Nov 25, 2020

With the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic and rising cases, the city of Toronto is in a lockdown. Keeping the health and safety of our custodian and members as top priority, as well as following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship and the specific conditions which include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting, the ZSO Board of Directors has decided to CLOSE the Mehraban Guiv Darb e Meher (MGDM) until further notice. 

MGDM is CLOSED effective immediately.

All upcoming visits to MGDM are cancelled with the exception of any death prayers with a limited capacity of 10 people including the priest and custodian.  These bookings MUST be booked by contacting Hoofrish Patel (evp@zso.org).

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation.

When visiting the MGDM please be reminded of the following mandatory requirements and guidelines:

  • Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Refrain from bringing Sukhar, loban or other prayer related items from home
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies

Suspended Services

  • Drop in visits
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Navjote, weddings and other close contact activities
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
  • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.

Disclaimers and resources:

“All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
"Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”

Nov 18, 2020

With the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic and rising cases, the city of Toronto is listed in the Red Zone. Keeping the health and safety of our custodian and members as top priority, as well as following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship and the specific conditions which include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting, the ZSO Board of Directors has decided to revise the MGDM visiting hours. 

MGDM revised hours of operations effective immediately are: 

Saturday 9am - 12pm 

All visits to MGDM remain by appointment only and MUST  be booked at least 24 hours in advance, by contacting Hoofrish Patel (evp@zso.org) and receiving her confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation.

When planning a visit to the MGDM please be reminded of the following mandatory requirements and guidelines:

  • Use the online self-assessment toolbefore every visit to the MGDM
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Refrain from bringing Sukhar, loban or other prayer related items from home
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies

Suspended Services

  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Navjote and other close contact activities
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
  • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.

Disclaimers and resources:

“All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
"Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”


October 29th, 2020

Message from our community leaders.

The pandemic in our community has not slowed the way we anticipated. We need to make changes in order to get control of the spread of COVID-19.
Recent trends linked with Thanksgiving have pushed us into a second wave. The pandemic is again spreading widely throughout our community. That means even our loved ones and people we see regularly could be at risk for spreading COVID-19 to us, and us to them.

While we all hope for a return to reopening as soon as possible, it’s only smart to do so when it’s safe.

Until then, let’s take a second look at how all of us can reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Look at what’s essential

Please only leave home for essentials, such as work, school, exercise, healthcare, or purchasing food and drink, gasoline, or automobile maintenance.
When you do, follow the precautions as follows;

  1. Maintenance of social distancing, masking, and hand washing.
  2. If your trip out is non-essential, stay home.
  3. If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate.
Look at who you’re with

Please only have close contact with people who live in your home. Close contact means interaction that doesn’t require wearing masks or physical distance.

Look at how you meet

Please stop meeting in person, even at a physical distance. Treat every interaction with others as though you could be spreading COVID-19. Cut the chance of transmission. Turn every meeting into a virtual one.

Look at the why

Our grandparents, friends, coworkers, local businesses, are all reasons why we need to take a serious look at limiting our interactions.

Our community needs everyone to take the precautions seriously. This will help us all stay safe and bring the pandemic back under control.

To watch Dr. Loh's latest message about COVID-19 click here

October 25th, 2020

Joint Statement from FEZANA and North American Mobed Council (NAMC)

As Zarathushti associations and groups begin to open their doors or put together their plans for limited capacity in-person worship, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) and the North American Mobeds Council (NAMC) have joined forces to offer and reiterate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on reducing risk exposure to COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible for our Mobeds/priests and congregations. 

Click here for full statement on the NAMC website or here for downloadable PDF version. 

City of Toronto Resources to support Youth and Families

Stay, Play, and Learn at Home Web Page

The City of Toronto launched a web page called: Stay, Play and Learn at Home. Here you will find a list of free, high-quality recreation, active living, arts and culture, and child development resources that will help individuals and families stay engaged and active while protecting themselves and others by staying at home. Please feel free to share information about the web page with the youth and families that use your services.

Employment Connections-Community Partners Working Together

This event, as all events during Employment Connections Justice Week 2020 are open to Toronto job seekers 18 years of age and older that identify as residing in a neighbourhood that has been impacted by violence, currently on probation or parole, have a criminal record or identify as having a conflict with the law.

