1000 masks

We need 1000 masks every week!

Message from Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control, Associate Medical Director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network

With the current pandemic there is a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

To keep our community healthy and safe, Michael Garron Hospital is issuing a challenge to all east end sewists to collectively make 1,000 masks a week. We want to see all east enders wearing a fabric mask when they need to be within six feet of other people, especially vulnerable populations and the elderly. (Read more about the importance of wearing non-medical masks and face coverings here.) 

It will be everyone's responsibility to keep their mask clean. We recommend washing masks daily with hot water and laundry detergent. 

How to make your masks

Download simple sew instructions here

We are promoting a simple 3-ply, pleated mask design. Along with standard sewing supplies (sewing machine, measuring tape, elastic etc.), please review guidelines for fabric, filter and layer considerations, and note that:

  • layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
  • the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric

Please use clean fabric to make your masks. We will also be sanitizing all donated masks at the hospital.

Share your creations on social media! Tag us @mghfoundation and tag your post with #MGH1000masks


Who will be given these masks?
  • Hospital healthcare providers will not use these masks. They have certified masks that they are required to wear. 
  • All approved visitors who enter Michael Garron Hospital 
  • All of our discharged patients as they reintegrate into the community
  • We also plan to distribute to our broader community to help prevent disease transmission
Where and when can I drop off my completed masks?

Thank you so much for helping to keep our community safe and healthy! 

Please put your sewn masks in a plastic bag with your contact information (name, address, email address and phone number). Providing your contact information is optional and will be used by the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation to thank you for participating in the MGH Mask Challenge and share updates. 

The masks can be dropped off in the Coxwell lobby of Michael Garron Hospital between 8:00AM – 4:00PM Monday to Friday. Michael Garron Hospital is located at 825 Coxwell Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. 

Social/Physical Distancing best practices will be adhered to during drop off.

I'm far away. Can I mail them in?

Yes! You can send them to:

Michael Garron Hospital

825 Coxwell Ave 

Toronto, ON M4C 3E7

Atttention: #MGH1000Masks

I'm in isolation after travel, etc. Can I still make masks?

Yes! We will be sanitizing all masks at the hospital when we receive them.

I don't have elastics. Can I use fabric ties?

Use hair ties or elastic headbands if you don't have elastic. If you only have fabric ties or string, you can make the ties longer and tie the face covering behind your head.

Why are you recommending the light/dark fabric combination? What if I don't have light/dark fabric?

That's okay! We'll still accept masks made with any colour combination or patterns - just do your best. We are recommending dark fabric for the exterior to help with light absorption.

I'm using a different pattern. Is that okay?

Yes! We just ask that you follow the fabric, filter and layer guidelines outlined above. 

Aren't all non-essential businesses closed? Where can I find fabric and sewing supplies right now?

In many cases you can still shop online! For a local option, try Fabric Spark (located on Danforth near Woodbine).

I have another question - who do I contact?

If you have any other questions, please contact Polina Pechenkina at @email.

Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe in our community. We can't wait to share the results of our challenge with you!