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FORUM: We will get through this together (Apr. 2020)

May 1st, 2020 · 5 Comments

Community resources are here for you

By Mike Layton

This is a difficult moment in time for everyone. People across the continent are having to make substantial changes and sacrifices to their lives and routines in order to help keep them, their families, and others in their community safe. It is understandable to be confused, or feel anxious on a daily basis. People know they are facing a real threat, and that the choices they make have serious and immediate consequences.

“Many of you have really taken the need to socialize responsibly and from a distance to heart and your actions will be monumental to helping Toronto get through this” 

Mike Layton, city councillor (Ward 11, University-Rosedale)

I want to reinforce that we are all in this together, and will be able to get through this because we care for each other. It has never been clearer to me that we are all connected.  I am heartened by the community response I have seen throughout recent weeks.  Beyond the official responses, there have been many grassroots initiatives that have quickly organized to make sure that any neighbour that needs help, receives it. 

I have also been deeply encouraged by the number of you who have reached out to share your physical distancing activities and hobbies to bring some spirit to your neighbourhood. Many of you have really taken the need to socialize responsibly and from a distance to heart and your actions will be monumental to helping Toronto get through this.  

In an effort to keep the momentum of local organizing going, my office has created a community resource guide that includes both community and government resources that can help Ward 11 residents dealing with issues arising from COVID-19. 

You can access this resource on my website ( or on my Facebook page. It is continually updated as we receive more information.

Those who require assistance like access to free food or financial support as well as those who would like to help others in need, will find resources that will help. It also contains information about mutual aid networks in your neighbourhood, our ward, and across the city, where neighbours have created systems to connect those in need with those who can offer services (e.g. deliver groceries to vulnerable residents). If there is anything you think would be great to add to this document, please let me know by emailing

During the pandemic, advice and instruction can change quickly and it continues to be extremely important that we get our information from reliable, informed sources. There is no better source for this than Toronto Public Health and I have full confidence in our Medical Officer of Health to lead us through this situation and keep the public safe.

The city has needed to take significant measures in line with the advice from public health professionals to try and stop the spread of the virus, including the initiation of our Office of Emergency Management (borne from lessons learned during the SARS outbreak) and scaling back services to essential and emergency levels. You can learn more about what this means at

Remember to regularly check in on your loved ones and vulnerable neighbours, and take a moment to thank our essential workers at any opportunity. We will get through this, together.

Mike Layton is city councillor for University-Rosedale.



Tags: Annex · Opinion

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