Shelter Infrastructure & Service Improvement
New shelter developments are opening and this space is where residents can find information about local initiatives as Community Liaison Committees are established to help integrate new services into communities across the city.
Toronto needs new shelters to satisfy increasing demand, closures of existing sites because of property sales and state of good repair issues, as well as the planned redevelopment of Seaton House, the nation’s largest men’s shelter, into a spectacular facility on George St. dedicated to vulnerable seniors (including long-term care, emergency shelter, affordable housing, and a community hub).
Thirteen new shelters are expected to open over the next few years; one opened in 2016, one will open before the end of 2017, four are expected to open in 2018, three in 2019, and four others with target dates yet to be established.
Siting new shelters has never been easy and City Council adopted a new community engagement process to help. As well, several other improvements in the siting process are underway. The development and piloting of a new service model will also help integrate shelters into new communities.
Please check this section often because new materials are being added as new locations and services are initiated.
Renovations at the Davenport site are planned to start later this year and staff will design a permanent program to meet the standards set out in the new shelter model. This includes integrating health supports and wraparound support services such as housing, employment, case management and more. It will also include engaging residents, local businesses, and organizations such as libraries and community centres to identify ways that the local community can come together and support people staying at the shelter. The site is currently being operated as a winter respite centre.
Councillor Cressy has organized an open house for February 15 for neighbours to receive more information and to welcome the shelter into the community:
Community Open House
Thursday February 15th, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Church of the Messiah, 240 Avenue Road (at Dupont)
The signing of a 10-year lease for 731 Runnymede Rd is a major step toward opening this City-operated shelter for men, approved by Council in October 2016.To start there will be 50 beds, with the flexibility to add capacity. The shelter’s programming was developed in collaboration with a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) made up of residents, agencies, Councillors for Wards 11 and 13, and City staff. The shelter is expected to be opened mid-2018.
Background on the Runnymede Community Liaison Committee
At its July 2016 meeting, Toronto City Council approved the staff report: Proposal for Emergency Men’s Shelter at 731 Runnymede Road and directed the General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration and Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to convene a Community Liaison Committee with representation from Wards 11 and 13, including local residents, agency staff, clients, local Councillors and City staff, to work on the shelter’s establishment.
This Community Liaison Committee (CLC) has met several times.
The CLC continues to meet and will act in an advisory capacity as a link between the shelter and the neighbouring community, providing input to help ensure a successful program launch.You can contact the CLC by email at 731RunnymedeCLC@toronto.ca.
On February 3, 2016, City Council approved a staff report that recommends a new men’s emergency shelter operated by the Salvation Army be located at 29 Leslie Street. The new shelter has 60 beds and should be open before yearend 2017.
On December 9, 2015, City Council approved a staff report that recommends a new 100-bed transitional shelter at 3306 Kingston Road for seniors experiencing homelessness. Formerly a hotel, the site will be renovated and transformed into the new home for Birchmount Residence which needs to move from 1673 Kingston Road due to decaying physical infrastructure.Birchmount Residence currently provides shelter to 60 senior men. When it opens in mid-2018, the new program will provide 40 new beds and assist with the George Street Transition Plan. The long term vision is for the shelter to be coed, fully AODA compliant and pet friendly.
The City of Toronto finalized the purchase of 3306 Kingston Rd. in March 2015 and detailed architectural drawings have been completed with input from staff and clients.
When approving the shelter City Council directed staff to establish a community liaison committee in advance of the shelter opening. The committee will commence in early 2018 in advance of the shelter opening.
City Council also directed staff to develop a comprehensive plan for 3300 and 3306 Kingston Rd which would include exploring opportunities with abutting property owners. Real Estate Services staff have been negotiating a purchase of 3300 Kingston Rd. since early 2016.