Editor: Sharon McMillan
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The health and well-being of our neighbourhood residents continues to be a top priority of the SLNA as we all navigate new territory arising out of municipal, provincial and federal government efforts to flatten the curve of infection of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone is asked to stay at home except for outdoor exercise or walks for physical and mental health and other essential activities, including work, and grocery shopping etc. Please see the guidelines provided by the city in the COVID-19 update below.
We hope this SLNA newsletter can provide some useful information and resources for you, your family and friends.
Helping Neighbours During this Time
It was encouraging to see our local grocery stores and markets blocking off early morning hours for senior shoppers only to limit their interaction with the wider public and hopefully reduce risk of infection given the vulnerability of seniors. Many residents in the neighbourhood are also offering to assist seniors and those with health challenges in securing groceries.
If you would like to help those on your street or in your condo or co-op, etc., try contacting your resident's property manager or your building's residents' board to see about coordinating efforts to support vulnerable residents who could use assistance at this time.
We also invite you to join our SLNA FACEBOOK PAGE.
Opera Singer Serenades from Condo Balcony
On March 17, mezzo-soprano singer and host of CBC Music's "Tempo," Julie Nesrallah serenaded the St. Lawrence neighbourhood from her condo balcony and received multiple "Bravas!" and cheers from neighbours and residents below.
Sharing with the community in this way has become somewhat of a world-wide trend from Paris where residents of the city move to their city apartment balconies at 8 pm each night to applaude their frontline health care workers to Italy where residents perform using their voices and instruments - all to release and connect on a human level as we try to make sense of this destructive pandemic.
Thank you Julie Nesrallah for sharing your beautiful voice with us - we hope to hear from you again! To view the video of Julie's performance click HERE.
Province Launches Learn at Home Website
As schools will be closed until at least April 5 (if not longer), the Ministry of Education has a launched a "Learn at Home" website to help parents keep students engaged and learning while at home. See details below.
March 20, 2020 12:45 P.M.
Office of the Premier
TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford joined Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education to launch the first phase of Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison, a new online portal that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
"As a father myself, I know parents always want the best for their children, and I also know from speaking to parents that many are concerned that their child is going to fall behind while schools are closed during this difficult period," said Premier Ford. "To support families and students, our government has developed a one-stop spot for at-home learning. It doesn't replace school, but offers a great alternative as we approach the end of March Break."
Learn at Home offers all students high-quality, made-in-Ontario math and literacy resources, created by Ontario-certified educators, in both English and French. Elementary resources are designed to help young students learn at home with interactive activities that encourage participation through entertaining and stimulating digital content. High school content was designed with a focus on STEM courses and ensure core competencies and skills are reinforced. The government is also providing access to course content for students who take the initiative to refresh and extend their learning.
"The Learn at Home initiative will help mitigate 'learning loss' during this period of uncertainty," said Minister Lecce. "Our plan will provide interactive teacher-led math supports to keep students learning and empower all students to learn key skills with an emphasis on STEM education, while also arming parents with resources to support them as their kids learn at home."
"By offering new at-home educational resources, the province is further supporting Ontario's families as they help contain the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health. "Each and every Ontarian has a role to play in flattening the curve. Our government is providing families with the support they need so that they can continue to contribute to our shared goal of protecting the health and wellbeing of all Ontarians, including our young students."
"TVO is proud to be part of this important initiative by the Ministry of Education." said Jennifer Hinshelwood, TVO's Acting Chief Operating Officer. "TVO's suite of digital learning products are designed to engage young minds in learning - a mission that seems doubly important at times like this when many of our traditional learning environments are not accessible."
The at-home activities offered by Learn at Home provide quick and easy access to some of Ontario's best online kindergarten to grade 12 learning resources produced by Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) Educators. As part of the government's commitment to planning for every scenario, the province is working closely with education stakeholders to develop a plan for scaling and building additional online learning programs.
"In these uncertain times, we are proud as a public agency to join the Ministry of Education's efforts in supporting families and students," said Eric Minoli, TFO's Chief Operating Officer. "Our online Apprendre à la maison program will help ensure continuity in education for Francophone and Francophile parents. TFO will be offering daily activities which will be accessible at all times on our IDELLO.ORG platform, BOUKILI.CA and our TV channel. TFO will remain a proud partner of all families through a tailored program of fun, high-quality educational activities and content, all of which will be aligned with the curriculum of Ontario."
From the City of Toronto
March 21, 2020
City of Toronto urges residents returning from March Break travel to self-isolate for 14 days to help stop the spread of COVID-19
This afternoon, Toronto’s Medical Office of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, and City Manager, Chris Murray, provided an update on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 response.
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed by Toronto Public Health in the city continues to increase. As of 1 p.m. today there are now 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto.
New cases are not unexpected as the City continues to respond to the current situation. As the number of cases grows, the City urges that the privacy of individuals who have tested positive for the virus be respected.
The best way for Torontonians to contribute to the public health response is to continue the proactive measures of social distancing, and if sick, self-isolation.
Importantly, for those returning from abroad following March break, self-isolation is critical to helping mitigate the continued spread of COVID-19. Anyone who has returned to Canada, including from the United States, is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
We have received inquiries about gathering in parks and playgrounds in the city. While exercise and enjoying the outdoors is important for those who are not self-isolating, these gatherings may pose a risk to the health of families and the wider community. To that end, the City will begin erecting signage near playgrounds reminding the public of the importance of social distancing and that playgrounds are not sanitized.
Following the Province’s declaration of an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act earlier this week, complaints and requests for enforcement have come into the City, representing about 2% of calls to 311. These calls will be responded to on a priority basis. While enforcement of provincial orders is carried out by police, not bylaw enforcement, the public is asked to not call 911 and instead direct calls to 311.
Finally, City of Toronto employees at home may be called in and redeployed to ensure the City can continue to deliver critical services during this unprecedented time. The services the City provides are critical to millions of residents and business. The Toronto Public Service is a dedicated and committed workforce that continues to show up and do an outstanding job during this extremely difficult time.
A number of measures have been put in place to protect employees from COVID-19 and City Manager Chris Murray is committed to continuing to ensure staff are protected so they are able to keep the city and its infrastructure safe, while responding to this pandemic.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“Your City government is working around the clock to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every resident can help this effort by practicing social distancing. This weekend in particular, we want to make sure everyone returning from March Break travel outside Canada gets the message that they must self-isolate for 14 days. All of these efforts will stop the spread of COVID-19, help flatten the curve, and save lives.”
- Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit http://www.toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.
Annual General Meeting Postponed
The SLNA Board of Directors has decided to postpone the SLNA Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 25, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hoping to reschedule for April. More information to follow as the situation progresses. In the meantime, stay safe and we urge you to follow the health and safety precautions shared by the City of Toronto - see more information below under "COVID-19 Update".