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FOCUS: Local resources for a global pandemic (May 2020)

June 15th, 2020 · 1 Comment

An updated guide of Annex resources

By Gleaner Staff

Staying home to help stop the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be the new normal for the foreseeable future.  

Read on for our updated guide to Annex resources during COVID-19, the third issue since we all started to hunker down and stay together apart. 

You’ll find information about doctor’s offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and support for small businesses. Hours of operation and service were valid when we went to press, but could change, so check for the most up-to-date information.

The basics

Whenever possible please stay home, wash your hands, take care of yourself and your loved ones. 

If you have to go out, practice safe physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and return home as quickly as you can. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health now recommends that you wear a mask. 

The City’s new Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild has partnered with major downtown employers to extend working-from-home efforts. The Office is asking for your ideas so we all can recover, rebuild and emerge from the pandemic even stronger. Take the 15 minute survey before June 30. 

You can find the most up-to-date information at the City of Toronto’s dedicated website:

Have a symptom?

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, this self-assessment can help you determine if you need further care: www.

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. 

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

  • Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave., ground floor,                website:
  • UHN Toronto Western Hospital, 347 Bathurst St., website:
  • Women’s College Hospital, 76 Grenville St., use the northeast                              entrance on Grosvenor St., website:

Go to your nearest emergency department if you have severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chest discomfort, lethargy, drowsiness, weakness, or dizziness. If you have to use a car service, please wear a mask, sit in the back seat, and open the windows. If you can, note the company name and operator number of the driver. 

If you are not well enough to make your own way to a hospital or assessment centre, 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. Please remember, if you are experiencing any flu symptoms, don’t go in person to either walk-in clinic, please call first:  

  • 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 or . 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.


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

It’s okay to be not okay. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or other mental health issues, you can find information on government and community-based services from the province’s main service hub, 211 Ontario. Call 211 or visit to get help. Live chat is also available online. 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has information on their site at: You can also find information on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s site at: news/cmha-offers-tips-to-support-mental-health-amid-concerns-of-covid-19-pandemic/.


Park green spaces are open, while park benches, playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment remain closed. 

Gatherings of up to five people are permitted, and those not of the same household are asked to respect physical distancing of 2 meters. 

People can picnic, walk,run,bike in parks and ravine green spaces, trails and boardwalks. 

Tennis and basketball courts, as well as Dogs Off-leash Areas are open again. 

Please note that the playground and wading pool at Christie Pits remain closed. For updates, visit:

Household fixes

Wiener’s Home Hardware at 432 Bloor St. W. reopened on May 11 and is allowing 3 customers in the store at a time. You can also pre-order and pickup by emailing

Pets can get care

Restrictions on veterinary practices in Ontario were lifted as of Tuesday, May 19. 

Annex Animal Hospital (716 Bathurst St.) is available for visits, food, and medication. Please call them at 416-537-3128 or email them at to schedule an appointment. 

Bark & Meow Pet Supplies (712 Bloor St. W.) is offering free local delivery and is open for call ahead curbside pickup. Contact them at 416-532-2275 or by email at

Global Pet Foods at 171 Dupont St. has curbside pick-up and can be reached at 416-964-0450. 

Pet Valu at 339 College St. also has curbside pick-up, call 416-944-0314. 

Businesses still need help

A recent survey conducted by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) found that 50% of businesses could not make all of April’s rent and 72% of businesses feel they will not be able to make all of May’s rent. The survey also found that 61% of businesses indicate they would close down for good within three months and 76% within five months.

The federal government has begun receiving applications for the Canada Emergency Commerical Rent Assistance program through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. For more information or to apply, please visit. 

Uptake for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for June rent was lower than expected. Out of 1.2 million commercial properties across Canada, only 16,000 applied. 

The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) will be advocating for a wage subsidy, and protection from commercial evictions, which could stimulate participation in the CECRA. 

Executive Director, John Kiru, advises small businesses to open under existing rules, apply for all available assistance programs, and diversify to include a digital component, like curbside pick up. “Bricks and mortar has to become bricks and clicks,” said Kiru. TABIA is working with the city to expand patios, and on campaigns to encourage people to shop in their local neighbourhoods. 

If you are a small-business owner, be sure to check your local Business Improvement Area’s website for resources and support. 

Visit news-events/government-resources-for-businesses-during-covid-19.html for a list of programs and services available to you.

You should also visit the small business help centre operated by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business:

You can chat live through the website, a feature also offered by the Toronto Board of Trade also has a help site with live chat assistance:

Eat and shop local

You can support local business by ordering online or buying gift cards to use later. You can call ahead and pay with credit or debit.

The City of Toronto and the TABIA have also partnered with Vetted by mayor’s office, it’s a crowdfunding platform that supports small businesses in Toronto. You can donate directly to businesses for rent and payroll expenses. 

While many local restaurants are closed to dining in, you can still order food for delivery through DoorDash, foodora, Ritual, Skip the Dishes, and UberEats. 

Ccheck to see if you can order directly from the restaurant by calling them directly, which saves the restaurant up to 30% on delivery fees. 

You can find some local options at food-drink.

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, email: 
  • the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) tenant hotline at 416-921-9494. The FMTA has updates available on their website ban_now_ 2020
  •, offers step-by-step information about legal issues. 

Thank you

We know many of you work in hospitals, government, and in other essential support roles. Thank you for all that you’re doing to keep us safe.Email us at gleanereditor@gmail .com if you have a story to tell. Because even as we all continue to stay, live, and shop local, we also think it’s important to celebrate local.


Tags: Annex · News · Life

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