For­mer jail to be­come shel­ter

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - News -

The min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for On­tario’s poverty-reduction strat­egy says the prov­ince is ren­o­vat­ing a for­mer youth jail for use as a shel­ter for Toronto’s home­less.

City of­fi­cials last week asked for help man­ag­ing an in­creased de­mand for shel­ter ser­vices amid a bit­ter cold snap, and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of­fered the down­town Moss Park Ar­moury as a short-term so­lu­tion.

On­tario Hous­ing Min­is­ter Peter Mil­czyn says pro­vin­cial staff have iden­ti­fied the for­mer York De­ten­tion Cen­tre as the best, and only, pro­vin­cial lo­ca­tion that meets the city’s needs.

Mil­czyn says sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tions, in­clud­ing to the build­ing’s heat­ing, cooling, plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tems, will need to be made in or­der for it be used.

He says the ren­o­va­tions are be­ing ex­pe­dited and it is ex­pected that the site could be op­er­a­tional as a shel­ter space the week of Jan. 29.

Mil­czyn says the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment will ask Ot­tawa to ex­tend the use of the Moss Park Ar­moury as a tem­po­rary respite cen­tre un­til the for­mer de­ten­tion cen­tre is op­er­a­tional.

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