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August 10, 2017
Toronto Fire Services warns public that interior of the Hearn Generating Station is unsafe for public events without corrective actions
Toronto Fire Services is warning the public that without necessary life safety provisions, there are serious deficiencies and breaches of the Ontario Fire Code at the Hearn Power Generating Station, 440 Unwin Street, should the interior of the building be used for public events. This includes the Waterfront Night Market scheduled to begin tomorrow, Friday August 11, for which there is no approved occupancy plan. The owner, lessee and/or occupant of the premises is responsible for taking steps to stop the unsafe use of the property.

The City has a history of working successfully with event organizers to put the necessary life safety measures in place to safely host occasional public events at the Hearn. Before approval for these events is granted, it is incumbent upon event organizers to meet the requirements of the applicable legislation.

"Our primary focus is to protect the safety of the public," said Toronto Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop. "Hosting public events in a space that is not equipped with fire alarm systems, proper lighting, fire exits and other serious deficiencies is not acceptable."

Toronto Fire Services has undertaken efforts to work with the site lessee, Studios of America, to take the required measures necessary to ensure fire and life safety. Until corrective actions have been taken, however, the interior of the building cannot be utilized for public events.

In addition to violations of the Ontario Fire Code, the ongoing, frequent and intensive use of the Hearn Generating Station for public events is in contravention of the applicable zoning bylaws.

Continued use of the Hearn Power Generating Station for filming is permitted by the applicable zoning bylaw, however, the City expects that all filming activities occurring on the site will be conducted in a safe manner. The lessee must take steps to ensure that all building, fire and life safety issues at the site are addressed in all areas where filming occurs.

The City will continue to work with all parties to address the issue of public events being held at the Hearn. Until such time as all measures have been taken to ensure the safety of event attendees, the use of the interior space at the Hearn will not be permitted for public events.

As part of standard practices, organizers utilizing unconventional or former industrial spaces for public events are encouraged to plan in advance and work closely with the applicable City services to ensure all necessary permits and permissions are in place for their events.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at and on Instagram at

Media Contact
Wynna Brown
Strategic Communications



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