Annual event with hundreds of opportunities from October 26 to 30, 2020. Daily events throughout the week, include:

Entrepreneurship Day – October 27

Labour and Trades Day – October 28

All Opportunities Day – October 29

Registered participants will be sent a follow up email by October 22, 2020 with a link to the Zoom platform and details on how to connect if you have panel questions.

If you have any questions about this event please connect with Raquel.jaworski@toronto.ca or Rita.Ratz@toronto.ca

Toronto Public Library- Career Coach in Residence

The Toronto Public Library is excited to announce the launch of their Career Coach in Residence program for younger adults (18-29). This program provides free, virtual one-on-one career counselling for younger adults ages 18-29. Please feel free to forward and share this email to any young adults or community contacts who you think would benefit from this program and other upcoming library workshops and events.

Notable upcoming, free online career related events also include:

Employment Termination: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, October 28 - 5 to 6 p.m.

Learn your rights and legal implications of quitting versus being fired

Lunch and Learn series: Navigating your Career in a Rapidly Changing World

Friday October 23 – 12 p.m.: Networking in a Virtual World

Friday October 30 – 12 p.m.: Self-care for Job Search

Friday November 6 – 12 p.m.: Navigating your Career Pathway

For more information about the program or for help booking an appointment, email ccir@tpl.ca

Access Employment-Destination Employment

Destination Employment is a free, four-week skills training program designed to help newcomers and conventional refugees find jobs in the hospitality industry.

The upcoming cohort is scheduled to start on Monday, November 30, 2020 to December 23, 2020.

Full time program: Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Open to all newcomers – no previous hospitality experience is required

Eligibility:

Permanent Residents (PR) and Convention Refugees with valid work permits

A minimum of CLB level 4

What will you learn?

Introduction to the Hospitality Industry

5 certification trainings – WHIMS, Food Safety, Service Excellence, Smart Serve, and Emerit Workplace Essentials

Meet industry experts/employers to prepare for future careers

Develop strong job search skills

Pre and post-employment supports


To register for the program or for additional information, please call Beena De-Souza at 905-595-4177 or 905-454-2316 ext 3813 or e-mail to: Bde-souza@accesemployment.ca

 

Thursday September 19, 2020

The MGDM will be open for visits by appointment ONLY with revised hours of operations and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting.

All appointments MUST be booked in advance, a minimum 24 hour prior to the day of the visit by contacting Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org) and receiving a confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

Special visiting hours during COVID-19 by appointment ONLY

Weekday

Hours

Tuesday

5:00pm - 8:00pm

Saturday 9:00AM - 12:00PM

As you all are aware this has been a tough year for all communities including ZSO in terms of revenue generation, we request everyone to donate generously by visiting our website (www.zso.org). All cash and cheque donations should be dropped off in the ZSO safety deposit box along with the completed donation form . All cheques must be made payable to ‘Zoroastrian Society of Ontario’.  Cheques made payable to ZSO will be rejected and not processed.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation keeping the safety of our custodian and the community at large as the top priority.  

Please DO NOT VISIT the MGDM if:

  • You are feeling unwell, including fever, cough and runny nose
  • You have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have traveled outside the currently in the past 14 days of your visit to MGDM, if You have recently returned to Canada, please quarantine(self isolate) for 14 days

Below are the COVID-19 Guidelines as per the health and city requirements:

Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM

Allowed Suspended Services
  • Participation of religious services is limited to 50 people including the priest(s), COVID-19 dedicated volunteers and cleaning crew
  • Drop in visits to the MGDM are by appointment ONLY. Contact Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org) to book your visit
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Navjote and other close contact activities
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
  • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies.

Disclaimers and resources:

  • “All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
  • "Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”
  • Click here for more details on reopening of Faith Based Organizations in the City of Toronto

Thursday August 06, 2020

The city of Toronto has entered stage 3 of the provincial reopening on Friday July 31st.   As a result of this announcement, we are in Stage 3 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. These conditions include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting.  

As we cautiously and gradually plan the upcoming Shahenshai Farvardegan days, participation in religious services during these days (Aug 11th – 15th) will be limited to 50 people including the priest(s), COVID-19 dedicated volunteers and cleaning crew.  The MGDM will be open for visits by appointment only with revised hours of operation and protocols to follow.  

The MGDM revised hours during Farverdegan Days (Aug 11th – 15th) are daily 6 AM to 9 PM.

