Allan Gardens June 2024 Update

With summer upon us, there has been a resurgence of encampments across the City. Allan Gardens is no exception. Despite falling to a low of three encampments earlier this spring, we continue to see the number of encampments fluctuate in response to the availability of shelter beds.

Last year, Allan Gardens was the largest encampment in the city with almost 100 encampments. This presented a considerable challenge for our community, depriving residents of much needed green space. Today, Allan Gardens is host to few encampments and is a testament to what can happen when a community comes together.

As the weather warms, we must continue our efforts to prevent new encampments from forming in Allan Gardens and other parks and–when they do–to transition new occupants swiftly into indoor accommodations. Currently, the biggest barrier to clearing encampments is a lack of indoor shelter spaces. Without an indoor space to offer, these encampments cannot be cleared, as per a Ontario Superior Court ruling.  

Make no mistake — encampments are not a solution to the region’s housing crisis. They are not safe or sustainable for the people that live in them, or the people that live around them. 

Through your advocacy, I was able to convene the Allan Gardens Task Force last year to expedite the mission of safely transitioning encampment residents into indoor spaces and permanent homes.

The Task Force, composed of various City divisions and community partners, have dedicated long hours on-site to ensure our vulnerable neighbours find the path to a permanent home. As a result of their work, 97 encampment residents are now housed in safe, permanent accommodations.

For more information on Allan Gardens encampment statistics, check out my encampment dashboard

If you see someone struggling in an encampment, don't hesitate to call 311. It could be the lifeline they need to connect them to the housing support they require.

Addressing the housing crisis requires a collective, multi-level governmental approach. I continue to call on the provincial and federal governments to acknowledge the gravity of this crisis and support the City's urgent need to create more safe, deeply affordable and supportive housing to eradicate the housing crisis. Shelters are merely a temporary solution that will only alleviate the crisis and not end it. 

New Encampment Strategy Coming Soon

The City is evolving its approach to encampments in response to the Ombudsman Toronto’s report on encampment clearings and their subsequent recommendations. City staff reported on their findings at the May 29 Economic and Community Development Committee before it goes to City Council in late June.

For a fact sheet on the report, check out the City’s website.

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