Birch Cliff residence moving

Toronto’s only city-run residence for older homeless men may soon move from Birch Cliff to a larger building near Kingston and Markham Roads.

Since 1999, the Birchmount Residence has housed up to 60 men, all 55 and older, who rent rooms in a former nursing home at Kingston and Birchmount Road.

Referred from Seaton House and other homeless shelters, residents have access to 24-hour staff as well as nursing, counselling and mental health services.

Scarborough Southwest Councillor Gary Crawford said the new location at 3306 Kingston Rd., currently a Comfort Inn, can provide 120 rooms, each with more privacy and better facilities, such as ensuite bathrooms.

Moving to a larger facility may also allow for a women’s program.

“We’re doing what we can to help these residents achieve a higher quality of life,” said Crawford in a Nov. 5 release. “Understandably, the Birch Cliff community will be sad to see the change as the men have been good neighbours – volunteering, shopping, and taking part in seasonal celebrations.”

Plans to purchase the Comfort Inn will be presented to city council on Dec. 1.

A public meeting about the plan is scheduled for this evening, Nov. 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre.

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