All the following prayers will be performed and live streamed during the Farvardegan days:

  • Three Satoom sessions (morning, afternoon, and evening),  
  • Afringan 
  • Farokshi in the morning
  • Evening Satoom and Hum Bundagi  

All visits to the MGDM will remain by appointment only and MUST be booked in advance, a minimum 24 hours prior to the day of the visit, by contacting Afreed Mistry (EVP@zso.org) and receiving her confirmation.  Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied. 

As you all are aware this has been a tough year for all communities including ZSO in terms of revenue generation, we request everyone to donate generously by visiting our website (www.zso.org). All cash and cheque donations should be dropped off in the ZSO safety deposit box along with the completed donation form . All cheques must be made payable to ‘Zoroastrian Society of Ontario’.  Cheques made payable to ZSO will be rejected and not processed.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation as we gradually and safely reopen, keeping the safety of our custodian and the community at large as the top priority.  

Below are the COVID-19 Guidelines for stage 3 as per the health and city requirements:

Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM

Allowed Suspended Services
  • Participation of religious services is limited to 50 people including the priest(s), COVID-19 dedicated volunteers and cleaning crew
  • Drop in visits to the MGDM are by appointment ONLY. Contact Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org) to book your visit
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Navjote and other close contact activities
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
  • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies.

Disclaimers and resources:

  • “All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
  • "Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”
  • Click here for more details on reopening of Faith Based Organizations in the City of Toronto

Saturday August 01, 2020

The city of Toronto is preparing to oversee the safe restart of more businesses and services following the Province of Ontario’s announcement that Toronto can enter stage 3 of the provincial reopening on Friday July 31st.   As a result of this announcement, we will enter Stage 3 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. These conditions include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting. 

As we cautiously and gradually plan the reopening, participation in religious services is increased to 50 people including the priest(s), COVID-19 dedicated volunteers and cleaning crew. Aligning with the social distancing and spacing guidelines, the prayer room capacity will remain at a maximum of 20 people, and the remaining numbers will be distributed accordingly in the main hall to accommodate the maximum allowed indoor limit (50 people).

The MGDM is open for drop in visits with revised hours of operation and protocols to follow.

MGDM revised hours of operations:

Tuesday 4pm - 8pm | Saturday 9am - 12pm

All visits to the MGDM remain by appointment only and MUST be booked 24 hours in advance, prior to the day of the visit by contacting Afreed Mistry (evp@ZSO.org) and receiving her confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation as we gradually and safely reopen, keeping the safety of our custodian and the community at large as the top priority. 

Below are the COVID-19 Guidelines for stage 3 as per the health and city requirements:

Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM

Allowed Suspended Services
  • Participation of religious services limited to 50 people including the priest(s), COVID-19 dedicated volunteers and cleaning crew
  • Drop in visits to the MGDM are by appointment ONLY
  • Contact Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org) to book your visit
  • Wedding ceremonies are permitted following the guidelines
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Navjote and other close contact activities
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
  • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies.

Disclaimers and resources:

  • “All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
  • "Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”
  • Click here for more details on reopening of Faith Based Organizations in the City of Toronto

Friday, July 17, 2020

The provincial Government has established guidelines to gradually reopen the province and ease restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so. We have entered Stage 2 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. These conditions include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting. 

As we cautiously and gradually plan the reopening, participation in religious services is increased from 10 to 15 people including the priest, additionally now the MGDM will be open for drop in visits with revised hours of operation and protocols to follow.

The MGDM revised hours of operations starting, July 21, 2020 are:

Tuesday 4pm - 8pm | Saturday 9am - 12pm

All visits to the MGDM will be by appointment only and MUST be booked 24 hours in advance, prior to the day of the visit by contacting Afreed Mistry (evp@ZSO.org) and receiving her confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation as we gradually and safely reopen, keeping the safety of our custodian and the community at large as the top priority. 

Below are the COVID-19 Guidelines for Re-opening as per the health and city requirements:

Do’s

Don’ts

  • Participation of religious services limited to 15 people including the priest
  • Drop in visits to the MGDM are by appointment ONLY
    • Contact Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org) to book your visit
  • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
  • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
  • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
  • Follow entry and exit signs
  • Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM
  • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
  • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
  • Navjote and wedding ceremonies remain suspended
  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies.


Disclaimers and resources:

  • “All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
  • "Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”
  • Click here for more details on reopening of Faith Based Organizations in the City of Toronto