Picture of the exterior of building at 22 Metropolitan Road
22 Metropolitan Road

Location: 22 Metropolitan Rd.
Client group: All gender
Number of people: up to 75
Opening date: January 2022
Service operator:  Homes First Society

The City of Toronto initially secured 22 Metropolitan Rd. through a Request for Proposal to provide additional capacity in the shelter system, as needed, until August 2024.

In February 2024, Toronto City Council approved extending temporary shelter hotel leases and contracts for the medium term (3-5 years, where possible) while the City works to build new permanent shelter spaces.

Learn more about the City’s capital infrastructure strategy and plan for temporary shelter sites.

22 Metropolitan Rd. is operated by Homes First, a charitable organization that 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.

The program is staffed 24-hours a day and offers wrap-around supports for residents that include:

  • Daily meals and laundry
  • Recreational programming
  • Access to harm reduction supplies and supports to reduce potential harms related to substance use
  • Services from an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team

The program also features Intensive Case Management Workers who help clients to develop permanent housing plans, coordinate medical services, obtain identification, access income, file taxes, and attend appointments.

Other services offered through coordination with partner agencies include:

  • primary medical care through doctor visits
  • nursing and personal support worker care
  • mental health supports
  • on-site pharmacist

All shelter programming is provided through a Housing First lens, which prioritizes independent living, providing option for shelter residents who require continued supports in order to exit the shelter. Future programming is developed in response to the needs of people residing at the shelter.

Toronto is seeing a substantial rise in non-fatal and fatal opioid overdoses within the overall community, as well as within the shelter system, primarily due to the increasing toxicity and unpredictability of the unregulated drug supply.

Homes First staff are trained to work from a Harm Reduction Approach and are equipped to deal with overdose response and crisis management. All Homes First staff undergo naloxone and harm reduction training.

At 22 Metropolitan Rd., harm reduction supplies are readily available to shelter residents. This includes clean needles, pipes, gloves, wipes, screens, naloxone (nasal & intramuscular), condoms, etc.

Community safety is a priority for the City and its provider, Homes First, and staff are working together to ensure the temporary shelter program at 22 Metropolitan Rd. is a good neighbour.

Homes First staff bring management practices that have proven successful, and all staff are trained on de-escalation, conflict resolution, and crisis prevention, intervention and management.

Homes First continues to work with Toronto Police, as well as with Toronto Shelter and Support Services and Corporate Security at the City of Toronto to develop ongoing community safety measures for the location.

In December 2022, members of the community were invited to participate in a community safety walk to discuss areas of concern with City staff, the local Councillor, Toronto Police, Community Safety Team members, and a third-party Community Engagement Facilitator.

It is important to remember that people using shelter services are equal residents of the city. They can move around communities and use amenities such as parks and public benches like all Toronto residents. And like all residents, shelter residents are also expected to conduct themselves according to the rules/laws and by-laws of the city. Staff hold regular meetings with shelter residents where any issues with rights and responsibilities are tabled.

Violent and/or criminal activity occurring in the shelter or community is not acceptable to the City. If a shelter resident is found to have acted inappropriately, aggressively, violently, or criminally, they will be held accountable for these acts, which may result in their discharge from the shelter. 911 should be called for crimes in progress or the non-emergency police number 416-808-2222 | 416-467-0493 (TTY) to report crimes where no person is in immediate danger (for example, theft, vandalism, fraud).

If residents wish to get involved in issues pertaining to community safety in their neighborhood, please connect with your local Community Crisis Response Program Community Development Officer in order to get involved/become a member at a local Safety Network near you. The program is led by the City’s Social Development and Finance Administration (SDFA) Division.

The City hired a third-party consultant, Joe Mihevc, to lead community engagement for 22 Metropolitan Rd.

In December 2021, the City held a virtual Community Information Session. Materials from that meeting are as follows:

Members of the community were also invited to participate in a community safety walk.

A community engagement plan has been developed to provide opportunities for people in the community to speak to staff and get involved with supporting the success of the service in the community.

A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) made up of representatives from the community (resident associations, businesses, and community organizations) has been established to share information and work together to discuss and collectively problem-solve community concerns.

Interested community members are encouraged to submit questions to 22MetropolitanRoad@gmail.com. All media, including bloggers, should contact media@toronto.ca.

Additional information about the City’s approach to working with the community is available on the welcoming new shelters web page.