Early opening for Moss Park Armoury as winter respite centre

As of 7 p.m. Saturday the Moss Park Amoury will be open to shelter 100 homeless Torontonians, 36 hours earlier than first announced by city officials.

Shelter administration general manager Paul Raftis said Friday the city would need the weekend to get the Moss Park Armoury ready, but at a press conference Saturday said the site would be ready by 7 p.m. 

In a response to getting people out of the cold the city has also increased capacity at two other warming centres and opened the Wellesley Community Centre at 499 Sherbourne Street as a warming centre.

Raftis said 190 people slept at the Better Living Centre on the Exhibition Grounds last night, prompting officials to increase its capacity to 200 going forward, 33 slept at the Regent Park Community Centre.

Regent Park Community Centre will now have 180 spaces, and the warming centre at Wellesley Community Centre will open Saturday night, increasing the number of winter respite centres in the city to eight.

Raftis said there will be paramedics patrolling the downtown core and elsewhere, looking to help people who are street-involved Saturday night.

With files from CP24