The Regional Municipality Of York

ALERT: In response to the COVID-19 situation, York Region has declared a State of Emergency  |  Get the latest on our response to COVID-19  |  Information on re-opening and resuming business during COVID-19

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Community Supports

Everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19, but for those already facing significant barriers such as poverty, homelessness and food insecurity, these times are even more challenging. York Region is connecting residents to resources, services, programs and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal and Provincial supports are also available.

If you need to access or information on social and community supports and services, visit 211oncovid19.ca or call 211 for non-emergency requests. This includes priority services available during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Support for those in abusive situations

While residents stay home to keep safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19, there may be added stress on relationships and family. For victims and survivors of domestic violence, including children, being home may not be a safe option. The impact of the pandemic may also cause unsafety in homes where violence may not have been an issue before. If you are in an abusive situation and need help, please call 911.

There are community resources to help you through these challenging times:


Resources for people experiencing food insecurity

  • For a list of food banks in your municipality or if you are an agency that needs food for your organization or clients, please reach out to the Food Bank of York Region
  • The York Region Food Network has compiled this map of emergency food resources available during COVID-19, including food hampers and take-away meals
  • The province has launched a new program to expand existing Meals on Wheels and delivery of essential supplies services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities or chronic medical conditions across Ontario. To request service, please visit ontariosupport.ca

Support for those experiencing homelessness

If you are experiencing homelessness, contact Access York at 1-877-464-9675 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), TTY: 1-866-512-6228 (for the deaf or hard of hearing).

You will be asked about your current health and recent travel history, and then referred to an available shelter.

Outside business hours, please contact an emergency housing provider listed under Emergency and Transitional Housing. This page also provides information about the locations of shelters or respite sites in York Region.


Housing supports for tenants and homeowners

Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months. Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s COVID-19: Understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral webpage to learn your options during the pandemic.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to work together during this difficult time to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes. Visit the Government of Ontario’s Renting: changes during COVID-19 to learn about the temporary changes to residential rental processes, and where tenants and landlords can get help.

The Province of Ontario has declared a halt to new evictions and to enforcement of standing eviction orders. Visit Tribunals Ontario for additional information.


Supports for landlords and property owners

Rental processes for landlords have changed during COVID-19. Visit the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 information for landlords to learn about updates for working with the Landlord and Tenant Board, collecting rent and managing expenses.


How to access medication while remaining at home

Many pharmacies will deliver prescriptions and in some cases, over-the-counter medicine and supplies to your home. Contact your pharmacy for details on if this service is provided.


Resources for people with disabilities

COVID-19 has potentially disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities. People with disabilities with existing health conditions may be at an increased risk of developing complications from COVID-19. Access to information is an important step to staying healthy and connected through this health emergency.

York Region has resources for people with disabilities to keep them and their caregivers informed during COVID-19.


Support for newcomers

York Region is committed to keeping immigrant families, international students and entrepreneurs, as well as residents and immigrant-serving organizations, informed about COVID-19 and its impact on our communities.

York Region has resources for newcomers to support newcomers and immigrants during COVID-19.


Maintaining your mental health and well-being during a pandemic

A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and communities. It’s normal to feel some stress and anxiety. During the COVID-19 outbreak, there are mental health and addictions services accessible online or by phone, including:

  • Telehealth Ontario offers free medical advice on all subjects relating to health. Please note that wait times may be long. Call toll-free: 1-866-797-0000 or toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has put together resources and suggestions to help support your mental health at this time of uncertainty
  • Children and youth 18 and under who need to talk to someone about their mental health can reach Kids Help Phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone or text from anywhere in Canada
  • Adults and frontline workers who are dealing with the realities of COVID-19 can call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600 for mental health, addictions and problem gambling support
  • BounceBack is a free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program providing guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth over the age of 15. Call 1-866-345-0224 for more information
  • Chatting to Wellness offers 1-1 Chatting Sessions over the phone to all seniors, across Canada. This free service offered by trained volunteers helps isolated seniors feel connected and reduces stress
  • Wellness Together Canada  recognizes the significant strain that COVID-19 has placed on individuals and families across the country. These free mental health and substance use supports include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues
  • Additional mental health resources are available at york.ca/mentalhealth

Resources for caregivers

Whether you are caring for someone who is self-isolating or ill from COVID-19, or being a caregiver is part of your everyday routine, there are resources to help manage through these challenging times.


