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E-BLAST: What's Happening in Toronto this Winter?

We're still very much in the thick of the budget process. Earlier this week, my fellow Budget Committee members and I listened to two days of public deputations from residents across the city. I want to thank everyone who took the time to come out—the deputations we heard will help shape our recommendations to the Mayor when we formally wrap up the first phase of the Budget process at Budget Committee tomorrow. Mayor Chow will present her Budget on February 1, so I'll be back with a comprehensive update on that in next week's E-Blast.



In this week's column, I want to share some reminders of the many things that are happening here in Don Valley North and across the city in the coming weeks. From upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations to vaccine clinics and another year of our fabulous Winterlicious program, there are so many reasons to get out and enjoy all our city has to offer this winter.


WINTERLICIOUS


This year marks the 20th anniversary of our Winterlicious program, which helps boost Toronto's restaurant industry during slower times of the year.  Starting tomorrow and until February 8, you can enjoy a three-course menu at over 200 fabulous restaurants across the city. I always say this is the perfect time to try out a new restaurant you've been eyeing or explore a new neighbourhood. Menus are prix fixe (meaning they offer all three courses for a set price), and range from $20 to $55 for lunch and $25 to $75 for dinner.



Here in Don Valley North, we have four restaurants participating, all at Bayview Village Mall: Parcheggio, POPA Burmese Kitchen, Goa Indian Farm Kitchen, and Tabule. There are also some great spots over on Yonge Street, south on Don Mills Road, and, of course, dozens of Winterlicious locations downtown if you want to make the trip. You can view the full list of restaurants and a handy map at the link below:

It's wonderful to see just how successful our Winterlicious and Summerlicious programs have been over the past two decades. Since starting in 2003, the program has generated over $350 million in economic activity. Toronto's incredible array of restaurants really is a key driver of our local economy, so be sure to get out and enjoy a Winterlicious meal while you can!


FAIRVIEW LIBRARY THEATRE


Some of you might not know that we have a live theatre right here in Don Valley North! Fairview Library Theatre has a great season lined up. They're kicking off 2024 with The Sweet Delilah Swim Club, a play about five women who met on their college swim team and have spent an August long weekend together every year since. It's "a hilarious and touching comedy about friendship that lasts forever." The play has its first performance tonight and runs until February 3. You can learn more and see Fairview Library Theatre's full schedule below:

VACCINE CLINICS


While we made it through the thick of the pandemic, COVID cases are still very much happening and it's important to stay up-to-date on your vaccinations. My office has heard from some parents and grandparents who have had trouble finding vaccines for children under five. I'm happy to report that Toronto Public Health is stepping in to fill that need.



Toronto Public Health will offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccines at community clinics, as well as Novavax vaccines.  Operating on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 6:30 PM, community clinics are available throughout the school year at three locations: 

  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. 

  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr. 

  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall 

Appointments are required to get a vaccine at these community clinics. The pediatric vaccine is available to children five years of age and younger. The Novavax vaccine is available to anyone 12 years of age and older who is unable (due to allergies) or unwilling to get an mRNA vaccine. For children over 12 and adults looking for a regular booster, you can do so at pharmacies and select doctor's offices. Learn more about the Toronto Public Health clinics and book an appointment at the link below:

LUNAR NEW YEAR


While it's still a couple of weeks away, I always look forward to the wonderful Lunar New Year celebrations that our community puts on here in Don Valley North. This year marks the Year of the Dragon—the Wood Dragon, to be specific. The Wood Dragon represents creativity, calm, and confidence. We could all use some of that in our lives this year, along with the extra luck and prosperity that comes with any Year of the Dragon. I can't wait to join a number of Lunar New Year events in Don Valley North and across the city in the coming weeks.



Fairview Mall puts on a wonderful celebration every year. I'll be joining their event on Sunday, February 11 at 2 PM to hand out red pockets and join in the festivities with the neighbourhood. I hope to see you there!

WINTER STATIONS

Many of us up in North York don't get down to the Beaches very often, but it's worth making the trip for the annual Winter Stations art installations. Winter Stations sees a number of art installations designed around the lifeguard towers on Kew and Woodbine beaches. These sculptures are often interactive, and they absolutely transform our city beaches. This year, the exhibition begins on February 19 and can be a great Family Day adventure for all ages to enjoy.




Most of us can think of a thousand things to do in Toronto on a sunny summer afternoon, but it's worth remembering that our city is still buzzing with life in the winter. If you know of any other great events or activities happening in Don Valley North, North York, or Toronto, feel free to share them with me so that I can promote them right here in the E-Blast.

 

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