More than 700 people take shelter outside of Toronto rink

(CNN) — Things are moving toward “normal” at a Toronto rink where hundreds of people have been sleeping outside to keep warm, according to the mayor’s office. Wayne Crombie City Centre City Hall, where…

More than 700 people take shelter outside of Toronto rink

(CNN) — Things are moving toward “normal” at a Toronto rink where hundreds of people have been sleeping outside to keep warm, according to the mayor’s office.

Wayne Crombie City Centre City Hall, where 700 people have taken shelter this winter, will be opened again later Saturday. “The warming centre will be available at the site tonight for anyone seeking refuge,” the mayor’s office said in a statement Friday evening.

The mayor’s office said it will work with officials at Homeless Youth Services to determine where others are willing to participate in their programs.

“We are moving towards normalcy in Downtown Toronto,” Crombie tweeted Friday.

Jason Butt, a spokesperson for the city’s mayor, told CNN Friday the temporary parks may be filled with “regular human activities,” but should not be considered a permanent shelter.

The city of Toronto opens the additional city park twice a week to continue sheltering people until spring break, Butt said.

The cold temperatures have made conditions unbearable for the guests. The local community board passed a motion on Friday to open a second 30-bed shelter on the same property.

Two new 50-bed shelters in downtown Toronto are expected to open later this spring, though the exact dates and locations are still to be announced.

Public hearings are scheduled to begin next Thursday on a motion seeking greater council oversight and oversight of the city’s homeless services, the city’s mayor’s office said in a statement. The hearings will consider funding and management options for cities like Toronto, the mayor’s office said.

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