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Emergency care

Notices

Emergency Department Pick up location change (Temporary) »

Families must pick up Emergency Department patients at the M1 Main Entrance on weekdays between 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Pick up outside of the Emergency Department is not possible due to watermain upgrades along Life Saving Drive over the coming weeks.

In the event of an emergency, patients can still be dropped off at the Emergency Department. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your patience.
Go to more information

Changes due to COVID-19 »

Sunnybrook is taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to our visitor guidelines.

» View Emergency Department visitor information

Learn more at sunnybrook.ca/COVID19

Children in the Emergency Department »

Children are seen in the Emergency Department but will be transferred to another hospital with pediatricians if they need urgent treatment, certain tests, or if they need to stay in hospital.

» See letter from our ED about treating children at Sunnybrook

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What to expect in the Emergency Department

We care for urgent, life-threatening illness and injuries in the 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.

If you are experiencing urgent, but non-life threatening illness or injuries, please consider visiting an urgent care centre , a walk-in clinic, or the virtual emergency department for non-urgent treatment of minor illness or injury. ​

If you are concerned about cough, cold and flu-like symptoms including earaches, sore throats, congestion and fever, and wish to see an in-person physician, consider making a same-day or next-day appointment with one of Toronto’s Cough, Cold, and COVID clinics (for example, view North York General Hospital's clinic here).

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) 
  • Due to COVID delays in medication delivery, we recommend all patients bring their medications to hospital.
  • Consider bringing a charger for your cell phone, filled water bottle, and a sweater.

ED wait times

View current wait time predictions for Sunnybrook’s Emergency Department. Predictions are updated every hour. View wait times »

View letter from our Leadership Team about ED wait times »

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Location information

2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON (get directions)
View parking info | View our Bayview Campus map

In case of emergency, call 911

Please note: Patients arriving by ambulance are triaged, and not necessarily seen faster than other patients.

Community walk-in clinics – locations »

Virtual emergency icon.

Virtual Emergency Department

If you are age 16+ and experiencing an urgent but non-life threatening medical concern, you can now book a same-day virtual appointment with a Sunnybrook Emergency Department doctor, Monday to Sunday. Learn more »

Request a same-day virtual appointment with an Emergency doctor »

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Accessing your results

Sign up for MyChart.


Learn more:

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.

Phone: 1-866-797-0000
TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Transportation

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:

  • Taxi
  • 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.

Belongings

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.

Discharge instructions

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.

» View emergency department discharge instructions (videos included)

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.

» Learn more about accessing your health records 

If you would like to review imaging or tests from your emergency department visit online, please sign up for MyChart.

MySunnybrook

MySunnybrook provides one-stop-shop access to hospital services from your desktop or mobile device. You can pay your hospital invoice, parking, and more.

Hospital services

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?

Sometimes your condition may require additional care and you will be admitted. This means you will resume your care on one of our specialized patient care units.

Once the decision has been made, your health care team will talk to you about where in the hospital you will go and what to expect.

Sometimes there may be a very long wait for a bed to become available. In that case your care will continue in the Emergency Department until your bed is ready. Depending on why you need to stay and which team will take care of you in the hospital, they will come to meet you while you are still in the Emergency Department and start taking care of you at that time.

Remember there is always a health care team responsible for your care. If you are ever unsure who that is, just ask.

Please note – The only determinant of bed availability is if another patient is discharged. Our teams work hard to ensure patients are able to move into the bed they need as soon as possible. Often we have more patients than beds, so we need to wait until there is a safe discharge, before we can move patients from the Emergency Department.

Learn more about what to expect when staying at the hospital » 

Are you an uninsured patient?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, along with all inpatient hospitals in the Canadian province of Ontario, is funded by the Government of Ontario.

Patients who have a valid, Ontario Health Insurance Plan card (OHIP) have their visit covered by this plan. If you do not have a valid OHIP card, you will need to pay upfront for emergency services. This is standard across all hospitals in Ontario.

