The City of Toronto is partnering with community agencies to connect residents to resources, services, programs, and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about the City’s Community Coordination Plan, how the City and United Way are working with community agencies to better serve residents and what has been accomplished since March, please see the Community Partnerships Initiatives below.

Check back often for updates and learn about opportunities to help in your community.

Residents who need to access, or are seeking information on, social and community supports and services, should call 211 for non-emergency requests and information.

211 is a 24/7 help line and web service that connects residents to social and community services.

211 is working closely with community agencies to ensure they are continually updating their database with the most up-to-date programming and resource information.

Community Coordination Plan

The Community Coordination Plan is a community response initiative that was developed by the United Way Greater Toronto and City of Toronto in 2020.

The Community Coordination Plan aims to ensure there is coordination and communication between City of Toronto, United Way, and community organizations. Ten geographic clusters and three non-geographic clusters (Indigenous-serving agencies cluster, city-wide agencies cluster, and the Black Resilience cluster) have been established.

The Community Coordination Plan is designed to be agile and iterative to the urgent needs of vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each cluster is led by a team of three Cluster Coordinators who convene and support community organizations that are responding to the emerging needs of vulnerable people. Cluster Coordinators also work with local Councillors’ offices to respond to urgent issues.

Some issues can be resolved at the community cluster level, such as donation matching or information on physical distancing guidelines. Other issues that are more structural or systemic in nature, may be escalated through City of Toronto channels to City task groups or the Emergency Operations Centre. Examples include issues related to homeless shelters or broader food security issues.

Funding for Community Services

On June 23 and October 20 the City announced that $4.97 million and $1.9 million will be distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) continues to provide benefits and services to vulnerable residents and is maintaining a level of service to ensure the provision of financial benefits and supports for low-income clients and vulnerable residents.

The Fair Pass Transit Discount is the City’s poverty reduction initiative to make public transit more affordable for low-income Toronto residents. To find out if you are eligible and apply.

Residents in immediate need of food can call 211 for information on food program availability or view a map of local food service providers on the 211 website.

The City of Toronto is working closely with community and corporate partners to identify where the greatest needs are and how best to ensure that food needs of vulnerable Torontonians are being met.

Food Access Strategy

The City has developed a food access strategy that includes the establishment of a committee consisting of large-scale community groups that works to identify ways to prevent food banks from being closed, support those that are running, and troubleshoot issues as they arise. Members of the group include:

The group is actively working on multiple food access programs, including:

Food Delivery

The City is working with the Red Cross and other partners to provide food hamper delivery to seniors and others in need who are unable to leave their homes.

This service is made available for qualifying seniors and others that are in self-isolation who do not have alternative access to food (through family, friends, availability of food delivery services) and are currently not receiving such assistance from another community food program.

Call 1-833-204-9952 for eligibility and registration information.

Access to Food Banks

There are  food banks located throughout the city. Call 211 for a list of the locations and hours of operation.

Map of Food Banks

The best source for up-to-date information on food program availability is The food listings are updated daily as information is received from providers. Residents can call 211 directly, or view the map on the 211 website.

Connecting Resources to Those That Need Them

The City is working to connect offers of free services and other resources, such as free hot meals and delivery, free spaces and equipment, to agencies and communities that need them.

Indigenous Communities

The City is providing support for the Toronto Aboriginal and Support Services Council to coordinate food access for Indigenous communities that are facing similar challenges created by the COVID-19 response, including increased access to food and financial support.

Food Donations

Residents and businesses looking to donate in support of food security, can visit COVID-19: DonateTO for more information.

The City of Toronto has partnered with technology and telecommunications companies to provide free temporary internet access for low-income neighbourhoods, long-term care homes and shelters.

Low-Income Neighbourhoods

Learn about the Free Wi-Fi Pilot Project that is bringing free internet to 25 large residential apartment buildings in low-income neighbourhoods for one year.

In partnership with the Toronto Public Library, the City of Toronto provided temporary Wi-Fi access in parks as part of the Wi-Fi on Wheels pilot project. from August 4 to 8. The Wi-Fi-enabled Bookmobile visited Masseygrove Park and Edgeley Park connecting visitors to free Wi-Fi between noon and 6:30 p.m.

The bookmobile sits in Edgeley Park to offer free wi-fi on Aug 7, 2020. A tent is set up to offer shade.
City staff setting up the Wi-Fi on Wheels area at Edgeley Park on August 7, 2020.

Long-Term Care Homes

The City of Toronto is providing free Wi-Fi access throughout all 10 City-operated long-term care homes. Previously, it was only available in common areas. These new Wi-Fi hot spots will allow residents to stay connected to friends and family.

Learn more about service changes in City-operated Long-Term Care Homes.

