Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cold Weather | Toronto Heat Centres Are Open

As the city’s temperatures dropped below zero, Toronto opened its 3 warming facilities.

cold-weather-toronto-heat-centres-are-open
Cold Weather | Toronto Heat Centres Are Open

The venues, which are in a Metro Hall at 55 John St., a Scarborough Civic Center at 150 Borough Dr., and a Mitchell Field Community Center in North York at 89 Church Ave., all opened on Friday at 7 pm and will likely be open all weekend.

The Scarborough facility can hold 17 people, while the downtown location can hold up to 45 people. There are 50 needy persons housed in Willowdale’s third warming centre.

Everyone is invited to stop by to rest, have a snack, and use the restroom if they need a warm and secure indoor area. Visitors who are members of the unhoused population are also given referrals to shelters under the city’s shelter system.

Warming stations in Toronto are typically opened when the City of Toronto Health Officer issues an extreme cold alert due to a forecast from Environment Canada of -15°C or lower, or when the wind chill is -20°C or lower.

Suppose the prediction calls for precipitation, extremely low daytime temperatures, or a string of consecutive cold days and nights, all of which harm human health. In that case, an extreme weather alert may also be issued.

Toronto’s current temperature is minus 10 degrees Celsius, but the wind chill makes it feel more like 19 degrees. On Saturday, a high of – 6C is predicted.

The Homeless Emergency Action Task Force report from June 1996 that called for action in response to the rising number of homeless people in need of resources is where these warnings first appeared. In Toronto, they were initially put into practice in the winter of 1996–1997.

Warming centres are part of Toronto’s winter service plan for the homeless for 2022 – 2023. The city also claimed calls for creating 1,000 additional emergency shelters on top of the more than 8,000 spaces presently available to at – risk citizens each night.

Advocates and supporters have urged the city of Toronto to immediately open more heat centers and make them accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day, during the coldest months of the year.

Along with other things, they want the city to keep the present shelters operational, including the five shelter hotels scheduled to close in 2023, stop evicting camps and destroying survival gear, and add 2,700 non-community places to the regular shelter system.

Advocates are also urging the City of Toronto to include more money for shelter expansion in its 2019 budget and increased social services and assistance for the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

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