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Extreme cold leaves Ottawa Mission over capacity

The downtown men's shelter refuses to turn anyone away when temperatures get dangerously cold.
Cold weather Photo/ iStock

With bitter cold and wind chill expected to continue through the weekend, The Ottawa Mission is expected to be over capacity for the next few nights.

Even before accounting for the wind, temperatures will be in the double-digit negatives in Ottawa through the weekend and into early next week.

When the weather turns as cold as it was Thursday night, the Mission doesn't turn anyone away.

"We're throwing down mats for the chapel room floor -- and sure enough, our chapel was soon filled last night once the people came in from the cold," said Peter Tilley, executive director, The Ottawa Mission. Other clients spent the night in chairs in the waiting room.

Tilley expects the Mission will be over-capacity again this evening, and through the weekend. Staff are increasing patrols around the building, to make sure no one is lingering outside in the cold.

He also encourages people to keep an eye out for anyone on the street in the cold, who appears to be in distress.

"By all means, call 311 and see about getting somebody out to check on them and make sure they're okay," Tilley told 1310 NEWS. "We don't want to see anyone freeze on the streets of Ottawa in weather like this -- none of us."


Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter on 1310 NEWS.
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