In the future, Toronto is expected to experience higher temperatures and more heat events. It is projected that by 2040-2050, the City can expect to experience approximately 66 days with maximum temperatures above 30°C.
Extreme weather can occur at any time, with little warning. As the City takes action to improve our overall resilience to climate change and extreme weather, it is important for residents and businesses to do the same. It’s important for you to:
The WeatherCAN mobile app launched by Environment and Climate Change Canada provides Canadians with access to reliable weather information directly. The app is available for free in the Google Play and Apple stores.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home will make your home more comfortable, reduce your energy use and costs, and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change. Extreme heat and cold can increase your energy use and your energy bills. The City of Toronto and other organizations offer many incentives for homeowners such as grants and low-interest loans for improvements such as energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors and insulation. Toronto Hydro also offers programs, incentives and tips to help you save energy and make eco-friendly choices.
In addition to reducing stormwater runoff, green roofs reduce energy use and heating/cooling costs, help to cool the air and provide important habitat for wildlife. The City’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program offers financial incentives to help homeowners install a green roof or cool roof on their property.
In addition to providing shade and helping to cool and clean the air, trees help prevent flooding and beautify our surroundings. The City will plant a free tree on the City-owned road allowance adjacent to your property.
Environment and Climate Change Canada issues Heat Warnings across Canada. A Heat Warning is issued for southern Ontario (including Toronto) when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with nighttime minimum 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.
The City of Toronto has a Heat Relief Strategy that aims to reduce heat-related illness and death in Toronto due to extreme heat conditions. The Heat Relief Network is a coordinated effort within this strategy to provide residents with more than 270 cool spaces across the City. These cool spaces include libraries, community centres and pools, some Civic Centres and City facilities, drop-ins and several private and non-profit organizations, including some shopping malls and YMCA locations. You can find these locations through a searchable online map.
For more tips on how to keep cool, visit Staying Healthy in Hot Weather.
Several record-breaking rainfalls have occurred in Toronto in recent years, resulting in flooding and extensive damage to public and private property as well as public utilities, roads, transportation networks and the natural environment. Flooding can also be caused by melting snow and ice.
A record rainfall on July 8, 2013, for example, caused extensive flooding, widespread power outages and an estimated $850 million in insurance claims by residents and businesses across the GTA.
By 2050, Toronto’s maximum daily rainfall is expected to more than double, rising to 166 mm from 66 mm today.
The risks associated with extreme rain include:
Review the City’s Emergency Preparedness information to make sure you know in advance what to do during an extreme rain/flooding event.
Heavy snowfalls, freezing rain, sleet, hail, high winds and extreme cold can put public health and safety at risk, damage and disrupt transportation systems and other infrastructure, down trees, power lines and more. The ice storm in December 2013, for example, caused extensive damage, made travelling treacherous, and downed trees and power lines across the city, causing widespread power outages that lasted up to two weeks in some parts of the city.
Improving the energy-efficiency of your home will make your home more comfortable, reduce your energy use and costs, and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change. The City offers low-interest loans for improvements such as energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors and insulation through its Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homeowners.
Toronto Hydro also offers programs, incentives and tips to help you save energy and make eco-friendly choices.
Review the City’s Emergency Preparedness information to make sure you know in advance what to do during an extreme cold event.
Visit PlowTO Map during the winter season (November to April), to see how the City keeps roads and sidewalks safe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The PlowTO Map can help you find out when roads have been salted and plowed in Toronto.
Strong winds and especially gusty winds can damage property, turn loose objects into dangerous projectiles, and create unsafe conditions for walking and driving. When a wind warning is issued, winds will be blowing steadily at 60-65 km/h or more, or gusting up to 90 km/h or more.
The majority of tornadoes in Canada have maximum wind speeds under 180 km/h, but they can be considerably stronger and cause extensive property damage. Each year on average, about 17 tornadoes occur across Ontario and Quebec. The peak of the season is June through August.
Tornadoes are usually preceded by a severe thunderstorm, black skies and heavy rain. Most develop in the late afternoon and early evening but they can occur at any time, including overnight.
When severe weather threatens, Environment Canada will issue alerts in affected areas.
Review the City’s Emergency Preparedness information to make sure you know in advance what to do during an extreme wind event.