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December 12, 2005
Extreme cold weather alert called
Toronto Hostel Services has issued an extreme cold weather alert, effective immediately, to help get homeless people in from the cold. The alert will be in effect until further notice from Toronto Hostel Services.

An alert goes into effect when Environment Canada:
  • predicts a temperature of -15 C or lower, without wind chill;
  • issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area; and/or
  • predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.
Under the alert, the following extra services are available to help homeless people:
  • 80 additional emergency sleeping spaces in Toronto shelters;
  • enhanced street outreach services, including emergency transportation to shelters, provided by Red Cross, Native Mens Residence and Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre; and
  • 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 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.

For more information, visit the City's Web site at

Media contacts:
Elaine Smyer
Emergency Planning
Toronto Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
416-397-1384 or 416-714-2730 (after hours)

Sandra Vaughan
Partnership Development, Toronto Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
416-397-4192 or 416-553-8428 (cell)



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