• News
  • September 14, 2016

Ontario Invests In Fire Safety Upgrades For Community Service Agencies In Northwestern Ontario

Funding Will Help Organizations That Serve Some of Ontario’s Most Vulnerable

Three Northwestern Ontario Agencies will receive approximately $730,000 to improve fire safety. Options Northwest will receive funding to install sprinkler systems at 9 Thunder Bay locations. Community Living Dryden-Sioux Lookout will receive funding to install a sprinkler system at its’ Sioux Lookout location.  Community Living Atikokan will receive funding to install a new fire escape at their Atikokan location. Ontario is investing $6.5 million in 2016-17 in fire safety in more than 130 facilities from over 40 community service agencies across the province. This investment will help ensure some of Ontario’s most vulnerable people receive community services in a safer facility that meets improvements to Ontario’s Fire Code.

Types of projects will include:

  • Fire alarm system upgrades
  • Installation of fire doors and separations
  • Sprinkler system installations.

This investment brings the total funding to improve fire safety in developmental and community service agency facilities to more than $15 million since 2014-15. Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to Investing in community service agency facilities is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.


“This investment in fire safety by the Province is critical to ensuring our community service agencies can keep their clients safe.  These organizations provide invaluable support to Ontario residents who need their help and I am so pleased that this investment not only can potentially save lives but also reduces the burden of worry they have faced by operating without these investments.”

— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“I am proud to announce that our government is investing over $750,000 in our region to support the agencies that provide exceptional care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Improving the fire safety systems in these facilities is an invaluable investment in the safety and security of our community members”

— Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North 

"On behalf of the individuals supported by OPTIONS northwest, the board of directors and the staff, we are very grateful for the financial commitment of the Ministry and Community Social Services for the funding to meet the Ontario Fire Code standards.  This funding will allow us to meet the new standards to provide safety upgrades for the individuals we support.  We are grateful for this level of support."

— Anna-Marie Eckensweiler, Executive Director, OPTIONS northwest 


  • Ontario is the first province to make sprinklers mandatory in existing senior’s care residences and homes for our most vulnerable citizens.
  • An amendment to the Fire Code that took effect on January 1, 2014 introduced new retrofit requirements requiring facility modifications. 



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