Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa has issued a heat warning for Toronto today based on information from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Temperatures are expected to hit a high of 31ºC but with the humidex, it will feel more like 36ºC today.
Members of the public are advised to drink lots of water and to escape the heat in air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, local libraries, or one of Toronto’s 180 air-conditioned community centres.
Wearing loose, light-coloured and breathable clothing is also recommended, as is taking cool showers, and staying in the shade.
According to a news release from the City of Toronto, “members of the public are encouraged to visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids. Other groups at risk include people with chronic illnesses, individuals with limited mobility or certain mental health illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are homeless.”
For people experiencing homelessness, TTC tokens are available at several drop-ins throughout the city to be used to get to cool places. Seven cooling centres are open and offering a place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink and light snack while staff on site are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat.
Landlords of un-air-conditioned buildings are also being encouraged “to provide a dedicated cooling room for vulnerable residents to escape the heat.” Meanwhile, community agencies will work to educate clients on “the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check on those clients who are at increased risk of heat-related illness during warnings.”
People with heart and lung conditions, seniors and parents/guardians of young children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts as air pollution can often increase during hot weather conditions.
And, it should go without saying, that elderly people, children, and pets should not be left unattended in a car for any amount of time.
Stay safe and stay cool today, Toronto.
This is only the beginning, according to Environment Canada, the extreme heat warning starts today and “there is still uncertainty regarding when the heat event will come to an end. Current indications suggest the heat could persist into the middle of next week.”