August 9, 2018 1:36 pm

Refugee, asylum seekers removed from college dorms as 185 more arrive in Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: John Tory says $11 million in federal money to help with city efforts to house asylum seekers is a good first step. But Tory says much more help will be needed. Matthew Bingley reports.


City officials say the relocation of refugee and asylum seekers from two college dormitories in Toronto coincides with the arrival of 185 more claimants during the last seven days.

Dormitories at Centennial College and Humber College were being used to temporarily house asylum seekers, but the accommodations had to be vacated by Aug. 9 to make way for returning students.

At its peak, the city said about 675 people occupied both spaces as a shelter.

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READ MORE: Asylum seekers in Toronto being moved from college dormitories ahead of deadline: Bill Blair

All the claimants housed at the dorms have since been moved to hotel and motel rooms across the Greater Toronto Area.

“With the partnership of other levels of government and surrounding municipalities, we have been able to relocate the dormitory population,” Mayor John Tory said in a media release.

“However, the city continues to face great pressure on our shelter system that requires long-term action and partnership.”

READ MORE: Ottawa’s plan to help overwhelmed cities deal with asylum seekers still weeks away

Bill Blair, the federal minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, said last week Toronto has received its offer of $11 million to help offset some of the costs associated with accommodating refugees and asylum seekers in the city.

Tory has been adamant about the need for federal assistance to help with the cost and logistics of relocation.

Since November 2016, Toronto has welcomed 5,482 claimants in the city’s shelter system and has found permanent housing for 2,900 during that time period.

READ MORE: Ontario formally requests $200M from federal government to address asylum seeker costs

As of Aug. 8, the total number of refugees in the city’s shelter system is 2,880.

The city says it needs $64 million to recover costs associated with housing.

Meanwhile, the Ontario government has formally requested $200 million from the federal government to pay for the cost of asylum seekers who entered Canada from the United States and who are living in Ontario.

VIDEO: John Tory praises federal government intervention on asylum seeker housing problem

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