Patients who are uninsured are required to fill out a short form indicating one of the three options (all fees in Canadian dollars):

  • Non-resident of Canada - $800.00
  • A Canadian resident without valid health coverage - $800.00
  • A Canadian resident with valid provincial or federal health coverage but do not have proof of coverage with you - $800.00

If you have a private insurance provider, you will need to go through them in order to recover the costs associated with your visit. Most private insurance providers require you contact them immediately upon use of health care services, so we recommend you contact them as soon as you are at the hospital.

These fees paid upfront do not cover the cost of any lab or medical imaging services, and ambulance fees (among other hospital services) – these will be billed separately should you require these services during your visit. For example, if you arrive, pay your fees (if you fall into one of the three categories mentioned above), and if you have a CT scan, you will also be billed for the CT scan.

If you require surgery, or an inpatient admission to hospital, there will be further charges for these services. The cost per day to be admitted to the hospital can range from $3,000.00 to $5,700.00 per day. Included in this fee is, but not limited to, nursing care, medications, meals, environmental services, maintenance services, etc. These fees do not include physician costs, which are billed separately by the physician themselves. This is aligned with the payment structure of the Ontario health care system.

Are you attending the Emergency Department for a referral to a specialist?

Our Emergency Department team is open to everyone, and anyone who walks through our doors is welcome to have an assessment by our emergency department team. The medical team will determine if you are having an emergency condition that requires admission to hospital or if you will be discharged home. If you are discharged home, the medical team will determine if your condition requires follow up with your family physician or with a specialist at Sunnybrook. Please note, each specialist group at Sunnybrook has specific referral criteria, and one of these criteria is 'catchment' (i.e. if your home address is near Sunnybrook). Most Sunnybrook clinics do not accept referrals for patients who live outside of our catchment area. In that case, you may be asked to follow up with a family physician or walk in clinic closer to your home, to arrange for a referral within your area. Additionally, many clinics do not accept emergency department referrals for patients who are already followed by the same type of specialist, but are seeking a second opinion. In that case, you will be asked to go back to your family physician or specialist, and ask them to send a referral to Sunnybrook for another opinion. Please note the Emergency Department team does not determine the referral criteria for each clinic.

Is your loved one in the ED, and you would like an update?

We understand how stressful it can be to feel uninformed and disconnected from your loved one when they are in the ED. We want to keep loved ones up to date; we also have to prioritize direct care for patients. Here are some suggestions for how to stay involved in the care of someone while they are in the ED:

  1. Come with them to the ED. Our full visitor policy is here, but most patients are permitted one visitor at a time. This is the best way to stay connected every step of the way.
  2. The patient can request to keep someone on speaker phone when the doctor is assessing them. This is the next best option if you cannot be physically present in the ED. This request must come from the patient if they are capable of their own decision making.
  3. Call the hospital for an update. During business hours, 7 days per week, you can call our Patient Experience Ambassador team at 416-480-6100 ext. 1846 and they will take a message and ask someone from the medical team to call you back when possible, if the patient provides consent. Outside of those hours, you can call the main line of the Emergency Department at 416-480-6100 ext. 7207 and we will do our best to have someone from the care team respond to you when possible.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Please designate ONE person to be updated. It is not possible for the care team to update multiple different people.
  • The care team will not provide family updates for patients who are capable of their own medical decision making, except by request from the patient. This is due to privacy regulations protecting a patient’s personal health information.
  • If the patient would like someone updated, please ensure the patient has the correct phone number available.

Office of the Patient Experience

We welcome feedback about your Emergency Department experience such as compliments, and concerns. If you have tried to resolve your concerns with your health care team, and you still would like to speak to someone, we think our Office of the Patient Experience can help.

Safety

Threatening, abusive and/or violent behaviour are not tolerated in the Emergency Department.

Patients and visitors who are considered to pose a safety risk to our staff, physicians, volunteers or other patients, will be removed from the hospital. We are here to help you.

We pledge to treat you with dignity and respect, and expect the same treatment in return.

Emergency departments in Ontario

Learn more about the emergency departments and other options for urgent care and walk-in clinics in Ontario.

Find a family doctor

Learn more about finding a family doctor in Ontario via Health Care Connect (Phone number – 1 800 455 1822).

Sexual health clinics in Ontario

Learn more about sexual health clinics in Ontario.