How some of Toronto’s biggest organizations are handling the coronavirus

Toronto’s largest organizations, agencies and businesses are stepping up their response as more COVID-19 cases are being confirmed across the GTA in recent days.

Here’s a look at how some key organizations are responding.


The TTC is increasing end-of-line cleaning on all of its vehicles amidst growing concerns over coronavirus.

When streetcars or subway cars go out of service at the end of the night all of the interior surfaces get scrubbed down and sanitized.

Crews also wipe down the hand rails and straps on vehicles, as well as in stations.

Subway train at Union Station in Toronto. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

The transit agency is also considering using the same heavy-duty anti-microbial spray that GO Transit is using.

TTC spokesman Stuart Green told CBC News they’re also making sure staff have the tools they need when cleaning.

“Like other responsible employers, we have distributed hand sanitizer and wipes throughout workplaces,” said Green.

The TTC says it’s in daily contact with Toronto Public Health and will change their coronavirus precautionary measures based on recommendations from health officials.

GO Transit

Over the weekend, Metrolinx issued a warning to passengers who travelled on a Richmond Hill GO bus as one of the recent patients who recently tested positive for COVID-19 was also on board.

The transit authority says that decision was made out of an abundance of caution as it steps up sanitization efforts.

A man wipes down a passenger hand rail with disinfectant on a GO Bus. (Metrolinx)

“One of the things that we piloted was a new long acting anti microbial agent for our trains and what it means is the surfaces on our buses and trains stay cleaner longer, which is important when you’re dealing with something like the coronavirus,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.

The disinfectant spray Metrolinx is using will be applied to all of GO Transit buses and trains.

Pearson International Airport

Toronto’s Pearson International airport is also increasing its efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) says they are working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada Border Services Agency to ensure that all proper measures are taken with all international passengers arriving at Canada’s largest airport.

People carry luggage at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press)

In an email to CBC News, GTAA spokesperson, Ryan White says high traffic areas are being regularly cleaned and disinfected.

“To support good public health practice, Toronto Pearson has installed extra hand sanitizer stations in arrivals areas and implemented more frequent cleaning of arrivals areas, including kiosks and bathrooms.”

The airport says the new measures will not impact airport operations.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Based on the advice from Toronto Public Health (TPH), busy places like Scotiabank Arena are adding more hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue.

In a statement, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the arena’s owner, says it is also sharing health officials advice with employees.

Basketball fans pack Scotiabank Arena in Toronto for a Raptors game. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

“Take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness, which include getting a yearly flu vaccine, washing hands frequently, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home if you are ill,” MLSE said.

While no events at Scotiabank Arena have been cancelled or postponed due to fears of coronavirus, MLSE says that the future status of any Maple Leafs or Raptors games would be up to the NHL and NBA .

Cadillac Fairview

Cadillac Fairview owns several shopping malls across Canada, including the Eaton Centre. The company says they are actively monitoring developments surrounding the coronavirus.

As a result, the company has established a steering committee to coordinate sanitization efforts across all of their properties.

Janine Ramparas, the director of corporate communications at Cadillac Fairview, says the company’s corporate offices and shopping centres in Canada have already started their pandemic plans.

Dozens of people shop in Toronto’s Eaton Centre over the holidays. (CBC)

“This includes additional hand sanitizer stations in properties, adding hand-wash signage to all washrooms and conducting additional cleaning of common area touch points, such as elevator buttons,” she said.

Beyond additional safety measures, the company says it has established a reporting protocol with tenants and contractors, should one of their employees be exposed to coronavirus.

Ramparas says the practice is in place to ensure they are able to “contact Health Canada in a timely manner, receive guidance based on the situation and take action as required.”


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