Protesters trying to raise awareness about homelessness in Toronto were escorted out of city hall Friday night after refusing to leave the space outside Mayor Rob Ford’s office.

Close to 40 people involved with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty sat in a loud but peaceful protest about Toronto’s lack of shelter beds for the city’s homeless.

“In response to a series of homeless deaths and as the weather dips to frigid temperatures once again, OCAP and allies took over the second floor of City Hall and set up an 'emergency shelter' in front of Rob Ford's office,” a statement on the OCAP website read.

Their sit-in began in the afternoon, but when the building was closed to the public at night, the crowd was asked to leave.

Toronto police arrived at around 10 p.m. and told the activists they had to leave. Some refused and were escorted out by officers, many given tickets for trespassing with the expectation they will appear in court.

John Clarke with OCAP said he is not convinced that Mayor Rob Ford understands the seriousness of the issue.

Councillor Adam Vaughan is planning on calling an emergency debate about the issue at Wednesday's council meeting.

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