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The city is teaming with the library to give residents free internet access in neighbourhoods hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic
Residents in the city’s northwest are getting access to free WiFi in two parks.
The week-long pilot project Wi-Fi on Wheels begins on August 4. The Toronto Public Library’s bookmobile will travel to two parks in areas hit hard by the pandemic and provide free internet during the afternoon.
“COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone but has most difficult on our vulnerable residents,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “During this time, we must continue to support our most vulnerable residents to ensure they have access to the supports and information they need.”
In a statement, city manager Chris Murray added that “Next Gen public servants” pitched the free WiFi project, which came together in under 30 days.
The free WiFi will be available via the Bookmobile from noon to 6:30 pm at the following locations:
Anyone can bring their own device to the park to connect or temporarily use a city device. City devices will be sanitized between use and staff will assess users to ensure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
Toronto Public Health data shows that the northwest parts of the city are being most affected during the coronavirus pandemic. As of the weekend, the Jane and Finch and Rexdale areas had 511 and 496 cases, respectively.
City data released in the past week shows that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Latin American and Black Torontonians, lower-income people and people living in crowded households.