Sobeys Stadium centre court Rogers Cup 2019

Photo: Jared Wickerham/Tennis Canada

Tennis Canada announced on Friday that it will give away 1,000 tickets to the 2022 National Bank Open presented by Rogers at the Vax The Northwest mass vaccination clinic on Sunday, January 23 at the Sobeys Stadium, which is home to the tournament. Each individual that is vaccinated at the clinic will have the chance to claim a free pair of tickets to the event, which will take place August 6-14.

“We are absolutely delighted to provide each person that gets vaccinated at Vax The Northwest the opportunity to attend our WTA 1000 National Bank Open event for free this August,” commented Gavin Ziv, Managing Director of the National Bank Open in Toronto. “As we prepare to welcome the best WTA women’s players in the world to the Sobeys Stadium, it is fitting that we are able to give back to our local community by hosting up to 1,000 residents of Northwest Toronto as a thank you for doing their part in keeping our city safe.”

Tennis Canada volunteers will be on hand at Sunday’s clinic to give out letters to each person that gets vaccinated. Contained within the letter will be instructions on how to claim a pair of free National Bank Open tickets to either Monday, August 8 or Tuesday, August 9’s day sessions. Up to 500 tickets have been set aside for each session – 1,000 tickets total – meaning only the first 500 people to act fast and follow the instructions will be able to claim.

“We could not be happier to help our local neighborhood on this very worthy initiative which aims to address the vaccination rates in Northwest Toronto which are below the standard,” said Michael Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tennis Canada. “Our decision to lend our Sobeys Stadium facility for the Vax The Northwest mass vaccination clinic was values-based and we are delighted to be working alongside the City of Toronto, York University and the other stakeholders involved. It was also important to provide some tennis-related added value on January 23 to help encourage people to sign up and get vaccinated which is the purpose of the program.”

The National Bank Open is a 1000-level tennis tournament on the ATP and WTA Tours which pits the world’s best players against each other. The likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Canada’s own Bianca Andreescu have all competed at and won the event in previous years. In 2022, the women’s WTA Tour will be in Toronto, including Canadian superstars Andreescu and 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Annie Fernandez.

Advantage Vaccine: Team Toronto ready to Vax The Northwest this Sunday, appointments still available and walk-ins welcome

Team Toronto is ready to vaccinate more than one thousand Northwest Toronto residents of all eligible ages with the Grand Slam of first, second, third and children’s COVID-19 vaccines. Appointments for this one-day event are still available in the provincial vaccine booking system, and can be booked by calling 1-833-943-3900 or online at (search by home postal code). Walk-ins will also be available, and no health card is required.

Vax The Northwest will also include music and entertainment hosted by VIBE105 DJ O-Nonymous. The day’s itinerary for children includes kid-friendly activities, toy giveaways from Humber River Hospital and a “certificate of bravery” following vaccination for children ages five to 11. There will also be giveaways from York University at the clinic.

This week, Team Toronto’s community health centre partners, Vaccine Engagement Teams and community ambassadors are out in target neighbourhoods sharing information about the clinic. Through the City’s VaxTO program, thousands of text messages and broadcast voice messages promoting the clinic and providing access to vaccination information have gone out to Northwest Toronto residents.

In order to provide equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine and information for people from different backgrounds, interpreters speaking key languages will be present at the clinic, with additional translation available by phone. There are also modesty areas within the fully accessible clinic. As always, people attending the clinic are welcome to bring a support person to help with translation or any other needs. Vax The Northwest clinic information is available in Arabic, Farsi, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese – seven of the languages most spoken in the target communities.

To ensure Northwest Toronto residents have an easy, accessible way to get to the clinic, Team Toronto has partnered with the TTC to offer accessible courtesy shuttles to and from the clinic. Free parking is available at the Northwest corner of Shoreham Drive and Murray Ross Parkway in the Canlan/York University Shoreham Lot. Dedicated accessibility parking will be available at the Sobeys Stadium, 1 Shoreham Dr.

Vax The Northwest has been made possible by a partnership between the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health, Humber River Hospital, University Health Network (UHN), Black Creek Community Health Centre, Unison Community Health Centre, Tennis Canada and York University.

More information about vaccination options in Northwest Toronto neighbourhoods and across the city is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage. For updates about the Vax The Northwest clinic, follow #VaxTheNorthwest from clinic partners and @CityofToronto, the City’s Twitter account.