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Kenyan woman dies while seeking shelter in Canadian Cold weather

By Hilary Kimuyu February 27th, 2024 2 min read

A Kenyan mother of four who had just landed in Canada and was seeking shelter died after she waited hours in the cold to get into a shelter space.

The woman identified as Delphina Ngigi, 46, a widow who is said to have waited for hours in the cold to be allowed inside a Mississauga shelter died last week to, get into a shelter space.

According to a GoFundMe that has been set Ngigi became unconscious and after multiple resuscitation attempts, she passed on.

“As we wipe the free-flowing tears, we have bills totalling to $40,000. We humbly appeal to your generosity and compassion to donate to our GoFundMe campaign,” it read in part.

Advocates in Canada are demanding immediate action to address growing pressure on the region’s already overcrowded shelter system.

At a press conference Friday, advocates from the African Canadian community said that Ngigi who was a widow and mother of four children who are still in Kenya, revealed that she had only just arrived in Canada on Thursday and went to the Dundas Shelter at 1pm local time but was not admitted until 8pm on Saturday.

“The Region of Peel confirmed the death and said the woman arrived at the shelter on Dundas Street East needing a place to stay on Saturday night. She slept indoors at the shelter but suffered a medical emergency on Sunday,” a statement from the shelter said.

The woman was taken to hospital where she passed away. In a statement, Peel Region said the hospital does not feel the death is suspicious and police were not involved.

An autopsy is expected to be completed to determine the cause of death. The community and her family are working on funeral arrangements back in Kenya.


According to local media, Ngigi arrived at the shelter at 1767 Dundas St. E. at about 1pm local time on Saturday and was forced to wait outside in the cold for hours, before she was let into the lobby at about 8pm.

Ngigi spent the night there and collapsed when she was taking a shower in the shelter on Sunday. She was taken to the hospital shortly afterward and was still awake and conscious at 2pm, but died there just after 4:30pm. Her cause of death has not been released.

The centre is trying to raise money to send her body back to Kenya to be buried.

A spokesperson for Peel Region confirmed to CBC News that an asylum seeker arrived at the shelter over the Family Day weekend only to find there was no space, and died in hospital after spending the night on the floor of the shelter’s lobby.

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