Even as the future of Vancouver’s controversial supervised drug injection site remains in doubt, a group of researchers is quietly studying whether Toronto and Ottawa would benefit from similar facilities.

The study, launched more than a year ago, will evaluate whether there is a need in the two cities for clean, staffed medical clinics where drug addicts can inject or use illegal drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine.

“This is not a study to see how to establish a site.

This is a study to look at whether it makes sense to have a site or not, whether there should be one site or multiple sites or no sites, and whether the sites, if there should be any, should be fixed or mobile. We will be answering those types of questions,” said Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi, a co-principal investigator of the study and scientist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital

The feasibility study, dubbed the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment (TOSCA), was requested by the city.

It stems from a recommendation submitted in the Toronto Drug Strategy, which was approved by Toronto council in December 2005.

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