Heat Alert upgraded to Extreme Heat Alert in Toronto, cooling centres open

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Based on information from Environment Canada, Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, has upgraded the Heat Alert to an Extreme Heat Alert for today. The Extreme Heat Alert will be in effect until further notice.

During an Extreme Heat Alert, the public is encouraged to call or 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.

In addition to air-conditioned shopping malls, local libraries and neighbourhood community centres, cooling centres are open during Extreme Heat Alerts at the following seven locations:

  • Metro Hall – 55 John St. (This cooling centre opens at 11 a.m. on the day the alert is issued and remains open 24 hours a day for the duration of the Extreme Heat Alert.)
  • East York Civic Centre – 850 Coxwell Ave. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • North York Civic Centre – 5100 Yonge St. (11 a.m. to 7 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 7 p.m.)
  • McGregor Community Centre – 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Centennial Park Community Centre – 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

 

Members of the public are also advised to beat the heat by taking these precautions:

  • Drink lots of cool water even before you feel thirsty.
  • 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 during the cooler parts of the day.
  • Never leave seniors, children or pets 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 at increased risk of heat-related illness during alerts.                                                                                                            

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

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

Water and snacks are available at the seven cooling centres: http://bitly.com/1iWlzIP.

Air pollution often increases during hot weather conditions. People with heart and lung conditions, seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts that are available at http://bitly.com/1neJmrP.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

SOURCE City of Toronto

For further information: Media contacts: Lenore Bromley, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974 (weekdays) lbromle@toronto.ca, 311 Toronto (weekends only): 311; Canadian Red Cross media line, 1-877-599-9602; Cooling centre information contact: 311 Toronto: 311

RELATED LINKS
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca

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