Help with essential services

The Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team (EYRND OHT) partners and other local agencies have launched a one-stop shop that provides essential services to those most in need of help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services include grocery delivery, local transportation to medical appointments, Meals on Wheels and more. These services are offered in Markham, Stouffville, Uxbridge and Brock. The services are available to vulnerable groups, including seniors, newly discharged patients and informal caregivers overwhelmed by the additional challenges of caring for loved ones while sheltering at home. The public can sign up for these services by calling 1-877-452-4287 or by visiting their COVID-19 Response website.

Help finding emergency financial relief

Learn about the help you can get to raise your income or lower your expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosper Canada has developed the Financial Relief Navigator free online tool to help Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms and internet providers, including both emergency and existing benefits.

Federal and Provincial Income Supports for Residents

Financial support is being made available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19. 

The Government of Canada has announced an emergency care package to help individuals and businesses during the current COVID-19 situation. The Province of Ontario has also announced an action plan in response to COVID-19.

Additional relief to the province's most vulnerable

The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

The province will also be issuing the first doubled Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments. Individuals will receive up to $166 per month and couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months and provide an additional $75 million to 194,000 vulnerable seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak

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Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

  • Qualifying families will receive up to $300 per child as part of their May payment
  • Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply
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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This benefit will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months to help support:

  • Workers without access to paid leave or other income support, who must stop working due to COVID-19
  • Workers directly affected by COVID-10, including those who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is ill
  • Parents who must stay home from work without pay to care for children who are ill or who are affected by school and daycare closures as a result of COVID-19
  • Workers who have been temporarily laid off as a result COVID-19 affecting their place of employment
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is accessible through a secure online portal.

  • Sign up for MY ACCOUNT through the CRA website. You can apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not both
  • The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020
  • You must re-apply for CERB every month (CERB DOES NOT CARRY-OVER AUTOMATICALLY)
  • To apply, please visit Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for information. Questions? Visit Canada Emergency Response Benefit’s Frequently Asked Questions.
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Financial support for Canadians stuck abroad

  • COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program is an emergency loan of up to $5,000, available for Canadians abroad to help them return to Canada as quickly as possible; this loan also helps to support costs needed to live abroad, while they work to return home
  • If you are a Canadian citizen outside of Canada who needs financial assistance to return home, contact the Government of Canada at CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca or +1-613-996-8885
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Driver rebates on auto insurance

  • The Ontario government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to help ease the financial pressure on working people and families during this public health crisis
  • By amending this regulation insurance companies would be able to provide auto insurance premium rebates to consumers for up to 12 months after the declared emergency has ended
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Goods and Services Tax Credit (GST)

Adults already qualifying for the Goods and Services Tax Credit will receive a one-time payment by early May, of up to $400 for singles and $600 for couples.

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Changes in hydro billing

The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak; effective March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses will be charged the off-peak rate of 10.1¢ per kWh, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Low Income Energy Assistance Program

Customers who are at risk of having their home electricity or natural gas service disconnected due to inability to pay their bill may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program; certain criteria must be met in order to qualify.

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Northern Taxpayer Relief

  • The Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries. This tax deferral builds on the $10 billion in cash flow supports made available to people and businesses as part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
  • Through these measures, Ontario is giving taxpayers in unincorporated areas more time to pay each of the four 2020 Provincial Land Tax installments. Taxpayers will have 90 extra days to pay without incurring interest or penalties
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Pandemic Pay

  • To provide additional support for frontline workers fighting COVID-19, the Ontario government is providing a temporary pandemic pay of $4/hour worked on top of the regular wages for eligible workers
  • The Ontario government will also be providing monthly lump sum payments of $250 for four months to eligible frontline workers who work over 100 hours per month
  • The pandemic pay will be effective for 16 weeks, from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020
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Financial support for parents

  • The Ontario government is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs
  • Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario's Support for Families web page to access this financial support
  • Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application
  • The Ontario government is temporarily preventing child care centres from collecting payments from parents, while also ensuring that their child care spaces are protected
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Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

The required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) were reduced by 25 per cent for 2020.

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Financial support for students

  • To support student loan borrowers during COVID-19, payments will be suspended without interest until September 30, 2020
  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) has been proposed and would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or unable to work due to COVID-19
  • This benefit will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities
  • This benefit will be available from May to August 2020
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Tax filing deadline extended

  • Canada Revenue Agency has extended the tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020 (from April 30)
  • Taxpayers will have until September 1, 2020 to pay any 2019 income tax amounts owed
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