TORONTO, February 12, 2017—We are pleased to advise that most tenants of 291 George St. will be returning home later today following the completion of emergency cleanup and repairs to the building.
Toronto Community Housing staff and contractors have worked round the clock since yesterday morning to complete the clean up and all necessary repairs to restore power, heat, hot water and elevator service in the building. The building passed a safety inspection this morning and is now ready for re-occupancy.
Toronto Community Housing is arranging transportation and other supports to return tenants who live on the first, second, third and fifth floors to the building this afternoon.
Tenants of the fourth floor, where the fire occurred, and six units on the second, third and fifth floors damaged by the fire, will not be returning home today. Restoration work and repairs for these units will take longer to complete. Toronto Community Housing will temporarily relocate these tenants to other TCHC apartments over the coming days until repairs to their homes have been completed.
Toronto Community Housing wishes to sincerely thank the tenants of 291 George St. for their patience and cooperation over the past three days. We recognize this has been a painful tragedy for the friends and loved ones of the tenant who lost their life, and we will continue to support the community through the healing process.
We thank our staff and contractors who worked tirelessly to repair the fire damage, restore the building for occupancy, and provide supports to tenants displaced by the fire. The safety and comfort of our tenants has been our first priority and we are very pleased to have got them back home within 72 hours of a major fire to the building.
We also thank Mayor John Tory and local City Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam for their support; the Ontario Fire Marshal, Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service and several City departments for the cooperation they provided as we worked to restore services and get the building ready for occupancy; the City's Crisis Response Team, the Red Cross, Fred Victor, Margaret's, the TTC, the staff of the Wellesley Community Centre, the private hotels and all those who helped us provide accommodation, meals and supports to displaced tenants; and the many members of the public who reached out with support and concern for the tenants.
Media contact: Sara Goldvine, 416-737-1352, firstname.lastname@example.org