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Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Corporate Communications > County of Simcoe enacts enhanced warming and alternate spaces strategy in response to inclement weather
Press Release

County of Simcoe enacts enhanced warming and alternate spaces strategy in response to inclement weather

Gilbert Centre warming centre temporarily closed, January 8-9 inclusive

​Midhurst/January 8, 2024 – The County of Simcoe has enacted its enhanced warming and alternate spaces strategy in response to the Special Weather Statement issued by Environment Canada earlier today. This comprehensive system response increases available warming and shelter spaces due to possible significant snowfall and risk of freezing rain in the region on Tuesday, and extending into Tuesday night.

Effective immediately, through to Wednesday morning (January 10th, 2024), the alternate spaces strategy is enacted to expand the number of warm indoor spaces for those who are unable to secure a shelter bed or a space in a warming centre location.

To reduce risks for individuals out in the elements tomorrow, the County of Simcoe has requested that shelter organizations support individuals on site tonight and during the day tomorrow who wish to stay inside. 

Update on the Gilbert Centre winter warming program
As per recent communication from The Gilbert Centre, warming centre operations are temporarily closed until Wednesday morning, January 10. To maximize options for access to warm, indoor locations, all County of Simcoe Social and Community Services offices, located in Alliston, Barrie (3rd floor), Collingwood, Orillia and Midland, will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. for individuals to come in from the cold.

In the City of Barrie, overnight temporary shelter beds at 20 Rose Street will also be available.

The County reminds residents that warming centres are open during the coldest months of the year for vulnerable populations. These warming centres are part of the regional system approach to homelessness prevention with support from community partners.

Warming opportunities available at the following locations:


The Gilbert Centre, 80 Bradford St.
Daytime Warming
(8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Daily)
November 3, 2023 - April 30, 2024
Note: the Gilbert Centre is temporarily closed for internal housekeeping & maintenance until Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Busby Centre, 20 Rose St. (temporary structure)
Warming services alternate space activation 11 AM - 6 PM (alternative space activation has been activated for this predicted inclement weather)
Additional Emergency Winter Overnight Shelter Beds
(5 PM - 11 AM Daily)
November 15, 2023 - April 30, 2024


Orillia Community Church, 64 Colborne St. E.
(9 PM - 7 AM Daily)
November 15, 2023 - April 30, 2024


WOW Living Out of the Cold Café
177 Church St.
(9 PM - 8 AM Daily)
December 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024

The warming services listed above are funded by the County of Simcoe in partnership with the City of Barrie and the City of Orillia, which are above and beyond the regular municipal service contributions. 

Those in need of shelter or warmth can always call 2-1-1 to connect with a nearby shelter or visit one of the locations listed above.

About the County's 10-point homelessness prevention strategy
The County of Simcoe's 10-point Homelessness Prevention Strategy provides a strong, data-driven plan to help vulnerable residents and our communities. The strategy includes a considerable added investment toward the goal of preventing and ending chronic homelessness. For further details and ongoing updates to the homelessness prevention plan, visit simcoe.ca/HomelessnessSystem.

About the County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.​​

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Andrea Walasek
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
249-535-3511 (mobile)

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca​ ​​​​​