April 1, 2020
Sandra
Yeung Racco
WARD 4 COUNCILLOR
The health and well-being of citizens, staff and visitors continues to be the City of Vaughan’s top priority.  We are committed to keeping citizens informed in its ongoing efforts to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Many City services continue to be offered online or via telephone. For questions, contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or visit vaughan.ca or vaughanpl.info . Please check here for the latest update on City cancellations, postponements and disruptions. 
The City of Vaughan continues to work closely with all levels of government to monitor the situation and to ensure people remain safe. The situation is evolving and new items will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. As a result, the decision has been made to extend the closure of all City facilities to the public until further notice to help break the chain of transmission.

What’s Closed?  
The following City facility closures and program cancellations are currently in effect:
 
  • Vaughan City Hall
  • Joint Operations Centre
  • All community centre and library branches
  • All community centre permits/rentals, recreational and library programming, swimming pools, arenas and fitness facilities
  • All facilities in parks
  • All Council committees and task force meetings (except for Council and Committee of the Whole)
  • Vaughan Animal Shelter - For adoption information or other animal inquiries, contact Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281
  • City Playhouse Theatre
  • Tours at Fire Stations
  • All City run events

What’s open?
The following services continue to operate without disruptions:
While Vaughan City Hall and other City-operated facilities remain closed, citizens are encouraged to take advantage of the services and resources that continue to be offered online - including Service Vaughan, an online reporting tool that enables individuals to submit a service request, report on non-emergency City services and track their submission 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
 
Residents can access the tool by clicking here . Currently, the platform supports requests on six City services, including:
  • debris, vandalism and graffiti
  • garbage and recycling
  • parks, trees and grass
  • roads and sidewalks
  • signs and streetlights
  • water services
All facilities within City parks are now closed to the public and should not be used. This includes playgrounds, sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, dog parks and any other facilities within City parks. Signage is being installed to reinforce the closures. Read the  full PSA  for more information. 
To protect waste collectors in Vaughan during the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are reminded to place all personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, and personal hygiene and sanitary products - including wipes and tissues - in the garbage.
 
Do not place these items in the blue box - recycling will not be collected if the box contains any of these items.
 
Citizens are urged to practice good infection prevention and control when handling any waste by washing their hands immediately and any surfaces that waste may have contacted.
 
The following steps should be taken when handling waste:
  • Carefully bag all garbage and green bin materials in plastic bags.
  • All personal hygiene and sanitary products, including medical masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and baby wipes, must be placed in the garbage. Do not place these items in the blue box. 
  • If anyone in a household is ill, place any item that has come into contact with their mouth, nose or eyes into the garbage. This includes items that would normally be placed into the green bin (tissues, napkins) or blue box (water/beverage bottles, pop cans).
  • Do not flush any disinfectant wipes or baby wipes down the toilet as they can damage plumbing and cause sewer blockages and backups.
  • Please maintain social distancing and do not approach the waste collectors as they work.
  • Heavier items should be placed at the top of the bin to avoid materials from blowing away.

The City's waste collection contractor, Miller Waste Systems Inc., continues to use the recommended PPE to protect workers from hazards they may encounter while handling residential waste bags and bins. 
Litter has recently been reported on public and private property in Vaughan. Littering and dumping are prohibited and those who violate this by-law may be subject to a $205 fine. Any instances of illegal dumping should be reported to Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281. The By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services, Enforcement Services team will investigate and take the appropriate action.
 
Private property conditions are governed by the City's Debris By-law and Property Standards By-law. Those who do not keep their properties clear of litter, waste and debris may be subject to a fine of $5,000 for each offence. As well, the City may have the waste and debris removed at the owner's expense and it may be subject to an Order to Comply, under the Building Code Act. Failing to comply with an order is a chargeable offense.
 
In the coming weeks, City crews will embark on cleanup efforts to clear garbage and debris off public property across the city. This program will also include street sweeping.
A grace period of 90 days has been established for business licence renewals. New businesses are still required to be licensed, and applications may be submitted by email to bylaw@vaughan.c a , along with scanned copies of required documentation. Event, filming and lottery permits will not be issued at this time.

