Environment and Climate Change Canada has declared a Heat Warning for Toronto starting tomorrow, Saturday, July 25 to Monday, July 27.
Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.
Extreme heat is associated with negative health impacts ranging from heat stress to heat stroke and death. During periods of hot weather, the safety of all residents is the priority. Starting at 11 a.m. on July 25, the City of Toronto will open 14 Emergency Cooling Centres (ECCs) for the duration of the Heat Warning.
An interactive map is available to help those who need to locate an ECC and other cool spaces, such as community centres, swimming pools, wading pools and splash pads near them. This week, 47 additional spaces where the public can access indoor cooling have been added to the map, including community centres.
The ECCs offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place for residents to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat will be on hand. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The ECCs are available to residents if they do not have access to a cool space and cannot keep cool in their home or outdoors.
All the centres will operate during Heat Warnings only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Metro Hall, 55 John St., which is open 24 hours during Heat Warnings.
Tips to protect yourself from the heat are available at toronto.ca/keepcool.
When a Heat Warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries can call 311.
It is mandatory for the public to wear masks or face coverings, with some exceptions, at all ECCs. A mask will be provided at the ECC to those without a mask who want to enter.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, people who are at higher risk for COVID-19 (such as persons who are more than 70 years of age), or who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 (experiencing symptoms, high risk exposure), may visit an ECC if necessary, to beat the heat while taking the following precautions:
When arriving at an ECC, inform a staff member prior to entering of your COVID-19 or self-isolation status during the screening process.
ECC staff will screen all visitors and accommodate those who are required to self-isolate in an alternate space separate from the main ECC area.
To help residents cool off during the Heat Warning, the following seven outdoor pools will be open, weather permitting, until 11:45 p.m. tomorrow and may continue to operate with extended hours until the Heat Warning is cancelled:
For up-to-date information on extended pool hours, pool locations and regular operating hours, call 311 or visit toronto.ca/swim.
The City’s Streets to Homes outreach team is doing wellness checks for clients who live outdoors. During a Heat Warning, two outreach teams active in the city (Streets to Homes and Fred Victor Keep Cool Project) will be doing wellness checks, advising clients of the open ECC locations and the TTC assistance to get them to a site, providing them with water and recommending, if they stay outdoors, to move to a shaded area.
The City’s updated 2020 Heat Relief Strategy reflects the current public health advice related to COVID-19, with guidance for safely operating apartment building cooling rooms and other tips for apartment building landlords and tenants. Toronto Community Housing will be providing residents with access to cooling in many of their buildings during Heat Warnings. More information for landlords is available on the RentSafeTO web page.
Community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call, text or video chat with those clients who are at increased risk of heat-related illness during Heat Warnings.
B-roll footage of the ECCs is available for the media’s use at on the City’s Newsroom web page.
The Environment and Climate Change Canada Heat Warning statement for Toronto is available at http://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html.
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