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NEWS: Local resources for a global pandemic (Mar. 2020)

March 24th, 2020 · No Comments

An early guide to services

By Gleaner Staff

Staying local, living local, and shopping local is going to be the new normal in the coming weeks as the world hunkers down to battle the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

As your local newspaper, we’ve put together this guide to Annex resources that will help you stay healthy and informed. Please note the following references to hours of operation and services were valid at time of press and may change at any time. The Gleaner will strive to keep this updated and current online, at

The basics

Both the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario have declared a state of emergency. Please stay home, wash your hands, take care of yourself and your loved ones. If you have to go out, practise safe social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and return home as quickly as you can. Follow the City of Toronto dedicated website for the most up-to-date information: or the Province of Ontario’s:

Have a symptom?

If you believe that you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has it, take this self-assessment to determine if you need further care:

If you meet any of the criteria found there, contact your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Let them know you used the province’s self-assessment tool. 

If you have severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chest discomfort, lethargy, drowsiness, weakness, or dizziness, go to your nearest emergency department.

There are three COVID-19 assessment centres that are near to the Annex:

If you are not well enough to take personal transportation, call 911. 

The doctor is in

For medical issues unrelated to COVID-19, please reach out to your primary care provider or family doctor. Many are now offering virtual appointments. If you don’t have access to a family doctor there are several walk-in clinics still open: 

  • GSH Medical – 481 Bloor St. W., second floor: open for people with non-flu like symptoms. They are also offering virtual appointments that can be set up by calling 416-928-0217 or emailing There is no cost for this service, you don’t need to be an existing patient, and they are accepting all requests at this time. 
  • Downtown Doctors Walk-in Medical Clinic – 720 Spadina Ave., #100: still open for walk-ins. You can also call them to set up a phone appointment at 416-929-1530.
  • Watson Medical Walk-in Clinic, located inside Snowdon Pharmacy at 264 Bloor St. W., is asking clients to call 416-962-7304 to schedule a phone appointment. They will take your information, healthcard details, and arrange for an appointment.

Please remember, if you are experiencing any flu symptoms, don’t go in person to either walk-in clinic, please call first. 


The following pharmacies in the Annex are still open, and many offer special hours or delivery:

  • Snowdon Pharmacy – 264 Bloor St. W.: offering delivery to seniors and at-risk customers. 416-922-2156.
  • Rexall – 481 Bloor St. W.: dedicating the first hour of shopping exclusively to those who are 55 and older. 416-929-8213
  • Rexall – 474 Spadina Ave.: encouraging shoppers to allow seniors access to the first hour but will serve all who are in need. 416-413-1060
  • Pharmasave Spadina Medical – 720 Spadina Ave., #100: offering some local delivery. 416-929-7000
  • Green Pharmacy – 620 Bloor St. W.: open with their regular hours. 416-530-4004
  • Loblaw Pharmacy – 650 Dupont St.: free delivery, open to seniors only from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., pharmacy opens at 8 a.m. 416-588-4793
  • Shoppers Drug Mart – 360a Bloor St. W.: phone orders, free delivery. 416-961-2121
  • Shoppers Drug Mart – 292 Dupont St.: phone orders, free delivery. 416-972-0232.
  • UT?Pharmacy +?Print – 193 College St.:?open regular hours and weekends. Phone orders, free delivery, 647-351-1708.

Mental health

For those struggling with anxiety or other mental health issues the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has information on their site at: 

Other information can be found on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s site at:

Household fixes

Need a hammer, nail, or tool? With so much time at home, there’s time to tackle all those home repairs. Wiener’s Home Hardware at 432 Bloor Street West is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is taking extra measures to protect staff and customers. 

They are asking customers to limit foot traffic to one person per family in the store. They can also help you over the phone: 416-922-7043. MARCH 24 UPDATE: Wiener’s Home Hardware is temporarily closed. You can find updates on their instagram feed here.


There’s no need to panic shop, as retailers’ supply chains are still operating, with many offering delivery and seniors’-only shopping hours.

“Supply chains across Canada are strong. There are no food shortages – just some empty shelves due to a sudden rush in shopping. Rest assured that items will soon be re-stocked,” said the Retail Council of Canada in a recent tweet.

Pets still need care

Annex Animal Hospital (716 Bathurst St.) remains available for essential visits, food, and medication. Please call them at 416-537-3128 and they’ll accommodate you in the safest way possible. 

Temporary closures

Many local businesses and centres have closed temporarily to comply with government mandates, and to protect staff and customers. These include: the Madison Avenue Pub, Lee’s Palace, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, the Miles Nadal JCC, the Annex Hotel,  Futures Bistro, By the Way Café, Insomnia Restaurant, BMV Books, the Tranzac, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Midoco, the Royal Ontario Museum, Tokyo Smoke, the Bata Shoe Museum, and the Gardiner Museum.

Please try and support local businesses by ordering online, buying gift cards for later use, calling ahead, and by paying with credit or debit. 

Support local businesses

While many local restaurants are closed to dining in, they are offering food delivery service through DoorDash, fooddora, Ritual, Skip the Dishes, and UberEats. 

Please try to order locally—you can find Bloor Annex BIA restaurants that are open for delivery and pick up at

Mortgage deferrals

If you’re a homeowner and are interested in speaking with your mortgage provider about a mortgage deferral, please contact your mortgage broker, bank representative, or account manager. If you’re unsure where to start, here is a list of lenders and their contact lines for mortgage deferral inquiries: ­

  • Bank of Montreal: 1-877-788-1923
  • B2B: 1-800-263-8349 
  • Bridgewater: 1-866-243-4301
  • CMLS: 1-888-995-2657
  • Equitable: 1-888-334-3313
  • First National: 1-888-488-0794
  • Haventree: 1-855-272-0051
  • Home Trust: 1-855-270-3630
  • ICIC: 1-888-424-2422 
  • Industrial Alliance: 1-800-463-4396
  • Lendwise: 1-866-675-7022
  • Manulife: 1-877-765-2265
  • MCAP: 1-800-265-2624
  • Merix: 1-877-637-4911
  • Optimum: 1-866-441-3775
  • RMG: 1-866-809-5800
  • Scotia: 1-800-472-6842
  • Street/RFA: 1-877-416-7873
  • TD: 1-866-222-3456
  • Wealthline: 1-855-892-5400
  • XMC: 1-877-775-2970

Support for tenants

The Ontario government announced on March 16 that no new eviction orders would be issued until further notice, and asked the Sherriff’s office to postpone any currently scheduled enforcement of evictions.

If you’re a tenant who needs advice or assistance, please contact

  • MPP Jessica Bell’s office at 719 Bloor St. W., Unit 103, phone 416-535-7206 and email: 
  • the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) tenant hotline at 416-921-9494. The FMTA has updates available on their website
  • offers step-by-step information about a wide range of legal issues, include for tenants.  

Local organizations are helping and staying active as well. The Good Neighbour Project is helping the vulnerable by delivering supplies and groceries and can be reached at 647-873-2230 or by visiting their facebook page at groups/GoodNeighbourProject. The Annex Residents’ Association would like to hear about and celebrate local acts of kindness. Please email  your stories to

Thank you

We know that the Annex is home to many people who work in hospitals, government, and other essential support roles. 

Thank you for all that you’re doing to keep us safe. And if you have a story to tell, please email us at Because even as we all continue to stay local, live local, and shop local, we also think it’s important to celebrate local.

Tags: Annex · News