If an administrative monetary penalty, such as a parking ticket, is received, it can be paid online at  PayVaughanTicket.com . To arrange an alternative method of payment or schedule a dispute appointment, call Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 within 15 days of receiving it. Scheduled disputes are being conducted over the phone until further notice. In-person appointments may only be scheduled after Sunday, May 31.

By-law officers continue to operate, patrol and respond to calls on a priority basis. Please check vaughan.ca/bylaw for specific updates.
Due to the challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic, effective immediately, the City has waived the late penalty charge on interim tax bills. Payments for the March 26, April 27 and May 27 due dates will not be subject to any late payment fee or interest until Monday, June 1. These new measures apply to residential and non-residential properties. 

Although City Hall remains closed, there are several ways property owners can make payments remotely. These include pre-authorized programs, online and telephone banking, issuing post-dated cheques or by mail. Please consult with your financial institution to determine whether a payment can be made at a branch location.  
 
The City offers its  Elderly Home-Owners Tax Assistance  (PDF) program for 2020 – which is a tax credit in the amount of $377 provided by the City to elderly homeowners who qualify. The deadline for the Elderly Home-Owners Tax Assistance 2020 program has been extended to April 30. The City also continues to operate its  Seniors, Low-Income Seniors and Low-Income Disabled Persons Property Tax Deferral program  (PDF). The deadline for this program remains September 30.
During the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the City of Vaughan remains committed to working with all levels of government to stand up for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and to maintain the competitiveness of the local economy.
 
On March 17, the City launched the Vaughan Business Action Plan - which includes a series of temporary measures to support businesses, consumers and all citizens. These include:
  1. Support the restocking of store shelves - by suspending noise by-laws and weight restrictions on roads to assist with ensuring stores have items people need.
  2. Enhance the movement of goods - by suspending by-laws restricting the loading and unloading of commercial vehicles, transport trucks, and other vehicles between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. This will allow for 24-hour delivery.
  3. Improve business ground-transportation - by suspending the weight and size of vehicles that can travel on certain roads throughout Vaughan. To ensure the sufficient safe supply of goods to stores.
  4. Suspend the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) - to support the travel and tourism industry by not requiring accommodation providers to charge the MAT at Vaughan properties.
  5. Maintain small business services - by ensuring, where possible, Small Business and Entrepreneurship frontline services are continued (either online or by phone).
  6. A grace period of 90 days was recently established for business licence renewals. New businesses are still required to be licensed. 
  7. The City is waiving the late penalty charge on interim property tax bills. These new measures also apply to non-residential properties.
  8. The City is waiving the planned 2020 water and wastewater rate increases and deferring the annual stormwater charge for 60 days.
Do you know an outstanding volunteer who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the community? There is still time to nominate these generous citizens for the 2019 City of Vaughan Volunteer Recognition Awards . This award honours deserving volunteers who are part of not-for-profit organizations and community groups and selflessly donate their time, make a positive impact and contribute to the community. The nomination deadline has been extended to Friday, April 17. Details on how to apply are available here .
Here are some important tips to remember about co-existing with urban wildlife:

  • Supervise your pets at all times while they are outside.
  • Keep your pets safely on a leash and clean up after them.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Ensure your dogs and cats have current rabies vaccinations.
  • Do not approach, feed or handle wildlife, and remove bird feeders.
  • Never attempt to capture, transport or relocate wildlife.
  • Discard food waste appropriately, securely store waste bins and refrain from putting garbage at the curb until the morning of collection.

The City of Vaughan is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to calls about sick or injured wildlife. This service helps us continue to meet the needs of residents and protect the health and safety of the public, pets and local wildlife. For more information, please visit here .
2020 Spring and Summer Maintenance

Spring clean-up will be commencing in early April depending on the weather. The City of Vaughan uses contractors for our Spring and Summer Maintenance Program. Here is a summary of some of the programs:

Boulevard Maintenance
The start of this program begins with boulevards litter being picked up prior to the cutting rotation and continues every 2 weeks. There are 14 rotations scheduled throughout this season and the summer months may have longer rotations due to the slow growth of grass during draught conditions. The City of Vaughan is working with York Region to sync the schedule so that both areas are cut on the same day.

