October 2017


  • In June 2017, Council approved a staff recommendation to increase the low-barrier services available during the winter and to improve the planning and coordination.


  • Council approved $6.8 million worth of winter respite services, including:
    • Continuous availability of 24-hour winter respite services from November 15 through April 15, compared with 2016-2017’s service level of continuous availability from December 14 through February 28, extended to March 15, with openings triggered by an Extreme Cold Weather Alert (ECWA) from November 15 to December 15 and March 15 to April 15
    • Increasing the number of 24-hour winter respite drop-ins to up to 300 spaces at five sites, up from 160 overnight spaces at three sites last season
    • Increasing the number of motel rooms to supplement current motel contracts and provide additional winter surge capacity if needed
    • Increased funding for Out of the Cold programs to cover additional food and repairs
    • Increasing housing access services and wrap-around supports available through winter respite services
    • Enhanced resources for data gathering and analysis.


  • With five locations for overnight winter respite services this winter, the City is increasing the number of overnight spaces, ensuring the services are open 24/7 and operating from November 15 through April 15. The services will be pet friendly and low barrier. Locations are:
    • Parkdale site – details available shortly
    • Downtown West site at 25 Augusta Ave.
    • Yonge/Bloor site at 21 Park Rd.
    • Downtown East site at 323 Dundas St. E.
    • Scarborough site at 705 Progress Ave.


  • An additional 35 sleeping spaces are available at the 24-hour women’s drop-in program run by Fred Victor at Adelaide Resource Centre for Women in the downtown core. This more than doubles the existing spaces available at Fred Victor’s program bringing capacity in the two year-round 24-hour women’s drop-in programs to 112, up from the previous 80.


  • Street outreach is available year-round from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily; during ECWAs, service is 24/7 to provide overnight outreach.



  • Information also available through 311 and community agencies throughout the city.
  • Additional services are added when ECWAs are called by the Medical Officer of Health, including additional overnight street outreach and transportation services. The focus is on informing clients about the danger of weather conditions and urging them to come inside.


  • Apart from street outreach, which operates daily throughout the year, other services available include:
    • 62 emergency shelter services
    • 28 drop-in centres that serve more than 1 million meals each year
    • 24-hour street respite at 129 Peter St. in the downtown core
    •  two 24-hour drop-ins for women
    • Housing help services
    • Street outreach provided year round from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily.


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Media contact: Patricia Anderson, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, Patricia.Anderson@toronto.ca, 416-397-4328