Toronto is offering free public WiFi in select parks this week, to ensure vulnerable residents can access information online and connect with social supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The week-long pilot project, Wi-Fi on Wheels is being supported by the City of Toronto in partnership with Toronto Public Library in select arks in Northwest neighbourhoods in the city from Tuesday to Saturday.
“COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone but has [been] most difficult on our vulnerable residents. During this time, we must continue to support our most vulnerable residents to ensure they have access to the supports and information they need,” Mayor John Tory said.
“This pilot project is just one of the ways we are modernizing the delivery of city’s services to help everyone stay connected.”
According to the city, anyone can bring their own device to connect to the public WiFi network or can temporarily use a city device onsite.
A WiFi-enabled Bookmobile, provided by the Toronto Public Library, will be travelling to select parks between noon and 6:30 pm this week:
- August 4, 5, and 6: Masseygrove Park (Elmbank Community Centre grounds), 80 Kendleton Drive
- August 7 and 8: Edgeley Park (Driftwood Community Recreation Centre grounds), 4401 Jane Street
In order to ensure that health and safety regulations are being followed, all of the city devices will be sanitized between every use.
Staff will also verbally conduct a brief health assessment questionnaire with participants to ensure that anyone using the city devices does not have symptoms of COVID-19. Staff will also request the name and phone number of those using the devices for contact tracing purposes.
“Residents using the park WiFi are required to maintain a minimum distance of two metres (six feet) from others and should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer that will be provided onsite. If a resident arrives at a park that is crowded, they are advised to return at a later time when there are fewer people,” the release said.
The city also recommends wearing a face mask or covering if it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing outside, and that anyone who feels sick should stay home, even if the symptoms are mild.