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September 29, 2010
200 Wellesley St. E. fire update
The City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing are working cooperatively to ensure the well-being of tenants displaced as a result of the fire at 200 Wellesley St. E.

Toronto Community Housing crews are in the building working 24 hours a day to clean up and make necessary repairs to essential systems, such as the fire alarm system, so that residents can return home as soon as it is safe to do so.

The City and Toronto Community Housing continue to offer support to tenants at the Wellesley Community Centre at 495 Sherbourne St. The McCaul Street (255 McCaul St.) reception centre is no longer needed and has been closed. Toronto Community Housing staff and City staff from Shelter, Support and Housing, Employment and Social Services, Public Health, and Toronto Animal Services remain on site to assist residents.

The supports available to residents include:
• Crisis counselling
• Help to acquire necessary medications
• Help with transit
• Animal retrieval and care until they can be re-united with their owners
• Social service supports
• Access to clothing

Temporary housing at area hotels, furnished apartments or other Toronto Community Housing sites has been provided to more than 175 households. More than 1500 meal vouchers and approximately 300 TTC tokens have been distributed to tenants. In addition, more than 2500 meals have been served at the Wellesley St. reception centre. Buses have been made available to transport residents from their hotels to the reception centre so that they can access the services available to them.

Other services made available to residents include a temporary post office operated by Canada Post in the reception centre. The post office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Friday, October 1. On Thursday, September 30, the post office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents can pick up mail with a Toronto Community Housing letter of identification and the yellow registration card.

Toronto Animal Services is working to reunite pets with their owners where possible and continues to provide food and water to animals that remain in the building.

Building residents who are not on site but have questions can call the Toronto Community Housing tenant hotline at 416-981-5520.

The Toronto Office of Partnerships is accepting donations of cheques or gift cards for residents who have been displaced. Cheques or gift cards can be mailed to the Toronto Office of Partnerships, Metro Hall, First Floor, 55 John Street, Toronto, ON M5V 3C6 or dropped off at the Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne Street) or 519 Church Street.

Cheques should be made payable to Treasurer, City of Toronto and should say in comments - Victims of the Wellesley St. Fire. The donation is tax deductible. Donors should include their full name and address in order to receive a tax receipt.

Donations may also be made at RBC branches located within the city of Toronto (416 area code). RBC branches will accept cash, money orders, drafts and VISA cash advances. Drafts/money orders must be made payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto”. Cheques will not be accepted at RBC branches and donations made at RBC branches will not be issued a tax receipt.

Torontonians have been incredibly generous in their support of the tenants of 200 Wellesley St. E. Donations have been pouring into the community centre at 519 Church Street and we no longer have room available to accept additional clothing donations. Because many residents are being housed in facilities without kitchens, food vouchers have been provided to residents, eliminating the need for food donations.

Residents of 200 Wellesley St. E. can pick up donated items at 519 Church Street. Residents are asked to bring their yellow registration card.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants, about 6% of the city's population, with low and moderate incomes. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs who deliver its mandate to provide quality housing and build great neighbourhoods. Toronto Community Housing is one of Canada's 2010 Top 100 Employers.

Media contacts:
Rob Andrusevich, Strategic Communications 416-200-3660
Jeffrey Ferrier, Toronto Community Housing Media Relations, 416-737-1352



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