In case of emergency, call 911
Welcome to Sunnybrook's Emergency Department.
We know that coming to an emergency department for you or a family member can be stressful. Please read this overview of what to expect.
What to bring
- Health Card (OHIP Card)
- Photo ID that includes your current address
- Your current cell phone number, if you have one
- List of your allergies and any medications that you are on
- Next of kin (if possible, have a family member or next of kin with you at your visit for support)
What to expect
- Upon arrival, each patient is seen and assessed by a nurse.
- After the nurse is done, go to the registration booth to sign-in with your health card.
- A doctor will see people with the most urgent concern first, regardless of who arrived first.
- You may experience a wait time during your emergency department visit. Please be patient. Your health, safety and comfort are very important to us.
- If your condition changes or gets worse, please tell someone at the triage booth or a nursing station.
- You may or may not require diagnostic images (CT scan, X-ray, MRI, ultrasound), blood tests, or other services as part of your treatment. Please note that you may need to wait for these services.
- You may or may not be required to see a specialist doctor in addition to the emergency doctor. Please note that you may need to wait for these services.
Children are seen in the emergency department but may be transferred to North York General or the Hospital for Sick Children if they need treatment by a pediatrician, if they require follow-up care or if they need to stay in hospital.
Labour & delivery patients
If you are in labour, please go directly to our Labour & Delivery unit on M5 (M-wing, 5th floor). More detailed information is available here.
Not sure if you require emergency treatment?
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Information is provided by a registered nurse.
Patients are responsible for the costs of transportation home when you are discharged from an emergency visit.
If friends or family are not available to take you home, or if you require special transportation, please make arrangements with one of the following:
- Wheelchair taxi
- Private transportation services (i.e., for patients requiring a stretcher)
Please ask someone on your health care team if you need assistance arranging a taxi, wheelchair taxi, or private transportation service. Some services will require that you provide a credit card number. Please have this available.
Sunnybrook is not responsible for patient and visitor belongings. Please do not bring valuables (this includes, but is not limited to, cash, jewelry, keys and watches) into the hospital.
We understand that an emergency department visit is not planned. Be sure to pass your valuables to a friend or family member for safekeeping while you are in the hospital. If you are being admitted to the hospital, these valuables may include, but are not limited to, your jackets, clothing, shoes, as well as cash, jewelry, keys and watches.
If you are discharged home, make sure you understand your discharge instructions. This may include:
- Any follow-up appointments you may have: you may need to see your family doctor or a specialist at Sunnybrook or in the community
- Your prescriptions for medications and where you can get them filled: either your local pharmacy, or Sunnybrook’s – M1-101 – during regular business hours
- When you get home:
- What you can eat or drink
- What activities you are able to do
Please be sure to ask questions if you have any.
Next day ultrasounds
Patients may be asked to return to the emergency department the next day for an ultrasound. This is normal as the ultrasound department is open during regular business hours. Patients will need to go through the same triage and registration process, and patients will need to wait to have an ultrasound completed.
Payment for medical supplies upon discharge
When you are discharged, you may receive medical supplies related to your condition. These may include, but are not limited to crutches, splints, casts, etc. Please note that patients are responsible for the cost of these items. Patients will receive a bill in the mail from Sunnybrook outlining the item and the cost. These items are non-refundable.
Your health records
At Sunnybrook, patients are able to retrieve any of their health record by visiting our Health Records and Patient Registration Office at E123 (E wing, first floor, room 23). This office is open during regular business hours, and they can be reached by phone at 416-480-4433.
If you would like to review imaging or tests from your emergency department visit online, please sign up for MyChart.
Get more information about:
Ambulance fees (frequently asked questions)
Q: Why was I sent a bill for $45 to cover an ambulance service to Sunnybrook?
A: Ontario residents having a valid Ontario health card (OHIP) and receiving ambulance transportation deemed medically necessary are required, under Ontario legislation, to pay the billing institution an ambulance co-payment of $45. In these situations, the hospital acts as the billing agent. (There are special exemptions – please visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website for more information).
Q: Why was I billed $240 for an ambulance service to Sunnybrook?
A: When an Ontario resident with a valid health card is transported within Ontario by land ambulance, and the receiving hospital physician or designate deems the use of an ambulance medically unnecessary, the ambulance transportation is not insured under the Ontario Health Insurance Act and the patient must pay the billing institution $240. A physician at the receiving hospital decides if the service is medically necessary.
Please find more information about Ambulance Services charges on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.
Being admitted to the hospital?
Some patients who come to the emergency department may require admission to the hospital. This means you will be transferred from the emergency department, to an inpatient unit where you will stay overnight. Each unit is set up to care for patients depending on the services needed.
At times, when the hospital has a lot of patients admitted, there may be a wait time to go to the inpatient unit. Please note we try our very best to move patients as quickly as possible from one area to another. We appreciate your understanding if you do have to wait.