Media Release: Coroner’s Inquest into the Death of Attila Csanyi

The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, along with co-counsel Jen Danch of Swadron Associates, will be representing the family of Attila Csanyi at the upcoming Coroner’s Inquest into his death. The inquest will begin on April 30th, 2024 at 9:30 AM and is expected to continue for two to three weeks. The fourth anniversary of Attila’s passing will fall during the proceedings, on May 2, 2024. 

Attila died of a drug overdose on the roof of Jackson Square in Hamilton, Ontario on May 2nd, 2020. Seven weeks before his death Attila was evicted from his home at Sampaguita Lodging & Rest Home, a Residential Care Facility (RCF) on March 11th, 2020. His eviction occurred outside of the process outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act. Following his extra-juridical eviction, Attila was effectively displaced onto the street, and relied on Hamilton’s congregate shelter system at the turn of the 2020 COVID-19 public health crisis.

Proceedings before the Coroner

A coroner’s inquest is an opportunity for members of the public to hear about the circumstances surrounding the death of a community member and neighbour. Outcomes from a coroner’s inquest are determined by a jury, composed of members of the public. In addition to answering the five required questions mandated by the proceeding, the jury may make recommendations to various levels of government, institutions and individuals aimed at preventing future deaths under similar circumstances. 

The jury will hear from witnesses for the Hamilton Police Service, City of Hamilton, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and Sampaguita Lodging and Rest Home, in addition to Attila’s brother and father. It is expected that experts in the areas of homelessness, residential care facilities and tenant’s rights will also be called to give evidence. 

Anticipated Evidence and Recommendations Attila’s family will be seeking

We anticipate that this inquest will draw attention to the institutional failings that created the conditions for the destabilization of Attila’s housing and supportive care in the weeks prior to his death. The jury will hear evidence about the history of RCFs’ operations, oversight and funding structures; the unique vulnerabilities of residents living within care homes; and the role of community organizations and support workers in the overall care and wellbeing of RCF tenants. Ultimately, once all of the evidence is heard, the jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths of individuals in similar situations. 

Having spent a significant amount of time reviewing the evidence yielded through the investigation into Attila’s death and the historical, social location of Residential Care Facilities within the current housing and health care landscape, counsel for Attila’s family anticipates recommendations may flow from and be aimed at: 

  • Public transparency and oversight of Residential Care Facilities at both provincial and municipal levels of government
  • Greater recognition and increased protection of tenant rights for residents living within Residential Care Facilities
  • Improved patient-directed care within homes offering supportive care services
  • Increased outpatient psychiatric funding and multidisciplinary services to meet the needs of individuals with concurrent mental health disabilities and substance use disorders

Link to View the Inquest
To access the livestream for the inquest, please use this link: 


Media inquiries
At this time, we will be responding to media inquiries in writing. Please direct inquiries to the attention of “Counsel for the Family – Csanyi Inquest”  at