Toronto hosts weekend COVID-19 vaccine clinics at TTC stations, street corners, parks and bathhouse
Toronto will hold dozens of vaccination clinics across the city this weekend, including late night pop ups at a bathhouse in the city’s gay village and in an apartment building in Cabbagetown.
The clinics, which get underway on Thursday and run through the weekend, are part of a wider effort that the city is calling “Days of Vaxtion” as it seeks to reach the nearly 16 per cent of eligible residents who are yet to receive even one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“I will say if you count up both the number of clinics and events that are happening on these and if you look at the variety of what we're doing, subway stations, malls, schools, parks, right on the street, I think we are embarking on an effort that will have accessibility carried to a new level but done in a very targeted way because we are not choosing these locations by accident or just trying to spread it out across the city,” Mayor John Tory said during a press conference at city hall on Wednesday as he announced the details of the initiative.
“We call it a mega event in micro installments and I think that's just how we have to do this.”
The clinics planned for this weekend will be held in schools and shopping malls, as well some more high visibility locations like Mel Lastman Square in North York and Trinity Bellwoods Park in the city’s west end.
There will also be another series of vaccination clinics at TTC stations, including Sheppard West Station, Warden Station and Islington Station, and some clinics held in more novel locations like one slated for the Steamworks bathhouse on Church Street and another to be held in a TTC bus parked in Kensington Market.
Tory said that unlike previous largescale initiatives, like a one-day clinic at Scotiabank Arena in which 26,000 shots were administered, the focus is now on “slow but steady progress.”
“We have to adjust our expectations and I say that respectfully to the media, to the public and to us,” he said. “It is slower, there is no question about that because once you get to the point where you've got, you know close to 80 per cent of the public fully vaccinated it is going to be a more painstaking process.”
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa says that polling done by the city has continued to suggest that only about five to six per cent of the population identifies as vaccine resistant while a larger group – consisting of about nine to 10 per cent of the population identifies as vaccine hesitant.
The good news, she said, is that group who identify as vaccine hesitant appear to be shrinking as the city increasingly turns to community ambassadors and hyper local initiatives to reach the pockets of the city with lower rates of vaccination.
“Certainly we are going to focus on those who are perhaps just more hesitant and perhaps more quickly convinced of the benefits of vaccine but you know as a physician and a physician for the entire city I think it's important that we keep the doors open for everybody and that we have conversations and keep open lines of communication, regardless of what your pre existing perspective is on vaccines,” she said.
Here is a full list of the pop up clinics planned for this weekend:
- Finch Public School - 277 Finch Ave E, Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19, from 12 to 4 p.m. each day
- • Hollywood Public School - 360 Hollywood Ave., September 18 and Sunday, September 19, from 12 to 4 p.m. each day
- Parkdale Collegiate Institute - 209 Jameson Ave., September 18 and Sunday, September 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
- Olive Square Park – 5575 Yonge St., September 18, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Mel Lastman Square – 5100 Yonge St., September 18, 1 to 3 p.m.
- Sheppard Avenue and Yonge Street (northeast corner), September 18, 4 to 6 p.m.
- Trinity Bellwoods Park - 790 Queen St W., Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18, 1 to 6 p.m. each day
- Islington Station - 1226 Islington Ave., Thursday, September 16 to Saturday, September 18, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day
- Sheppard West Station - 1035 Sheppard Ave W., Thursday, September 16 to Saturday, September 18, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day
- Warden Station - 705 Warden Ave., Thursday, September 16 to Saturday, September 18, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day
- Kensington Market – TTC bus at 25 Bellevue Ave., September 19, 11 a.m.to 6 p.m.
- Jane and Finch Mall "Corner Commons" – 1911 Finch Ave. W. (parking lot), September 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Late Night Pop-up, September 17, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- located at the corner of Parliament and Wellesley (by 280 Wellesley St. E.).
- Steamworks Pop-up -- in partnership with Steamworks and Maggie's -- from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on September 17 (into the morning of Sept 18). Location: 540 Church St., 2nd Level
- Wellesley Community Centre clinic - this is a standing clinic run Thursdays (12:30 to 7 p.m.) and Fridays/Saturdays (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at WCC, 495 Sherbourne St.
- Black Creek Community Health Centre, Sheridan Mall, 1700 Wilson Ave., Saturday September 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.