Skip to main content

Toronto has failed to protect homeless people in its over-crowded shelter and respite system – exposing people to overcrowded conditions that violate all public health advisories.  The result to date: 113 people with COVID-19 in 11 different shelter and respite sites. Sadly, we know those numbers will climb significantly for at least 5-14 days, and the lives of countless shelter users, staff, health workers, their families and the broader community have been endangered. To prevent further illness and deaths, CCLA has joined forces with a number of organizations to demand the city immediately create appropriate physical distancing, and informed city officials that if they do not do so, we will initiate legal action this week. Read our letter to the city here.

CCLA has already written to the Mayor on this matter, setting out in clear terms the need for housing or, at a minimum, safe non-congregate shelter spaces, for example by using as a temporary measure the thousands of hotel, motel and student residence rooms that are currently sitting empty.

The coalition members are:

  • Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto
  • Aboriginal Legal Services
  • Advocacy Center for Tenants Ontario
  • Black Legal Action Centre
  • CCLA
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Toronto

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv
Equality Program Director
Canadian Civil Liberties Association

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

For the Media

For further comments, please contact us at

For Live Updates

Please keep referring to this page and to our social media platforms. We are on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

en_CAEnglish (Canada)