Ask Mayor Tory to Open
Emergency Warming Centres Now

Image inviting people to attend a silent prayer vigil at Nathan Phillips Square, Tuesday, January 31st at 12:30pm.

January 31st, 12:30-1:00 PM

Nathan Philip’s Square
Interfaith Silent Prayer Vigil for:

  • Open Warming Centres 24/7 Now!
  • More Safe Shelters Spaces!
  • Work with Province and Feds on Housing for All!

On January 5th, over 150 faith leaders signed a letter asking for an emergency meeting with the mayor to discuss solutions to the crisis. Since then, nearly 1700 people have emailed the mayor asking for a compassionate response to prevent freezing deaths and injuries. Other groups like Shelter Housing Justice Network and Health Providers Against Poverty wrote a letter that was signed by over 2000 Torontonians and the media has been talking about the crisis for weeks. With so many people crying out, now is the optimal time for us to put our faith into action. Please join in person or by posting a picture representing your prayer for compassion.

We’ll be praying for a compassionate response to our housing crisis, while the Executive Committee is meeting on January 31st.

Plan to arrive at 12:15 PM. Media will be invited for 12:30 PM.
Signs are welcome with messages:
*Sacred scriptures about caring for one another
*Asks for more Housing, Shelter, and Warming Centres

Write a letter to the Mayor and Toronto City Councillors

Toronto’s shelter system is overcapacity (168 people needing a shelter bed are turned away every single day). The emergency warming centres only open during extreme cold temperatures of -15 degrees or colder. On December 25th, while many Torontonians where celebrating Christmas and Chanukah, one person froze to death in their tent on our streets.

  • increase the number of warming centres across the GTA
  • make access to warming centres available 24 hours/day throughout the winter months
  • end encampment evictions and the destruction of survival gear
  • keep the current shelter spaces open, including shelter hotels
  • add an additional 2,700 non-congregate spaces within the regular shelter system

Help us get to 1680 signatures this week so that 168 people needing shelter tonight will be safe.

Below is a letter template. You are invited to customize the content of this letter as much or as little as you’d like.

Open Emergency Warming Centres Now

Dear Mayor Tory and City Councillors,

You can add formatting using markdown syntax - read more

Sent to: Mayor John Tory, Councillor Vincent Crisanti, Councillor Stephen Holyday, Councillor Amber Morley, Councillor Gord Perks, Councillor Frances Nunziata, Councillor James Pasternak, Councillor Anthony Perruzza, Councillor Mike Colle, Councillor Alejandra Bravo, Councillor Ausma Malik, Councillor Dianne Saxe, Councillor Josh Matlow, Councillor Chris Moise, Councillor Paula Fletcher, Councillor Jaye Robinson, Councillor Jon Burnside, Councillor Shelley Carroll, Councillor Lily Cheng, Councillor Brad Bradford, Councillor Gary Crawford, Councillor Michael Thompson, Councillor Nick Mantas, Jamaal Myers, Councillor Paul Ainslie, Councillor Jennifer McKelvie
1,851 signatures = 110% of goal

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What can I do now?

  • Speak to people within your community about the importance of Immediately Opening Warming Centres to save lives this winter.  Invite them here to submit their own letter!
  • Share the Open Warming Centres NOW campaign to your social media.  You can use the links provided at the bottom of the petition box, or share the graphics below.

TIP: You can copy and paste the following social media handles directly into your messages and tag the mayor and city councillors:

@johntory @councillor.crisanti @cllrambermorley @cllrgordperks @jamespasternak @perruzza_to @mike.colle @bravodavenport @ausmalik @dianne.saxe @joshmatlow @chrismoiseto @paulafletcher @jaye.robinson @jon_burnside @shelleycarrollto @lilycheng.ca @bradfordgrams @cllrcrawford20 @councillor_thompson @nick.mantas @cllrjamaalmyers @paulainslie @mckelvieward25

Hashtags: #cityoftoronto #torontocityhall #openwarmingcentres #warmingcentres #Toronto

@TorontosMayor @stephenholyday2 @CllrAmberMorley @GordPerks @Frances.Nunziata.Ward5 @PasternakTO @AnthonyPerruzza @collemike88 @BravoDavenport @AusmaMalikTO @diannesaxe.mc @JMatlow @ChrisMoiseTO @paulafletcherTO @JayeRobinsonWard15 @ShelleyCarrollTO @/LilyChengTO @BradMBradford @cllrcrawford @MichaelThompsonTO @nickmantas.TO @CllrJamaalMyers @councillorainslie @McKelvieWard25

Hashtags: #cityoftoronto #topoli #openwarmingcentres #warmingcentres #Toronto

@JohnTory @vcrisanti @stephenholyday @CllrAmberMorley @gordperks @FrancesNunziata @PasternakTO @PerruzzaTO @MikeColleTo @BravoDavenport @ausmalik @DianneSaxe @JoshMatlow @ChrisMoiseTO @PaulaFletcherTO @JayeRobinson @shelleycarroll @LilyCheng @BradMBradford @CllrCrawford @Thompson_37 @nickmantas_ @CllrJamaalMyers @cllrainslie @McKelvieWard25

Media: @CityNews680 @CBCToronto @CP24 @CityNewsTO @GlobalNewsTO @CTVToronto @tvo @OMNITelevision @nowtoronto @TorontoLife @DailyHiveTO @streetsoftrnto @breakfasttv @NEWSTALK1010 @blogTO @TorontoStar @globeandmail @nationalpost @BroadviewMag

Hashtags: #CityOfTO #TOpoli #openwarmingcentres #warmingcentres #Toronto

An illustration with people sitting in front of tents with text that reads, "Open Warming Centres Now" and "Tonight 168 people will be turned aay from the Toronto shelter system because there is no space."
An illustration with people sitting in front of tents with text that reads, "Open Warming Centres Now" and "Tonight 168 people will be turned aay from the Toronto shelter system because there is no space."
  • If possible, mail a paper copy of your letter to the Mayor and your local Councillor at:  

100 Queen St. W.
City Hall, Second floor,
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2

We hear time and time again from politicians that paper letters are still important.


for using your voice to tell the City of Toronto that vulnerable people having access to safe, warm spaces is important to you.

Lives are depending on it.