On March 20, the Ontario government announced changes to the Grey Lockdown level of Covid-19 restrictions for Toronto, and outdoor dining is permitted, subject to physical distancing rules and other public health and workplace safety measures.
Some sidewalk cafés and patios on private property can open immediately and others require permission from the City, particularly if they would like to install a sidewalk or curb lane café (on the road), through the CafeTO program.
The following rules apply:
- A limit of 4 people can be seated together
- Establishments must be closed between 10pm and 5pm
- Alcohol can only be served between 9am and 9pm
- All seated patrons must provide their contact details
- A minimum of 2 metres or impermeable barrier is required between tables
- Each establishment must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) permitted.
The City of Toronto will install ramps to ensure that people using mobility devices can access cafés in the curb lane.
To find out which restaurants will be offering outdoor patio dining in Roncesvalles Village, you can access the Roncesvalles Village BIA directory, for details and updates.
More information on the City of Toronto’s CafeTO program can be found at Toronto.ca/CafeTO. The first round of registration for curb lane cafés closes on March 26, 2021. The second round of registrations will open on March 27, 2021 and will close in May 2021.
Muddy Crops, a local organic food service known for its fruit & veggie boxes and outdoor pop-up shop at the corner of Roncesvalles and Westminster Avenue in the summer months, will soon open a permanent location in The Junction.
Nestled among local craft breweries like Shacklands, Rainhard and Junction Craft Brewing, the new market space at 100 Symes Road will open in April for curb-side pickup and delivery.
“We would be lying if we said we’d never thought about how cool it would be to be sitting on a patio, drinking local beer while eating local fruit. So we are making it happen,” Muddy Crops co-founder Steven Yoannou told blogTO.
The produce purveyors are known for their fresh Ontario berries and rare produce like paw paws, organic wheatgrass, Peruvian purple potatoes, blood peaches and goji berries. They are a zero waste company and offer free delivery on orders over $59.
For more information visit muddycrops.com
World Water Day (March 22) seeks to raise awareness about issues relating to water, such as conservation and sanitation. This year, High Park Nature Centre is hosting a World Water Day virtual event on Sunday March 21, 2021, with a focus on indigenous stories, songs and ceremonies.
Wyandot artist Taǫmęˀšreˀ, Catherine Tàmmaro of the Little Spotted Turtle Clan, will lead a session exploring our deep relationship with the Spirit of Water, through creative activation. Participants will create waterscapes using watercolour paint and paper.
Register for this free event, and you can pick up a watercolour kit (watercolour paper, gum tape and a paint brush) from the Nature Centre (curb-side pick-up) during scheduled pick-up times.
More information and registration here
AirQ, a Toronto-based air quality monitoring startup, has announced it is partnering with the Roncesvalles Business Improvement Association (BIA) to pilot an air safety monitoring solution in Roncesvalles Village.
“COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to main street businesses. Monitoring air quality could be an important part of the recovery process and we’re excited to test it out,” said John Kiru, Executive Director at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.
As part of the project, AirQ will complete over 400 air quality measurements for small businesses in Roncesvalles. Twenty-five businesses will have their air quality permanently monitored through the installation of custom sensors that collect live air safety data, measuring levels of exhaled air and triggering fans or alarms if air safety drops. The presence of exhaled air, measured as CO2 parts per million, can inform businesses of the risks related to aerosol transmission of Covid-19 particles.
This pilot will leverage these indoor air safety measurements to support the success and recovery Roncesvalles local businesses.
Funding for the initiative was made available through the Digital Main Street Lab program, which seeks to pilot projects that help small businesses find innovative ways to attract customers. Further support was made available through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies like this one with AirQ, to help ensure health and safety and build confidence in our main street businesses,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.
AirQ’s air quality measurement testing will help identify areas with problematic ventilation, estimate safe occupancy levels and create a practical air safety plan to keep employees and customers safe.
At a time when both staff and customers are hesitant to enter indoor spaces as a result of the risk of Covid-19 transmission, AirQ’s data-enabled sensors and measurement capabilities can help manage the risks caused by poor air flow. While no setting can be deemed zero-risk, ongoing monitoring of air quality is an important step toward the identification of low-risk indoor settings and the ultimate goal of a safe return to indoor activities.
Preliminary air quality testing performed by AirQ has shown that 93% of main street businesses have high quality air.
More information about the Digital Main Street Lab program here.
More information about AirQ here.
The volunteer crew that builds and maintains the natural ice skating rink at Sorauren Park, affectionately known as “The Hosers”, recently reached out to the community to share public health rules that have been adapted this year, due to Covid-19 health protocols.
Signs have been posted around the rink, but in case you have missed them, please note before you go:
- NO SHINNY (provincial orders also prohibit practicing, no hockey sticks or pucks)
- MAXIMUM 25 PEOPLE
- STAY 2 METRES APART (except for members of your own household)
- WEAR A MASK
The City of Toronto has passed the responsibility of monitoring compliance of the safe use rules onto The Hosers crew, and additional steps have been taken to prevent the potential for fines, rink shutdown or both.
The Hosers have re-designed the rink experience by creating a skating trail to encourage physically distanced skating and discourage shinny.
Read the full letter from The Hosers to the community here.