Ongoing response to fire at 650 Parliament St.
On Tuesday, August 21, the City of Toronto and its agencies responded to a six-alarm fire. Once the fire investigation was complete, the privately-owned building was returned to the care and control of the property owner. This page will be updated regularly to provide current information on the City’s ongoing response to support the residents of 650 Parliament St.
[Updated: September 17, 11 a.m.]
Information for residents of 650 Parliament St.
Wellesley Parliament Square Property Management (WPSQ) has assumed responsibility for communication to displaced residents and coordination of services. They can be reached through the 650 Parliament Helpline at 647-760-7339, on the web at wpsq.ca, through email via firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter via @650parliament. They also have a satellite site at 260 Wellesley St. E. At this location tenants can register for re-entry to reclaim some belongings and receive a laundry card for use at other buildings in the area.
Displaced residents are encouraged to contact family members and friends to arrange for accommodation wherever possible. Residents who do not have alternate arrangements in place are encouraged to contact WPSQ who is working to find alternative accommodations.
Emergency shelter provisions are available at the Regent Park Community Centre. The Red Cross is on-site at the reception centre for residents to register (if they have not done so already). The Red Cross hotline for resident registration and inquiries is 1-855-797-8875.
Meals will be provided at the Regent Park Community Centre. For displaced residents staying elsewhere, food vouchers are available for pick up from the community centre from noon to 7 p.m., as needed, upon showing their registration card.
Animal accommodation is also available at Regent Park.
Two local community agencies will be distributing donated gift cards to the residents of 650 Parliament St. until September 30. Residents can register and receive a gift card from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the following locations:
- Community Matters at 260 Wellesley St. E. on Monday through Wednesday
- St. James Town Community Corner at 200 Wellesley St. E. on Thursday through Saturday
For more information call 416-964-6657 or 416-944-9697.
Transportation for school-aged children
Residents in need of transportation assistance for their school-aged children to get to and from schools should speak with the school’s principal for more information.
Offers of accommodation
WPSQ is working as quickly as they can to restore the building however the current estimate for residents to get back to their units is tentatively six weeks for the North building and 16 weeks for the South building. Short-term accommodations for the almost 1,500 displaced residents remains the most critical need.
Any available rentals units, especially in the downtown core are urgently needed. The property company has advised that tenants may exercise their option to break their lease so some may be interested in new permanent housing arrangements.
WoodGreen, one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, has made their H.O.M.E portal available to allow donors to post available housing. Visit www.mycanadianhome.org to post an offer or view available accommodation. Listings can also be registered via http://s.cotsurvey.chkmkt.com/temporaryhousing or 416-392-3959.
An information sheet with resources/advice for residents seeking furniture for new units is available from the property manager and at the emergency reception centre at the Regent Park Community Centre.
The Canadian Red Cross is accepting financial donations to assist those affected by the fire. Donations can be made online at redcross.ca or by calling 1-800-418-1111. Any individual or group who would like to organize community fundraising events are also encouraged to connect with the Canadian Red Cross at redcross.ca/communityfundraising or by calling 1-800-418-1111 to register their event.
Public access to the Regent Park Community Centre
The Regent Park Community Centre at 402 Shuter St. will continue to be used as an emergency reception centre as required. However, the City is supporting the property owner to find the displaced residents alternative housing as soon as possible. The Regent Park Community Centre will remain closed to the public while it is being used as a reception centre. Regent Park Employment Services remains open and is accessible to the public during regular business hours.
Recreation programming update
- After-School Recreation Care has been relocated to Nelson Mandela Park Public School and participating families have been notified.
- Community permits have been cancelled and permit holders have been notified.
- Permit holders and registered participants will be notified once programming is reinstated.
- Drop-in swimming continues to be available at the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre.
- Multi-sport drop-in programming, including basketball, is available at the Regent Park Athletic Grounds.
- To find drop-in recreation programming at other locations, residents can visit toronto.ca/rec.
Residents of 650 Parliament St. can retrieve their mail from 663 Yonge St., Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Residents are asked to bring identification, if possible.
Ongoing thanks to Toronto’s residents and businesses
The residents and businesses in the City of Toronto stepped forward to generously answer Mayor John Tory’s call for assistance to aid the 650 Parliament St. residents who have been displaced from their homes after a six-alarm fire on Tuesday, August 21.
As of 4 p.m. on September 14, the following donations have been received:
- $252,000 in financial contributions through the Red Cross
- Thousands of items of new clothing and school supplies, including:
- Clothing from Loblaw Companies Ltd.
- 2,000 pairs of socks from JustSocks.ca
- 1,000 T-shirts from R&P Prints Canada
- 300 back packs filled with school supplies from Bell Media/Newstalk 1010
- Store vouchers from The Salvation Army to purchase shoes, clothing, school supplies and other items
- Approximately 250 pairs of shoes from The Runners Shop and Saucony
- Almost 1,000 clothing items, back packs and books from TJX Canada
- Almost 1,600 gift cards from individual, corporate and agency donations, including:
- $50 Joe Fresh gift cards from Loblaws Companies Ltd.
- 350 $25 gift cards from The 519
- 350 $25 gift cards from Beck Taxi
- gift cards for WINNERS, HomeSense and Marshalls stores in Canada from TJX Canada
- 120 $25 gift cards from the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association
- 110 verified offers of accommodations with 51 of those offers posted to mycanadianhome.org
Community Matters, located at 260 Wellesley St., unit 102 and 240 Wellesley St., unit 109, is helping to match residents who need accommodation with offers of accommodation as they receive them. They offer seniors and others who need support with shopping accompaniment and help moving. Residents can drop in at any time to use the washroom, shower and just sit and relax.
St. James Town Community Corner (The Corner) at 200 Wellesley St. E. provides support by connecting residents to the services they need such as healthcare, counseling, settlement, employment, legal advice, senior support as well as programs for children and youth. Many of these services are available onsite at The Corner and through organizations of St. James Town Service Providers’ Network. At this time, residents of 650 Parliament are prioritized.
The City has issued numerous news releases with updates about the ongoing response to the 650 Parliament St. fire:
- September 4, 2018: Displaced residents of 650 Parliament St. urgently need accommodations
- August 31, 2018: Offers of accommodation remain most critical need for displaced residents of 650 Parliament St.
- August 30, 2018: Donations still needed for displaced residents of 650 Parliament St.
- August 29, 2018: Donations pour in for displaced residents of 650 Parliament St.
- August 28, 2018: Update on services and accommodations for residents of 650 Parliament St.
- August 23, 2018: City of Toronto ongoing support to residents of 650 Parliament Street
- August 22, 2018: City of Toronto ongoing response to fire at 650 Parliament Street