The City of Toronto provides temporary shelter and housing help services for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. Toronto’s emergency shelter system is delivered through a network of City-owned and leased facilities in collaboration with community-based partner agencies.
In the last two years, the City’s shelter system has served:
In the last two years, the City housed:
In 2022, the City is spending $647 million to provide emergency shelter and wrap-around supports for people experiencing homelessness.
The City’s 2022/23 Winter Services Plan outlines measures to ensure warm and welcoming places are available for those experiencing homelessness during the upcoming winter months.
It’s estimated that the City will provide emergency shelter and new housing units for over more than 9,000 people in need this winter season.
Toronto’s shelter system is currently accommodating approximately 8,200 people nightly – more people than it ever has, and 1,600 more people a night than this time last year. Despite continually adding new beds, the shelter system is at capacity most nights.
The current shelter system comprises:
The system is run by the City and more than 30 partner agencies.
Data on the daily occupancy and capacity of Toronto’s shelter system can be found on the Daily Shelter and Overnight Service Usage page.
Provide temporary accommodation and related support services that assist people to move into housing. Emergency shelters can be accessed by any individual or family experiencing homelessness with or without a referral.
A homeless shelter program that provides required, specialized programming and can be accessed by eligible individuals and families experiencing homelessness, by referral only.
Hotel/motel shelter program
Provides shelter beds through contracts with hotel/motel operators, which enables the City to expand and contract emergency shelter capacity in response to demand for services.
Allied shelter services
Emergency overnight spaces that offer a safe, warm indoor space and connections to other supports to meet the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness. Provided to respond to increased demand for homeless shelters and/or to prioritize ease of access for those who are vulnerable and may otherwise not access shelters. ‘Allied shelter services’ is also a broad term used to describe a range of services that includes but is not limited to: 24-hour respite sites, 24-hour women’s drop-ins, and Warming Centres, two of which are also defined in this document.
24-hour respite sites
Provides essential services to individuals experiencing homelessness in an environment that prioritizes ease of access to safe indoor space. Services provided include resting spaces, meals and service referrals. An allied shelter service that operates on a 24/7 basis.
Provide daytime locations that offer access to a range of services which may include food, showers, laundry facilities, health services, information and referrals, and social and recreational activities. Services are provided in a welcoming, safe and non-stigmatizing environment. Operate year-round.
Provides immediate safe indoor space for those who are vulnerable and may be experiencing homelessness during extreme cold weather alerts. Facilities vary, but often include City of Toronto buildings or community recreation centres. Services vary, depending on the facility, but include at a minimum a safe indoor and warm resting space, snacks, washroom facilities and referrals to emergency shelter. An allied shelter service that operates on a 24/7 basis for the duration of an extreme cold weather alert.
Street outreach services and the Streets to Homes (S2H) Program
Services targeted to engage people experiencing homelessness who are sleeping outdoors, with a focus on establishing supportive relationships as a first step to addressing their immediate health and safety needs as well as providing supports to move into housing and follow-up supports. Operate year-round throughout the city as part of the Streets to Homes Program.
Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre (SHARC)
Individuals experiencing homelessness can access 129 Peter St. 24/7 to access services such as laundry, showers, washrooms, harm reduction supplies, snacks and access to a telephone. Those looking for shelter should call Central intake at 416 338-4766.
Provides a 24/7 telephone-based service that offers referrals to emergency shelter programs and other overnight accommodation, as well as information about other housing stability services.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.