Patricia O'Connell, executive director at Sistering, a west-end charity-run women's shelter not far from where the woman was found dead, confirmed the woman, named Chrystal, had stayed there in the past.
"We're all just devastated. We were best friends and she goes "miss you girl, you're amazing" and she goes 'I'm going over to the bins'".
It is unclear how the woman, who is in her 30s, became trapped inside the bin. Ventura blinked back tears when discussing Chrystal's tragic death.
The department received a call around 1:40 a.m. and arrived to find the woman "injured and unconscious", according to a tweet by the Toronto Police Operations Centre. She was attended to by emergency personnel, who performed CPR on her, but she was subsequently pronounced dead on the scene.
If it's not feasible for an organization to remove their bins within the time frame, Townsend says they're asked to put locks on the containers.
The location of the boxes.
"They are set up in a way to make it hard for people to have access to the inside of the box but obviously (they are) not safe enough".
He expects the review won't take long, but did not indicate a specific timeline for completion and recommendations to be acted upon.
Police made the discovery in a box near Dovercourt Road and Bloor Street.
"We are saddened at this bad and tragic incident", media relations and communications manager Daniel Koren said in an email to CBC Toronto.
It's not the first time a person has died after being trapped in a clothing donation box in Canada.
Why the woman had tried to get in the bin is unknown.
"We will continue to work with our bin manufacturer, municipal authorities, design experts and community partners to formalize and promote the adoption of industry-wide safety standards to keep our communities safe", stated the press release. Being held upside down for long periods can also be fatal in itself; the victim can asphyxiate from the pressure of their organs weighing down on their lungs, or they can suffer a stroke as blood pools in their head.
With critics referring to the bins as "death traps", charities and municipalities are taking drastic action to prevent more fatalities.
Vancouver Fire Rescue spokesperson Jonathan Gormick.
Last week, Vancouver shut down clothing donation bins in the wake of a man's death. She said something must be done about the bins' safety risk. They said they're investigating it as "a death by misadventure".