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December 13, 2000
City of Toronto Re-Opens Temporary Shelter at Former Princess Margaret Hospital
  
Community & Neighbourhood Services - The City of Toronto will open a temporary
120-bed shelter and day program at the former Princess Margaret Hospital on
Sherbourne Street in downtown Toronto at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 15. This
will address an urgent need to provide shelter for couples and single adult
women in the winter months.

The Salvation Army will operate the site on the City's behalf. Twenty beds will
be available on December 15, and a further 100 will be set up within the next
ten days, for a maximum of 120 beds. The Salvation Army will staff the facility
on a seven day a week, 24-hour basis with experienced staff drawn from their
six existing shelters.

In addition to operating an overnight shelter, a day program, funded by
Ministry of Community & Social Services, will also be in place.

The City has arranged to lease the property from the Ontario Realty Corporation
until April 30, 2001, when the shelter will close.

"While the City appreciates the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs &
Housing and the Ontario Realty Corporation in opening the former Princess
Margaret Hospital that addresses an urgent need, it is in no way a long term
solution to our critical need for more affordable housing," said Councillor
Brad Duguid, chair of Toronto City Council's Community Services Committee.

"The matter of future ownership and long term use of this site for affordable
housing are still under discussion between the city and the province,"
Councillor Duguid added.

The City of Toronto funds approximately 50 hostels for homeless couples,
families, youth, single men and single women with a total capacity of about
5,000 beds. This includes the Out of the Cold network of churches, synagogues
and agencies that provides accommodation and meals for adults and youth at
different locations every night of the week, and more than 25 organizations
that provide regular drop-in services for homeless people year round.


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