City of Toronto issues Extreme Cold Weather Alert

Feb 11 2021, 2:08 pm

The City of Toronto has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert (ECWA), due to freezing temperatures over the next 24 hours.

On Thursday, the City said the decision was made based on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s forecast and the Office of Emergency Management, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health.

The ECWA was issued Toronto in anticipation of the cold weather conditions within the next 24 hours and will be in effect until further notice.

According to the city, “Extreme Cold Weather Alerts” are issued when the temperature is forecast to reach -15°C or colder, or when the wind chill is forecast to reach -20°C or colder.

The Weather Network has forecasted that Toronto will see a mix of sun and clouds on Thursday, with temperatures falling to -7°C this afternoon, continuing to drop to -10°C into the evening hours but it will feel more like -17°C with the wind chill.

It is expected to drop even further in the night to -14°C, feeling more like -22°C overnight.

The Weather Network

The cold temperatures will continue through Friday, with a high of -7°C, but will feel like -13°C.

Temperatures are expected to remain relatively low through the weekend and into next week.

The Weather Network

On February 7, the City activated its Warming Centres, which will remain open during the ECWA. Additional Streets to Homes teams who were also activated and will continue to provide enhanced street outreach response “to help support and encourage those living outside to come indoors.”

The Warming Centres are located at: 129 Peter St.; 5800 Yonge St.; Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre; and Scarborough Civic Centre.

According to the City the Warming Centres follow ongoing COVID-19 protocols.

The City is also asking that residents help vulnerable people by calling 311 if there is a need for street outreach assistance, or to call 911 if the situation is an emergency.

During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions

    • Check the weather report before going outside.
    • Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
    • Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
    • Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
    • Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton absorbs and holds moisture, no longer keeping the wearer warm.
    • Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
    • Drink warm fluids other than alcohol.
    • Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
    • Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it’s windy.
    • Heat your home to at least 21 degrees Celsius if infants or elderly people are present.
    • Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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