Heat Warning issued for Toronto

Based on information from Environment Canada, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued a Heat Warning for Toronto today. The Heat Warning will be in effect until further notice.

During a Heat Warning, 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.

People are encouraged to cool off in air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, local libraries and community centres in neighbourhoods throughout Toronto. For the homeless and under-housed, there are also 50 drop-in centres that are available seven days a week, operating at various hours.

The following seven locations offer an air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink and light snack. During the week, the community and civic centers are open until 7 p.m.; during the weekend, civic centres are only open until 6 p.m. while community centres are open until 7 p.m. Over the weekend, staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat are on hand at the seven locations:

• Metro Hall, 55 John St. (24 hours) 
• East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 
• North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 
• Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) 
• Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 
• McGregor Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) 
• Centennial Community Centre, 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Cots are provided for visitors who feel ill from the heat. More information is available at http://bitly.com/1iWlzIP. 

Members of the public are advised to beat the heat by taking these precautions:
• Drink lots of cool water even before you feel thirsty. 
• Go to air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, local libraries and community centres. 
• Take cool showers or baths or use cool wet towels to cool down. 
• Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and, when outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat. 
• Avoid the sun and stay in the shade or use an umbrella. 
• Reschedule or plan outdoor activities so they take place during cooler parts of the day. 
• Make sure that elderly people, children or pets are not left unattended in a car.

Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for vulnerable residents to escape the heat. Community agencies are encouraged 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.

When a warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries may call 311.

More information about how to beat the heat is available at http://bitly.com/1ks3FTv.

Air pollution often increases during hot weather conditions. 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 available at http://bitly.com/1neJmrP.

Information to help residents prepare for extreme weather and weatherproof their homes is available at http://www.toronto.ca/extremeweatherready.

This news release is also available on the City’s website: http://ow.ly/fJve30fnd4n

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