The Toronto Transit Commission says it sees a spike in the number of people seeking shelter in stations when the weather turns cold, as the city continues to face capacity challenges at its shelters and warming centres.
Spokesman Stuart Green says TTC staff observe between 30 and 60 unhoused people per day in transit stations during cold weather months, compared to eight to 10 the rest of the year.
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He says these figures are estimates based on current and historical data.
The City of Toronto has said it plans to open a new site to help keep vulnerable residents warm when temperatures drop to – 15 C, after its four warming centres were at capacity over the weekend.
Toronto has opened additional shelter space, expanded its warming centres’ operations, and opened new 24-hour respite sites this winter.
City councillors had voted last year to lower the threshold for when warming centres will be opened to -5 C or when freezing rain, snow or storm warnings are issued. Warming centres opened last winter only when temperatures dipped to -15 C or -20 C in Toronto.
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