Toronto's fire chief says there is no evidence to suggest multiple encampment fires are connected
680 News

Fires breaking out across homeless encampments continue to be an issue in Toronto with the latest happening Tuesday night.

Toronto Fire Services responded to a park at Lake Shore and Fort York boulevards around 9:45 p.m.

Residents in the area reported a large fire with tall flames and billowing black smoke along with the sound of explosions.

Fire crews were able to douse the flames quickly.

On Wednesday, Toronto’s fire chief, Matthew Pegg said there have been 241 encampment fires this year – 10 since last Friday.

When asked if there’s any evidence that the fires could be deliberately set, Pegg said at this point “there’s no indication that any of these fires are connected” but many are still under investigation.

Mayor John Tory said the city is stepping up efforts to find people safe places to live.

“We have housed, rehoused, 1,100 plus of those people since the beginning of the pandemic,” Tory affirmed. “Our efforts will not let up in that regard. We are adopting a sensitive, sensible approach to trying to deal with this precisely because they’re not safe, they’re not healthy, and they’re not legal.”

“We’re doing it in a sensitive, rational way,” the mayor continued.

Last week, two men were hurt in a fire at a tent city in Liberty Village.

Toronto’s fire chief sounded the alarm about the dangers of makeshift shelters after crews put out nine homeless encampment fires in a span of a few days.

Pegg said at the time one fire involved a winterized sleeping pod that burst into flames at HTO Park on Queen’s Quay.

There have been 226 tent fires so far this year. One person died in May.

<back to Headlines