Safe Sanctuaries


Here's Why it is Important

We all know that sleeping and eating well is critical to supporting physical and mental resiliency. During this COVID-19 pandemic, everyone needs to practice excellent health and wellness activities. This begins with a good night sleep and healthy nutrition.

It’s really difficult for our frontline healthcare workers when they can’t go home.

Isolation of Healthcare Providers

Other countries have shown that at the peak of the pandemic, up to 20% of the healthcare provider workforce may need to be isolated at any one time. Should that occur in Toronto up to 720 medical Residents and Fellows could be impacted in a given period.

Unable to Return Home

Far too often, many Residents and Fellows cannot return because they carry a risk of infecting family members who may be at elevated risk or who are healthcare workers and need to remain healthy. Or simply, they are too tired to drive home.

Short-Term Hotel Accommodation

Beyond our ability to provide our doctors with PPE, we must do more to support them. Their job is to focus on their sick patients, and not worry about how to self-isolate safely. We are reaching out to hotel chains to seek reduced rates for critical short-term (up to 14 days) accommodation for those in need.

Need of Units

These rooms would be open to all 3600 licensed medical Residents and Fellows pursuing training at the University of Toronto and its 13 affiliated hospitals. We anticipate necessitating a need of between 150-250 units at 100% occupancy, but we simply don’t know.

Room Distribution

As trainees, they rotate around all the teaching hospitals and do not belong ‘on staff’ at one specific hospital. Hence, they may not benefit from hotel arrangements made by a specific hospital.

Therefore, we are committed to raising funds necessary to provide rooms for our young doctors across many hotels in Toronto. We do not want to ask any trainee to risk their safety (including mental safety) or the safety of their family during this time.

If we can make one of their major life stressors disappear with a room, we must do it.

These young doctors are already putting themselves in harms way for us, and we want to offer a safe sanctuary for them.

Warriors Wall

“I am a current anesthesia fellow at Mount Sinai Hospital. As my specialty is one of the risky ones to be contaminated by COVID-19, and I have a young asthmatic child (4 years old) at home, I decided to self-isolate from my husband and daughter.

Since March 25th, I have been paying for a second rental in order to continue to work. As you might imagine, my whole month income was spent on rental this month. To make matters worse, my husband lost his part time job because of the pandemic.  Thank you so much for this support in our time of need.”

– Fellow, Mount Sinai Hospital

“I am a PGY5 in Anesthesia currently based at St. Michael’s Hospital.  My wife and I have been trying our best at distancing within our apartment while I am working, and we have endeavored to sleep in separate beds, (hard when we live in a one bedroom apt) but we have a small pull-out from a couch which has allowed us to continue this way for the last couple weeks.

We are slightly heightened as my wife went through a diagnosis of colon cancer this past year and after surgery she went through 6 months of chemotherapy which just ended in December. I am conscious of her recent comorbidity and how it may contribute to any recovery if she was infected.

I am so grateful for the ability to isolate if I have a high risk exposure or if I become symptomatic. Thank you!”

– PGY5 in Anesthesia, St. Michael’s Hospital

“I am a current fellow at St. Michael’s Hospital working daily/doing procedures in hospital. Unfortunately because my wife has a severe medical condition and is immunocompromised, I was forced to arrange alternate living accommodations since March 15th. As long as I am continually working in hospital with COVID patients I will be self-isolating for her safety.  I am so grateful for this support for housing.  My wife has lost her job this month due to the COVID-19 effect on her company so we are under additional stress.”

– Fellow, St. Michael’s Hospital

Here's How You Can HelpDonate Funds to Support

Donate Funds to Support the Faculty of Medicine to cover 100% of the cost associated with housing while in mandatory or voluntary isolation. Eligibility will be for any resident or clinical fellow registered at the University of Toronto who is providing front line care and is in need of isolation.

Participating Toronto Hotels

Fairmont Royal York
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown
Chelsea Hotel Toronto
Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre
Hilton Toronto
Novotel Toronto Centre

In partnership with the University of Toronto, our Challenge will support trainees who are frontline healthcare workers across the Toronto Academic Health Science Network.

Donating is as Simple as 1, 2, 3


Press the activate button


Fill in the donation form


Get your tax receipt

Questions & Answers

Are there administrative fees to U of T Faculty of Medicine?

100% of donations will go to the respective funds. There are no administrative fees or charges.

Can I donate by wire transfer or stock?

Yes, you can donate by wire transfer or stock and certainly by credit card, and cheques too.

How do I get a Charitable Tax Receipt?

If making a donation online, a tax receipt will be emailed to you immediately. If making a donation by wire transfer, stock or cheque, a tax receipt will be mailed to you shortly after.

Can I direct my donation to one specific challenge?

We will be asking you to share your preferences, if any. However, as this Challenge evolves, priorities will change and we would like for the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine team, to ethically prioritize the funds to the most urgent needs in a timely and appropriate manner.

Can I choose which challenge impacts I want to support?

We will be asking you if you have any preferences during your donation registration. Our goal is to place the impact where it’s needed the most given the uncertainty of need during the weeks and months ahead. However, your wishes will be honoured.

What is the governance model that you will be using for this Challenge?

The donation is collected by the University of Toronto. The governance of the funds is managed by the Dean of Medicine, in consultation with the Dean’s Executive Team. The distribution of the assets will be done in consultation with the Toronto Academic Health Science Network. See more about this throughout our website.


Our Other 2 Challenges

Personal ProtectionHelp Workers

The world is facing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) against COVID-19. Masks are especially in demand. We also need more gowns, gloves and shields. As we find sources of all types of PPE through our collective efforts, the Faculty of Medicine at U of T, together with their TAHSN hospitals, will support the ethical distribution of all PPE to the hospitals who need them most.

Battling COVID-19Help Researchers

The University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, has created a Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund of $6,000,000, and we are seeking contributions to increase the size of this fund (target of $10M). This Fund supports research that renders near-term results (12 months) to positively impact individuals, communities and public health systems. The funds are open to researchers at U of T and across our partner hospitals.

Contact UsWant more information?

We are in Toronto, Ontario Canada