Toronto Laboratory Relocation
The Toronto laboratory has relocated and is fully operational at 661 University Avenue.
To ensure timely and efficient processing of samples, please note the following procedures related to sample delivery.
There is no change to sample pick-up procedures by PHO couriers. For samples delivered by independent couriers, please note the following:
Routine samples: all samples, including clinical, outbreak, food, and other emergency samples, delivered by independent courier should be delivered to the new facility:
Public Health Ontario Laboratory-Toronto
Shipping and Receiving
661 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 1M1
- All samples must be delivered to the shipping/receiving dock on the south side of the MaRS 2 Tower at 661 University Avenue (see map for detailed instructions)
- Do not deliver samples through the main lobby
- Regular loading dock business hours are Monday to Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Outside of regular business hours, building security will answer the page at the loading dock and enable courier access
- STAT and urgent testing: contact the Customer Service Centre at 416-235-6556 or toll free 1-877-604-4567, or the PHOL duty officer after-hours at 416-605-3113 to confirm the delivery location prior to sending samples.
- Drinking Water Testing for Private Citizens: water sample drop-off is now available at our new location at the 17th Floor front reception at 661 University Avenue (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm). Water samples can still be submitted to the main lobby at 81 Resources Road (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-2:00pm) until further notice. For more information please visit the PHO water testing page.
All PHO Toronto laboratory phone and fax numbers remain the same. For more information, please contact the Customer Service Centre:
The transfer of the laboratories from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to PHO in December 2008 and the relocation of the laboratory are key aspects of the province’s multi-year plan to renew the province’s public health system. The decision to move the Toronto laboratory was made in 2006, prior to the establishment of PHO, in response to the recommendations of several post-SARS inquiries and expert panels.
Other renewal efforts began in 2007 within government and continued within PHO to achieve operational efficiencies, faster turnaround times and increase scientific and technical expertise, and implement new laboratory platforms and technologies. This means that health care providers have timely clinical results to inform patient care and that public health organizations have improved ability to monitor, detect and manage public health issues.
The new laboratory will replace the aging and inadequate Etobicoke facility with a purpose-built, highly specialized and flexible space designed to meet current and future clinical and public health needs, support a more integrated approach to diagnostic, outbreak and incident management, and enable faster turnaround times for test results.
The move will enable Public Health Ontario to remain at the forefront of infectious disease detection and control, providing essential services to Ontarians and the health care system and responding to emerging public health issues. The relocation will also strengthen PHO’s links to academic, health care and private sector partners, fostering more collaborative research, practice and knowledge exchange with the world-class health research community situated in and around the Discovery District.
New lab to serve as Ontario’s central infectious disease testing and reference facility
The new laboratory has been designed and is being built in accordance with Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines, is now underway. It will be certified to ensure it meets or exceeds operating standards and guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in addition to Ontario Laboratory Accreditation standards.
We consistently earn high ratings for quality, safety and accreditation, and are committed to ensuring laboratory staff, visitors, other building occupants, the public and the environment are safe.