TORONTO, Canada — Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, and member of parliament for Scarborough Southwest, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal minister of infrastructure and Communities; Adam Vaughan, member of parliament for Spadina—Fort York; Marci Ien, member of parliament for Toronto Centre; Kinga Surma, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure; Rod Phillips, Ontario’s minister of long-term care; and His Worship John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto, announced joint funding for 14 projects to improve cultural, community, and active transportation infrastructure across the City.
Across the country, Canadians are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 on their families, their livelihoods, and their way of life. Together, Canada and Ontario are working to enhance citizens’ quality of life, meet the needs of communities, and promote job creation and make meaningful investments to address the impacts of COVID-19.
“The government of Canada is investing more than $13.6 million in these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS), and the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan. The government of Ontario is providing more than $8.3 million, with recipients contributing over $5.6 million towards their respective projects,” said the ministry of infrastructure in a press release.
Among projects funded through CVRIS are eight components of the City of Toronto’s Ravine Strategy to improve the City’s active transportation infrastructure. Project work includes the construction of a new connection from Meadoway Trail to Highland Creek Trail, as well as upgrades to trails through Taylor Creek Park and Rowntree Mills Park, including trail reconstruction and site drainage. Additional work involves a new trail wayfinding signage in ravines at the East Don Trail, Upper Highland Trail, Meadoway and Upper Black Creek. Finally, upgrades to existing entry points at approximately seven ravines across the city, including Edwards Gardens, will improve community access to green spaces.
According to the press release: “ The Toronto Ravine Strategy project will increase access to public and private greenspace. This will provide residents with accessible and reliable trail systems and outdoor spaces to help them maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while staying safe. Other projects funded through CVRIS will support important upgrades to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), humidifiers, and heating systems in long-term care homes across the city, providing residents with a more comfortable living environment. These investments will also improve the safety of homes for both residents and long-term care workers.”
The funding will also support improvements to community, cultural and recreation facilities throughout the city, such as the rehabilitation of the Don Montgomery Community Centre, improving accessibility and quality of visitor experience at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre; renovations to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, and improved accessibility at the Toronto Zoo. Once completed, the projects will provide all Torontonians with safer access to quality, cultural and recreational facilities, encouraging families and friends to reconnect, stay active, and enjoy the abundant cultural experiences throughout the city, says the ministry.
“The COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, implemented in response to the pandemic, allows the government of Canada to invest up to 80 percent of eligible costs for projects in provinces, and up to 100 percent for projects in territories and Indigenous communities. The government of Ontario will invest 20 percent of the eligible costs for projects across the province.”