Skip to content

396 walk in 'unprecedented' Coldest Night for Inn From the Cold

More than $150,000 was raised, surpassing the original goal

Almost 400 people took part in the Coldest Night of the Year walk for Inn From The Cold on Feb. 25. 

Ann Watson, executive director of Inn From the Cold, said 396 walkers were registered across 64 teams for what was the best Coldest Night of the Year event Newmarket has held. 

“You have proven once again that Newmarket is a community that cares about people who don’t have homes,” she said. 

A total of $156,453 was raised, which is 195 per cent of the original goal. 

The top fundraising team was Team Tom Taylor, which was also in the national top 15 teams with almost $20,000 raised. 

Tom Taylor founded Inn From the Cold 25 years ago in the basement of Old Town Hall. He said it feels fantastic to see how it has evolved and where it is today. 

"It’s been progressive but this to me is the climax of the whole thing," he said of the latest developments with the Inn and the work toward a new shelter. 

Taylor volunteers regularly at Inn From the Cold and added that “to see the people there and how some of them are progressing, the transitional part that they’ve gone into in the last number of years, is great.” 

His team included members from the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, Newmarket council, and Mayor John Taylor. 

In his remarks before the walk, he said he has never been more proud to be mayor than he was in that moment. 

"This is a community that said 'we’re not going to rest, we’re not going to sleep until everybody in our community has a place to rest and to sleep,'” he said. 

He added that some communities pretend homelessness isn't an issue but Newmarket isn't one of those. 

Committee member and team captain Tracee Chambers agreed that Newmarket is special. This was her seventh year doing the Coldest Night of the Year walk. 

“For a small town like Newmarket, how amazing we do, it’s just because we have community spirit,” she said. 

She said she is motivated by the beautiful people she meets volunteering at Inn From the Cold, supported by her friends, and her favourite part of the walk is seeing the amount of money raised as it can be so beneficial in what it offers to the community. 

“Our goal is to get everybody back on their feet again,” Chambers said. 

Newmarket-Aurora MP Tony Van Bynen and MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy also shared remarks before the walk, commending Newmarket for its care and support to end homelessness in the community. 

After a brief warm-up, walkers departed from Riverwalk Commons in Newmarket and headed out on the route around Fairy Lake and down Main Street. 

The night ended with a light meal served at the Newmarket Community Centre. 

Reader Feedback

Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
Read more