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Event is focused on vaccinating people of all eligible ages from Northwest Toronto neighbourhoods

Toronto, Wednesday January 12, 2021 — On Wednesday, it was announced that “Vax The Northwest”, Toronto’s latest mass vaccination event, will be hosted at Aviva Centre, the home of Tennis Canada and the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, on Sunday, January 23. For one day only, Vax The Northwest will be serving more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at the facility, which is located at York University.

“Lending the Aviva Centre tennis facility for the Vax The Northwest clinic aligns with the values of Tennis Canada,” commented Tennis Canada President and CEO Michael Downey. “It is critically important we give back to our local community so partnering with the City of Toronto, York University and Black Creek on this important initiative was an easy decision. Since our Aviva Centre hosts the world-renowned National Bank Open presented by Rogers every August, we look forward to providing some tennis-related added value on January 23.”

Vax The Northwest is focused on vaccinating people of all eligible ages from Northwest Toronto neighbourhoods, with a focus on neighbourhoods with lower vaccination rates. In Toronto as a whole, 87 per cent of people age 12 and older have now received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. While some northwest neighbourhoods – including York University Heights – are keeping pace with the rest of the city, Black Creek is three percent below, Glenfield Jane Heights is seven per cent below and Westminster Branson is 12 per cent below the city average of people age 12 and older who have received two doses of vaccine.

Team Toronto is ready to rally and committed to vaccine equity and growing vaccination momentum within Northwest Toronto communities. Vax The Northwest will be administering the Grand Slam of COVID-19 vaccination: first, second, third and children’s (paediatric) doses of vaccine. The clinic will take place in the Aviva Centre’s 35,000-square-foot Centre of Excellence from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 23. More information on booking appointments online or by phone will be available in the coming days. Community health partners and ambassadors will also be reaching out directly to members of the community to help book appointments.

The Vax The Northwest team is distributing translated information in languages including Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Russian to the community to promote the event, remove barriers to vaccination and encourage people to get vaccinated. Team Toronto is also reaching out to Black, newcomer and undocumented populations in neighbourhoods close to York University through community agencies and established COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams and ambassadors.

Vax The Northwest has been made possible by a partnership between the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health, Humber River Hospital, University Health Network (UHN), Black Creek Community Health Centre, Unison Community Health Centre, Tennis Canada and York University.

More information about vaccination options in Northwest Toronto neighbourhoods and across the city is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpagewww.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-how-to-get-vaccinated/.

More details about Vax The Northwest media opportunities will be shared closer to January 23. Anyone looking for the latest updates is encouraged to follow #VaxTheNorthwest for updates from Vax The Northwest partners and @CityofToronto, the City’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/cityoftoronto.

Quotes:

“The Vax The Northwest mega-clinic is another great example of Team Toronto in action helping residents get vaccinated. We are doing everything we can – with our healthcare and community partners – to help residents get their first, second and third COVID-19 vaccine doses. I continue to encourage all eligible residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible so they have the best protection available against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Team Toronto is pleased to announce our Vax The Northwest clinic, a critical component of our campaign to reach everyone, everywhere, by bringing vaccines directly into neighbourhoods with lower vaccination rates. By working together with our Team Toronto health and community partners, we can increase third dose uptake in our northwest neighbourhoods.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health

“With the Omicron surge, it continues to be extremely important to make vaccines more accessible for our community. From an equity perspective, Humber River-Black Creek needs as many pop-up clinic options as possible, with flexible hours and resources on the ground for people of different ages and in a variety of languages.”
– Councillor Anthony Perruzza (Humber River-Black Creek)

“Over the course of the vaccination campaign, Team Toronto partners have come together to bring vaccines into focused neighbourhoods across our city. The Vax The Northwest initiative is just that – another key event to ensure residents in North and West Toronto have access to the information they need and the vaccines they require. Vaccination is one of the best means of protection against COVID-19, and I encourage everyone to receive their first, second or third dose as soon as they are able.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“Humber River Hospital is pleased to work with our partners at the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health and Northwest Toronto to support this vaccination event. This event supports our ongoing efforts to vaccinate a large community in Northwest Toronto in a location that is closer to home.”
– Barb Collins, President and CEO Humber River Hospital

“UHN has been part of the vaccination of Toronto’s citizens as a partner from the very beginning. And we will continue with this work because we know that vaccination is critical to ensuring that people are not made so sick with Omicron that they are hospitalized.” 
– Kevin Smith, President and CEO, University Health Network

“The Vax the Northwest initiative is a necessary step to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in our city. At Black Creek Community Health Centre, we often see hardworking families, seniors, students, frontline workers, and single parents that face existing barriers to healthcare. Now is the time to make sure vaccines are available to those who need them most, regardless of race, age or where they live. This mass clinic represents area and multi-sector partners coming together to offer meaningful solutions.  We are excited about encouraging more community members to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours by getting their first, second or third shot.”
– Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director, Black Creek Community Health Centre 

“Unison is proud to be a part of ensuring that vaccination is equitably spread across Toronto and gets to those who need it most.”
– Michelle Joseph, CEO, Unison Community Health Centre

“As we all continue to work together to blunt the impact of the Omicron variant, York University is pleased to support Team Toronto’s ongoing community vaccination efforts, including the #VaxTheNorthwest clinic taking place at our Keele Campus. We know that vaccination remains one of the best tools we have to mitigate the negative societal and health impacts of COVID-19. I encourage anyone who lives in Northwest Toronto and is in need of a first, second or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to attend this clinic.”
– Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit www.toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofto.


About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier National Bank Open presented by Rogers WTA and ATP Tour events, four professional ATP and ITF sanctioned events and financially supports four other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates junior national training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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City of Toronto Media Contact
Media Relations, media@toronto.ca

Tennis Canada Media Contacts

Valérie Tétreault, Director, Communications
vtetreault@tenniscanada.com or 514-273-1515, ext. 6259

Oliver Wheeler, Advisor, Communications
owheeler@tenniscanada.com or 647-458-4005

Marc-Antoine Farly, Advisor, Communications
mafarly@tenniscanada.com or 514-444-3556