See Weathered - our digital photography exhibition & fundraising campaign raising awareness about the ongoing drug overdose crisis.

See our latest information regarding Covid-19, and our response to the pandemic.

Overdose Prevention Site (OPS)

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – 10 AM to 4 PM
Tuesday – 11 AM to 4 PM

Provides a safe, hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of staff. We provide sterile injection supplies, education, overdose prevention and intervention, nursing and other services and referrals. 

OPS Banner

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an OPS?

  • A safe, hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of staff.
  • We provide sterile injection supplies, education, overdose prevention and intervention, nursing and other services and referrals.
  • A low barrier, lifesaving service to address the opioid crisis which has affected the Dundas/Sherbourne area quite acutely.

Why an OPS at Street Health?

  • Opioid deaths in Ontario have increased by 52% and emergency room visits due to suspected overdose have increased by 72% in the past year.
  • Toronto Public Health has identified our neighbourhood as a ‘hot spot’ for overdose.
  • We have been delivering harm reduction services in the community for many years
  • The service is located in the fully-accessible backyard coach house within our existing space.
  • The service has two booths for supervised injection and a small area for post-consumption monitoring.
  • The service operates during our current opening hours and is staffed by experienced harm reduction workers with nursing back up.
  • Most of the people using the service will be existing clients.

What are the benefits of an OPS?

  • Reducing the number of drug overdoses
  • Reducing the risk factors leading to infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
  • Enabling access to & Increasing the use of detox and drug treatment services
  • Connecting people with other health and social services
  • Reducing the number of publicly discarded needles; and
  • Reducing the cost of health care services.
Opening this important service could not have occurred without the courage and determination of Street Health staff, Board, students, community members and clients. Thank you for your commitment and passion and for staying hopeful and working together to improve the lives of our clients & larger community.

History of OPS at Street Health

2020

August

Twenty/Twenty Arts launches the Weathered digital photo exhibit which remembers friends and loved ones who have died from overdose. This project is also a fundraiser for Street Health's OPS raising over $10,000.

Weathered Banner

 

April 30

Staff mark the National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis in continuing efforts to create awareness on this issue.

Day of Action

April

Toronto Paramedic Services attends the highest number of suspected opioid overdose-related deaths in a single month since September 2017. There were 343 suspected opioid overdose calls to paramedics, including 25 deaths.

March to current

Street Health’s OPS continues to provide support during COVID 19.

February

Life threatening spikes in overdoses reported in several Ontario communities including Toronto.

January 31

Health Canada approves Street Health’s exemption and Street Health announces that community donations will support the OPS Continued operation – both to March 31, 2021.

January 21

Street Health and St. Stephen’s hold a press conference to release Overdose Prevention Sites Evaluation.

Read Toronto Star coverage

Eval PC

2019

November 6

Street Health’s OPS Community Advisory Committee begin regular meetings.

OPS Community Committee

July

A dedicated Crisis Outreach Worker is hired at Street Heath to support those who are not among our regular clients.

June
May

Substance Use and Addictions, Health Canada provide one-time funding which supports the evaluation of OPS services.

April to current

OPS community supporters rally. Activities include: press conference at Toronto City Hall, demonstrations at Queen’s Park, many fundraising efforts. Donors include: Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, private family foundations, several CUPE locals, church and community groups, hundreds of individuals.

S Morrison

March 29

Street Health’s OPS operation is threatened as the Ontario Government funding is abruptly eliminated.

February

A coordinated used drug needle pick up program begins in the local community.

January

Health Canada and the Ministry of Health approve the continuing operation of Street Health’s OPS.

2018

December 12

Community consultation moderated by local MPP Suze Morrison held to share strategies and opportunities with local community members, service agencies, police and healthcare providers.

November 26

First Community Open House held at the OPS.

OPS Door

October 15

Street Health’s OPS and the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society organize a “We Grieve Thousands” candlelight vigil through the Downtown East to remember the thousands of Canadians who died from an opioid overdose in 2017 and to demand government action to prevent further loss of life.

Toronto OPS - We Grieve Thousands

June 27

Street Health opens an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) at 338 Dundas St. East. This service is offered in response to the increased level of overdoses and overdose deaths happening in the Sherbourne and Dundas area. This neighbourhood has the second highest number of calls to 911 for overdose in the entire city. Street Health provides overdose prevention services to connect with the people affected by the deadly street drug supply and ensure they have access to healthcare services.

team

Spring

After months of negotiations and planning, Street Health’s OPS receives the federal and provincial approvals to begin operation.

poster