To those that follow the Briton House Retirement Centre on social media, we would like to assure you that the health and safety of our residents is our highest priority. As we deal with the outbreak of Covid 19 we have, and are, in direct contact with our residents and families regularly, ensuring that all are aware of the current guidelines and the latest directives from public health.

Included below is a list of our Covid 19 updates, which have been released by our management team. As you may be aware, we have enacted strict infection controls which includes the use of masks by all staff members since the beginning of this Health Crisis. In addition, we are sanitizing of our facility with our new Clorox Electrostatic 360 machine which atomizes disinfectant and then sticks to all surfaces. A short demonstration video is below. Common areas are being disinfected with this machine daily. All public area touch points like elevator buttons, door knobs etc. are being cleaned multiple times a day. We are distributing instructional videos to our management and staff on best practices for hand hygiene and mask protocols. We are constantly reminding our residents of proper hand hygiene and to practice physical distancing in our entire facility. We have removed all couches and love seats leaving only individual seating spaced appropriately. We are also in the process of launching a full Room Service Dinning system so that we can move towards essentially closing our dining room.

Thank you for your interest in The Briton House Retirement Facility and we will endeavor to keep our social media up to date. We trust you understand that, as protocols evolve, our first priority is the health and safety of our Residents and the dissemination of information to Residents, family and staff directly. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our North Toronto Community as we have for the last 44 years.

The Management
Briton House Retirement Centre



Here one of our staff demonstrates the Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer on one of our North Tower elevators. The charged antiseptic mist coats all surfaces and kills Covid 19, as wells as most other common pathogens.





Notice to All Residents and Family

March 30, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 9

The Briton House Retirement Centre continues to make the health and safety of our Residents and Staff our highest priority, as we navigate a hopefully limited but difficult time. We continue to keep you updated on our latest Protocols as they evolve during this situation.

As you are aware, the building has been closed to visitors for some time now and we, early on, instituted the wearing of masks by all staff while in the building, protecting both residents and staff. In addition, we have also restricted residents from leaving the building in order to reduce exposure in the community. We understand how difficult this has been for our residents, but we continue to encourage them to spend time in our large outside terrace for fresh air when the weather permits, and our lovely indoor garden, when it does not. Physical distancing is being practiced in these areas as we appropriately space seating, and continue to have these as safe places for our residents to relax outside of their rooms. We continue to sanitize the building every evening with our Electrostatic Clorox machine, and clean common area touch points with staff exclusively dedicated to common areas.

A key change we have been implementing since last weekend has been the closing of our building to different staff groups and bringing the vast majority of care we provide in house. We have been asking staff to choose to work in our facility exclusively, or they will not be able to continue working for us in the near term. Last weekend (LHIN/CACA) and the Briton House, came to a temporary agreement to have our staff provide the care (LHIN/CCAC) they would usually provide to our residents. We have also closed our facility to anyone working in the Long-Term Care Sector. Although there have been some challenges, we have been successful in adapting our staffing and scheduling to meet the needs of our residents, while reducing or eliminating outside staff from entering the building.

Over the weekend we have closed the Hair Salon in our facility. We had previously limited the salon to two residents at any one time for Physical distancing, but had not determined to close the salon. To be clear, this was only available to our clients within the building and the employees operating the salon were being screened and masked like all of our employees. It was our desire to potentially keep this operating, as we look at ways to combat mental health concerns and keep low risk activities possible, but we have decided that, in an abundance of caution we will close the Salon for the next two weeks and then re-evaluate.

As you know, we have moved to two seatings for Lunch and Dinner, and we have been offering Free Tray Service for those who wished to remain in their suite. This has been effective in reducing traffic in our elevators and significantly improved our Physical Distancing goals. Having said that, we wish to further enhance physical distancing by moving to a full Tray Service Dinning system and will be transitioning to delivering meals to each resident going forward.

This will take a number of days to fully implement and we will keep you updated as to our progress and timelines. When this is implemented, our residents should continue to feel free to move around our facility, but we will be essentially closing our main dining rooms and all meals will be delivered to each resident’s suite. If a resident was to forget to remain in their suite for dinning, we would, of course, serve that individual in the dining room on a one-off basis.

