‘I can see my family’: Residents react after 3 mass vaccination clinics open in Toronto

By Michael Ranger, News Staff

Three mass vaccination centres in Toronto started administering doses on Wednesday.

The vaccination clinics have been set up at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and Toronto Congress Centre and opened their doors at 11 a.m.

The goal is for these clinics to eventually be used to vaccinate the general public, but officials are reminding residents that as of right now, they will only accept people over the age of 80 who have made an appointment.

“We want to open up these sites and keep them running until the job is done,” said Mayor John Tory. “And the job here, in this case, is as many needles in as many as arms as possible for all groups across the city.”

“As people see that these clinics are open and sign up, that we will make huge progress on getting the population of the City of Toronto vaccinated, so that we can bring this pandemic to an end,” Tory says.

RELATED: Ford: Over 140-thousand Ontarians booked vaccine appointments despite technical issues

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Address: 255 Front St. W., North Building, Hall A

Access Hall A via the West Ramp on Front Street at John Street. Directional signage will be
posted around the exterior of the building on Front Street.


Toronto Congress Centre
Address: 650 Dixon Rd., Hall F


Scarborough Town Centre
Address: 300 Borough Dr.

The clinic is located on the east side of the centre on the upper level, near Entrance 2.

Entry to the clinic is only via the mall exterior.

Margaret Ture, 89, said she was “thrilled” to get her shot at the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where people moved quickly inside after arriving for their appointments.

“I can see my family, which I haven’t been able to see except outside,” Ture said. “It’s been a bit cold to be outside.”

Robert Maxwell said the process was well-organized.

“I’m very happy,” Maxwell said after getting his shot. “It gives you a much greater sense of confidence.”

Toronto’s immunization effort got underway days after several other communities in Ontario began their own mass vaccination efforts.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, who is leading Toronto’s emergency response, says each of the three clinics is currently scaled at 450 appointments per day but that numbers will change as the vaccine capacity increases.

According to City officials, inside each clinic, teams of up to 10 immunizers at a time will work to vaccinate five people per hour per team.

More than 1,300 people are expected to roll up their sleeves on day one.

“I would urge everybody to explore getting vaccinated,” said Tory. “If you have any need for any information, we have lots of it available to people so that they’ll be comfortable doing what everybody should do for themselves, and for the sake of their family, their coworkers, their friends, which is to get vaccinated — this is a very important thing to help us wrestle COVID-19 to the ground for once and for all.”

The city has said its larger population had meant it had more residents in priority groups to vaccinate first before moving on to those aged 80 and older in the general public.

Tory announced Monday that the Malvern Community Recreation Centre and the Mitchell Field Community Centre are scheduled to open on March 29, and the Hangar Sports and Events Centre will follow suit on April 5.

All six clinics will operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Tory said those hours could change dependent on take-up experience and supply.

A total of nine city-run mass immunization clinics are planned in Toronto, on top of the work done by hospitals, mobile vaccination sites, and other health-care partners.

With files from The Canadian Press

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today