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We’re all in this Together, Again

We’re all in this together. These are the words we lived by back in March 2020. It was all about staying home to save lives, looking out for our neighbours, and banging pots and pans at night for our healthcare heroes. Since then, the pandemic has worn us all down. Our interest in making it work, together, has sort of faded. However, it’s time to bring back the intention behind that phrase. As we face a new COVID reality with Omicron, we are going to have to summon up the will to be all in this together, again.

I understand the pandemic overload everyone is feeling. Too many have been deeply affected by endless disruptions to our economy, our learning institutions, and our career opportunities. And of course, there have been far too many harrowing hospital stays and terrible losses. It makes no sense to be heading into year three of this ordeal. I understand these feelings and challenges because my own family has been affected by COVID-19. We have been blessed to be able to maintain our incomes, but the virus has still taken its toll. There have been education impacts, mental health impacts, and deterioration for senior family members due to isolation. In short, my family feels lots of the things you are feeling. Around this time last year, one of my grandsons caught the virus just as the second wave was taking off. This Christmas, Omicron got three of us, including me, even though my entire family is proudly double-vaccinated. I won’t go into too much detail about my personal COVID case. Suffice to say, this virus definitely takes age into account. My grandson slept it off in two days, his mother was miserable for three days, but Grandma had two waves of sickness over a span of ten days. I don’t even want to think about how much worse my case might have been if I was not fully vaccinated. Omicron may be less severe than previous variants, but it still needs to be taken very seriously.

I’m sure many of you have stories just like mine, or know a friend or family member who has caught the virus in this new, highly-transmissible form. It’s very worrisome, and especially challenging now as people are not able to access tests to confirm whether or not they have COVID-19. I was very disappointed to see the way the Provincial Government chose to distribute tests over the holidays, and am even more concerned now that testing is almost completely inaccessible to the vast majority of our community. Our Provincial Government needs to step up and ensure that the tests that are available are distributed fairly, to those who need them most, and have a plan in place for when we receive more testing kits. As we move through this new wave, it’s time to hunker down and refocus on the daily COVID-19 updates you probably got tired of listening to in the news. Mayor Tory, Dr. de Villa, and Fire Chief Pegg spent a long time on the airwaves this past Tuesday imploring Torontonians to stay home as much as possible and follow all public health guidelines. Mayor Tory also asked for your patience as we experience many service disruptions across sectors. Here at the City, we are experiencing mass absences from public service and expect them to continue over the next four to six weeks. Just this past Tuesday, for instance, 890 TTC operators called in sick. Due to these staffing shortages, we are back to closing down some operations and redeploying healthy staff to essential services. Here are some of the services impacts currently in effect:

  • Closing indoor facilities (indoor recreation, museums, meeting spaces, entertainment venues, etc.)

  • Cancellation of all winter indoor instructional programs

  • Delayed re-opening of After-School Recreation & Care Programs until in-person learning resumes

The City also has a webpage that outlines COVID-19 service impacts for every City department, but you have to read it with a grain of salt. This information is based on a minimal number of absences and may change in the coming weeks. Remember, you can always call me and my team to clarify and get up-to-date info.

Here in the Don Valley North office, we are back to 100% work from home, as per the advice from our City Manager and Dr. de Villa. My team is well-seasoned in making sure our office is here to serve you in the virtual form. We have a solid system for keeping in touch with each other so that we can keep track of how well the City is responding to your requests and flag any major challenges our neighbourhoods are experiencing. I rely on this information to be your best advocate at Council and in meetings with senior management. There are many new challenges we are experiencing with Omicron. Know that my team and I are here to help. Whether you need help booking a booster appointment or want clarification on our new public health measures, my office is just a phone call or email away. In the coming weeks, be sure to stay tuned into the latest public health info. Our City communications team has done a good job at putting out a steady stream of public health information through television and social media. Of course, I’ll continue to share important information with you right here in the E-Blast every Thursday. If there’s a need for a virtual community town hall as Omicron measures progress, I’ll promote it here. In the meantime, stay at home as much as you can. From my week of having COVID, I can tell you there is plenty of quality TV out there (CBC Gem is a goldmine!) and endless books you can download. If you’re planning to order in or do some online shopping, shop local. Many of our small businesses offer delivery and curbside pickup options that are just as convenient as their bigger competitors, and local jobs really do depend on support from the community. The one good reason to leave your house is to get your booster shot, or your first or second dose if you’re not yet fully vaccinated. It not only keeps you safe, it keeps your loved ones safe as well.

