Government of Canada partners with City of Ottawa to open temporary emergency overnight centre

News release

January 19, 2024 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

As Ottawa continues to face extreme weather, the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa are partnering to offer vulnerable people and those experiencing homelessness a warm indoor space to rest.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has signed an agreement with the City of Ottawa to temporarily use the Graham Spry Building, located at 250 Lanark Avenue, as a temporary emergency overnight centre for those seeking refuge from the cold. Expected to open on January 20, 2024, the centre will provide a safe and warm space for up to 45 people at a time.

The Graham Spry Building is one of 10 federally owned buildings in the National Capital Region identified for disposal by PSPC.

PSPC continues to work with the public, community organizations and other stakeholders to identify new opportunities to leverage its surplus assets to support housing and other community needs. PSPC is also developing a long-term real estate portfolio plan to optimize federal office space, lower operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and serve local communities.


“During these colder months, it is essential that we work together to protect everyone in our communities, including those who are more vulnerable. This partnership with the City of Ottawa will do just that. As we find ways to accelerate and streamline the process of converting surplus federal properties into affordable housing and redesigned space that will benefit Canadians, we are seeking meaningful opportunities to use these properties to best serve local communities.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Ottawa has always been a compassionate and welcoming place, a city that cares. And today, this agreement will provide a new Temporary Emergency Overnight Centre to those experiencing homelessness during the coldest months of the year. The City is committed to continuing to work towards ensuring that solutions are found so that, during our winter, there are warm places for everyone.”

Mark Sutcliffe
Mayor, City of Ottawa

“We are committed to doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens, especially during the winter months. I’m pleased to see this partnership with the City of Ottawa, which makes good use of surplus federal property to provide a safe haven for those seeking refuge from the cold.”

Yasir Naqvi
Member of Parliament, Ottawa Centre

Quick facts

  • The Graham Spry Building is located at 250 Lanark Avenue in Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Approximately 715 square metres of ground floor space will be used for the temporary emergency overnight centre.

  • The ground floor space includes washrooms and showers.

  • The agreement with the City of Ottawa will expire on March 31, 2024.

  • PSPC is the landlord in this agreement. As the tenant, the City of Ottawa manages temporary emergency overnight centre operations.

Associated links


Olivier Pilon
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada 

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