FOR PATIENTS AND VISITORS: You must self-screen and wear a mask if entering the Emergency Department, waiting areas, patient rooms or other patient care areas. All Unity Health Toronto spaces are mask-friendly. Learn more about our current guidelines for visitors.


Unity Health’s Emergency Departments are there for you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Our experienced staff treat hundreds of patients a day and are well equipped to provide you with the best care possible.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. If you are unsure whether it is an emergency, visit your closest hospital emergency department or check Health Connect Ontario to call or chat online with a registered nurse.

What to bring to the Emergency Department

  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Card
  • A current medication list
  • Please leave any valuable items at home.

The triage process

Upon your arrival in the Emergency Department (ED), you will be screened for COVID-19 by a triage nurse.

The triage nurse will decide how quickly you need treatment by reviewing a history of your illness and a brief physical assessment.

The ED does not function on a first-come, first-served basis: patients with the most serious conditions are seen first.

Consider making an appointment with your family doctor or going to a walk-in clinic to avoid waiting in the ED.

There may be times that someone who arrived after you is treated first; it is because that person’s problem is more serious.

Waiting in the Emergency Department

Every effort will be made to serve you as quickly as possible. There may be times when your visit or wait to see a care provider in the ED may be prolonged due to a high number of patients seeking medical attention.

While you are waiting:

  • If your condition changes and you begin to feel worse, tell the triage nurse at once.
  • Do not leave without telling the triage nurse. It is important that your illness or condition be assessed before you leave.
  • Do not eat or drink anything until you ask the triage nurse. Some tests cannot be done if you have eaten.
  • Since it may take some time for you to be treated, you are advised to leave small children at home in someone else’s care.
  • While in the Emergency Department, please refrain from using camera, video or audio recording devices in the waiting room and hallways to respect patient, staff and visitor privacy.

Next Steps

After you have been seen by a triage nurse, you will typically see another nurse who will ask you more questions and may do blood work or other tests. Then, you will see the doctor, who may ask similar questions.

You will usually have to wait at the hospital for your test results, depending on what your needs are. Patients may move throughout their stay while they wait for tests and test results. The wait time for tests and test results can vary significantly depending on what they need.

Then, you will either be discharged from the hospital with follow-up instructions or admitted for further care.

Emergency at St. Joseph's Health Centre

As the only Emergency Department serving southwest Toronto, our top priority is to provide the community with excellent care, support and comfort when they need it most.

Ground floor of the Barnicke wing, just inside the Emergency entrance
24 hours a day, every day. 

Clinics & Services

Emergency at St. Michael's Hospital

The St. Michael’s Hospital Emergency Department is a regional trauma and stroke centre open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please note that you cannot access our Emergency Department if you enter the hospital from our Queen Street entrance. Please go directly to Emergency.

Corner of Victoria Street and Shuter Street (one block northeast of Queen and Yonge)
24 hours a day, every day.


You cannot park at the emergency entrance; this parking is for ambulances only. There are several privately-run parking lots in the vicinity. Public transportation is highly recommended (exit at the north end of the Queen subway station).

Clinics & Services

The St. Michael’s Hospital Emergency Department is a regional trauma and stroke centre open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

View Emergency Department

Last updated October 18, 2023