Even though the extreme cold alert is expected to be lifted on Thursday, the city plans to keep services for the homeless up and running.
It is unusual to keep these cold weather services open when there is no alert, but the city says it is erring on the side of caution.
Two men said to be homeless were discovered dead after bitterly cold nights in Toronto, with exposure to freezing temperatures named as the cause of death. Those deaths spurred a conversation about homelessness in the city.
A protest at Mayor John Tory's office demanded he call a cold weather alert, which automatically triggers the opening of extra spaces in shelters. Tory asked the city manager to open the warming centres immediately, beginning on Tuesday.
The additional extreme weather services remain in effect for the time being and until further notice.
- two 24-hour extreme weather drop-ins
- 26 additional extreme weather beds
- direction to shelters to relax any service restrictions
- additional street outreach
- the availability of TTC tokens in many drop-ins
There were 80 people using the two 24-hour drop-ins as of 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
Two homeless men were found dead less than 24 hours apart — one was 55 years old and the other 60. The man who died Tuesday was wearing only jeans and a T-shirt in a bus shelter. The man who died on Monday was found inside an abandoned panel truck.