The sun may be shining and the birds may be chirping, but it’s probably best to stay inside today if you’re in Toronto given the city’s hazardous air quality right now.
The inviting summer weather has unfortunately been marred by hazy skies and a smoky atmosphere over the last week as plumes from out-of-control wildfires elsewhere in Ontario and Quebec are carried our way.
— blogTO (@blogTO) June 7, 2023
Environment Canada has had to issue multiple special air quality statements to advise residents of excess pollutants and deteriorating conditions, which can be dangerous to your health, along with being simply uncomfortable to have to deal with.
If your eyes and throat are burning, you’re coughing and can’t breathe normally, or are just feeling nauseous, you’re definitely not the only one — and it’s no surprise now that Toronto’s air quality just plummeted to the third-worst in the entire world.
Im 50 out and my eyes are watery inside. Its terrible.
— asraa (@starheal111) June 7, 2023
As of shortly before 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon, air pollution experts moved Toronto from the 18th spot yesterday to third, placing us behind only New York City — which is dealing with the same smoke from Canada’s forest fires right now— and Delhi, India, which is known for its air pollution.
As EnviroCan notes, “Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour,” so some have noticed that our position on the ranking has been changing throughout the day.
But, we remain strong among the top 10 cities with the worst air quality, considered unhealthy to breathe, even for those without pre-existing health concerns and vulnerabilities.
Came back from the vets and felt nauseated, sick, and my head hurts. This air is not good to be exposed to. If you do not need to be out, I recommend staying inside. It may not “look bad”, however the air quality is bad.#Smoke #AirQualityAlert #Toronto
— Cheyanne Ratnam | She/Her (@CheyRatnam) June 7, 2023
The worst of the smoke is still yet to come in the GTA, with even poorer air and the potential for extremely rare ashfall, which can cause permanent lung damage if deeply inhaled, in the cards for Thursday.