March 13, 2019 4:13 pm

City of Toronto staff remove encampments under Gardiner Expressway

WATCH ABOVE: The death of a 58-year-old homeless woman when she was run over by a dump truck in a dark alleyway is prompting concern about the visibility of Toronto's most at-risk people. Kamil Karamali reports. (Jan. 28)


The City of Toronto says staff removed encampments from under the Gardiner Expressway Wednesday morning.

Brad Ross, a spokesperson for the City of Toronto, told Global News the action comes after a tent fire under the highway near Spadina Avenue Sunday afternoon. Toronto police said there were no injuries in the incident.

“These sites have a lot of debris which increases the risk of fire, so the city has an obligation to ensure public safety is maintained,” Ross said.

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READ MORE: City of Toronto orders people living under Gardiner Expressway to leave within 2 weeks

He said the decision by City staff also comes after the city issued 14-day eviction notices in January to people living under the Gardiner.

Ross said members of transportation services, shelter support and housing staff worked on finding housing for individuals since the notices were handed out.

He noted there wasn’t an additional warning given to people saying the removal was happening on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Encampments in Toronto ravines paint bleak picture of city’s struggle with homelessness

“One of the driving forces behind the removal is encampment safety for individuals living there and public safety,” Ross said.

He said some of those affected found housing before the encampment was removed.

It’s unclear how many people have been impacted by the actions taken on Wednesday.

— With files from Katherine Aylesworth

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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