picture of 2035 Kennedy Rd.
2035 Kennedy Rd. Temporary Shelter

Location: 2035 Kennedy Rd.
Shelter residents: Adults of all genders
Number of beds: up to 412
Opened: May 2020
Service Operator: Homes First Society

The City of Toronto secured 2035 Kennedy Rd. through a Request for Proposal to provide additional capacity in the shelter system by using hotel spaces, as needed.

Toronto City Council has directed the City to transition the program to support refugee claimants, and to prioritize the site for closure by the end of 2025. The City will be working with the service provider, Homes First, to build a plan to support this transition and the gradual decommissioning of the site that considers the needs of clients who have come to rely on the shelter program.

The shelter program at 2035 Kennedy Rd. is operated by Homes First Society, 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 substance use needs, and seniors.

The program is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering wrap-around support for shelter residents, including:

  • daily meals and laundry
  • training programs (e.g. skills-based employment training, financial literacy)
  • recreational programming (e.g. movie nights, yoga, virtual group events)
  • supports for youth to re-establish connections with family

The program features Intensive Case Management Workers who help shelter 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:

  • nursing, as well as mental health and substance use counselling
  • access to health supports through a partnership with Inner City Health Associates (ICHA)
  • harm reduction, including the SHOPP program (details below)

The Shelter Hotel Overdose Prevention Project (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 shelter 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 and CPR, and who can call emergency services if needed.

Learn more about the City’s Integrated Prevention & Harm Reduction Initiative (iPHARE) in the shelter system and about overdoses in homelessness service settings.

The City hired a third-party consultant, Barnes Management Group, to lead community engagement for 2035 Kennedy Rd. The City’s engagement process focuses on facilitating active discussions between shelter operators, elected officials and the community on how best to support the success of the shelter in the neighbourhood. This includes regularly monitoring and responding to questions or comments received from the community via email.

In October 2022, the City held a Virtual Community Report Back session to provide an update on site. Materials from the meeting are as follows:

Members of the community were also invited to attend two Community Walks in September 2022.

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 collective problem solve community concerns.

Safety and security is a priority for the City and its provider Homes First, and staff are working to ensure the temporary shelter program at 2035 Kennedy Rd. is a good neighbour.

Homes First continues to work with Toronto Police, as well as Toronto Shelter and Support Services and Corporate Security at the City of Toronto to develop ongoing community safety measures for the location. All Home First staff are trained on de-escalation, conflict resolution and crisis prevention, intervention and management.

Safety measures implemented onsite include 10 security guards that provide 24/7 security, along with security cameras. Security guards patrol the property, including the interior, exterior and the connected parking structure.

Three Community Safety Teams patrols the area and neighbouring parks 24 hours a day. Wearing yellow vests, they engage with shelter residents and members of the community off property and address safety concerns, such as discarded needles. Community members are encouraged to reach out to them using the contact information in the “Who to Contact” tab if there is a safety issue in their community they feel needs to be addressed.

For site inquiries and general concerns at 2035 Kennedy Rd.:

Community Safety Team: One Community Solutions

  • Telephone (24/7): 416-389-6807, 416-333-8917 or Park Patrol (9 a.m.-9 p.m.) at 416-333-8917
  • Email: securedbyus@gmail.com

Central Intake: 416-397-5637

  • Telephone support to individuals seeking access to emergency shelter.

For general inquiries related to homelessness:


  • To request help for individuals experiencing homelessness who are living outside and may need support. Should also be used to report concerns regarding litter, illegal dumping, street and sidewalk sweeping, litter collection and broken or overflowing garbage bins.

Toronto Police Non-Emergency: 416-808-2222 | 416-467-0493 (TTY)

  • Report crimes where no person is in immediate danger (e.g. theft, vandalism, fraud).

Toronto Police Online Reporting:

  • Residents can file an online report direct to Toronto Police for instances that include damage to property, damage to vehicles, graffiti, fraud and theft at tps.ca/services/online-reporting/

To discuss community engagement and community concerns related to the shelter: