Completion of Coroner’s Inquest into Winters Residence Fire

February 6, 2024

Statement For Release

Atira Women’s Resource Society
Completion of Coroner’s Inquest into Winters Residence Fire

Vancouver, B.C. | Unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam),Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations |

Atira expresses its thanks to those involved in the Coroner’s Inquest into the tragic deaths that occurred as a result of the 2022 Winters Residence fire. In particular, we thank the Coroner and jurors, as well as our own staff who testified. Although these have been difficult weeks for all involved, we are confident the learnings and recommendations, once implemented, will have positive impacts that benefit our staff and tenants at Atira, as well as other housing sites.

We acknowledge and support 100 per cent of the recommendations from the jury. We look forward to meaningful action by BC Housing to implement all the recommendations. We also acknowledge the pain and sadness that Ms. Garlow and Mr. Guay’s family and friends have gone through over the last two weeks, compounding the unimaginable grief of losing their loved ones, and we want to assure them that we also feel this loss deeply at Atira, and will forever.

We have worked hard since then to improve safety in all the buildings that house our tenants, including ensuring all staff have appropriate training and resources in place in the event of another life-threatening emergency.

This inquest has offered an important reminder to us all: ensuring the safety of staff and tenants in 100-year-old buildings that house people with very complex needs is a challenge at the highest level. Atira remains committed, however, to providing safe, supportive housing for our tenants.

We believe that when there is a commitment by government to fund supportive social housing to the level that guarantees safety, it would be an investment in the future.

It is becoming increasingly clear that no reasonable investment in these buildings will ensure the health and safety of staff and tenants. We look forward to a future of Housing to Hope where long-term solutions such as purpose-built housing is considered and prioritized by BC Housing.

Next week, the first ever ‘Housing and Safety Forum’ will be hosted in Vancouver. The event is being organized by Atria, BC Non-Profit Housing Association and Community Impact Real Estate to provide a crucial platform for in-depth discussions on community safety inviting diverse perspectives from individuals with lived experiences, businesses, supportive housing, first responders and municipalities.


Atira operates 3,150 housing units for women, children and all gender individuals in the Lower Mainland. More information is available on our website here:

Media Contact:
Tyler Pronyk
[email protected]