Building a City for All - Announcing a New Shelter in the Annex with Members of our Community
Earlier today, I was joined by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and the Annex Residents Association to announce that new permanent shelter beds will be coming to 348 Davenport Road, a site recently acquired by the City for this purpose. This afternoon, I will be distributing a letter to the local community, which you can find here.
I grew-up in the Annex. Our neighbourhood is, and always has been, an inclusive community. I look forward to working with the community to welcome our new neighbours.
As part of the city's efforts to address growing homelessness, a new permanent shelter site will be opened at 348 Davenport Road in the Annex. The site will be renovated for accessibility over the coming months, during which time city staff will design the program to ensure that it meets the standards set out in the city's new shelter model. This includes integrating health supports and wrap-around support services like housing, employment, and case management. It will also include engaging residents, community organizations, and businesses to identify ways the local community can come together and support people staying at the shelter.
"This winter, like so many communities, we have again seen people in our city who are unable to find a bed", said Albert Koehl, Vice-President of the Annex Residents' Association. "Many people in our own community don't have a safe place to spend the night. This is why we welcome this new shelter to the Annex".
"As residents of the Annex for 38 years, Graeme Gibson and I take pride in the fact that this is, and always has been, a welcoming and inclusive neighbourhood," said local front-yard gardener and author Margaret Atwood. "We applaud this space-creation initiative by the City - it answers an urgent need!"
In making this announcement, I was joined by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada and annex resident, Albert Koehl, Vice-President of the Annex Residents' Association, local annex resident and physician Tomislav Svoboda, with support from author and annex resident Margaret Atwood.
"There is room for everyone in our city, which includes citizens of all backgrounds and experiences,” said the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada. "I am happy that I live in a diverse and welcoming neighbourhood like the Annex, which will provide shelter to help the most vulnerable Torontonians in their time of need."
Over the past number of months, demand on the city's shelter system has continued to increase. The extreme cold has exacerbated this already critical situation. To respond, the city has opened a number of emergency winter respite sites, to provide drop-in support for those seeking shelter from the cold. Beginning next week, 348 Davenport Road will be added to the system as an emergency winter respite site, to be used on an as-needed basis, to ensure everyone in the City has access to a safe and warm place to stay.