Jan 3/18 – City of Toronto moving to expand winter respite and shelter capacity

News Release (updated)

January 3, 2018

City of Toronto moving to expand winter respite and shelter capacity

The City of Toronto is expanding winter respite capacity at the Better Living Centre (BLC) site from 110 beds to 150 to accommodate increased demand. The facility on the Exhibition Grounds was opened on December 21 as one of six winter respite sites across the city, with an original capacity of 100 beds.

As part of the City-led efforts to increase capacity within the shelter system, the new 60-bed Salvation Army Hope shelter is expected to open in the next 10 days as part of 291 additional shelter beds to be opened in 2018.

And as cold temperatures continue, City staff now recommend a seventh 24/7 winter respite service be opened at the armouries or another suitable location. Based on that advice, Mayor John Tory asked the federal government Wednesday to work with City staff to confirm the Moss Park armoury can be made available as a 24-hour respite centre for up to 100 beds until April 15.

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Jan 2/18 – Update on City of Toronto homelessness services

News Release

January 2, 2018

Update on City of Toronto homelessness services

City of Toronto staff continue to actively monitor and respond to the need for homelessness services across the city.

"It is the expectation of the City of Toronto that anyone who requests City-funded and/or operated homeless support and respite services, receives it," said Paul Raftis General Manager of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration. "Service requests for homeless support and respite services are not to be refused during the cold weather season."

City staff has connected with the Ombudsman's office and is currently reviewing how information about homelessness services is being communicated by frontline staff to clients. It is particularly important when individuals with specific requirements or needs cannot be immediately assisted that staff work with them to offer alternative service and to assist with transportation requirements.

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City of Toronto Public Appointment Opportunity

City of Toronto is seeking a new public member of the GTAA's Community Environment and Noise Advisory Committee

Are you interested in noise and environmental issues related to Pearson International Airport? The City of Toronto is currently seeking one local resident to join the Greater Toronto Airport Authority's Community Environment and Noise Advisory Committee (CENAC).

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Dec 31/17 – Update on Toronto homelessness services during extreme cold weather: Services remain available for those in need

News Release

December 31, 2017

Update on Toronto homelessness services during extreme cold weather: Services remain available for those in need

Toronto's shelter system is responding to the current extreme cold weather with additional beds available to be added to the shelter system, 24/7 street outreach, and 24/7 low barrier respite drop-in services. City shelters and respite services are very busy during this extreme cold weather but there is still room to accommodate people seeking respite from the frigid weather.

The City continues to monitor the situation closely and 24-hour street outreach remains in effect. If someone on the street needs outreach assistance, please call 311. In case of an emergency (for example, a person lying on the street with skin exposed), please call 911.

Shelter occupancy was 95% last night, which is similar to occupancy levels seen over the last few months. Most of the winter respite drop-ins and Out of the Cold programs are operating at capacity, however, there were up to 60 spaces available last night and the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre overnight respite program located at 129 Peter Street had capacity to serve 20 to 30 additional clients overnight. Last night, City outreach workers engaged with 14 people, none of whom accepted service. This is fewer people than on recent cold nights as the weather appears to have driven people inside.

The Better Living Centre is the most recent winter respite service to be opened and it has the capacity to serve 110 people and saw 71 last night. The TTC is redirecting buses to stop outside the building.

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Program shortened for New Year’s Eve celebration at Nathan Phillips Square

News Release

December 29, 2017

Program shortened for New Year's Eve celebration at Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto's New Year's Eve celebration at Nathan Phillips Square has been shortened due to current extreme cold weather conditions. The New Year's Eve event will begin shortly before midnight with a live DJ set, followed by a countdown to the fireworks display at midnight, as planned. The City will continue to monitor weather conditions over the next 48 hours and make further adjustments, if necessary.

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Registration for City of Toronto’s winter swim and skate programs and March break camps starts this coming weekend

News Release

November 27, 2017

Registration for City of Toronto's winter swim and skate programs and March break camps starts this coming weekend

The City of Toronto offers a wide range of safe, fun and high-quality recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests. Registration for winter swim and skate programs and March break camps starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 2 for Etobicoke York and Scarborough districts and Tuesday, December 5 for North York and Toronto and East York districts.

Registering online is the quickest and easiest way to sign up for programs. Over the past year, the City has worked to improve the registration experience by increasing server capacity by 25 per cent so that more people can access the system online. The City has also introduced clearer navigation and planning tools online, and has extended customer service hours and added more staff to provide in-person support.

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