Homelessness continues to be an issue in Toronto, with thousands of people experiencing homelessness on any given night. The impacts of it are complex, long lasting, and devastating for many. Homelessness affects some of our community’s most vulnerable residents and contributes to ongoing health inequities.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) collects and reports on data related to the deaths of people experiencing homelessness in the community. This includes people living in shelters and respite centres, as well as people living outdoors or at other locations.
Data is collected from three primary sources (these sets of data are analyzed to rule out duplications):
The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario (OCCO) also verifies some of the data. The information can be used to improve understanding of the number of deaths in the homeless or under-housed community and identify trends related to the population.
TPH continues to work with SSHA to support the health and wellness of those experiencing homelessness, and with the Housing Secretariat to support the creation of affordable housing.
This dashboard provides the latest data available by the City of Toronto. Data is updated twice a year, typically in March and September. SSHA’s reports of deaths of shelter residents and 24-hour respite site residents is part of TPH’s data and is included in the dashboard.
The information collected may change based on future needs.
Due to privacy laws, we are unable to release individual-level information such as name, dates of birth, place or cause of death, or any other information that might identify the deceased. All information we collect is considered confidential and can be shown as summary data only
TPH takes its responsibility for protecting personal health information very seriously. To learn more about how TPH collects, uses and discloses health information, please see the Information Practice Statement on our website.
This initiative characterizes “homelessness” as:
The situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges and/or racism and discrimination. (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2012).
Someone who is temporarily staying with friends or family, or transitioning to new housing, but has experienced long periods without a permanent home, would be considered as experiencing homelessness.
Deaths of shelter residents are submitted by SSHA on a quarterly basis and included in the data presented in the Deaths of People Experiencing Homelessness Dashboard.