In response to the criticism over the city’s provision of warm spaces over Christmas, the city announced there will be better coverage over New Years.
The Central Memorial Recreation Centre at West Avenue and Stinson Street will be open until 10PM New Years Eve, New Years Day and January 2nd.
As well, the HUB will be open to provide overnight warming every night between now and annuary 2nd.
The move comes amid online criticism after it was learned that the HUB almost had to shut down Christmas Eve because its contract with the city stipulates that it is only to offer shelter during cold alerts which are triggered when the temperature drops to minus 15 Celsius or there is a wind chill of minus 20 Celsius. On Christmas Eve conditions nosed just above that threshold, resulting in a cancellation of the cold alert. HUB manager Jennifer Bonner put out a tweet advising of the potential closure and members of the public and the Hamilton Community Benefits network came up with the $3,000/night funding needed to keep the centre open.
Mayor Horwath announced that she will call for a review of the cold weather strategy in January. Council voted $125,000 in cold weather support funding in early December, but the staff recommendation provided no details on what the program actually looked like and there was no discussion about emergency use of the funding.
Meanwhile the weather forecast calls for temperatures well above freezing during each day between now and January 2nd,
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