Business executives and other high-profile figures in Toronto will be sleeping outdoors with cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to raise money for homeless youth.

Covenant House Toronto’s “Sleep Out: Executive Edition” will start in the Ryerson parking lot at 6 p.m. Participants will travel to numerous locations and parks before meeting back at Ryerson at 11 p.m.

Purolator president Patrick Nangle, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, and CIBC senior executive vice-president of wealth management Steve Geist are some of the high-profile figures expected to  “sleep out” for one night.

The goal of this campaign is to bring awareness to youth homelessness, said Rose Cino, communications manager for Covenant House. “It’s a turning point before homelessness becomes chronic.”


The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness to a rising problem of youth homelessness in Toronto. (Courtesy AshtonPal)

As the largest agency in Canada for youth homelessness, Covenant House estimates that in one night,  as many as 2,000 youth are sleeping without a home in Toronto. According to consolidated research from Covenant house, almost three quarters of the homeless youth have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse – among the primary reasons for leaving a home.

Toronto is not the only city reaching out to ask celebs and execs to live a night in the life of a young person experiencing homelessness. Add how many cities are participating this year.

With 18 North American cities participating, Covenant house raised more than $4.2 million last year.

This year, Covenant House is hoping to raise more than $800,000 in Toronto.

Lindsay was the managing editor for print at The Ryersonian and was previously an intern with CBC-TV's the fifth estate, an investigative documentary program. She focused on digital journalism, advanced research methods and reporting. She is an environmental pragmatist, advocate for freedom of expression, freedom of information and euthanasia of urban raccoons. Lindsay graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015.