Residents to be allowed back into 650 Parliament to collect winter clothes, small items

The 1,500 residents of a St. James Town highrise who were forced from their homes following a 6-alarm fire will be allowed back in later this month to collect some of their belongings.

Officials say 650 Parliament Street will be open to residents starting on Monday October 22, but only for extremely short visits to pick up winter clothing and small items.  

An electrical fire on August 21 ravaged the building's infrastructure, leaving all of its residents homeless. Many of them were able to find shelter with friends and relatives shortly afterwards, but others spent several weeks housed in the Regent Park and Wellesley Community Centres. 

Officials say residents returning to the building on the specified date will need to sign a waiver before entering. 

They will also be required to wear full protective gear, including a helmet and a face mask, for their safety. 

Residents will not be allowed to return to their units permanently until early next year.