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July 25, 2008
Tests conducted at 2 Secord Avenue confirm it is safe for tenants to re-enter building to retrieve essential items
On Wednesday, July 23, Toronto Public Health took samples of air and soot throughout the building at 2 Secord Avenue. The results of those tests now confirm it is safe for residents to re-enter their units to retrieve essential items.

“The results indicate that there are no unusual hazardous substances in the building as a result of the fire,” said Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown. “There is no health risk for residents who may wish to return briefly to their apartments to retrieve personal items.”

Tenants are being contacted to give them details about re-entering their units to retrieve essential items, starting tomorrow and over the coming days. Provisions are being set up to facilitate access to the units in a safe, timely and secure manner. Police officers and firefighters will escort tenants to their units.

As is normal after any fire, soot and odours may irritate the lungs or worsen the symptoms of people with respiratory conditions such as asthma, particularly with physical exertion such as stair climbing. For this reason, Toronto Emergency Medical Services will remain on-site as a precaution as people re-enter the building.

An environmental cleaning company has been contracted to clean the hallways and stairwells to reduce the soot before tenants can enter the building to retrieve essential items. Once the cleaning is complete, the following will apply:
• Only adults will be able to enter the building.
• Protective disposable shoe covers and gloves will be provided to protect from soot.
• Eating and smoking will not be allowed while in the building.
• Tenants are asked to avoid disturbing soot wherever possible.

“The tenants have been incredibly patient and co-operative throughout this process,” said local Councillor Janet Davis, Ward 31 Beaches-East York. “It is great news that tenants will be able to retrieve some of the essential items they have been without since Sunday morning, and the City of Toronto will continue to provide supports for as long as required.”

If tenants have questions or concerns regarding the test results, they can call Toronto Health Connection at 416-338-7600 or speak to Toronto Public Health staff on-site. The phone lines will be staffed this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The fire resulted in extensive damage to the apartment building’s electrical room and parking garage. The building itself is structurally safe, however, it is estimated that it will be weeks before the damage to the electrical room can be repaired, and electricity to the building restored so tenants can move back in. The Office of the Fire Marshal continues to investigate the cause of the fire.

A bank account has been set up to accept monetary donations to assist residents displaced by the fire. Cheques should be made out to the City of Toronto, 2 Secord Ave. fire. The donation is tax deductible. Donors should include their names and addresses in order to receive a tax receipt. Cheques can be dropped off to City staff at Secord Public School or mailed to Toronto Office of Partnerships, Metro Hall, First Floor, 55 John St. Toronto ON M5V 3C6. Monetary donations can also be made at two local RBC Royal Bank branches:
• 2780 Danforth Ave. (Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road)
• 2076 Danforth Ave. (Danforth Avenue and Woodbine Avenue)

Corporate partners who wish to provide in-kind donations are encouraged to provide gift certificates or vouchers for goods and services, and can speak to City staff about how they can help on-site or by calling 647-272-8935.

For more information, including updates, residents can call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or visit the City’s website at

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. In the past three years, 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.

Media contact:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health Media Relations, 416-896-7867,



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