Grieving the tragic loss of life in our East Toronto community on Friday, July 7

A graphic that reads "A message from our ETHP Leadership Team"

To our East Toronto community,

Like many of you, we are grieving the tragic loss of Karolina Huebner-Makurat, an innocent bystander who was killed by a senseless act of gun violence near Queen Street East and Carlaw Avenue on Friday, July 7. Karolina was a loving wife, mother of two and member of our East Toronto community. Our hearts go out to her friends and family, and we mourn alongside those who knew her.

As a team of providers and community members who live, work and receive care in East Toronto, we recognize this incident is part of a larger, troubling trend of gun violence in Toronto. We thank Toronto police for their swift action in identifying and charging the suspect of this tragedy and stand in solidarity with those calling for measures that will protect local residents and help people feel safer in their communities. These measures include increased gun controls; bail reform; and improved access to economic opportunities, mental health and substance use services, affordable housing and social support systems.

We understand the incident happened near the Queen Street East site of South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC), a member organization of East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP). SRCHC has provided healthcare, social and community outreach services to the East Toronto community for more than 45 years. Since the opening of the keepSIX Consumption and Treatment Service in 2017, the overdose death rate in the community has decreased by 67%. In addition, hundreds of community members have been connected to treatment, including substance use, mental health and primary care services.

As the Ontario Health Team serving East Toronto, our goal is to work across our community to address the social issues and inequities that are at the root of both substance use and violence. We are committed to providing care for everyone in our community, including people who use drugs. As the opioid crisis continues to grow and impact more lives, we will use the evidence to determine how we plan and deliver more supports for people in need. We will also engage our community in planning these services.

Addressing both violence and the opioid crisis is no easy task. It requires a holistic approach and purposeful collaboration, engagement and ongoing investments from multiple sectors, including government; health, social and community services providers; law enforcement; and institutions who are committed to the safety and well-being of everyone in our community. This collective impact is critical in addressing the social determinants of health and safety.

As we mourn last week’s devastating loss of life in East Toronto, we are dedicated to continuing to work with our community and health system partners to ensure we can provide health, social and community services in a manner that is safe and healing for all. If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to SRCHC at

If you need support, there are crisis support services available in our community:

With gratitude,

On behalf of the ETHP Leadership Team:

Dr. Anne Wojtak
Lead, Integrated Care, East Toronto Health Partners

Dr. Jeff Powis
Medical Lead, Integrated Care, Michael Garron Hospital and East Toronto Health Partners

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