Item - 2023.MM8.29

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on July 19, 2023 without amendments.

MM8.29 - Securing Shelter and Support for Refugees - by Mayor Olivia Chow, seconded by Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie

Decision Type:

City Council Decision

City Council on July 19 and 20, 2023, adopted the following:


1. City Council request the City Manager to immediately make available temporary shelter for a minimum of 150 refugees and further find locations for an additional 100 refugees thereafter.


2. City Council express its gratitude to the Provincial Government for its additional contribution of $6.67 million to the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit, and matches the provincial contribution by approving a one-time draw of $6.67 million from the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund. This combined effort will immediately provide permanent housing to upwards of 1,350 households.


3. City Council request the Federal Government to provide its historical 2/3 funding to this top up to the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit, in order to secure permanent housing for thousands more people.


4. City Council direct the City Manager to develop an outreach strategy to invite property owners in the region who are willing to provide rental accommodation to refugees claimants to notify the City, so the City can use the Housing Benefit to move people into permanent housing rapidly.


5. City Council direct the City Manager to continue providing refugee-serving shelter spaces to meet the unique needs of refugees while also ensuring everyone regardless of status is able to access the City’s shelter system as spaces become available.


6. City Council direct the City Manager to explore partnerships with individuals, non-profit organizations, faith groups and other community agencies who are offering shelter and assistance to unhoused refugees and request the Provincial and Federal Governments join in this support.


7. City Council request the Federal and Provincial Governments to provide access to additional facilities and personnel to shelter and support refugees.


8. City Council authorize the City Manager to work with the Federal Government and enter any necessary agreements with refugee-serving organizations such as the Red Cross in order to immediately establish a federally-funded reception centre for those refugee claimants arriving at Pearson International Airport; this centre will provide a welcoming space that offers centralized services for newly-arrived refugees claimants.


9. City Council express its gratitude to the Federal Government for providing $97 million in funding through the Interim Housing Assistance Program and reiterates its request for the full $157 million needed to cover the costs of supporting existing refugee claimants in Toronto's shelter system.

Background Information (City Council)

Motions (City Council)

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item) Jul-19-2023 11:50 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - MM8.29 - Adopt the item
Total members that voted Yes: 26 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Brad Bradford, Alejandra Bravo, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Lily Cheng, Olivia Chow, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Paula Fletcher, Stephen Holyday, Ausma Malik, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Chris Moise, Amber Morley, Jamaal Myers, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Dianne Saxe, Michael Thompson
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

Motion to Introduce Motion without Notice moved by Mayor Olivia Chow (Carried)

That Mayor Olivia Chow be permitted to add to the agenda of today's meeting an urgent Motion without Notice concerning:


Securing Shelter and Support for Refugees.


Reason for Urgency:


The motion is urgent because of the pressing nature of the refugee crisis and the announcement of new funding. 

Source: Toronto City Clerk at