The City of Toronto has announced the opening of two 24/7 warming centres to provide additional relief for homeless individuals and their pets.
"We continue to explore all options and opportunities to protect our city's most vulnerable residents," said Mayor John Tory. "These warming centres provide accessible immediate relief during Extreme Cold Weather events and are in addition to the City's other winter respite services."
The overnight warming centres, located at Metro Hall, 55 John St., and Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St., will operate 24/7 daily beginning this evening at 7 p.m. and continuing until the current Extreme Cold Weather Alert is terminated.
The Regent Park Community Centre warming centre will be operated by the City's Office of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Canadian Red Cross and provide 100 cots, meals, showers, hygiene kits and referrals to additional supports. Metro Hall will be accessible 24/7 for the same time period and provide drop-in access to a warm, welcoming space. Toronto Paramedic Services will have a dedicated resources available at both warming centres in the evenings to provide assistance to those in need.Read more →
Today, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued their decision regarding appeals of the city's Ward Boundary Review. The OMB has approved the new 47 ward boundary structure that City Council endorsed at its November 9, 2017 meeting. Should there be no further legal challenges by the end of the year, the new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2018 municipal election.Read more →
Interfaith leaders call on Toronto City Council to fix the Shelter Crisis as they gather to mark the Chanukah Holiday
DECEMBER 14, 2017
(TORONTO) Spadina-Fort York MP Adam Vaughan and Councillor Joe Cressy, Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina joined the First Interfaith Out of the Cold Shelter for a solidarity candle lighting ceremony this evening at St. Matthews's Church (729 St. Clair W) near Christie and St. Clair. Rabbi Shalom Schachter led the ceremony and was joined by volunteers and representatives from the Interfaith Coalition to Fight Homelessness.Read more →
1. Closing the Service Gap in the Downtown East
My motion "Closing the Service Gap in the Downtown East Revitalization Area" was successfully adopted by City Council. The motion calls for increased investments in social services in the downtown east and for Staff to develop a 5-year plan, in consultation with the appropriate City divisions and agencies including stakeholders and the Ward Councillors, to coordinate City services and programs and develop a comprehensive plan to holistically address the long-term community needs in establishing a healthy sustainable neighbourhood. Read the full motion here.
2. Call for Immediate Action to End Women's Homelessness
December 6th marked the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. As women face higher rates of violence, they often live with precarious housing and homeless. Moreover, homeless women face higher rates of violence and sexual assault. On Wednesday, front-line workers, advocates & faith leaders called on City Council to take immediate action to address women’s homelessness.
3. Council Asked to Open Armouries to Address Shelter Crisis
With advocates and front-line service providers, I urged City Council to approve a motion to open the Canadian military armouries in the city to the homeless. On December 6, amidst heated debate, we heard from the Federal Government that they are ready to support Toronto's Shelter Crisis. Toronto city council has endorsed a plan to boost the number of beds in its already jammed shelter system, but declined calls to open the Fort York and Moss Park military's armouries to the homeless. The vote in favour of more shelter beds is a good step, but I believe it does not go far enough to address the immediate urgency.
4. Call for Small Business Tax Reform
I successfully introduced the motion small business tax reform motion passes at Council. Next stop is getting a resolution passed in February when staff report back. Great advocacy from Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Toronto Alliance of Business Improvement Areas, and John Anderson, representing a coalition of Yonge street business owners. Read the full motion here.
5. Formal Endorsement of the Dynamic Symbol of Access
As chair of the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC), I am pleased to endorse the great work by The Forward Movement request the Province and City use the Dynamic Symbol of Access in Ontario Building Code, Highway Traffic Act and for city-owned properties.
Five Things Friday is a new weekly series from Councillor Wong-Tam and the Ward 27 team that provides updates on new and on-going initiatives from City Council and across the ward. Sign up to our newsletter to get further updates.