Montreal's Olympic Stadium has been transformed into a temporary welcome center after a surge in asylum seekers from the United States.
"We've never seen this before," Francine Dupuis, spokeswoman for PRAIDA, a provincial government refugee organization in Quebec, Canada, told CBC News. "It's really quite a bit more intense than what we're used to."
PRAIDA normally collaborated with Montreal YMCA to provide short-term accommodation for asylum seekers, Dupuis said. But a recent wave of Haitian immigrants crossing the border from the U.S. has forced PRAIDA to seek alternate housing, she added.
In the absence of official federal government data, Dupuis estimated that 1,174 asylum seekers crossed into Quebec in July.
The uptick has been attributed to the looming withdrawal of protective status afforded to Haitians who fled to the U.S. after their home country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. The special humanitarian immigration status is due to end in January 2018, with many Haitians facing deportation after that date.
A representative for Olympic Park, which hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics, said the request to install between 100 and 450 cots came on July 28.
"We were quick to say, 'OK, how much space do we need?'" Cédric Essminimy told CBS News. "And in 24 hours, everything was set."