bond place hotel

City admits to bolting windows closed at Bond Hotel shelter during Toronto heatwave

City of Toronto officials have confirmed windows at Toronto's Bond Hotel shelter were indeed bolted shut during last week's heat wave - but maintain it was for safety concerns. 

The Twitter account, Voices from The Bond, often describes what exactly is taking place at the shelter and recently they wrote why the closing of the windows was more harm than good.

The account, which is run by residents of the shelter, said they believe the windows were bolted shut because someone at the hotel threw an object out of a window, which ended hitting a pedestrian a few weeks ago.

The group acknowledges this action is "not acceptable but may unfortunately be true." The city's response? "Physically drilling our windows shut."

Residents claim they were not given any notice to window modifications and one person said their windows were bolted when they weren't even home.

Some say the city's decision was "lazy" and instead of dealing with the one person responsible for the throwing act, they treated the hundreds of hotel residents like "bad apples."

But perhaps what is even more concerning are the health conditions many residents have, including asthma and other respiratory issues, and that the windows were shut as the city experienced soaring temperatures in the upper 30s

"My friend there is blind. People have respiratory problems. Asthma. There's also claustrophobia. It's already dank and dusty in there," read the Voices from The Bond Twitter thread.

"There is full HVAC and air [conditioning] at this location for ventilation and temperature control," responded a media spokesperson when asked by blogTO what exactly was happening.

The city confirmed the windows were shut because of "instances of people throwing objects out of windows at this location or sitting on window ledges," which both "present serious risks to personal safety and have the potential to result in critical injuries."

However, the city said work on the windows started taking place at the end of June and didn't start during last week's heatwave - though it continued throughout this time. 

The city believes these modifications will "protect shelter residents, staff and people in the community," though Bond residents vehemently disagree.

"In this sort of place, people have different lifestyles. People can't breathe with these air conditioners. Some people can't have that, they catch colds. Some people need fresh air, you understand? Some people get panic attacks, they need air coming through," read the Twitter thread.

The group warns that fastening windows can be dangerous during fires and pointed to an alleged situation in 2021 where a resident narrowly escaped flames by climbing out of their window.

Despite these concerns the city said the "Fire and Life Safety team, working closely with Toronto Fire Services, attended the site and confirmed that the fastening of the windows did not contravene the Ontario Fire Code."

Lead photo by

Bond Place Hotel

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