Storm Water Management Ponds
These areas are cut twice yearly for access purposes - a 10 foot mow strip, which is rough cut only in May/June and September. These ponds are not string trimmed along fence lines or manicured as they serve a purpose in maintaining storm water and require a natural habitat.

Street Sweeping:
The City’s street-sweeping program began in late March due to good weather. The initial city-wide sweep takes approximately four to five weeks to complete, depending on the weather. After this initial spring cleaning, street sweeping will continue throughout the summer and into the fall on 20-24 day rotation.

Boulevard Tree Pruning:
The City of Vaughan uses a block pruning rotation to prune trees on entire streets. This includes but is not limited to: removing low hanging limbs, suckers, deadwood, and limbs growing towards houses of all trees on a street. The Block Pruning rotation allows staff to consistently and efficiently maintain safe clearances above roads (approximately 4.5 meters) and sidewalks (approximately 2.5 meters). Street pruning is contracted out to private tree companies.

For more information about Vaughan's Spring and Summer Maintenance Program...
The Spring Maintenance Program is created by Vaughan's  Transportation Services, Parks and Forestry Operations  department. Click  here  for more information about the department.

For additional information or to speak to a customer service representative about an issue, please contact Access Vaughan at:
905-832-2281 or accessvaughan@vaughan.ca.
Upcoming City-led events are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The following events are no longer taking place or postponed: 

Kleinburg Parking Strategy Drop-in Session
Wednesday, April 1

Pesach Waste Depot
Garnet A. Williams C.C.
Friday, April 3 to
Wednesday, April 8

Animal Services Microchip and Rabies Clinic
Tuesday, April 7

Volunteer Recognition
Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, April 22

20-Minute Makeover Wednesday, April 22

Mayor's Gala
Postponed to
Wednesday, October 28

Please check the  Events  page for the latest updates about non-City led event cancellations.
The annual Pesach at Garnet A. Williams Community Centre, scheduled from Friday, April 3 to Wednesday, April 8, has been cancelled in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
During the weeks of March 31, April 7 or April 14, Double-Up Days will be offered on regular collection days, allowing up to six items of garbage to be put out without tags. 
 
The City asks that large or bulky items, such as furniture, be held and not placed outside for pick-up to help collectors manage the additional garbage volumes during this time.
 
To assist in prioritizing this essential service, leaf and yard waste collection will be deferred until May 19.
Due to Good Friday, waste collection and the Double-Up Day scheduled for Friday, April 10, will move to Saturday, April 11. All other collection days remain on their regularly scheduled days. Double-up Days taking place the weeks of April 7 or April 14 continue as scheduled. Please have your material out for collection by 7 a.m. For more information about waste collection and services, call Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or visit here .
Recreation Services has launched a new webpage featuring virtual recreation resources to help City of Vaughan residents manage their physical and mental health while social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our team of recreationists are developing virtual resources for all ages, abilities and areas of interest. Look forward to “living room” and “backyard” IGTV workouts with Vaughan Fitness instructors. Learn first aid basics from lifeguards. Sing songs with Vaughan Playschool instructors. Practice your acting, dancing and singing skills with the theatre crew. Colour, craft, cook. Do something you like…or try something new!
All programming from Vaughan Public Libraries (VPL) is cancelled until further notice. As an alternative, online programming is being offered through Instagram and Facebook . Activities include live-streamed story times, online book clubs and activity videos for kids.

While all public library branches remain closed, citizens are encouraged to explore VPL's  digital service offerings , including eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies and more. VPL asks all customers to refrain from returning items to the library until branches reopen. No fines will be charged for late returns during this period.

