Keeping Kids Safe: No Respite Sites Beside Schools

UPDATE (as of Nov. 22, 2023)

The City of Toronto has changed the programming for 629 Adelaide St. W. from a low-barrier respite site to a shelter with mandatory intake and case management.

However, there remains significant unaddressed gaps related to safety, including but not limited to:

  1. Track Record of Failure — Concerns about the intended operator, St. Felix, and their poor track record of dealing with spillover from their managed site in Liberty Village that has led to increases in crime in the neighbourhood;
  2. Tent Encampments — Encampments inevitably follow the opening of these facilities as seen when other sites were opened in the city, the responses provided by city staff in response to how tent encampments will be avoided were insufficient, indicated that they had not learned from past failures, and gave residents no confidence that this concern will be addressed; and
  3. Keeping Laneways Clear — It was abundantly clear in the comments and answers provided by city staff in response to community questions on how they would keep laneways clear that they had not yet visited the site prior to the first information meeting and were unable to provide residents with any reassurances.


The City of Toronto has recklessly decided, without community consultation, to locate a 24/7 low-barrier respite site at 629 Adelaide St. W. without any central intake beside an elementary school. As the figure below illustrates, this location would literally sandwich St. Mary Catholic Elementary School (middle) between the site (left) and an injection site (right).

Not pictured is Niagara Street Junior Public School, which is only two blocks west of the proposed site.

Moreover, the site is located only 70m from a school bus drop off and literally on the path that children from Niagara Street Jr. P.S. would take to attend after school programs at St. Mary C.E.S.

How You Can Help

Add your voice by signing the petition to help keep kids safe:

Community Voices

Hear from residents who were forced to take personal time off of work to speak to their city councillor and the city committee who had failed to consult them on Oct. 24, 2023, in order of appearance:

To learn more about local community's concerns, visit Niagara Neighbours for Community Safety.

News Coverage

Historical Facts

The deterioration in public safety in Toronto coincides with municipal decisions removing protections for local communities:

  • In 2019, By-law 545-2013 made amendments to By-law 128-2003, removing the requirement that the location of a shelter be restricted from being located 250 metres from another shelter, emergency shelter, hostel or crisis care facility. It also required that any location be near major and minor arterial roads
  • In 2021, Toronto City Council passed the By-law 545-2013 amendments that removed requirements intended to protect residential communities from the overconcentration of shelters and crisis facilities that the Niagara and King West community is nowcurrently facing
  • In October 2023, the Niagara and King West community learned the City of Toronto intended to open in early 2024 a low-barrier, 24/7 respite site without any central intake system beside an elementary school, recklessly endangering children and the safey of this quiet residential community