City of Toronto announces expansion of winter services, increasing number of sites, total capacity and days of 24-hour service

October 27, 2017 

Paul Raftis, General Manager of the City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, today announced details about an expanded suite of services available this winter to assist residents who are experiencing homelessness.

"It's not enough to be providing more shelter services per capita than any other Canadian city," Raftis said. "Our shelters are very busy and staff are working full-time on opening new shelters to address increases in demand before the end of the year, into 2018, and beyond. In the meantime, we are increasing the number of sites providing 24/7 winter respite services and tripling the days of continuous service availability."

Services will be available starting November 15 and remain open until April 15 next year.

The City has increased the number of winter respite sites to five from the three provided last winter, and the number of sleeping spaces to at least 250 from 160. Days of 24-hour service will rise to 760 (five sites x 152 days of 24-hour service) from 240 last winter.

24/7 Winter Respite Services, November 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018:

• Yonge and Bloor site at 21 Park Rd.

• Downtown East site at 323 Dundas St. E.

• Downtown West site at 25 Augusta Ave.

• Parkdale site; details available shortly • Scarborough site at 705 Progress Ave.

Funded and co-ordinated by the City, these services will be operated by community not-for-profit agencies. The low-barrier programs provide places to sleep, warm meals, welcoming staff, referrals to community services and access to help to find permanent housing.

Information about all services for people experiencing homelessness, including winter services, Out of the Cold programs, year-round 24/7 specialized drop-in programs, and shelters, will be available through 311 and through the Homeless Help app at

This release is also available on the City's website:

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto is honouring Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at and on Instagram at


Media contact: Patricia Anderson, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, 416-397-4328, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.