toronto homeless

Someone in Toronto placed free blankets around the city for the homeless

What started out as a small random act of kindness by one person in Toronto turned into a massive heartwarming gesture that evoked the true spirit of the holidays this week.

The Unsheltered Christmas project, started by Toronto resident Lisa Mingay, saw volunteers spending their Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day leaving dozens of blankets, gloves and hats around the city for those experiencing homelessness.

The items were specially wrapped to keep them dry, and each came with a kind note letting people know that if they are cold and in need, they are free to take the package.

"Keep warm and know that you are important," the note read. "Happy holidays."

One social media user said they spotted more than 50 of the gifts around their neighbourhood.

What a great gesture by whoever scattered 50+ of these in my neighbourhood. from r/toronto

The project gained traction on Facebook and Bunz in the days leading up to Christmas, inspiring people to donate or participate.

Mingay created a Facebook event and set up an Unsheltered Christmas station in College Park after receiving an outpouring of donations for her random act of kindness, which she said on the event page was something her family encouraged in lieu of Christmas gifts.

The gesture was especially inspiring given the city's current affordable housing and homeless crises, as well as the fact that the holidays can be a notoriously capitalistic time of year.

Some of the items still remain hung on trees around College Park for anyone in need passing through during these colder months.

Lead photo by

@KevPat23


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

This is what Toronto streets looked like in the 1960s

Hundreds gather in downtown Toronto to rally for Mi'kmaq Fishers

Someone in Toronto just photographed all the vacant storefronts on Queen West

Frontline worker finds bike stolen after working 28-hour shift at Toronto hospital

A ridiculous amount of trash was just taken out of a Toronto ravine

Toronto wildlife experts warn that bleaching pumpkins could kill animals

Someone in Toronto just transformed their house into an epic Halloween lights display

Toronto now has a giant red panda made of hay bales