Government of Canada helps Toronto ease shelter pressures for asylum claimants

News release

January 25, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada will provide the City of Toronto with $15 million to address acute temporary housing shortages that are affecting many people, including asylum claimants, particularly during the winter months.

While the provision of affordable temporary housing has been a key challenge in Toronto for some time, the Government of Canada recognizes that there has been a greater demand for shelter space this past year due to the impacts of global migration.

The funding provided to Toronto demonstrates our commitment to taking practical action to provide assistance. It will support the city’s efforts in helping asylum seekers to find temporary housing solutions, as they do for all individuals who use municipal shelters. This funding is in addition to the $11 million provided to Toronto in June 2018.

The Government of Canada continues to believe that provincial governments are best placed to distribute funds for temporary housing pressures. We look forward to developing a cost-sharing agreement with Ontario to address the challenges that asylum claims and irregular migration present.


“We appreciate the City of Toronto’s willingness to collaborate and to find solutions together to help those in need of shelter. While Mayor Tory has been a particularly important partner, I continue to engage with Minister MacLeod and believe the Government of Ontario is best placed to distribute funds for housing pressures. I look forward to continue working with Ontario”.

– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

“I want to thank the Government of Canada for providing this additional and immediate financial assistance in response to the City's request. We are working to help refugee claimants and asylum seekers who arrive in Toronto, but we have been clear that we cannot do this alone. We will continue to work with the federal and provincial governments to help address this ongoing issue”.

– Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto

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Contacts for media only

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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