45 The Esplanade photo
45 The Esplanade leased by the City of Toronto to create physical distancing.

Location: 45 The Esplanade
Shelter residents: All gender, shelter and Streets to Homes referrals
Number of rooms: up to 254 rooms
Opened: February 2021
Service operator:  Homes First Society

As part of the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing in the shelter system and provide space for people to move indoors from encampments, 45 The Esplanade has been leased by the City of Toronto as a temporary shelter. The City plans to continue current response efforts, including services at temporary shelter sites to support physical distancing measures, until at least the end of 2021 as we continue to follow the guidance of the City’s Medical Officer of Health and Provincial guidelines related to COVID-19 for congregate living settings.

Learn more about the City’s plan for homelessness services as part of the response to COVID-19.

 

Community Bulletins

Virtual Community Information Session on Feb 18, 2021

Thank you to everyone who participated in and watched the 45 The Esplanade Information Session on February 18, 2021.

Safety and security is a priority for the City. Ongoing safety planning is a key component of the community engagement process. The operator of the site, Homes First, works closely with Toronto Police Services, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration and Corporate Security at the City of Toronto to develop community safety measures for the location. Homes First also brings management practices that have proven successful at its other locations. All Homes First staff are trained on de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis prevention, intervention and management. A number of community safety initiatives and measures are in place for this site including:

  • A security team of four guards and a team of two community safety team members provide onsite support inside the shelter and the immediate perimeter of the property
  • Two Community Safety Teams for 24/7 patrols in the area around the property from Yonge Street to Parliament Street, and from Lakeshore Boulevard East to Richmond Street. These two Community Safety Teams are also connected with four Community Safety Teams operating 24/7 in the downtown core
  • All team members are trained to respond to immediate non-police or non-EMS related matters when made aware by the community Teams will also be patrolling “hotspots” identified by the community and picking up needles. Shelter residents themselves will be assisting with community clean-ups and picking up sharpies and drug paraphernalia
  • Monitored security surveillance cameras are being installed onsite

The City is currently working our partners to review the security and community safety teams at this location. The City is taking the following actions in partnership with Homes First to address community safety at 45 The Esplanade:

  • Homes First is doing an assessment on how they can optimize available space inside 45 The Esplanade to provide additional supportive and recreational programming for service users while also maintaining necessary physical distancing requirements
  • Two additional Community Safety Team officers will be stationed immediately outside 45 The Esplanade every day for 12 hours per day. Their presence will help to keep the area clean and also de-escalate any issues that may arise
  • Star Security Personnel will perform, hourly documented patrols of the throughout 45 The Esplanade. The intent of these patrols is to monitor the exterior and perimeter of the complex and to maintain a professional and competent proactive security presence. The overall goal is to ensure the safety and wellness of the complex and to response to and to deter against prohibited activities occurring.
  • City of Toronto Corporate Security will review onsite equipment at 45 The Esplanade to determine if there are opportunities to enhance the monitoring of the site
  • Lastly, for a 30-day trial, 2 Paid-Duty officers have been requested for 24-hour a day work to augment the additional security efforts noted above and will patrol inside and outside 45 The Esplanade hotel property.

 

Additional updates will be provided at the Community Liaison Committee meetings (mentioned below) and on this webpage.

You can reach the Community Safety Team by telephone at 647-333-0478 and by email at securedbyus@gmail.com.

The City has contracted management and provision of service at 45 The Esplanade to Homes First. Homes First has been providing supportive housing and shelter services to Toronto residents for over 35 years, with a focus on the chronically homeless, people with complex mental health and addictions issues, and seniors.

This site is open to adult singles and couples. A key focus of this site is to provide space for people currently experiencing homelessness in the City of Toronto.

Services made available for residents at 45 The Esplanade include:

  • A minimum of 12 Homes First staff are available on-site to support clients 24/7 in addition to supervisors on each shift
  • Special supervisors in Health Navigation and Living Standards are integrated into the program
  • Residents are assigned an Intensive Case Management Worker and a Housing Help Worker to work with them on developing a permanent housing plan and a plan to obtain personal documents, a local primary care physician, employment, etc.
  • All meals are provided onsite
  • Recreational and social engagement programming is offered onsite
  • The Inner City Health Associates and Multi-Discipline Outreach Teams provide a number of mental and physical health related supports including nursing, a clinic with a primary care physician and psychiatry support
  • Pharmacy is onsite every day
  • Physical, social and health supports from individuals and organizations serving people experiencing homelessness are invited to continue their work at 45 The Esplanade
  • Harm reduction supports onsite (see below for more information)
  • Control for containing COVID-19 will include internal cleaning protocols for dining and elevator

Services listed are only available to shelter residents.

Toronto is seeing a substantial rise in fatal opioid overdoses and related shelter deaths, which is increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

iPHARE, which stands for Integrated Prevention and Harm Reduction initiative, is a multi-pronged effort by the City and community agencies to address opioid-related deaths in Toronto’s shelter system. As part of iPHARE, the City is working with Toronto Public Health and other community harm reduction programs to introduce a range of harm reduction measures in all shelter locations.

The temporary shelter at 45 The Esplanade has harm reduction measures as part of the iPHARE program. This includes an Urgent Public Health Needs Site. The City of Toronto has established Urgent Public Health Needs Sites, also known as overdose prevention sites or supervised consumption services, to allow shelter residents to consume drugs under trained supervision to reduce the risk of overdose.

iPHARE will save lives, reduce public drug use and reduce drug paraphernalia in parks and public spaces in communities. It will also assist first responders, harm reduction workers and shelter workers who are faced every day with the difficult job of reversing overdoses or coping with overdose fatalities.

Visit the iPHARE web page to learn more. You can also sign up to get e-updates, and share your comments and questions online.

The Shelter Hotel Overdose Prevention Project (SHOPP) is also active at 45 The Esplanade. SHOPP is a community designed response to the opioid crisis where people with lived experience of homelessness and who have experience with drug use provide support to resident residents. People at risk of overdose can use their drugs in front of, and with the support of, a SHOPP peer worker who is trained in overdose prevention and response measures like administering Naloxone, oxygen, CPR, and who can call emergency services if needed.

Learn more about overdoses in homelessness service settings.

For 45 The Esplanade, the City established a community engagement team to connect with community residents and stakeholders. Due to current physical distancing restrictions, internet tools like online meetings, email bulletins, and online posting of information have been used to establish regular communications, keep residents informed and address any concerns or issues that arise.

Community Liaison Committee: A key highlight to the community engagement process is the formation of a Community Liaison Committee (CLC), with membership and input from the existing CLC in the area. A CLC is a formal committee connected to a shelter service made up of representatives of the community (condo boards, residence associations, businesses or local community organizations) that meets semi-regularly to address questions, share information, discuss and collectively problem solve community concerns.

If you have questions about the Community Liaison Committee, or are interested in participating, please review the Terms of Reference and email the Manager of Community Engagement & Client Programming at Ryan.Evershed@homesfirst.on.ca.

Get in touch with the Manager of Community Engagement & Client Programming: Ryan.Evershed@homesfirst.on.ca.

General inquiries about homelessness services can be directed to:  ssha.homeless@toronto.ca

For site inquiries and immediate concerns at 45 The Esplanade, please contact: 647-454-8824

 

We appreciate that the community is very interested in 45 The Esplanade and have questions and concerns. Representatives from the City and community partners who operate and engage with the community are available to respond to these questions and concerns. However, please note that communications should be respectful. The City of Toronto is an inclusive public organization. Racist or other forms of prejudicial, derogatory, or discriminatory comments and questions, including name calling, will not be tolerated.