Shelter Sites

Rogers is donating free Wi-Fi for three months to four permanent City of Toronto shelter locations as of April 2020. Free Rogers Wi-Fi has also been installed in five temporary shelter locations, to help facilitate physical distancing.

People experiencing homelessness often rely on public Wi-Fi to access online supports and services and stay connected with loved ones. With the closure of most public Wi-Fi locations, including libraries, malls and restaurants, many vulnerable people no longer have access to the vital supports they need. Wi-Fi at these shelter sites will help to bridge this gap and support people to maintain physical distancing and isolation during the pandemic period.

Learn more about what the City is doing to support those experiencing homelessness.

Staying Home

For your protection, Toronto Public Health recommends that if you are over 70 years of age, have a weak immune system or a medical condition, limit your trips to public places.

Read more health advice for seniors that may prevent COVID-19 infection.

Families and friends can stay in touch by calling, video-conferencing, sending an e-card, email or letter.

Where to Get Help

Call 211 Ontario at any time (in 150+ languages) or the Toronto Seniors Helpline (416-217-2077) to be referred to support services for seniors, including:

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Delivery of food and essentials (e.g., prescriptions)
  • Personal care support
  • Mental health support
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Social phone calls
  • Other support services for seniors

Call your Local Health Integration Network  (LHIN) at 310-2222 (no area code) to apply for government-funded health and personal support services and long-term care homes.

The Seniors Safety Line can also assist in cases of elder abuse, isolation, anxiety or depression: 1-866-299-1011

For City-run services (such as garbage and libraries), call 311.

Food & Groceries

  • Use a grocery delivery service or have a neighbour or family member shop for you. If that is not possible, some stores have special hours to help seniors practise physical distancing.
  • For low-income seniors, there are organizations and volunteer groups that will deliver groceries to seniors at home with no delivery fee. Call 211 to access.
  • Apply for Meals on Wheels  (regular home delivery of prepared fresh or frozen meals), call 211 or visit .
  • For qualifying seniors who are in self-isolation, do not have alternative access to food and are not currently receiving assistance from another food program, call 1-833-204-9952 for registration information about the City of Toronto and Red Cross food hamper delivery program.

It is important to be aware of potential scams and fraud, for example people offering to buy groceries and asking for your credit card details. Call 211 for a referral to a legitimate food service. Report fraud to the police online or by calling 416-808-2222.

Prescriptions & Other Essentials

Many pharmacies/drug stores will deliver prescriptions (and in some cases, over-the-counter medicines and supplies) to your home. To arrange prescription delivery, call your local pharmacy. Refer to the label on your current medication for the pharmacy’s phone number.

If your pharmacy does not offer delivery, call 211 or the Toronto Seniors Helpline (416-217-2077) to be connected with a community agency that offers delivery of prescriptions, medications and essentials such as incontinence supplies.

Pet owners may be eligible for financial assistance when ordering pet food and supplies.

Mental Health & Staying Active

If you need mental health support, call 211 (available 24/7 in many languages). You will be connected to one of the City’s mental health service provider partners for direct phone support. These mental health support services are free to all Toronto residents, and include culturally responsive supports.There are also many volunteer phone lines who offer phone-call check-ins and friendly conversation with seniors who are feeling lonely and need someone to talk to. Call 211 or the Toronto Seniors Helpline (416-217-2077) for referral to one of these free phone call services.

Also get tips for coping with stress and find other resources.

Keeping active and learning new things is good for mental health. Learn about free virtual and phone call activities, including activities designed specifically for seniors, as well as volunteering opportunities.

Housing & Benefits

Learn about support and updates for tenants and property owners, including the Toronto Rent Bank and Housing Stabilization Fund, that may help with rental or energy arrears

Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) has increased measures to support senior tenants.

Visit the City’s Income Support page to learn more about different forms of Income support, including the Hardship Fund for medical/health expenses, and links to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Provincial & Federal Government Supports

The Provincial and Federal Government have also announced programs to support seniors.

If you are experiencing homelessness, call the City’s Central Intake Line at:

  • 416-338-4766
  • 1-877-338-3398 (toll-free)

You will be asked about your current health and recent travel history and then referred to available shelter, respite site or isolation site. For more information about the locations of shelters or respite sites, visit the Homeless Help web page.

Sanitation & Washroom Services

The City has opened some City-operated facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for individuals experiencing homelessness. Find out where they are located and when they are open.

Changes to Shelter Operations

Learn how community partners and operators are preventing the spread of COVID-19 and changes to current shelter operations.

In March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, the City began taking action to support vulnerable residents, families and communities under its guiding framework, TO Supports: COVID-19 Equity Action Plan. This work is constantly evolving and improving in light of new information, new partnerships, and new public health conditions.

