• Follow us


LEVY: Liberty Village shelter fuels safety concerns

Tiana Nguyen has been in business for eight years in Liberty Village and had no problem with vandalism until the 100-bed respite shelter opened a block away from her shop last December.

Since then, her charming nail salon has experienced three break-ins.

On March 15, vandals broke the window but didn’t come inside, she told me Tuesday.

The second time — April 10 — they broke two doors and stole about $500 in cash.

On July 4, they broke the shop’s window again but didn’t find any money.

In total — in addition to the stolen money — she has spent nearly $2,500 to replace the window and doors, plus another $1,400 to install security bars.

She said the police told her they know who it is but as far as she’s aware, nothing’s been done yet.

Tiana Nguyen, owner of X-Nail Spa, close to City of Toronto 24-Hour Respite Site in Liberty Village on Tuesday August 6, 2019. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun

Nguyen said she was approached a few weeks ago by the program manager from St. Felix Centre, which is running the respite shelter, about covering her costs but nothing has been done as of yet.

“I’m a little scared right now,” she said.

Gabriela Gonzalez, the new president of the Liberty Village Residents Association, said the tone of the conversation in the community has changed from “very welcoming” last December to concerns about the increase in community incidents that came with the warmer weather.

She characterized those incidents as bike thefts, break-ins into condo lockers, and a proliferation of needles and other paraphernalia.

“While the community is welcoming and open, no one wants to feel unsafe,” she said.

The low-barrier shelter, which opened last Dec. 22 in a $2.5-million pre-fab structure, is not just wreaking havoc on the surrounding Liberty Village neighbourhood — It’s also costing taxpayers a huge bundle of cash.

According to Shelter, Support and Housing spokesman Peggy Byrne, the shelter’s per diem is $166.55 per night and is costing taxpayers $506,000 per month (or about $6 million a year).

And here I thought Mayor John Tory and the councillor for this area, Joe Cressy, said the city had no money.

The 100 residents all sleep dormitory style.

Byrne notes for the $166.55 per diem, the residents — 75% male, 25% female and some identifying as gender non-binary — get three meals a day, plus snacks, and soup in the evening.

They also have access to computers, the Internet and programming like “self-care” and other activities.

When I toured the area with videographer Ernest Doroszuk Tuesday, many residents were sleeping on benches, stone walls, wandering the neighbourhood or sitting outside in a fenced-in area that doubles as the shelter’s back patio.

Byrne added that the shelter has harm reduction policies.

Antonio Sousa, outside of the City of Toronto 24-Hour Respite Site in Liberty Village on Tuesday August 6, 2019. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun

A gentleman we encountered near the shelter — who has his leg bandaged and suffers from diabetes — said he sees at least one EMS vehicle at the shelter daily.

Antonio Sousa, 62, also told us he was kicked out for a month about a week ago for saying “here kitty, kitty” to one of the female workers.

He said he’s sleeping on a park bench beside Lamport Stadium.

St. Felix executive director Brian Harris did not respond to two emails for comment on the rise in vandalism and other issues that have made residents feel unsafe in recent months.

I’m not surprised.

Harris was extremely testy towards me when I tried to tour the shelter before it opened last Dec. 22.

He accused me of misrepresenting the work of St. Felix and — wrongly — of posting videos showing the lawlessness outside their Augusta Ave. shelter.

(The videos were in fact created by residents of that neighbourhood.)

Gonzalez said Cressy has committed to increasing the number of community safety team members and the areas they cover.

She said a community liaison committee is meeting Wednesday to discuss resident and business concerns.

Cressy has written two letters to residents — one preaching about the need for respite shelters, the most recent referring to increased police patrols and a program called Fresh Start to pick up needle and drug paraphernalia.

But as I saw during my visit Tuesday, the community safety officers — dressed in their neon shirts — look like they’re in their late teens and seemed to spend their time schmoozing with the residents.


Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Top Travel stories

15 people face 195 charges in biker gang 2019-08-07 14:10:46NIAGARA, Ont. — Police say 15 people from across Ontario face a combined 195 charges after a drug trafficking investigation involving members an

‘Emergency’ scam cons Ontario mom out of $6Gs 2019-08-07 13:18:09Ontario Provincial Police are warning of an “emergency” scam that cost a mother from Picton $6,000. Police say the woman recently received

Accused in shark-tank skinny dip expected to plead 2019-08-07 13:05:20A British Columbia man accused of swimming naked in a shark tank at Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium is expected to plead guilty to mischief in

Burlington man rockin’ and rollin’ again thanks to 2019-08-07 12:45:51Justin Webb’s faith in humanity has been restored — as has his mobility — by a Good Samaritan who gave him a replacement scooter aft

WARREN: Trudeau ad actually a load of hooey 2019-08-07 12:41:35Made Canada great again? Seriously? Let’s say you are a big advertising executive. You’ve got a big office, all glass and chrome, and a gr

Toronto teens charged after stolen vehicle crashes in 2019-08-07 12:06:36Two Toronto 16-year-olds are facing charges after a chase and crash involving a stolen vehicle in Ajax. Durham Regional Police were investigating a su

LEVY: Liberty Village shelter fuels safety concerns 2019-08-07 11:30:23Tiana Nguyen has been in business for eight years in Liberty Village and had no problem with vandalism until the 100-bed respite shelter opened a bloc

Hamilton principal accused of sexually assaulting student 2019-08-07 11:25:58A Hamilton middle school principal has been charged with the alleged sexual assault of a student. Hamilton Police say they began an investigation Jan.

Get your Greek on at Taste of the 2019-08-07 11:13:09It wouldn’t be summer without the Taste of the Danforth, which runs this Friday to Sunday. Now in its 26th year, this famous fest attracts well

Celebrity Spaces: Anna Olson 2019-08-07 11:05:14Canada’s baking sweetheart, Anna Olson is sugar and spice and everything nice! Foodie fans first noticed her on Food Network’s Sugar, whic

Government wants direct role in CAMH review: Health 2019-08-06 20:00:12The provincial government will take a direct role in an external panel reviewing how the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) handles potenti

MANDEL: The new normal of Toronto gun violence 2019-08-06 19:52:04“This is not Toronto,” declared the police chief. Actually, it is. And it’s about time we faced it. Gunplay in this city is out of c

Canada Travel - The

Toronto Mayor John Tory Seeks Help From Feds 2019-08-06 17:18:08TORONTO — The federal government should play a more active role in curbing gun crime in Toronto, the city’s mayor said Tuesday after a par

Scowling Makes It Easier For Me To Be 2019-08-06 16:54:28One man followed me home. Another repeatedly harassed me over text for not going out for a drink with him. Another took my hand and attempted to kiss

RCMP Find Items Linked To B.C. Murder Suspects 2019-08-06 16:10:28GILLAM, Man. — RCMP in northern Manitoba say they have found several items linked to two murder suspects from British Columbia.Mounties did not

Child Bitten By Bear At Greater Vancouver Zoo, 2019-08-06 16:00:10VANCOUVER — A child has been injured after being bitten by a bear at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.The British Columbia Conservation Officer Service

Freeland Meets British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Discusses 2019-08-06 15:18:22TORONTO — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her British counterpart presented a united front Tuesday when it came to voicing concer

Electric Car Sales In Canada Got A Jolt 2019-08-06 14:07:16The federal government says it wants more Canadians to buy electric vehicles, and their latest effort appears to be working.Transport Canada says ther

Bulletproof Backpacks Are A Stomach-Churning Back-To-School Trend In 2019-08-06 13:15:13The fact that this is a trend is utterly heartbreaking.Bulletproof backpacks are in high demand as parents buy their kids back-to-school supplies

Victoria's Secret Has Finally Cast A Transgender Model, 2019-08-06 12:53:49Victoria’s Secret is casting its first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, according to the Brazilian model’s agent, less than a

Old Meghan Markle Video Reveals Her Favourite Reality 2019-08-06 12:42:23While it’s hard to imagine Meghan Markle as a mere mortal ― after all, she was an actress before joining the royal family ― it&rsquo

Canada's Tech Boom, Factory Slump Risk Creating Rich 2019-08-06 12:32:47Canada risks segregating into rich and poor cities as the economy shifts towards high tech and away from manufacturing, a report from TD Bank warns.Th

Walmart Struggles With How To Address Active Shooters 2019-08-06 11:00:09NEW YORK ― Like most retailers, Walmart is accustomed to the everyday dealings of shoplifters. Now, it’s confronting a bigger threat: acti

Toronto, Vancouver Home Sales Soar 24%, Dashing Buyers’ 2019-08-06 10:37:27Would-be homebuyers hoping for a slowdown in the real estate market will find little good news in the latest monthly reports from the real estate boar

Breaking Travel News

News: P&O Cruises pulls out of Dubai and 2019-08-07 10:37:49Following close monitoring of the situation within the Straits of Hormuz and taking advice from external authorities P&O Cruises has cancelled its

