village to complete it to help CaféTO shape the City’s outdoor dining programs and the future of Toronto’s streets, including ours.

The top 5 patios near High Park

The City of Toronto is launching a study called the High Park Movement Strategy to improve the travel network for High Park and better serve park users and the community. The goal of the study is to improve the travel network to better serve park users and the surrounding community, prioritizing safety and accessibility while preserving the park’s ecological integrity. The study will consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and other users in the park when it comes to mobility.

The study is in early stages and will be underway by the fall 2021. Over the summer, the City will be retaining a consultant team to support the study, finalizing a work plan, collecting data and conducting background analysis. The study is expected to be complete by summer 2022 with implementation of the preferred solution in 2023.

If you enjoy the park and think about how it can improve, please complete this brief survey here: https://s.cotsurvey.chkmkt.com/?e=233567&h=33D6B15564BE93F&l=en

It will ask about your typical park visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and about your experiences visiting the park over the past year. It will also ask for your feedback on the current weekend road closures and your thoughts on longer-term changes to the travel network serving High Park.  The survey will remain open throughout the summer.

The survey will be followed by a community consultation in the fall.