This week marks National Organ and Tissue Donation awareness in Canada.
Communities throughout country are being asked to show their support for increased public awareness to encourage residents to register their consent to become organ and tissue donors.
Ontario's organ donation agency says a record number of lives were saved through donations in 2009, but more donors are urgently needed.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network said Monday that nearly 700 lives were saved last year -- a 17-per-cent rise -- because of a record number of donors.
It says the number of deaths among people on the waiting list decreased by nearly 24 per cent in 2009.
In addition, says the agency, there were 218 deceased organ donors during the year and 1,299 tissue donors.
But the agency says more donors are needed because there are approximately 1,600 people in Ontario still waiting for a life-saving transplant.