Location: 185 Yorkland Boulevard
Residents: Singles and couples of all genders aged 16+
Number of Beds: Up to 317
Opened: March 2020
Operator: Fred Victor

The City has been using 185 Yorkland Boulevard to accommodate people experiencing homelessness since early 2019. The space was secured through a Request for Proposals process, and before March 2020 was used primarily to shelter refugee families.

As part of the City’s response to COVID-19, the City of Toronto has opened more than 25 new temporary sites to create physical distancing in the shelter system and provide space for people to move indoors from encampments, providing approximately 3,000 spaces in these new temporary shelters and hotel programs. The City worked quickly to save lives, protect the most vulnerable, and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in shelters and the community. In March 2020, the 185 Yorkland Boulevard location was converted to a temporary shelter serving anyone over the age of 16. This service is operated by community partner, Fred Victor and is funded by the City of Toronto.

Learn more about the City’s services for those experiencing homelessness during COVID-19.

The City has contracted site management and services at 185 Yorkland Boulevard to Fred Victor.

Individuals come to shelter sites with a range of needs, both material and physical. 185 Yorkland Boulevard is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides wrap-around support for shelter residents. These supports include:

 

  • A counsellor/case manager works with each shelter residents to develop a permanent housing plan.
  • Shelter residents are assessed and the appropriate referrals made for community services and supports both inside the shelter and with outside organizations.
  • Three meals are provided daily
  • Inner City Health Associates provide access to primary health care and referrals. Inner City Family Health Team provides supervision and provision of social workers providing trauma informed therapeutic support for residents.
  • Harm reduction interventions are led by staff from South Riverdale Community Health Centre and Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre.
  • Multi-disciplinary Outreach Team-Toronto North Support Services provide intensive mental health and addictions services to support shelter residents on a long-term basis.
  • An Urgent Public Health Needs Site allows shelter residents to consume drugs under trained supervision to reduce the risk of overdose. This service is for residents of the shelter only and not open to the public. It is part of iPHARE, a multi-pronged effort by the City and community agencies to address opioid-related deaths in Toronto’s shelter system. Learn more about iPHARE.

Community and resident safety is a priority for the City and Fred Victor. Meetings are planned with neighbourhood community police from 33 Division. Officers often come to the site and management report issues to them.

Fred Victor staff are highly trained and educated when it comes to operating low-barrier shelters and supporting those that are the hardest to house. All staff are trained in de-escalation and participate in regular training in health and safety, including First Aid and CPR.

The City is working hard to ensure the residents of the temporary program are good neighbours. It is important to remember that people using shelter services are equal citizens of the city. They can move around communities and use amenities such as parks, public benches like all residents in our collective city. And like all residents, they are also expected to conduct themselves within the rules/laws and by-laws. If anyone witnesses illegal activity or an emergency situation, please contact the police.

The site has four security guards that provide 24/7 security. Safety walks are done by security guards every 30 minutes, including stairs and site perimeters. There are hotel security cameras on all floors, including reception area, dining hall and back of the hotel.

Representatives from the Fred Victor have had meetings with community members and Toronto Police Services 33 Division.

Because of physical distancing restrictions, engagement events are online and over the phone rather than in person.

Community members can get engaged, share feedback, and/or ask questions:

Inquiries about site operations can be directed to Fred Victor through Sylvia Braithwaite sbraithwaite@fredvictor.org.

General inquiries about services for those experiencing homelessness can be directed to ssha.homeless@toronto.ca.

Please see further details in the Frequently Asked Questions.