The The City of Toronto says the residents who were forced out of their apartments by a five-alarm fire and have been staying at an emergency shelter will now be relocated to hotels in the city.
The fire started on the eighth floor of an apartment building on Gosford Boulevard in North York on Nov. 15, displacing 354 people.
Most of those residents have found other places to stay – either by moving out, or staying with family or friends. But about 30 residents were still being housed at the Tait McKenzie Centre at York University as of Friday.
Stefan Vidojkovic, his mother and twin sisters, were among the displaced residents at the York shelter. On Friday, the family moved to a nearby hotel.
“You feel really tired all the time. That’s one thing, for sure,” he said while describing his experience in the shelter.
“I do construction, right, so it just wears you down.”
A 14-day period during which the City of Toronto provides support for displaced residents ended on Friday, according to a statement from municipal officials. It also marked the last day that York University was able to let people use of an athletics facility as a temporary shelter.
“That’s the critical period,” Charles Jansen, director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, said in reference to the 14-day emergency shelter.
“You need to wind down from the incident. There’s emotional trauma.”
Jansen said those not staying at the Tait McKenzie shelter will need to register with the Canadian Red Cross and connect with the landlord if accommodation is required.
“We don’t have a timeline, but we do see active repairs ongoing,” Jansen said.
“So we don’t expect to be too far down the road where they’ll start getting that message of coming in.”
The fire at Gosford left a man dead and six people were injured. Officials said fixing the structural damage done to the building due to the fire could take months.