Fact Sheet
May 22, 2024


This report provides updates to the City of Toronto’s strategic approach to encampments, a briefing on the implemented recommendations from the Ombudsman and a new version of the City’s Interdivisional Protocol for Encampments in Toronto (IDP). 

The City has implemented 28 of the 31 recommendations from the Ombudsman and the City is working to implement the remaining three recommendations.  

The IDP outlines a coordinated process to guide City of Toronto staff in responding to encampments and offering services including: 

  • How the City will determine priority encampments to apply the enhanced outreach model (enhanced services and supports, added security, debris removal and increased outreach staff presence) used at Dufferin Grove Park and Allan Gardens. 
  • How the City will support people in encampments with the goal of moving them to indoor spaces. 
  • Circumstances when measured enforcement may be required. 

The report highlights several key pillars:  

  • Expanding the enhanced outreach model for encampments to additional sites. 
  • Exploring new service models as part of the Homelessness Services Capital Infrastructure Strategy – such as lowering barriers to indoor spaces like respite sites and moving toward smaller shelters to increase safety and stability.  
  • Enhancing shelter safety. 
  • Increasing permanent housing options.  
  • Improving flow out of the shelter system into housing.  

The work already underway is showing success. For example, through the enhanced outreach approach at Allan Gardens: 

  • 97 people living in encampments were housed. 
  • 320 people were referred to the shelter system. 
  • 9 encampments remain, down from a high of 84 in July 2023. 

In 2023, outreach staff attended encampment locations 5,268 times. This led to 880 people referred by Streets to Homes from encampments into the shelter system. They helped move 155 people from encampments into permanent housing, for a total of 358 people staying outdoors moved to permanent housing.   

As of Sunday, May 5, 2024, there were 256 encampments at 131 City owned properties. Outreach partners visit larger encampment sites daily to offer supports, housing referrals and health and safety services. 

Toronto Fire Services also proactively attends encampments, completing 620 site visits in 2023 including distributing and discussing fire safety literature specific to encampment settings. 

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