I know that none of us want to be in the thick of COVID-19 again, but we will get through this. Many scientists around the world say that Omicron is leading us towards the end of the pandemic. If they are right, the rest of our year should be far less concerning than what we’re experiencing now. I sincerely hope they’re correct. I want our kids back in school, our seniors back in the company of family, and I want to be able to get back into our community, working on whatever makes Don Valley North a great place to be. We just need to hunker down for a few more weeks. I’ve seen our community come together many times, in many ways over the course of this pandemic. I know we can do it again. Remember, we’re all in this together.


Planning & Development Updates

Prepared by Tom Gleason, Chief of Staff

Upcoming Community Meeting: 1 Greenbriar Way/635 Sheppard Avenue East

Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM City Planning staff will be hosting a virtual community meeting to hear from residents about this development application, which proposes an 11-storey mixed-use building with 134 units and 454m2 of non-residential gross floor area. You can join the meeting online by WebEx or call in by phone. Please register here and you will receive further instructions by email. As always, our office will keep you informed and involved after the initial community consultation.

Updates from North York Community Council

There were many important items for our community on the agenda at North York Community Council today. Here’s a summary of the most notable items: Traffic Calming on Ernest Avenue and Pineway Boulevard After years of study and community engagement, traffic calming is finally coming to both Ernest Avenue and Pineway Boulevard! Both streets have become major Google Maps shortcuts whenever there is traffic nearby. Speed humps will be installed this year to cut down on speeding and reduce the amount of shortcutting happening through these neighbourhoods. A big thank you to all the residents who I've had the pleasure of working alongside to make this a reality! Thomas Clark Way Extension Thomas Clark Way runs between Barberry Pl and Rean Dr, just south of Sheppard Ave. It has been the subject of much frustration lately, as it remains unassumed by the City. Back in November, we brought in bylaws to allow parking enforcement to finally begin on this road. In December, Shelley submitted an Administrative Inquiry through City Council to determine who is responsible for the road currently and when it will be extended to Kenaston Gardens and assumed by the City. Unfortunately, the City Manager’s response to this inquiry still left questions. At NYCC today, Shelley moved that staff report back on the final plan for Thomas Clark Way by June so that the community will finally receive certainty on this local road. Sheppard Avenue East Secondary Plan Review – Next Steps Back in late 2018, former Councillor David Shiner directed City Planning to undertake a review of the Sheppard Avenue East Secondary Plan. Since then, there has been considerable staff turnover in the Planning department. Consequently, the review took much longer than expected and public engagement hasn't met expectations. City Planning has finally determined that the Secondary Plan should be updated. Shelley has directed them to undertake the prioritized study and begin community consultation by this spring at the latest. Stay tuned for next steps on how you can be involved. If you would like to receive more regular updates on this study, please let us know by responding to this email. 123 Parkway Forest Drive As mentioned several months ago, Choice REIT has submitted a development application for 123 Parkway Forest Drive. The application proposes to demolish five of the 10 existing townhouses and redevelop the site with a 29-storey residential building containing 339 units. The existing 19-storey residential building would remain. The Preliminary Report which outlines the application is available here. We are only at the consultation stage for this application. It has not been approved yet. The community meeting will likely take place in February. Notices will be mailed out by the City Clerk and we will include the registration details for the virtual meeting in a future E-Blast. Should you have any questions about the process for this application, please don't hesitate to be in touch. For questions on the specifics of the application, you may contact the City's Planner reviewing the application directly: 12-24 Leith Hill Road North York Community Council approved the application at 12-24 Leith Hill, which was first applied for back in 2017. Since then, the application has shrunk from 14 storeys to 9 storeys with increased setbacks, protections for existing tenants, and infrastructure enhancements to meet the needs of the growing neighbourhood. Shelley voted in favour of this application given the context of site: It’s within a major transit zone, and across the street from the Ontario Land Tribunal-approved buildings of over 30 storeys, meaning we risked a far more aggressive building should this have been appealed to the OLT. The City will create a construction management committee with local residents to mitigate the impacts on the neighbourhood as this project moves forward. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved.


