After thousands of visits last winter, homeless overflow shelter to reopen at old Royal Vic

The overflow homeless shelter set up at Montreal’s former Royal Victoria Hospital as a pilot project last winter will reopen on Dec. 2.

Shelter is slated to open Dec. 2, serving homeless people and their pets

The Ross Pavilion originally opened in 1916 and housed private patient rooms. Now a section of it is used as an overflow homeless shelter in the winter. (CBC)

The overflow homeless shelter that started as a pilot project at Montreal's former Royal Victoria Hospital last winter will reopen on Dec. 2, the city has confirmed.

The shelter was run by the city's largest non-profit homeless organizations, and was open for 90 nights starting Jan. 15.

It received nearly 7,000 stays, providing a warm, safe space for people and their pets to spend the night. A shuttle was set up to ensure everybody had a ride to the 80-bed facility, located on the third floor of the 103-year-old greystone Ross Pavilion.

The project was deemed by organizers to be a success. Last winter, the shelter received 1,402 men, 173 women and 10 people who identify as transgender. Ages ranged from 18 to 85.

The city and provincial governments together contributed nearly $230,000 toward the project last year.

Along with the Old Brewery Mission, the Welcome Hall Mission, Maison du Père and the Accueil Bonneau were involved in running the facility, along with the local CIUSSS, the SPCA and the Red Cross.