With hot summer weather fast approaching, the City of Toronto has announced its plans to help keep residents cool this year.
The City will operate seven Emergency Cooling Centres starting May 15 running until September 30. They will open any time Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a heat warning for Toronto.
According to the City, heat warnings are issued when the forecast calls for two or more consecutive days with a daytime maximum temperature of 31°C or warmer, combined with a minimum nighttime temperature of 20°C or warmer. Warnings can also be issued when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.
The cooling centres provide air-conditioned resting spaces to any member of the public who needs to cool off, including Torontonians who live in apartment buildings that do not have air conditioning. Landlords of these buildings are required to post information about the closest cooling centre on their tenant notification board.
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All cooling centres will operate from 11 am to 7 pm during heat warnings with the exception of the centre at Metro Hall, which will run 24 hours. The full list of centres is as follows:
- East York Civic Centre – 850 Coxwell Avenue
- Etobicoke Civic Centre – 399 The West Mall
- Metro Hall – 55 John Street
- North York Civic Centre – 5100 Yonge Street
- Scarborough Civic Centre – 150 Borough Drive
- Domenico Di Luca Community Centre – 25 Stanley Road
- Don Montgomery Community Centre – 2467 Eglinton Avenue
All cooling centres will follow COVID-19 protocols to ensure users’ safety, including physical distancing, mask-wearing, sanitization, and hand washing. Additionally, staff trained to assist residents affected by extreme heat will be onsite at the centres.