On Sunday, Jan. 23, Tennis Canada’s Aviva Centre at York University saw nearly 1,700 northwest Toronto residents roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated.
The City of Toronto’s “Vax The Northwest” clinic, part of the Team Toronto initiative, ran from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and focused on vaccinating people of all eligible ages from northwest Toronto neighbourhoods, with a focus on neighbourhoods with lower vaccination rates. Eligible citizens were able to receive their first, second, third and children’s doses. More than 45 health care workers administered Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Mayor John Tory officially opened the clinic with Toronto officials Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York Councillor and Toronto Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy and Ward 7 Humber River–Black Creek Councillor Anthony Perruzza.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, MP Judy Sgro, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton and York University Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps were also at the Aviva Centre to support the vaccination clinic rollout. Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop attended and joined more than 270 staff and volunteers to support the initiative.
The Vax The Northwest community partners included Toronto Public Health, Humber River Hospital, University Health Network (UHN), Black Creek Community Health Centre, Unison Community Health Centre, Tennis Canada and York University.
The clinic had the capacity to vaccinate 400 people per hour. Toronto residents were able to book appointments in advance on the provincial vaccine booking system. Walk-ins were also welcome.
To support vaccine equity and growing vaccination momentum within northwest Toronto communities, information sheets were translated into Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Russian and distributed to the community to promote the event, remove barriers to vaccination and encourage people to get vaccinated.
The TTC provided shuttles to and from the clinic from nine pick-up locations, including local shopping malls and recreation centres. Helping to make the experience more comfortable for residents, support dogs from the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides were available, York University’s mascot, Yeo the Lion, was present and music and entertainment was provided throughout the day. Tennis Canada also gave away 1,000 tickets to the 2022 National Bank Open running Aug. 6 to 14 at the Aviva Centre.
Watch a recap of the Vax The Northwest initiative here. For more information about where to get vaccinated in Toronto, visit COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated. York’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the Better Together website.