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Winter is here and Toronto’s homeless shelters remain “98-99%” full

According to the City of Toronto’s daily tracker, the city’s homeless shelters remain at 99 or even 100% capacity for certain demographics.
Ali Taghva Montreal, QC

As Toronto faces an extreme cold warning, the lack of potential shelter space continues to be a worrying thought in the minds of many.

According to the City of Toronto’s daily tracker, the city’s homeless shelters remain at 99 or even 100% capacity for certain demographics.

Space for single women and youth both maintained an occupancy rate of 98%, while men hit 99%. Family shelters, excluding motels, reached capacity, with 100% occupancy.

Total occupancy buoyed by free space for families in motels hit 94%.

Through its Winter Program, the city has opened up 100% of beds, in response to growing demand, especially during winter.

While the city is attempting to help where it can, there is simply no getting around the “unprecedented demand for emergency shelter.”

According to the city, the extra spaces offered through the winter program are in response to “increasing pressures” from asylum seekers, as well as people from nearby municipalities.

Refugees have come to represent roughly 36% of the shelter system since 2016, with both the Roxham border crossers and the Syrian population requiring assistance, likely due to high housing costs in urban areas.

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Ali Taghva
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