exterior building facade of City shelter at 705 Progress Ave.
Exterior building facade of 705 Progress Ave.

Location: 705 Progress Ave.
Group service: Individuals 18 years or older who identify as men
Number of expected beds: Will initially open with 63 beds to meet physical distancing requirements under the current Shelter Standards Directive
Expected opening date: May 2022
Service operator: City of Toronto

Operated by the City of Toronto, the program at 705 Progress Ave. provides safe, pet-friendly emergency shelter and support services, which includes help to develop a permanent housing plan.

This new shelter is part of the George Street Revitalization project – a City Council-approved initiative that will see the closure and redevelopment of Seaton House men’s shelter and adjacent properties into a world class facility that will include shelter beds, long-term care, affordable transitional housing and a community hub.

Initially, the people moving into the new shelter at 705 Progress Ave. will be coming from Seaton House. Eventually, this shelter will become a resource for people experiencing homelessness from the local and broader community. With 25 shared bedrooms and two individual rooms, the shelter will initially open with 63 beds to meet physical distancing requirements under the current Shelter Standards Directive.


This shelter is directly operated by the City of Toronto. City staff have many years of experience working with people experiencing homelessness and are provided with ongoing training to ensure they are well-equipped to support residents in transitioning successfully to housing. They support people experiencing homelessness to stabilize their lives, address their support needs and secure permanent housing.

Staff include a range of skilled professionals able to provide support to the residents in a number of areas, including access to income supports and employment, nutrition, housing, mental health, harm reduction and life skills.

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

Services and supports

  • Case workers to connect individuals to the supports and resources they need to get and remain stably housed
  • Employment supports including support with job searches or research into educational or training programs
  • Daily activities to help build life skills including cooking, money management and budgeting
  • Assistance with appointments in the community
  • Primary health care and mental health supports
  • Daily programming, designed for engagement and entertainment (games, bingo nights, excursions and picnics)

Building features and amenities

  • The shelter at 705 Progress Ave. is located near essential services and only a 10-minute walk from Scarborough Town Centre and the McCowan LRT. Through support from local Councillor Paul Ainslie (Scarborough-Guildwood), SSHA staff were able to work with the TTC to move the nearest bus stop directly in front of 705 Progress, providing easy access to public transit for shelter residents.
  • The shelter is outfitted with: a commercial kitchen, a communal dining and programming room, meeting spaces, a computer lab, a TV lounge, laundry facilities and a pet washing station.
  • The site is decorated with colourful artwork – in the front, dining and back areas of the building – created by local artists.
  • Washrooms and showers are barrier-free, and accessibility features adhering to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act standards have been built into the shelter’s design.
  • The building features a 24/7 security system, bike racks, visitor parking, exterior LED lighting and an outdoor client lounge and pet area.

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

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
  • 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.

Learn more about how the City how the City selects locations for shelters.

The building is fully compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and will accommodate people with mobility needs. Staff will work with shelter residents to help them access social assistance, Wheel Trans and health service supports, including physical and mental healthcare.

People with disabilities, including developmental or cognitive disabilities, acquired brain injuries and substance use concerns, are also supported.

The City is committed to engaging the community to support the positive integration of the shelter into the neighbourhood. Community engagement includes ongoing communication and a Com­munity Liaison Committee (CLC) that was established in late 2020. More information about some of the community engagement can be found at the “Virtual Information Session in Sept 2020,” below.

The CLC provides resident representatives, businesses, and community organizations with an op­portunity to be actively involved in identifying concerns and challenges related to the shelter, as well as supporting the successful integration of the shelter into the community.

If you live in the Scarborough-Guildwood area and are interested in learning more about upcoming meetings and available opportunities on the committee, please email 705progress@toronto.ca.

Staff are working with service agencies in the area to build community connections and supports for shelter residents.

Additional information about the City’s approach to working with the community is available on the Welcoming New Shelters page.

Community Support

People who are experiencing homelessness need the support of their community as they move towards secure housing and independence. Community activities and initiatives implemented at other shelters include:

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

Shelter staff welcome ideas and suggestions from community members who are interested in supporting community initiatives.

The 705 Progress Community Liaison Committee is a forum that brings together the shelter operators, neighbours, Toronto Police Services, representatives from Councillor Ainslie’s office and community partners to plan different initiatives for the community to support shelter residents. More members are welcome!

To share your support and ideas, please send us an email.

Toronto – like all cities – continues to experience significant demand for emergency shelter. Its shelter system is the largest in Canada, currently providing safe shelter to more than 7,700 people each night.

To learn more, please visit About Toronto’s Shelter System.

To learn more about the needs of people experiencing homelessness, please see the Streets Needs Assessment.