annex hotel toronto

Shuttered Toronto hotel might reopen as temporary home for healthcare workers

As hotels through the city shutter their doors in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, one establishment is hoping to reopen for a good cause.

Located at 296 Brunswick Ave., The Annex Hotel announced late last month that it would be closing temporarily to protect the health and safety of its employees and guests.

However, on March 31, Andrew Peek, managing partner at The Annex, wrote in a Facebook post that the hotel is considering reopening to serve those in need of places to stay on a short-term basis, all under a model that is best able to speak to public concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

The Annex has always been a technology-forward hotel, Peek says.

“You’re actually able to book a space, receive an entry code to a room, and effectively let yourself into the building and the room all without interacting with a human being,” he explains.

Everything is done online and through phones. “And so we would continue that dynamic and we would include other services like laundry pick-up and food delivery and cleaning as well.”

The Annex is equipped to allow a guest to get in and stay within a room without any interaction with a host or staff, and this model might be best able to facilitate self-isolation and contain spread of the communicable COVID-19.

Peek hopes that this idea gains traction in the community of frontline health-care workers and medical professionals who are providing much-needed services during this pandemic.

“This is going to be needed by some group of people in Toronto, likely those who are closest to the crisis,” he says, predominantly those in the medical field who might need space away from family to self-isolate.

At the moment, this is just a plan, Peek says. “We are seeing if there is a demand for that amongst Torontonians right now.” 

“I’ve had a few people who saw my post [on Facebook] and are in that [medical] profession and who are already considering what their options are going to be one or two weeks from now, and so I think it’s quite possible that we end up actually putting this out there,” Peek says.

“I think we’re all getting creative right now, and this would be another avenue by which we’re able to do that,” he said.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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