Tory visits warming centre Tuesday night

    Mayor John Tory paid a late night visit to one of Toronto's warming centres Tuesday night.

    That warming centre, The Better Living Centre,on the grounds of Exhibition Place, became a lightning rod of controversy on Saturday night after many people in need were turned away after the centre claimed it didn't have enough beds to house them.

    This on a weekend where temperatures in Toronto plunged to below -30c with the windchill as the city was in the grips of an artic cold spell.

    On Sunday, the Mayor's office released a statement refuting the claim there weren't enough beds.   

    On his way out of the warming centre Tuesday night, Tory didn't offer much in a way of statement or explanation for the incidents.

   "We'll see the media tomorrow(Wednesday) and we'll be doing more things to move things forward."

     Complaints about the lack of adequate shelter for the homeless in the midst of extreme cold weather have prompted both the City of Toronto and its ombudsman to launch formal investigations.

     Advocates have said in recent days that they tried to find spots for homeless people in some of the city's 62 shelters only to be told that they were fully booked.

     The city has said there are still beds available for the homeless, blaming miscommunication for the confusion.

     The city's general manager of shelter support, Paul Raftis, says he's asked staff to review the intake process and communication about shelter bed availability.

     Toronto's ombudsman Susan Opler has also announced an inquiry into the situation that will focus on the winter needs of the homeless and whether the city is providing services in a way that ensures people's dignity, safety and comfort.

     Opler says her office has been following the situation closely since delivering its report last year on the city's cold weather drop-in program.


      with files from The Canadian Press