Front of the building under construction taken in the evening.
705 Progress Ave. will serve as a municipal shelter for men experiencing homelessness.

Location: 705 Progress Ave.
Tentative client group: Men
Number of expected beds: Up to 94
Expected opening date: Early 2021
Service operator: City of Toronto

This new shelter is part of the George Street Revitalization with approximately 94 beds relocated from Seaton House. The shelter at 705 Progress Ave. will be operated by the City of Toronto and will focus on supporting people experiencing homelessness to stabilize their lives, improve life skills, address needs and move toward securing permanent housing and independence.

Community Engagement

A community engagement plan has been developed for this site to provide opportunities for people in the community to speak to staff and to get involved with integrating the new service into the community. The City is committed to engaging the community to support the positive integration of the shelter into the neighbourhood. Community Engagement will include ongoing communication and establishment of a Com­munity Liaison Committee (CLC) in the fall. The CLC will provide resident representatives, businesses, and community organizations with an op­portunity to be actively involved in identifying concerns and problem-solving challenges related to the shelter, as well as supporting the successful integration of the shelter into the community.

Additional information about Shelter Support & Housing Administration’s (SSHA’s) approach to working with the community is available on the community shelter integration web page.

Virtual Community Information Session

Thank you to everyone who participated in and watched the Community Information Session on September 9, 2020.

View the presentation, review the meeting minutes and watch a recording of the meeting. While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact us.

Interested community members are encouraged to submit questions by contacting the Community Engagement Facilitator, Paul Dowling. All media, including bloggers, should contact media@toronto.ca.

The shelter will be operated by City of Toronto staff. These staff have many years of experience operating shelters for men and women experiencing homelessness and receive ongoing training to equip them to provide the support that residents need to make a successful transition to independence.

The staffing model for the shelter is still under development but will include a range of skilled professionals able to provide support to the residents in a number of areas, including income, nutrition, housing, mental health, substance use and life skills.

Shelter staff will support the residents to move toward securing permanent housing and independence.

This shelter is providing permanent shelter spaces and is not a part of the City’s COVID-19 response.

The City of Toronto is facing an unprecedented number of people experiencing homelessness. The existing shelter system is at capacity and more services are needed.

This project is part of the George Street Revitalization (GSR) project that will see the closure and redevelopment of Seaton House. Replacement sites, including 705 Progress Ave., are being opened across the city.

Once the shelter is in place, it will be a resource for any man experiencing homelessness in the community.

Seaton House staff look forward to creating opportunities for interested people to speak to staff and learn about the innovative services being brought to the community that extend beyond emergency shelter beds and benefit the community as a whole.

The City of Toronto is committed to ensuring appropriate solutions are in place to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in neighbourhoods throughout the city.

To see the needs for shelter for people experiencing homelessness, see the Street Needs Assessment.

When the City seeks locations for new shelter services, it considers various factors, including the need in the community, the proximity to services and public transit, and the size of the space.

The building at 705 Progress Ave. is owned jointly by the City and Toronto District School Board, meets the required criteria and is appropriately zoned for use as a municipal shelter.

The City has hired an independent facilitator, Paul Dowling, to lead Community Engagement. Paul is available to respond to emailed questions or comments. He welcomes invitations to connect with groups interested in promoting the success of the shelter.

The building is being constructed to fully comply with Access for Ontarions with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards and will be able to accommodate clients who have mobility needs. Case management staff will work with clients to support them in accessing social assistance and Wheel Trans. In addition, a Program Coordinator will work with clients to ensure they have adequate health service supports. Finally, efforts will be made to provide on-site clinic hours for both a physician and a psychiatrist.

In addition to physical disabilities, clients who may have other disabilities including mental health needs, developmental or cognitive disabilities, acquired brain injuries and substance use concerns are also supported.

705 Progress Ave. will be pet friendly, allowing people experiencing homelessness to stay with their pets.

705 Progress Ave. is an emergency men’s shelter, which means that any person who identifies as male who is experiencing homelessness can access the shelter.

Initially the people moving into the shelter will be coming from Seaton House.

As beds become available, the shelter will be a resource for people experiencing homelessness in the local community to access. The City is looking at how individuals experiencing homelessness in the community can be supported to shower, do laundry and find a place to stay.

People who are experiencing homelessness need the support of others in the community as they move toward secure housing and independence.  Examples of ideas people have had in other shelters are:

  • sock drive
  • gardening program
  • music program
  • art program
  • coffee, newspaper and chat
  • sports/baseball games

Shelter staff are open to hearing the ideas of community members about how they can provide support.

The Community Liaison Committee will be one forum to plan different initiatives for the community to support shelter residents. That work will be continued by the Shelter’s Program Coordinator after occupancy.

To share your commitment and ideas for support, please send an email to the Community Engagement Facilitator, Paul Dowling.