A Toronto church's plan to feed and house 12 homeless people one night a week during the worst of the winter has been put on hold after residents of a tony Beach enclave threatened it with a legal injunction.
As part of the Out of the Cold program, which is run in churches and synagogues across Toronto, the temporary shelter was to have opened Jan. 8 at St. Aidan's Anglican Church on Silver Birch Ave., at Queen St. E.
But the three-month program has been delayed until at least Jan. 16, when a community meeting will be held to discuss details and other potential sites.
Toronto lawyer Peter Silverberg, who has acted for the objecting Beach residents, denies they were motivated by NIMBYism in threatening the church with legal action.
He said they were concerned about having been given scant opportunity for consultation and whether the program provided the best use of limited shelter resources.
"The program itself is very praiseworthy, although it might be questioned on the level of whether or not this is the best way to use ... very limited resources to look after this type of thing."
Silverberg, who would not say how many residents objected, said there might be better sites in the Beach for the shelter but he believes they were never examined.
Better sites, as in none. The sight of the indigent is not one the yuppies want to see as they traipse along Queen Street East to their favourite bistros and boutiques.
Source: Toronto Star