toronto warming centre

People upset that Toronto community centre has been turned into a warming centre

One city councillor in Toronto says she has received a growing number of calls from concerned residents about the transformation of a local community centre into a warming centre.

Councillor Lily Cheng for Ward 18 Willowdale sent a newsletter out to local residents, stating that she's received lots of emails about Mitchell Field Community Centre.

“Some are upset we have lost our community centre use for over two years which is an important gathering place for physical and mental health," reads a summary of the newsletter posted to Twitter. "Others are worried about the proximity to a primary school and placement within a family oriented community."

Cheng said that she's been having ongoing meetings with the Shelter Supportive Housing Authority (SSHA) in charge of all shelters, the Real Estate Division, and Parks and Recreation to determine the best path forward.

She also noted that the people of Willowdale have been gracious and patient while Mitchell Field has been used as a mass vaccination clinic for the past two years.

"We would very much like to have our community centre back, especially in consideration that we currently only have one fully operational community centre (Edithvale) because Goulding is currently undergoing renovations," the newsletter continues.

"My team and I are looking for alternative sites to ensure that those experiencing homelessness have a safe and warm place during winter months," Cheng wrote.

Although the newsletter mentions lots of residents in opposition of the warming centre at Mitchell Field, many people thought the statement from the councillor was flawed.

Another person said there was no charitable reading of the newsletter.

One other person suggested that family oriented communities can actually take actions to support people experiencing homelessness.

Mitchell Field Community Centre is one of three City of Toronto warming centres available by walk-ins today amid the harsh winter storm.

Lead photo by

City of Toronto

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