Feb 01, 2023
By Jane Brown
Toronto’s mayor says a ruling recently made by an Ontario Superior Court judge to allow for a homeless encampment to remain in a Kitchener parking lot, may not apply to the encampments that get set up in Toronto parks.
John Tory says unlike in Kitchener, where there are not enough shelter spaces to house these individuals, outreach workers in Toronto are constantly trying to bring unhoused people inside.
“They sometimes go back, without exaggeration, hundreds of times to the encampments and offer people different forms of housing and the facts are very simple,” Tory told CP24 on Wednesday morning, “Last year we actually moved and succeeded in convincing thousands of people to move from encampments to safe indoor housing.”
Mayor Tory also says that the judge ruling on the Kitchener case pointed out that the encampment in question is in a parking lot and different than in Toronto with encampments in public parks.
“Because he acknowledged when you have a public park, it is a public space and there are competing interests in terms of people who want to use a park in a neighbourhood with their children and so on, to just enjoy recreation.”
But homeless advocates complain the way in which homeless people are evicted by police officers with force from Toronto parks is not appropriate and unnecessary.