Higher rates of illness and premature death among the homeless population have been widely recognized. The City is committed to identifying and responding in a timely manner to new and emerging issues in the shelter system. That is why when residents or recent residents of Toronto shelters die, operators must report the deaths verbally to the City within 24 hours and via a written report within 30 days.

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division has collected this information since 2007, and does an annual review of the data.

The 2016 Annual Review of Death of Shelter Resident Data has been posted.

For more detailed homeless death statistics, see Toronto Public Health’s Monitoring Deaths of Homeless People.

Key points

  • Since 2007, of the deaths that occurred outside of shelter, the majority have taken place in a hospital or palliative care
  • The highest number of deaths occurred in 2015 when there were 45 with the average age of a decedent at 58 years
  • Since 2007, males between 50 and 60 years of age account for the vast majority of reported deaths
  • Of the deaths within shelters since 2007, most have occurred at Seaton House Main Hostel and Annex/Infirmary programs, year over year

A note about privacy

For reasons of client privacy and respect for confidentiality, even in death, we are not able to provide names, dates of birth, place of death, or any other information that might identify the deceased. We can present this data in aggregate form only. Additionally, shelter operators and Hostel Services are not generally advised of cause of death information or presented with a Medical Certificate of Death because this information is not readily shared with anyone other than next of kin.

Deaths of clients of shelters funded by the City of Toronto

Yearly statistics going back to 2007 are provided in the tables below.