NYGH Vaccine Clinic at Seneca College

North York General Hospital has re-opened its Seneca Vaccination Clinic. The clinic is open from Monday to Friday for those 30+ and will be providing Moderna only at this time. Hours will vary and all bookings should be made online. Available appointments will be posted at the link below:

Enhanced proof of Vaccination Measures

As of this Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the use of the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with QR code is required where proof of vaccination is required. Your enhanced vaccine certificate can be downloaded by visiting For those without a smartphone, rest assured that you can still present a paper copy of the enhanced vaccine certificate. You can print a copy from the above website, or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have your vaccine certificate mailed to you. For more information on enhanced proof of vaccination, visit the Province's website below:

Booking Vaccine Appointments

COVID-19 vaccine appointments for first and second doses are available for those ages five and older. Third dose appointments are now available for those ages 18 and older. Appointments cam be booked through the provincial booking system online or by phone:

  • Online:

  • Phone: 1-833-943-3900


Shelley Carroll

Councillor for Don Valley North


100 Queen St. W, Suite A3


Community Events & Notices

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow, Orthodox communities in Don Valley North and Toronto will be celebrating Christmas with their loved ones. I wish those celebrating a safe and very Merry Christmas.


Survey: Sheppard Reconstruction

City transportation staff are consulting the community before embarking on a major road reconstruction on Sheppard Avenue East between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street. They will also be doing road resurfacing on Sheppard Avenue East from Bonnington Place to Bayview Avenue. There is currently an Online Comment Form available for you to share your thoughts. This survey is available until January 7, 2022. To complete the survey and for more information about the project, visit the links below:


Survey: Clydesdale Park Playground Improvements

The City is planning improvements to the playground in Clydesdale Park. These improvements are part of an ongoing city-wide program to ensure our playgrounds provide safe and accessible fun for years to come. Share your thoughts on the features and equipment for the new playground in an online survey that is available until January 7, 2022. To complete the survey, visit the website below:


Toronto Public Library Closures

Toronto Public Library (TPL) will temporarily close 44 branches as of Monday, January 10 due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages. Here in Don Valley North, Hillcrest Library and Pleasant View Library will be closed starting this Monday. 52 of TPL’s largest and most-used library branches will remain open and staff from closed locations will be reassigned to these branches. TPL’s open branches will continue to operate at their current service levels, which include 50 percent capacity limits. Bookmobile and Home Library Services will also continue at their current service levels. All TPL online services will remain available and can be accessed from anywhere including access to digital collections, online programs and Answerline. Toronto residents 13 and over who live in Toronto and don’t have a library card can register for a Digital Access Card online and get instant access to thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, streaming video, eLearning resources and more. For more information, visit the website below:


POSTPONED: Neighbours Night & New Year's Skating Levee

In order to keep our community safe and observe current COVID-19 restrictions, we are postponing two upcoming events:

  • POSTPONED: Neighbours Night (previously scheduled for Thursday, January 6, 2022 at Oriole Community Centre)

  • POSTPONED: New Year's Skating Levee (previously scheduled for Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Ethennonnhawahstihnen' Park)

We are hoping to be able to hold these and other events at a later date when it is again safe to do so. Keep an eye out in future E-Blasts and on my social media channels for announcements about upcoming events.


Levels of Snow Clearing Service

Every time it snows, my office gets calls asking when the streets will be plowed. The City has a handy chart that shows how much snow has to fall for them to start plowing our different types of roads, and how quickly they’ll be completed:

The City also has an incredibly handy PlowTO Interactive Map that tracks the real-time locations of plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and shows when streets were last plowed. This is a great place to start when you’re wondering how soon your street will be cleared after it snows. If your street still hasn’t been plowed after 16 hours have passed, or you notice a pattern of a certain section not being cleared, get in touch with my office.


Prevent Frozen Pipes Cold weather can cause your water pipes to freeze, resulting in no water and expensive property damage. For tips on how to protect your water pipes from freezing, visit the link below:


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