Councillors don’t show up for the Red Door

Meeting to help save a shelter didn't happen because not enough reps present

A petition of over 45,000 signatures, community meetings, and a hashtag in support of the 30-year-old Red Door Family Shelter weren’t enough to convince city councillors to show up to work.

The Community Development and Recreation Committee was set on April 17 to decide if the shelter, which could become condos, should receive help from the City.

But, not enough councillors showed up to the committee.

The contentious issue is to be discussed at the next committee meeting on May 22, leaving supporters frustrated.

The shelter could be turned into a condo because Norma and Ronauld Walton, who co-own the property with Doctor Stanley Bernstein, took $2.1 million out of the mortgage.

Walton admitted to an Ontario Superior Court in October she diverted the sum from their intended purposes.

The Waltons spent $268,000 of those diverted dollars on renovating their mansion in the Bridle Path neighbourhood.

“What happened here, not to put too fine a point on it, was theft,” Justice Frank Newbould said in endorsing the property’s receivership.

Because of that theft, 106 beds for the homeless could become another condominium.

“We do not want to leave, and we certainly do not want to reduce the number of beds we offer homeless families in need. The receiver and developer have not given us any answers and we need them now!” Bernnitta Hawkins, executive director of Red Door Family Shelter said in a news release.

Toronto artist, Lynn Mantle, even wrote a song for the #SavetheRedDoor side.