City of Toronto  

Living in TorontoDoing businessVisiting TorontoAccessing City Hall
All news releases
Last 30 days
By month
Archived news release by year
  2012 - 2011 - 2010
  2009 - 2008 - 2007
  2006 - 2005 - 2004
  2003 - 2002 - 2001
  2000 - 1999 - 1998
RSS identifier linked to feed RSS
December 19, 2004
First extreme cold Weather Alert called
Toronto Hostel Services has issued the first extreme cold weather alert of the
2004/2005 winter to help get homeless people in from the cold. The alert is
effective for today only, Sunday, December 19. Toronto Hostel Services will
review the weather on Monday morning before determining whether to extend the

An alert goes into effect when Environment Canada:
  1. predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill
  2. issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area; and/or
  3. predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.

Under the alert, the following extra services are available to help homeless
  • 107 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto shelters
  • enhanced street outreach services, including emergency transportation to shelters, provided by Anishnawbe Health, Red Cross, Native Men's Residence and Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre
  • distribution of emergency TTC tickets through drop-in centres and outreach agencies to help homeless people reach shelters.

The Street Helpline service at 1-866-392-3777 also operates 24 hours a day to
let homeless people and front-line workers know where to find shelter and other
services. Members of the public can call this number if they see a homeless
person sleeping outside.

This is the ninth year the Extreme Cold Weather Plan has been in place. Last
year, Toronto had 27 days of extremely cold weather. "We are working to provide
long-term solutions to homelessness," said Elaine Smyer of Toronto Shelter,
Housing and Support, "but when the weather becomes extremely cold, our first
priority is to ensure the immediate safety of our most vulnerable citizens."

Team members include representatives from Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support,
Toronto Public Health, Toronto Emergency Medical Services, the Canadian Red
Cross Society, Native Men's Residence, Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Christie
Ossington Neighbourhood Centre, Community Information Toronto, Street Helpline
and the Toronto Police Service.

For more information about cold weather alerts and what you can do to protect
and other, please visit eralert

Media contacts:
Elaine Smyer, Emergency Planning, Toronto Shelter, Housing & Support,
416-397-1384; after hours 416-714-2730
Cynthia Ross, Partnership Development, Toronto Shelter, Housing & Support,
416-392-0546; cell 416-435-3838



Toronto maps | Get involved | Toronto links
© City of Toronto 1998-2019