The targeted COVID-19 enhanced equity measures announced by the City of Toronto on November 23, 2020 builds on the work started in March and implemented throughout the pandemic, and will include:

  • partnering with trusted community-based partners to share public health information
  • improve access to COVID-19 testing
  • provide critical supports to individuals and their families.

TO Supports Equity Action Areas

Existing actions mobilized early in the pandemic as part of the broader TO Supports: COVID-19 Equity Action Plan include:

Health Communication & Outreach

  • Multilingual public health campaign
  • Expanded local community outreach
  • Non-stigmatizing data reporting

Community Health Access

  • Promote Community Testing
  • Voluntary Isolation Site
  • IPAC Support to Agencies
  • Overdoses Prevention
  • Flu Shot Clinics

Support for Community Sector Partners

  • Emergency Funding
  • Donations Management
  • Community Agency Cluster Coordination

Shelter, Housing & Homelessness Services

  • Expand Services for Physical Distancing and IPAC
  • Rapid Housing Access
  • Human Rights-based Encampment Response
  • 12-month Interim Shelter Recovery Plan

Income Supports

  • Connect to Emergency Benefits
  • Eviction Prevention Advocacy

Food Security

  • City-wide Response to Acute Food Insecurity

Care for Seniors

  • Prevent and Manage Outbreaks in Long-Term Care
  • Support Seniors in the Community

Digital Access

  • Expand Free WiFifor all
  • Free High-Quality Online Activities and Programming

Mental Health & Family Safety

  • Free, Culturally-Appropriate, Multilingual Phone-based Counselling
  • Family Violence Awareness Campaign

Child & Family Supports

  • Emergency Child Care
  • Protect access to Fee Subsidies and Child Care Spaces
  • Online EarlyONprogramming and family supports

Learn more about the community coordination plan.

Scalability of the Targeted COVID-19 Enhanced Equity Measures

Based on data, a set of targeted COVID-19 enhanced equity measures will be refined for the northwest and northeast areas of Toronto.

These targeted COVID-19 enhanced equity measures are scalable and can pivot to different neighbourhoods as required, based on findings from the data.

Targeted COVID-19 Enhanced Equity Measures

The City is collaborating with community and health services partners, residents and employers in hotspot areas to share public health information, improve access to COVID-19 testing, and provide critical supports to individuals who test positive.

Expansion of Testing Sites

  1. Increase mobile testing
  2. Increase transportation to testing sites
  3. Increase the number of testing sites
  4. Extend testing site hours

Partners: Ontario Health/LHIN

Education & Engagement

  1. Targeted outreach, case management and supports
  2. Equip residents with masks
  3. Add “family approach” to voluntary isolation sites

Partners: Community Agencies

Evictions & Emergency Assistance

  1. Advocate for residential eviction prevention
  2. Advocate for income supports
  3. Advocate for newcomer access to COVID-19 services and supports

Partners: Ontario Government & Government of Canada


  1. Leverage targeted enhanced equity measures to implement the City’s immunization strategy (in development through the Emergency Operations Centre)

Partners: Community Agencies

Community Education & Engagement

A range of strong community agencies have been selected through the Community Coordination Clusters to partner with the City on implementing the targeted COVID-19 enhanced equity measures.

The community partners are based in the targeted neighbourhoods and trusted among newcomers, BIPOC, youth, and other population groups to which we are targeting support.

  • Black Creek Community HC (Black Creek/Humber Summit)
  • Delta Community (Black Creek/Humber Summit)
  • RexdaleCommunity Health Centre (North Etobicoke)
  • Unison (York/Weston/Pelham)
  • Davenport Perth (York/Weston/Pelham)
  • ThorncliffeNeighbourhood Organization (East York/Don Valley)
  • TAIBU Community Health Centre (North Scarborough)
  • Malvern Family Resource Centre (North Scarborough)
  • Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities (South Scarborough)
  • Sistering (Population Specific)
  • FCJRefugee Centre (Population Specific)

Learn more about the Community Coordination Plan.

Eviction & Emergency Assistance

Advocate for Residential Eviction Prevention

  • City request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to implement a temporary moratorium on residential evictions (via letter and political/executive engagement)
  • Provincial agreement
  • Mitigating resistance from landlords
  • Contingent on the provincial approval process

Advocate for Income Supports for Those That Test Positive or Are in Positive Households

  • City request to the Minister Children, Social and Community Service to extend eligibility for Emergency Assistance (via letter and political/executive engagement)
  • Provincial agreement
  • Contingent on the provincial approval process

Advocate for Newcomer Access to COVID-19 Services and Supports

  • City request to the Federal Minister, IRCC to ensure newcomers can access COVID-19 services and supports (via letter and political/executive engagement)
  • Federal agreement
  • Contingent on the provincial approval process