The Canadian government has accepted the municipal request to open Moss Park Armoury as a 24/7 warming centre.
Earlier this week, Mayor John Tory asked the federal government to work with the City to confirm that the Moss Park armoury can be available until April 15.
On Friday, Ralph Goodale confirmed they will be moving forward with the request, although it will only be open for two weeks.
“The Government of Canada has accepted the request from Toronto and Ontario to temporarily make the Moss Park Armoury available as a 24/7 warming centre for 2 weeks,” said Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “We’re all working together to keep people safe from the cold.”
Tory’s request came a month after Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s motion for the Armoury to be used as a shelter was defeated in council.
Along with Goodale, Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, said he spoke with the Mayor to open the Armoury.
Spoke with Mayor @JohnTory. Our Government is making the Moss Park Armoury temporarily available as an emergency warming centre for 2 weeks. We are all working together to help keep people out of the cold.
— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) January 5, 2018
Last month, City Council authorized spending $10.6 million for staff to provide an additional 400 spaces and beds for the homeless. According to the City, half of the spaces are now open, while the other half will be open within the coming weeks. As of January 4, shelters were running at almost maximum capacity.
On Thursday, the city opened two more 24/7 warming centres in the downtown core to provide additional relief for homeless individuals and their pets. The warming centres are located at Metro Hall, 55 John Street and Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter Street.