Each year, the City of Toronto activates a Winter Services Plan to provide additional capacity and services to support individuals experiencing homelessness during the cold winter months (November 15 to April 15), when health and safety risks are higher than normal.

The City’s 2023/2024 winter season response has now concluded. A summary of elements included in the 2023/2024 plan can be found below.

Planning for the 2024/2025 season has begun and will take into consideration operational data and feedback from the past season. Details will be released in fall 2024.

Summary of 2023/2024 Winter Services Plan

Staff started work to plan for the 2023/2024 winter season in April, looking to identify and secure winter spaces for use, as well as to incorporate feedback to improve planning and coordination of services. As outlined to Council, starting the 2023/2024 season, Warming Centres were open when temperatures hit minus five degrees Celsius and/or when Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a winter weather event warning.

Through this work, the City was able to provide the following:

  • 180 spaces added in the shelter system
  • up to 380 spaces offered at dedicated 24-hour winter respite sites
  • four Warming Centres activated when temperature reached -5 degrees Celsius or during a winter weather event warning
  • extended operating hours at 10 drop-in locations
  • continued street outreach, including additional teams who worked to connect with individuals outside during periods of extreme cold
  • 30 additional Warming Centre spaces, as well as contingency spaces, when temperatures hit -15 degrees Celsius

As part of the winter plan, between November 15, 2023 and April 15, 2024, working collaboratively with clients and partners from across the shelter system, the City tenanted 249 social and supportive housing units. The City is working to tenant another 106 units that have become available throughout the winter season.