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.

On December 9, 2015, City Council approved a staff report that recommends a new 100-bed shelter at 3306 Kingston Road for senior men 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. The City of Toronto finalized the purchase of 3306 Kingston Road and detailed architectural drawings have been completed with input from staff and clients.

Birchmount Residence currently provides shelter to 60 senior men. When it moves to 3306 Kingston Road in the fall of 2018, the new program will be fully AODA compliant and pet friendly. It will provide an additional 40 beds and assist with the Seaton House Transition Plan. There will be professional staff on-site 24/7 to make sure residents have continued access to similar programming and support services. The long-term vision of the new program is to provide an inclusive environment for people of all genders.

When approving the acquisition of 3306 Kingston Road, City Council directed staff to establish a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) in advance of the shelter opening in the third quarter of 2018. The CLC will commence June 2018. City Council also directed staff to develop a comprehensive plan for 3300 and 3306 Kingston Road, which would include exploring opportunities with abutting property owners.

The City of Toronto plans to open a new women’s shelter at 348 Davenport Road at the end of 2018. The shelter will permanently replace the 24-hour winter respite site that operated at 348 Davenport from January 28 to May 25, 2018.

The new shelter will help homeless women and people who identify as transgender or gender non-binary find and keep a permanent home. During the day, residents will receive services from case managers and housing workers tailored to their specific needs. They will also receive increased access to health services, thanks to a collaboration between the City and the Local Health Integration Network.

The shelter will be managed by an experienced non-profit shelter operator chosen through a competitive process. The operator will enter into an operating agreement with the City to meet or exceed Toronto Shelter Standards.

Local residents and business organizations have an opportunity to support the shelter’s success – both for the shelter’s clients and the surrounding community – through a Community Liaison Committee. This committee will meet in the months leading up to the shelter’s opening and up to six months afterwards. To learn more, please contact 348DavenportCLC@gmail.com.

The City of Toronto has leased 731 Runnymede Road for use as a men’s shelter. The shelter was approved by Council in October 2016 and will open its doors in fall 2018. Construction is currently underway. To start, there will be 50 beds, with the flexibility to add capacity as needed.

Community Engagement

Minutes and other materials from community meetings are posted as available and can be found below. For translation of material posted here, click “Translate” centred in the footer of this page.

In spring 2016, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) participated in three community town hall meetings to share information and respond to questions.

In summer 2016, a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) began to act in an advisory capacity as a link between the shelter and the neighbouring community, providing input to help ensure a successful program launch. The CLC members were residents, local service agencies, Councillors for Wards 11 and 13, and City staff. The CLC wrapped up in February 2018.

EMBRACE

A new EMBRACE committee launches in spring 2018 to focus on creating opportunities for community members and shelter residents to connect over meals, recreational activities, workshops and other events. EMBRACE Runnymede is open to all community members, businesses, agencies, faith organizations, or other individuals or groups who want to support the Runnymede Shelter. Members are asked to participate for a year (approximately six to eight meetings) and to renew their participation in the committee annually.

Interested community members are asked to attend the first meeting:

May 1, 2018
7 – 9 p.m.
David Appleton Community Centre
33 Pritchard Avenue, Room C

Here is the invitation and backgrounder. Hard copies will be delivered to neighbours of the Runnymede shelter.

Council Reports

  • City Council decision and staff report on the updated Runnymede proposal (October 2016)
  • City Council decision and staff report on the Runnymede shelter proposal (July 2016)

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 opened in January 2018.