For emergency shelter, call 24/7
- 311, or
- Central Intake
1-877-338-3398 (free call)
If you see someone on the street
in need of assistance
- Call 311
- 911 in an emergency
Services to help people get and keep permanent housing
Year round, the City funds services throughout Toronto for people who are homeless, including emergency shelters, drop-in centres, 24-hour street respite, housing help, and 24-hour street outreach and assistance to find and keep permanent housing.
More services during extreme cold weather
During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, the attention of service providers focuses on helping homeless people to get off the street and into shelter or street respite. It is dangerous for anyone to remain outdoors when the temperature plummets, and if you are homeless, you have fewer options. Outreach workers, drop in centres, and emergency shelters work together to make sure homeless people have warm and safe places to stay.
You can help
Call 311 if you see someone on the street who needs outreach assistance. 311 operators will contact outreach workers for follow-up as soon as possible. In an emergency, always call 911.
An Extreme Cold Weather Alert is called, typically in the morning, when Environment Canada:
- Predicts an overnight temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower without wind chill for Toronto, issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity, and/or
- Predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature.
Additional cold weather services triggered by an alert include:
- Increased street outreach and transportation services. Throughout the day there is a minimum of one SUV on the road, and a minimum of three teams patrolling by foot. In the evening there are two SUVs and a minimum of one foot patrol. Overnight, there are two SUVs on the road. Focus is on informing clients about the danger of weather conditions and transporting them to indoor locations.
- Providing more transit tokens for those using drop-ins so people can reach shelters.
- Directing shelters to relax any service restrictions they may have.
- Contacting more than 100 organizations and agencies that work with homeless people throughout the city to ensure they can adequately prepare and respond to increased demand for services.
- Adding 172 shelter spaces.
List of drop-ins with TTC tokens during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts