Toronto to use Novotel on The Esplanade as temporary homeless shelter

Feb 6 2021, 9:21 pm

Toronto has leased a downtown hotel with plans to use the site as a temporary emergency shelter during COVID-19.

The city said it has leased 45 The Esplanade in order to support the need for physical distancing in the shelter system. The address is the site of Novotel Toronto Centre.

“The hotel has been leased from the property owner until December 2021 with the potential for extension as public health guidance changes,” the city’s website reads.

The Esplanade site will be filled “gradually” once it opens on February 22.

At first, 205 rooms will be available for single adults and couples, but eventually the hotel’s full 254 rooms will be used.

The city notes that a “key focus” of the site will be providing space for people who are currently experiencing homelessness in Toronto.

A number of “wrap around supports” will be available at the Novotel site, including social engagement programming and a clinic with a primary care physician.

Harm reduction supports will also be provided onsite, which will include the range of services available through its Integrated Prevention and Harm Reduction initiative.

This “includes a possible safe consumption site exclusively for shelter clients,” the city’s website notes.

Novotel Toronto Centre is one of more than 40 temporary shelters that the city has opened since the start of the pandemic, over 25 of which are currently open.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

+ News
+ Coronavirus