Here's everything you need to know about Toronto's post-COVID recovery plan

Between the provincial government's loosely-adhered to reopening timeline, the federal government's constantly changing travel restrictions, and the many municipal COVID bylaws in effect for Toronto specifically, it can be hard to know sometimes where we're at in terms of the pandemic.

What we can say with certainty is that there are a lot of moving pieces in this game, influenced by everything from vaccination rates and daily new case numbers to intergovernmental cooperation and the availability of funding.

"The pandemic remains a global health crisis. In Toronto, its immediate impacts continue to be felt along with a growing understanding of potential longer-term effects," wrote City Manager Chris Murray in a report that went before council's Executive Committee earlier this week.

"COVID-19 is not solved for Toronto until it is resolved elsewhere as well. The stress, concern and grief faced by many residents affected by COVID-19 in our city, as well as for those with loved ones living in other countries who are experiencing critical rates of infections, limited access to vaccines and significant loss of life, will have lasting impacts and require years of recovery here in Toronto."

That said, with more than 50 per cent of all adults in the city now fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, we do appear to have turned a corner.

Murray's report reflected this with the revelation of a new initiative called "RecoveryTO" — a portal of sorts where Torontonians can "easily access information about the City's recovery actions, reports and data."

"The RecoveryTO pages provide a snapshot of COVID-19 recovery-related City decisions, reports, data, dashboards and announcements," announced the city in a news release on Tuesday, noting that webpages will be updated regularly, and that new highlights will be added as they become available.

"Toronto's recovery is described through six RecoveryTO themes, with an additional lens of equity and reconciliation applied to each of the themes," explains the city.

Those themes are:

  • Business & Economic Recovery
  • Public Health & Safe Reopening
  • People, Housing & Neighbourhoods
  • City Building & Mobility
  • Climate Change & Resilience
  • Well-Run City & City Finances

"As a city we are experiencing one of the most challenging periods in our recent history. The economic, social and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated," reads the RecoveryTO page.

"The pandemic continues to have impacts on efforts to advance equity and Indigenous reconciliation throughout our society. While the City continues to respond to the immediate needs of our residents, communities and business, we also continue to lay the foundation and take action for the social and economic recovery of our City."

As Ontario moves its way through Step 2 of the provincial government's three-step reopening plan with no clear date yet specified for us to enter Step 3, residents will no doubt be keeping close tabs on the "Business & Economic Recovery" section of the portal in the weeks to come.

"In addition to supporting the immediate economic needs of residents and businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the City's focus and attention on economic renewal and increasing broad-based economic participation," reads the header of that section.

"While economic outcomes are shared with other governments and sectors, the City has put significant attention into programs and advocacy that advance short and long-term objectives and that target the sectors and communities that have been most impacted."

To wit, the city also announced just yesterday a new initiative to help Toronto employers and businesses reopen effectively in the downtown core, in part through the provision of free COVID-19 screening kits for small and medium-sized companies.

"We're doing everything we can to support businesses when it is safe to fully re-open," said Mayor John Tory on Wednesday.

"Today, we launched We're Ready Toronto to help businesses bounce back and transition back to work confidently and safely when we get the green light."

Lead photo by

John Tory

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