Location: 1677 Wilson Avenue
Shelter residents: All gender
Number of rooms: up to 190 rooms
Service operators: City of Toronto
The City has been using 1677 Wilson Avenue to accommodate people experiencing homelessness since 2016. The space was secured through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, and before March 2020 was used to serve a wide range of residents in need of emergency shelter including families, refugees and refugee claimants.
In March 2020, the 1677 Wilson Avenue location was converted to a temporary shelter serving primarily singles and couples as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. This service is operated by the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) Division at the City of Toronto. The site is available for use until the RFP end date in August 2024.
1677 Wilson Avenue is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with wrap-around support for residents. All shelter programming is provided through a Housing-First lens, which prioritizes the searching for housing. The hotel program encourages independent life skills while also providing options for shelter residents who may require continued support in order to exit the shelter.
Programming is developed in response to the needs of people residing at the shelter. Community partners that support physical and mental health needs of vulnerable persons continue to provide services to the residents on-site. This includes:
Services listed are only available to shelter residents.
Similar to the broader community, COVID-19 precautions have impacted many recreational activities and programming throughout the shelter system. As restrictions are lifted, these services will continue to be restored.
Toronto is seeing a substantial rise in non-fatal and fatal opioid overdoses within the overall community, as well as within the shelter system, with a notable increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to several factors, including:
In June 2021, SSHA, in partnership with The Works at Toronto Public Health (TPH) released an updated shelter directive and 10-point plan to support implementation. The directive and 10-point plan provide expanded direction on overdose prevention in all City administered shelters and hotel sites. The directive requires all new or relocating shelters to complete a Harm Reduction and Overdose Preparedness Assessment to ensure that harm reduction policies and procedures are in place, harm reduction supplies and naloxone are available, and staff have been trained in harm reduction and overdose response.
The City and community agencies also continue to manage the Integrated Prevention and Harm Reduction Initiative, or iPHARE (www.toronto.ca/iPHARE), a multi-pronged effort to address opioid-related deaths in Toronto’s shelter system.
Please read the following for more information and resources:
Community safety is a priority for the City Staff delivering shelter services at 1677 Wilson Avenue bring management practices that have proven successful and all staff are trained in de-escalation, conflict resolution, and crisis prevention, intervention and case management.
There is a large team of trained staff supporting vulnerable shelter users. Shift supervisors are trained to address issues during their shifts and relay the information and needed follow-up to the senior management. Staff work closely with neighborhood police officers to address any issues or concerns.
The following safety measures are in place at 1677 Wilson Avenue to support the residents and community:
It is important also 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. And like all residents, shelter residents are also expected to conduct themselves according to the rules/laws and by-laws. Shelter residents attend regular shelter/program meetings where any issues with rights and responsibilities are routinely discussed.
City staff have a strong relationship with stakeholders in the neighbourhood having been in this location since 2016.
Previous community engagement around 1677 Wilson Avenue has included:
In response to recent inquiries from members of the public, the City hired a community engagement team in Spring of 2022 who gathered input from the community and will be sharing information about the program at 1677 Wilson Avenue. The community engagement plan included:
The Community Engagement concluding its activities thereafter. Future inquiries regarding community engagement can be directed to TorontoPlazaShelter@toronto.ca
If you have questions or immediate concerns, please take a look at the who to call information sheet for 1677 Wilson Avenue.
If you are witnessing or involved in an emergency, please call 911.
On April 21, 2022, over 30 staff and clients recognized the City’s annual Clean Toronto Together event by working together to pick up litter and recycling around the shelter and neighbouring community. The goal of the initiative was to support the environment as a means of maintaining and preserving the land, and instill a sense of pride and community in clients by inviting them to actively participate in the upkeep of their temporary home.
It was also a great opportunity to showcase the program’s dedication to preserving the safety and integrity of the community to surrounding neighbours. Below are some pictures from the community clean-up day.
The shelter program is dedicated to continuing these clean-up efforts with staff and clients on a monthly basis. This is in addition to the daily exterior sweeping, as well as the deeper cleanings that are completed by staff, as needed. If you know of community members who would be interested in participating in the monthly community clean-up days, please email TorontoPlazaShelter@toronto.ca.
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration:
Central Intake: 416-397-5637
For general inquiries related to homelessness:
Toronto Police Services – 31 Division
Toronto Police Online Reporting:
Please see the who to call information sheet for 1677 Wilson Avenue for more details.