Commentary, Opinion

County working on “winter warming” places in Alliston

November 17, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The County of Simcoe is working with municipalities, area shelters and community partners to keep people warm, safe and connected to services throughout the winter months.

Warming centres will be available in Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Collingwood, and Orillia this winter on nights where Environment Canada predicts overnight temperatures to fall below -15oC for at least two hours. The County is currently working with shelters based in Alliston and Midland to ensure winter warming is available, they say.

“In collaboration with community partners and homeless shelter providers, overnight warming services, daytime drop-in services and overnight respite beds at many locations throughout Simcoe County will provide additional choices for individuals opting not to access shelter programs. Drop-in programs and overnight respite warming programs do not require individuals to enter the shelter program.

The County also supports vital community street outreach initiatives and programs to reach people in need and encourage them to come indoors or to connect them with shelter-system services.

“We’re pleased to announce that an entire year of work and planning by our staff and partners has paid off, and warming centre locations will be open across the region this winter,” said Warden George Cornell. “Prior to 2022, the County did not specifically fund warming centre locations within our communities as it was not in the County’s mandate. However, we are happy to assist with this important service in 2022 and for 2023 through one-time pandemic-specific funding and expanding our supports.”
In addition to warming centre locations, in December, the County expects to have increased shelter capacity across the region during the winter months by 50 beds.

This includes a temporary shelter building in Barrie, which will be operational once final permits/approvals are provided by the City of Barrie in the coming weeks. There is currently space in the shelter system. Should the capacity be filled prior to the new temporary shelter being operational, the County has increased the system’s use of the motel voucher program to ensure that anyone who needs a bed has one available during the cold nights ahead. There is space available.

For residents seeking temporary indoor warmth, shelter or support resources, please visit for a full list of area shelters and support resources. For access to shelter services, call 2-1-1 for assistance or contact the shelter in your community directly.


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