News: Gatwick security staff strike suspended 2019-08-07 07:37:08Strikes by security workers at Gatwick airport have been suspended after an improved pay offer was made. The 130 members of Unite who are employed by

News: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah launches Pearl 2019-08-07 07:24:10Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah has launched Pearl Club, an exclusive new executive lounge. Paving the way with the first concept of its kind in t

Focus: Breaking Travel News investigates: Monkey Island Estate 2019-08-07 07:18:41Opening earlier this year following a complete restoration, Monkey Island Estate is set across seven acres of beautiful English country gardens and of

Focus: Breaking Travel News investigates: Wightlink 2019-08-07 07:04:27With as many as 100,000 holidaymakers preparing to descend on the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week, Wightlink is preparing for a busy few days. Here Break

News: Red Sea Development Company begins construction of 2019-08-07 05:52:29The Red Sea Development Company, the master developer behind one of the world’s most ambitious tourism initiatives, has commenced development of

News: Computer glitch sees dozens of British Airways 2019-08-07 05:36:38British Airways passengers on flights out of the UK have seen departures disrupted after a computer glitch hit check-in procedures. Passengers have be

News: Fritz to lead Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 2019-08-07 04:50:31Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has appointed Markus Fritz as the new general manager. He succeeds Jolijn Zeeuwen, who moved to Hilton Rotterdam. Fr

News: Major upgrade to Fleckalmbahn lift, Kitzbühel 2019-08-07 04:50:23Substantial work is currently underway to upgrade Kitzbühel’s 35-year-old Fleckalmbahn lift. The €27.5 million project will see bigger

News: Rixos Hurghada Makadi Bay scheduled to open 2019-08-07 04:25:47Rixos Hotels has marked a major milestone in its Middle East expansion strategy after signing an agreement to manage its largest all-inclusive luxury

News: Scenic Eclipse finally delivered ahead of inaugural 2019-08-07 03:29:12Scenic Cruises confirmed the ship earlier departed the shipyard on its journey to Valletta, Malta for registration. From there she will make a number

News: American Airlines stakes claim to NDC leadership 2019-08-07 03:09:11American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel and Amadeus have announced what they are calling a “milestone” in travel retail


Voyageurs’ Lodge is the highlight of canoe excursions 2019-08-01 13:05:22The Voyageurs’ Lodge, a popular rest stop for travellers on the TransCanada Highway, is also a camping site for re-enactors who paddle canoes on

How chefs like Éric Ripert and Jenny Gao 2019-08-01 12:50:05We spoke with four chefs about how they find the best food on the road, no matter where they are in the world.

No, you won’t have a standing seat on 2019-08-01 12:48:09“Standing seats,” higher-than-normal chairs that appear to have been borrowed from a bike seat to save space, are not likely to appear on

How to spend 36 hours in Rio de 2019-08-01 12:46:05From beach to museum, church to market, Rio is a city constantly defying its own myths and encourages visitors to join in with unbridled enthusiasm.

Melbourne: Australia’s most livable city 2019-08-01 12:04:04With more festivals than can fit on a calendar, a thriving, boundary-pushing restaurant scene, and a strong commitment to the arts, Melbourne lives up

Goa’s amalgamation of cultures makes it one of 2019-08-01 12:03:04Known for its gorgeous beaches and hippie vibe, Goa, a tiny state in western India also offers a fascinating blend of Indian and Portuguese influences

How to protect yourself from air pollution while 2019-08-01 11:34:20While China takes a bulk of the heat when it comes to unhealthy levels of air quality, air pollution is a major issue throughout Asia and beyond, even

Once threatened, Europe’s night trains rebound 2019-08-01 11:13:04Things have started to look up for night trains, with new routes, new carriages and renewed interest from travellers.

Microhotels skimp on size, but not style 2019-07-30 09:55:29The new versions are inspired by the Japanese capsule or pod hotels of 40 years ago that offered cheap, tiny accommodations to businessmen.

Souvenir matchbooks once were a hot item. Can 2019-07-26 09:54:24Matches were, many moons ago, a free souvenir that you could pick up in any restaurant or bar almost anywhere in the world.

How to stay fresh on long trips 2019-07-24 21:20:47A long ride on a plane, train or automobile can leave you feeling less than fresh. Here are some tips to help you stay fresh on those long travel days

How to take advantage of Colorado’s bargain season 2019-07-24 21:16:17During what locals call mud season, beatific mountain villages empty out, chi-chi hotels become affordable, “drink the bar dry” specials p

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.