Does the City Need a Better Cold-Weather Warming Shelter Plan?


City Council will discuss the state of the current cold-weather warming shelter plan during Monday evening’s meeting, following the recent ice storm that left Saultities without power for an extended period of time.

Coun. Matthew Shoemaker, seconded by Coun. Donna Hilsinger, is bringing forward a motion asking City Staff to review the warming-shelter plan currently in place and recommend any changes based on the needs of the community, which became evident during the recent, year-end weather event that left chunks of the Sault without power for up to 36 hours.

This plan, developed in 2018 after being brought forward to Council by a concerned Shoemaker, wasn’t triggered during this event as the temperatures prior to it were relatively mild and not the -40 degrees celsius required (according to Environment Canada standards) to activate it.

“Staff at the City of Sault Ste. Marie recognized the need for a warming shelter despite the relatively mild weather and, in partnership with the Water Tower Inn, provided a space for community residents to find warmth,” the resolution states.

“The situation experienced in the last days of 2019 and the first days of 2020 identified the need for an update to the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s warming shelter plan.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved that staff review the warming shelter plan currently in place and recommend the necessary adjustments based on the needs of the community that have become evident as a result of recent events.”


  1. For disasters like such why isn’t the Red Cross called in to help? That was a lot of people without power for 3 days. In Manitoba when that happened there was an evacuation. Seniors and children are especially at risk

  2. Of course they do .. they have done nothing for our homeless .. they have closed valuable resources. And held on Money given to help with this issues. And have hidden the data publically.. look for yourself SAULT STE MARIE is the only one that hasn’t update their data ..

  3. Yes they should think of many who have no place to go ,, so many buildings closed ,, , then it gets broken into ,, ,, they are cold , so somehow theres a firer started , then yes , it burns down ,, look at the empty hospital , a tool disaster it is now ,, it could of been used to keep the people to stay warm , , until it got sold , , they had built a new dyalisis part , there , , now all broken windows ,, , got to say this , lots of wasted money went there , . but then they dont care its our tax dollars that pays for it ,,

  4. I have an idea!! with all the schools and buildings unoccupied, why not turn those into emergency shelters especially in times like weather? It’s better they be used for something than to be vandalized, set on fire or just sitting there to rot until something is decided. If drug addicts can get free drugs in this city, why can’t the homeless get free homes??? Be proactive, use what resources we have here already which are not being used and use them. There is no need to come up with a new business plan for government money for a bran new building, when we have solutions already. Come on SSMarie <3

    • The city doesn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. They simply couldn’t afford this or numerous other ideas. Essar is a huge part of this ongoing problem as they still haven’t paid their back taxes even after having the amount drastically slashed. The city should be getting as prepared as possible for the upcoming recession.

  5. -40? It has to be -40?
    How about -5.
    Maybe ‘they’ should spend a night homeless in ANY below freezing temps before coming up with an “acceptable” level of cold. Completely unacceptable that we don’t have one. And completely unacceptable that it has to make it to -40. There’s really no difference between -20 and -40 you spend long enough out there. You’re going to die.

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