Feb 08, 2023
By Christine Ross
Toronto city council has voted to scrap a proposal to keep its warming centres open around the clock until mid-April.
Instead, council decided to call on Ottawa for more support and for the province to require big municipalities to provide shelter space proportionate to their population. Council also moved to ask city staff to report on the feasibility of providing 24-7 respite spaces.
Meanwhile, councillors are being asked to find a space in their ward that could be used as a warming centre this winter, subject to budget approval and available staff. Councillors were originally considering a recommendation by the city’s board of health to declare a public health crisis over the lack of shelter space and to direct city staff to keep warming centres open 24-7 until April 15.
City data shows the city’s shelter system is running at capacity and struggling to accommodate people looking for a bed.