St. Stephen's Community House participants

Temporary Overdose Prevention Site at 260 Augusta Ave.

Mar 08, 2018

The Ontario Ministry of Health has approved a temporary Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) at our Augusta Centre. This site is part of the provincial strategy to reduce opioid related deaths during the overdose crisis.

Data from paramedics and hospitals have identified Kensington Market as an area with an increased level of opioid overdoses. Our Augusta Avenue location was chosen as we have been providing harm-reduction services for nearly 20 years to people who use substances. The OPS at 260 Augusta Avenue will open in April 2018.

We will be hosting an open house at 260 Augusta Ave. on Thursday, March 29, between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM for our Kensington neighbours to drop by and see the facility. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and show you how the service will save lives and improve our community.

What is an OPS?

An OPS provides a clean and protected environment where people can use substances under the supervision of trained staff. These sites follow the principles of harm reduction - knowing that abstinence is not always realistic, harm reduction strategies reduce the risk of disease and death for people who use substances. Other temporary sites are starting to open across Ontario and Toronto itself. 

How does OPS help?

  • It saves lives
    • opioid deaths in Ontario have increased by 52% in the past year

    • emergency room visits due to suspected overdoses have increased by 72% in the past year

  • It provides an alternative to using on the streets, in laneways and in local washrooms
  • People who use substances have the opportunity to connect to life-saving supports and services, including health care
  • Data from existing OPS shows:
    • No increase in crime in the community
    • Reduced health care costs
    • Fewer overdose deaths
    • Decreased public drug use
    • Reduced discarded equipment in public spaces
    • Increased use of treatment services

What are the details of the OPS service at 260 Augusta?

  • OPS at St. Stephen’s is only located at our 260 Augusta Ave. location
  • The current service is temporary - six month duration
  • OPS will be open only during regular Centre hours – 7:30AM to 3:30PM
  • An extra doorperson will be on-hand to help ensure safety and security
  • Safe biohazard waste disposal is available
  • Specially-trained staff and people with lived experience are available to help on site
  • Partnerships have been established with police, emergency services and public health
  • Free overdose prevention and Naloxone administration training is available to all interested neighbours and local businesses

If you have any questions or want to book training, please contact, Barb Panter, Manager of Housing and Drop-in Services, at

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