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Book a Virtual Emergency Department appointment

The Virtual Emergency Department is available Monday to Sunday (including statutory holidays). Bookings open at 7 a.m. each day.

Toronto’s Virtual Emergency Department (ED) brings together emergency doctors from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Unity Health Toronto, and University Health Network to provide a unified virtual emergency room service that is available to all Torontonians. Virtual emergency visits are optional – Sunnybrook’s in-person Emergency Department is still available for walk-in visits if you need urgent care.

How it works

Booking opens at 7 a.m. for same-day appointments.

The hours of operation for the service are:

  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST
  • Saturday to Sunday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST

Please review this page to learn more about who should book a Virtual Emergency Department appointment, how to book an appointment, and more. You may also choose to call our team to learn more about the Virtual Emergency Department at 416-480-6100 ext. 3904. (If you’re experiencing an emergency, please call 911.)

Appointments are 15 minutes long and take place on Zoom. Booking closes at 8:30 p.m., or when all appointments are filled.

If you have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, please try to book an appointment with their office first. Many family doctors do have urgent virtual slots available every day.

Patients must be physically located in Ontario at the time of the appointment.

Is a Virtual Emergency Department appointment right for you?

A Virtual Emergency Department appointment might be right for you if you are having an urgent medical issue that is not life threatening and you cannot make an urgent appointment with a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

View a list of example symptoms and conditions that might lead you to booking an appointment for virtual emergency care »

If you are in severe distress or experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department. If your symptoms worsen while you are waiting for a virtual appointment, visit your nearest Emergency Department in-person, or call 911 for assistance.

The Virtual Emergency Department is not right for chest pain, breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, stroke, in labour or ruptured membranes, neck stiffness/altered consciousness, inability to walk, mental health crisis, or new neurological symptoms. If you have these symptoms, please go to your nearest Emergency Department in person.

The Virtual Emergency Department is not right for opioid, benzodiazepine, methadone, suboxone, cannabis or stimulant prescriptions or renewals. Please see your regular prescriber.

By signing up for a Virtual Emergency Department appointment:

  1. You might see a doctor entirely online and not have a physical appointment.
  2. You might be referred to a specialist.
  3. You might be asked to follow-up with your family doctor (if you have one).
  4. You might have a prescription sent to your pharmacy.
  5. You might be asked to visit your nearest Emergency Department in-person. Note: In-person visits to the Emergency Department are not by appointment. You will be triaged when you arrive to the Emergency Department and may have to wait. 

To book a virtual appointment, you’ll need:

  • A reliable internet connection.
  • An email address.
  • A quiet, private place to have a conversation with the doctor. Please wear clothing that will let you easily show the doctor the area of concern (for example, wear shorts if you will need to show the doctor your leg).
  • A family member or friend to help translate, if needed.
  • A computer, smartphone, or tablet with microphone and video capabilities and the Zoom application installed.

Frequently asked questions

» How do I book an appointment?

Please book a virtual appointment using the online booking system. The system opens for you to book a same-day appointment at 7 a.m. every day (Monday to Sunday, including statutory holidays).

Request a Virtual Emergency Department appointment

» How do I know if a virtual appointment is right for me?

If you are age 16 or older and you need to see a doctor about an urgent but not life-threatening issue, the Virtual Emergency Department might be right for you. If you have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, you should first phone them to see if they have any same-day appointments.

» I booked an appointment. Now what?

After booking your appointment online, our team will register you for your appointment and set up a Zoom link. Your appointment will take place using Zoom, so please ensure you have the application downloaded to the device you wish to use during your appointment.

About 10 minutes before your appointment, our team will send an email with the Zoom link to the email address provided when booking. If you don’t see this email, please check your junk e-mail folder. If you still don’t see your Zoom link, please call 416-480-6100 ext. 3904.

» There are no appointments available. What do I do?

There are a limited number of virtual appointments each day. If you need medical help today, you could phone your family doctor, if you have one. You can also check availability at the other Toronto Virtual Emergency Departments. If you are unable to book a virtual appointment and you need urgent care, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or urgent care centre.

» I live far from Sunnybrook. Can I still use the Virtual Emergency Department?

While we are happy to see anyone who is currently in Ontario, we recommend that you seek care close to your home in case in-person follow-up care is recommended.

» Can I book an appointment for my mom?

Yes. When you enter the online booking system, you can put in your own name as the contact and your Mom’s name as the patient. The Zoom appointment link will be sent to the email address provided in the “contact information" section of the booking tool.

» I need to cancel my appointment – what do I do?

Please cancel your appointment by clicking the cancellation link on your appointment confirmation email or SMS message.

» I feel a bit better. Should I cancel my appointment?

If your symptoms have gone away and you no longer need to speak with a doctor, you can cancel your appointment by clicking the cancellation link on your appointment confirmation email or SMS message.

» I feel a bit worse. What should I do?

Please go to your nearest Emergency Department or dial 911 for assistance if your symptoms worsen.

I'm having trouble using the online booking system. What do I do?

If you are having issues connecting to the Virtual Emergency Department online booking system, you can call our support team at 416-480-6100 ext. 3904.

This phone line is monitored daily.

COVID-19 testing

Are you looking for a COVID-19 test because you have mild symptoms of COVID-19? Please find your closest testing location.

Disclaimer

Just like online shopping or email, virtual care has some inherent privacy and security risks that your health information may be intercepted or unintentionally disclosed. We want to make sure you understand this before we proceed. In order to improve privacy and confidentiality, you should also take steps to participate in this virtual care encounter in a private setting and should not use an employer’s or someone else’s computer/device as they may be able to access your information. If it is determined you require a physical exam you may still need to be assessed in person. You should also understand that virtual care is not a substitute for attending the Emergency Department if urgent care is needed.

Recording your virtual appointment

The record function will be turned off on your Zoom appointment. If for some reason you want to record your appointment, it’s important that you talk to the doctor to get their permission. Let the doctor know that you wish to record and the reason why. In turn, the doctor cannot record the session in any way without your permission.

Cancelling your appointment

If you no longer need your Virtual Emergency Department appointment because you feel better or you got in to see another doctor instead, please click the cancellation link on your appointment confirmation email or SMS message. This helps our virtual Emergency Department and our community by opening up your appointment to another person who needs to speak with a doctor.