Menus are not changing and the wonderful home cooked meals we have been providing will continue, but they will shortly be delivered free of charge to our residents. When this change is fully implemented, we will be restricting elevator loads to no more than 2 people at a time. Without the movement of residents for dinning we believe this is achievable as residents will access the elevators in a more random pattern.

We will continue to update you as we all navigate this difficult time and thank you for your support and cooperation as our staff, management and ownership team work tirelessly to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our residents and staff here at the Briton House.

David C. Smith
General Manager



Notice to All Residents and Family

March 23, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 8

As we continue with our Covid-19 protection protocols, the isolation of our residents continues to be one of our primary goals. As a result we have asked all residents to not leave the building. If you are in need of something from a local store we will acquire it for you so you do not have to go outside. We always stock basic supplies like soap shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and we will expand those offerings during this time. This will allow us to meet these small needs of our residents and reduce movement in and out of our building.

The south tower lobby has now been closed so we can more fully monitor all staff coming into the facility through the north lobby only. Residents are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful atrium and when the weather allows shortly you can use our outside terrace on the north side of our building (1st floor). But it is our strong desire to eliminate resident movement in and out of the building.

We continue to actively sanitize the entire building including the elevators and all common touch points. Additionally, we are also sanitizing every door knob on every guest suite as part of our routine cleaning. This is done by an individual staff member assigned only to common area sanitation, not our housekeepers who clean our resident’s suites. Further, we have hired additional staff to assist in executing the many layers of additional protection we are providing.

Today we began taking the temperature of all residents in the building at lunch and will continue to do so in the future. This is a very non-invasive procedure and the infrared thermometer doesn’t need to be very close to you to get a reading. We have been doing this for every staff member that enters the building and it is now prudent to extend this procedure to our residents. As you know we continue to provide masks to all of our staff and have been doing so for over a week now as an additional layer of protection. To the best of our knowledge we were one of the first retirement homes to implement this protocol and most are still operating without this protection in place.

We are making daily lunch time announcements reminding everyone of current protocols;

  • Wash your hands before leaving your suite and then wash them again when you return
  • Never touch your face
  • As best you can, maintain a six foot separation from other residents, this may mean
    allowing an elevator to pass if it is already occupied by others

To help with social distancing protocols we will be offering free tray delivery for lunch and dinner beginning this Wednesday if you so desire.

These are unusual times, and we want to assure our residents, their families, and our staff, that we are diligently working round the clock to provide a safe and healthy environment. Even as residents now must remain inside our building, you can do so in a safe and comfortable environment with your needs met.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding,

David C. Smith
General Manager



Notice to All Residents and Family

March 19, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 7

I’m sure that all of you are following the newscasts and announcements made by various politicians and Public Health officials. In response to those announcements and as part of our own developing protocols and procedures, we have made further changes in our day to day operations.

Firstly I would like to say that the world has changed and our community at Briton House has also changed in many ways over the last few weeks. This has all been done to help protect our residents as well as our staff, and we appreciate the support we have had as we implement these changes. We look forward to the time when these can be relaxed and life in our community return to normal.

As you know by now all staff are wearing masks whenever they have any direct contact with you. This applies to not just health care workers, but also dining room servers, housekeepers and anyone who has contact with you. While no employees or workers are allowed in the building with symptoms, the mask will help reduce the, hopefully small, chance that someone with no symptoms spreads the virus. We have been able to implement this step, using supplies stocked ahead of time for just such an occurrence. Further, we are using these supplies in such a way that we can continue this program for many weeks even if no new supplies are forthcoming.

As a result of the mandate from Public Health to limit gatherings to no more than 50, we are modifying our dining times. We are now beginning the process of going to two sittings in both dining rooms in order to comply with this directive. The two sittings for meals will be:

  • First Lunch Sitting: arriving at 11:45 am departing no later than 12:25 pm
  • Second Lunch Sitting: arriving at 12:35 pm departing no later than 1:15 pm.
  • First Dinner Sitting: arriving at 4:45 pm and departing no later than 5:25 pm
  • Second Dinner Sitting: arriving at 5:35 pm. and departing no later than 6:15 pm.

