The Canadian Red Cross is assisting nearly 100 people, following a five-alarm fire at Gosford Boulevard in north Toronto, west of Jane Street and south of Steeles Avenue West, that left one person dead and displaced 354 people.
An emergency shelter has been set up at the Driftwood Community Centre, where fire victims are sleeping on cots. It’s unknown how long they’ll remain out of their homes.
“We continue to work with the city and continue to assess the needs of the people on the ground and it’s a fluid situation, so we continue to assess the needs and meet them as they come up,” explains Mairianna Bachynsky, a spokesperson with the Red Cross.
The agency has food, shelter and toiletries, but is asking community members to refrain from bringing in donations as they don’t have a place to sort and distribute the items.
“It truly brings out the humanity in people — particularly here in Toronto,” added Bachynsky. “We love the kindness that it brings out in people.”
“However, in situations like these, we ask that people do not bring donations of that kind, particularly because we’re stocked with the basics that we need to meet peoples immediate needs.”
Bachynsky encourages those who want to help to volunteer with the agency or donate online.
Eighty-nine people have been registered, and anyone needing assistance is asked to go to the Driftwood Community Centre.
On Sunday, York University also offered space in their athletic centre as an emergency reception area for displaced residents, just two-kilometres away from the apartment building.
Meanwhile, fire officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire and have determined the fire began in the eighth-floor apartment where the deceased person was discovered on the balcony.
–With files from Oriena Vuong