Claim: This is the first year that the City has offered more than one Warming Centre, which will increase access to these services across Toronto.* For the first time, as well, there are four warming centres, an increase from one, across the city when an extreme cold weather alert is called.**

FACT: In previous years, the City of Toronto has offered multiple Warming Centres. In 2016/17 there were three,1 and in 2017/18 there were two.2 In addition to these Warming Centres, the the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre at 129 Peter Street was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.3

FACT: At a time when the number of indoor spaces people have access to has been drastically reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions, the City of Toronto is only opening three additional Warming Centres in 2020/21–the fourth “Warming Centre” at 129 Peter Street (the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre), represents a loss in service, as it is currently only available during Extreme Cold Weather Alerts, when prior to the pandemic it had been open as a full-service site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.4


*City Claim: City of Toronto News Release, December 15, 2020
**City Claim: City of Toronto Press Release, December 3, 2020

  1. Bondy, Madeleine. (February 6, 2017). The City of Toronto is Failing many of its Most Marginalized Homeless Citizens. Imagine.
  2. City of Toronto. (January 4, 2018). City of Toronto opens two 24/7 warming centres.
  3. Raftis, P. (2019). CD29.08 2019 Shelter Infrastructure Plan and System Update Report. p.8
  4. Ibid.