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Prominent Torontonians sleep on the street for Covenant House

About 50 local business leaders and other prominent Torontonians traded the comfort of their homes Thursday for a night sleeping on the chilly concrete.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and philanthropist Suzanne Rogers were among those who participated in a sleep-out in support of Canada’s largest youth shelter, Covenant House.

“It was cool, in many ways,” Blair said Friday morning. “We were out here with a lot of really nice people doing something that was worthwhile. We need some attention to issues around youth homelessness in this city and the important work Covenant House does.”

The group camped out near the Gerrard Street shelter, near Yonge Street, and raised more than $500,000 in the process.

“It was definitely a humbling experience. I hope I’ve raised awareness for this incredible organization Covenant House,” Rogers said.

The group spent Thursday evening learning more about the shelter and spoke with young people who rely on its services.  

The event is over but you can still donate to Covenant House here.

With files from Reuters