From 2018-01-09

A downtown armoury opened to Toronto's homeless on Saturday evening as the city faced a 13th day with an extreme cold-weather alert in effect.

The Moss Park Armoury had not been expected to open until Monday. However, after federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced on Friday that the armoury would be opened as a temporary homeless shelter following a request from the city, staff began retrofitting it.

The facility will provide 100 cots and is situated on the eastern edge of the downtown core, close to a supervised-drug-use site.

"We are dedicated to meeting the needs of our city's most vulnerable," Mayor John Tory said. "I want to extend my sincere appreciation to city staff for this extraordinary response to address this urgent situation."

Mr. Tory called the cold conditions "relentless" and said the increased demand for additional homelessness supports is "unprecedented."

When fully operational, services at the Moss Park Armoury will include access to meals, showers, hygiene kits and referrals to additional supports such as case management and housing supports.

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