Based on our survey of your preferences at lunch today we will be assigning seating’s for lunches and dinners beginning tomorrow, March 20. We will do everything we can to accommodate your preference, but we might have to assign some to a sitting time that they may not prefer in order to meet the target. We will let you know your seating times at dinner tonight.

Please remember that the situation in the broader community is likely to get worse so limiting your exposure to outsiders will help with what we are doing internally to protect us from the spread of Covid-19 virus.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding,

David C. Smith
General Manager



Notice to All Residents and Family

March 14, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 6

As a result of a directive from the Ministry of Health, we are now restricting visitors to only those visiting severely ill relatives. The directive we are following is copied below

Important Update – Only Essential Visitors in Retirement and Long-Term Care

The Ministry of Health in coordination with the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility has issued a memo which strongly recommends that retirement communities, long-term care homes and other congregate care settings only allow essential visitors until further notice. The ministry is identifying essential visitors as those who have a resident who is dying or very ill or a parent/guardian of an ill child or youth in a live-in treatment setting. These visitors must continue to be actively screened into these settings. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter. No other visitors should be permitted to enter these premises, instead they should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available. 

Although we at the Briton House acknowledge the difficulty of this situation, we remain committed to following all the best guidance in safeguarding you and your loved ones, and we look for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented event.

Thank you for your co-operation!

David C. Smith

General Manager



Notice to All Residents and Family

March 13, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 5

As medical knowledge about Covid-19 increases a key factor gaining the most traction in preventing its spread is social distancing. Further, the earlier that it is implemented the higher the likelihood that it will have the desired effect. While we do not currently have any infections, as a preventative measure we are suspending all entertainment and social activation programs. This will include movies, singing events, musical performances, afternoon teas and most other social gatherings. We will also no longer offer guest meals in our restaurant until further notice.

As we have done in previous letters, we encourage residents to not engage in these activities outside of our facilities as well. The more we are able to isolate ourselves from the community, and possibly from a resident that may become infected, the better off our whole community will be.

As an organization, we have implemented a number of isolations over the past number of years, and we stand ready to do so again should the need arise. The Provincial government has been active in supporting the long term care and retirement industry and we look forward to even more practical support in the upcoming weeks.

We remind our residents and families that we continue to ask visitors to postpone visits to our facility and only come if absolutely necessary. Our screening for visitors, staff and workers is now in full force and we are denying entry to anyone who fails the screening. For your information, the screening asks the following:

Do you have now or have you had in the last 14 days a:
       Runny Nose        YES____ NO____
       Fever                YES____ NO____
       Cough             YES____ NO____
       Trouble Breathing YES____ NO____

Have you traveled outside of Canada in the last 2 weeks?
       YES____ NO____
If you answer yes to any question you will not be allowed entry.

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation!

David C. Smith
General Manager




March 12, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Policy Update 1 for:

Staff, those providing service to our residents or working in the building.

We have already implemented visitor screening, and are now implementing screening for staff and occasional workers. Effective immediately all staff, as well as any service employee will only be allowed into the building under the following conditions:

  1. All staff and workers are to enter the building through the North Tower Lobby only.
  2. For their first shift of each week all staff members must complete and sign the screening form before clocking in or changing. If you travel or if you experience any change in your health conditions during the week complete another form.
  3. Other workers must complete the screening form each day.
  4. If you fail the screening than you will not be allowed to enter.
  5. If you are sick or have a noticeable cough, runny nose, sore throat, or fever then please stay home, see your doctor and contact Public Health.
  6. All individuals providing service to our residents or working in the building having passed the screening process must wear the Approval Sticker at all times while in the building. If you see a visitor or an outside worker in the building at any time and they are not wearing their Approval Sticker please politely confront them by asking them to please check in at the Front Desk. If they have lost their sticker they may get a replacement at the Front Desk. (They may be asked to complete the screening process again)

All those just visiting our residents will continue to go through a similar screening process.

If you have any questions regarding these procedures and policies please contact your Supervisor or myself for clarification.