Lynda.com  gives users free access to thousands of video tutorial courses with a focus on such areas as technology, software development, business skills, project management as well as creative skills like animation and video editing. The courses are taught by recognized industry experts who will guide you along in learning the skills for personal and professional development. Also available is Transparent Language – a fun and engaging way to learn a new language. The app aims to lock words and phrases into your memory so you can recall them perfectly.

Temporary library cards are now available and can be obtained by filling in an online form. Click here for more information.
Council voted to defer the annual stormwater charge for 60 days and to cancel the planned 2020 water and wastewater rate increases. Deferring the 2020 Stormwater Charge billing for 60 days will have minimal impact on the stormwater program. 

The Council-approved recommendations also call on York Region to cancel or defer the 2020 planned regional nine per cent combined wholesale water and wastewater increases. Regional costs for water and wastewater treatment account for approximately 75 per cent of the City’s annual costs for water and wastewater services. 

Residential and commercial water meter replacement appointments are being postponed. Owners with an existing appointment will be contacted to re-book for May 2020.
Y ork Region Public Health is encouraging citizens to do the following:
  • Be familiar with and follow travel advice before and after you return from international travel
  • Practice social distancing, which means:
  • Work from home where possible
  • Maintain at least two metres (six feet) of space between you and others (outside of your immediate family)
  • Avoid non-essential trips in the community
  • Limit, postpone or cancel gatherings
  • Keep kids away from group settings
  • Avoid visits to long-term care homes and other care settings (unless you are essential)

Practice good infection prevention and control, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces, such as toilets, faucet handles, doorknobs, countertops, etc., using regular household cleaners
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes, cutlery, drinks/water bottles and towels
 
Those who feel unwell and believe they have symptoms related to COVID-19 should contact York Region Public Health or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.  For additional information on COVID-19, visit York Region's website.
There is a better, safer way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross over Highway 400 on Highway 7 in the city of Vaughan. With signalized crossings at either side of the bridge, this new multi-use path will improve traffic flow and offer an effective, convenient solution for people to make connections to and from the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and throughout Vaughan and York Region. This multi-use path has been integrated into the Vaughan and York Region network of bike lanes and connects with bike lanes built as part of the vivaNext rapidway construction projects both east and west of Highway 400. For more information on YRRTC transit projects, visit  vivanext.com.
Increasing Safety on Regional Roads

York Region has started a two-year pilot project for automated speed enforcement systems (speed cameras). The purpose of the program is to increase safety on regional roads, especially in school zones. The first camera in Vaughan will be installed in May on Rutherford Road near Emily Carr Secondary School. For more information, visit york.ca/traffic .
Metrolinx is bringing customers an improved and remodelled Rutherford GO Station with a six-storey parking structure, a new station building and customer amenities.

The temporary road detour remains in place south of Rutherford Rd between Barhill Road/Westburne Drive and Peter Rupert Avenue until the project is complete in 2022. To learn more, please visit here.
For more construction updates, visit here .
Have your say and provide the City of Vaughan with valuable citizen input that helps contribute to changes and improvements to City services and amenities.

Please take a few moments to complete some of the surveys currently being collected.


Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service is urging everyone to pay special attention when cooking for Easter and Passover meals. Provincial statistics reveal that careless cooking is the number one cause of fires. Be sure to keep flammable items away from the stove, drink responsibly and remain in the kitchen while cooking. For more information on fire prevention, visit here .
The Way We Were: Archives Collection of the Month
To celebrate the official end of fighting in World War II, a Victory in Europe Day Parade was held in Woodbridge on May 8, 1945. One of the floats, pictured at the Corner of Pine Street (now Woodbridge Ave) and Wallace Street, can be seen above.

To find out more about the City of Vaughan Archives, visit  Vaughan.ca/archives.
Upcoming Council and Committee Meetings

Please view the Council and Committee meeting calendar here to see the status of meetings during the extended City closure.

Full meeting information  here
 Live broadcast  available.
Ward 4 Councillor's Office
Contact My Office:
Sandra Yeung Racco
905-832-8585 ext. 8342
Executive Assistant:
Cindy Furfaro-Benning
905-832-8585 ext. 8198