Government of Canada makes Moss Park Armoury available as temporary emergency warming centre

News Release

January 5, 2018
Ottawa, ON
Public Safety Canada

When emergencies strike, Canadians all come together to keep our neighbours, families and communities safe

To help protect people from the extreme cold weather, the Government of Canada will make the Moss Park Armoury in Toronto available to the City of Toronto for use as a temporary emergency warming centre, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the next two weeks.

The announcement comes in response to a Request for Assistance from the Government of Ontario. During the two-week period when the Moss Park Armoury is open as a temporary emergency warming centre, the Province of Ontario will confirm a longer-term solution to address this situation.

Government officials are currently undertaking necessary health and safety checks so that the Armoury can be open as soon as possible. During this severe cold snap, this temporary emergency warming centre will provide vulnerable populations in Toronto with a place where they can gather to stay warm.


“Keeping Canadians safe is always our first priority. We’re moving quickly with our partners to make Moss Park Armoury temporarily available to help protect people from the severe cold snap in Toronto. Emergency management is a shared responsibility across all levels of government – and when provinces and territories need our support to respond to extreme situations, we are proud to work together to find solutions.”

- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“I am extremely proud that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces are working closely with Public Safety Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Toronto to open the Moss Park Armoury as a temporary emergency warming centre to those in need during the current extreme weather conditions.”

- The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Homelessness is a reality for too many Canadians, and a challenge for every Canadian community. When someone is forced to live on the streets, we are all affected. That is why, last November, we announced Canada's first-ever National Housing Strategy, with a goal to reduce homelessness by 50% and lift more than 500,000 families out of housing need. As part of the National Housing Strategy, we announced $2.2 billion over 10 years to help communities provide stable housing for those who are homeless. The Federal Government is helping now, and helping for the long-term.”

- The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“We are working closely with the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario to address the urgent need to shelter people from extreme cold, as well as to continue developing longer-term solutions to homelessness through our National Housing Strategy. While our immediate priority is to keep people safe, we also working to address the systemic issues that lead to this problem through historic federal investments in affordable housing.”

- Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs)

Quick Facts

  • Emergencies are first managed at the local level: hospitals, fire departments, police and municipalities. If they need assistance at the local level, they request it from the provinces or territories.  If the emergency escalates beyond the province or territories capabilities, they can request that assistance be provided by the Federal Government.

  • Public Safety Canada works collaboratively with a network of federal government institutions, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, first responders and voluntary organizations, and other stakeholders and communities, supporting a whole-of-society approach to emergency management across four related areas: prevention and mitigation, emergency preparedness, responding to emergency events, and recovering from disasters.

  • Ensuring that Canadians have access to safe and affordable housing is a priority for the Government of Canada. Through the National Housing Strategy, the federal government is re-engaging in affordable housing and bringing together the public, private and non-profit sectors to ensure more Canadians have a place to call home.


Scott Bardsley
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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