Thank you for your co-operation,
David C. Smith
General Manager



Notice to All Residents and Family

March 11, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 4

We are most thankful that to date we have not had Covid-19 arrive at our location and we remain in touch with City and Provincial health departments to ensure best practices are being followed in order to reduce this risk going forward. While we have asked that residents and families work together to reduce visits to the facility, those that feel they must visit will be screened and instructed at our north tower entrance as follows:

  1. Visitors are to report to the North Tower reception desk, sign in and complete the screening form.
  2. If they answer “yes” to any of the questions then they are not allowed entry to the building
  3. If they appear sick or have a noticeable cough etc. they will not to be allowed into the building.
  4. Visitors will be asked to reduce their social interactions in our common areas.
  5. All visitors who pass the screening process must use the hand sanitizer provided and wear the approval screening tag at all times while in the building.

The screening process above will be applied not only to visitors but all staff and any occasional workers on the premises.

Once again, in order to help prevent its arrival and spread as well as other possible infections we wish to remind you of the essential need of regular hand washing. Antibacterial soap is located in every public washroom and sanitizer is available throughout the building including the entrance to the Dining Room. Further, we, together with Public Health, strongly advise against going out to highly populated locations such as malls, restaurants, and public gatherings.

Please inform your family and friends who feel they must visit of these restrictions and that we appreciate their full and honest co-operation in assisting us to protect you, our residents as well as our staff and their families from this virus.

Thank you for your co-operation!

David C. Smith
General Manager



March 9, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update

As we continue grow in our understanding of the Covid19 virus and the best preventative practices being developed, we are requesting that residents begin reducing their exposure to public places and that their families reduce or eliminate visits to the Briton House for the time being unless absolutely necessary.

Both Health Canada and the US CDC have recommended that seniors reduce their exposure chances by limiting person to person interactions. Health Canada states in their current document on mitigating the spread of this virus that “Protective self-separation is recommended for a person who is at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19”. Experts suggest that seniors “consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.”

A number of governments around the world have recommended or legislated reduced or no visits to senior’s facilities and out of our abundance of caution we are recommending the same. So please, in the interest of all pass this information to your family and stay in touch through electronic means. To encourage this, we will assist you with the setup of either FaceTime or WhatsApp which are cell phone or computer applications that will allow video conferencing with your friends and relatives. If you are interested in setting up this please see Susan or Byron on the second floor.

Once again we remind you that in order to help protect yourself and others, we recommend you follow City of Toronto Public Health guidelines on how to protect yourself;

  • Regularly wash your hands and use our Hand Sanitizers stations located throughout the building.
  • Especially wash your hands and use the foam sanitizer before entering the dining rooms.
  • If you experience any symptoms, especially fever, cough, or runny nose, we ask you report this immediately to the Health Care Department at extension 2800 or through the front desk extension 2000 and remain in your room until examined.

Thank you for your understanding in this challenging time.

David Smith,
General Manager



March 5, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update

Further to our notice of January 31st we want to bring you up to date on what we at Briton House are planning and have implemented with respect to Covid19 concerns.

We have now changed the way food is served at our dining room buffets. We are no longer allowing our residents to handle the utensils and serve themselves. Instead, our food service staff will plate your food at your request and then pass you your plate for the trip to your seat. The Table Service ordering and delivery to your table remains unchanged.

Further we have just taken delivery of a new Clorox® Total 360® electrostatic disinfecting system. This machine will be used throughout the building to kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces. It will be used selectively in rooms and on a routine basis in the common areas.

In addition we have put up signs informing staff and private duty staff, as well as any guests, that if they are experiencing any Flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, or runny nose, to please not come into the building. Please note that even individuals with very mild symptoms should not come into the building. Also, since animals have been shown to be a means of transmission, we have cancelled our therapy dog visits for the time being. We would also ask that you tell your family members or friends who visit to please not bring their pets in to see you. Further anyone who has travelled to China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran or California within the last 2 weeks please speak with the Nurse Manager, Lourdes Cardeno, before coming to visit.

Once again we remind you that in order to help protect yourself and others, we recommend you follow City of Toronto Public Health guidelines on how to protect yourself;

  • Regularly wash your hands and use our Hand Sanitizers stations located throughout the building.
  • Especially wash your hands and use the foam sanitizer before entering the dining rooms.
  • If you experience any symptoms, especially fever, cough, or runny nose, we ask you report this immediately to the Health Care Department at extension 2800 or through the front desk extension 2000 and remain in your room until examined.

We will keep you informed should the situation change.

David Smith,
General Manager