Heat Alert upgraded to Extreme Heat Alert, Cooling Centres open

    TORONTO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of
Health, has upgraded yesterday's Heat Alert to an Extreme Heat Alert for
today. The Extreme Heat Alert will be in effect until further notice.
    Prolonged periods of heat may increase the risk of health effects for
those populations most vulnerable, such as the elderly, infants, young
children, the chronically ill, and those taking certain medications. The
public is encouraged to call or visit vulnerable and elderly friends and
neighbours who may be at risk of suffering health consequences from hot
    In addition to shopping malls, one of Toronto's numerous local library
branches, or numerous air conditioned community centres located in each
neighbourhood that are available as cooling places, during an Extreme Heat
Alert five of the City's civic centres are operated as Cooling Centres:

    -   Metro Hall, 55 John St. (John and King), open 24 hours
    -   East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. (Coxwell and Mortimer), from
        11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    -   Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (Burnhamthorpe and Hwy
        427), from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    -   North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. (Yonge and Sheppard), from
        11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    -   Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr. (McCowan and Hwy 401), from
        11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

    Snacks and water are available at the five Cooling Centres.

    The public is advised to "Beat the Heat" by taking these precautions:

    -   Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
    -   Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
    -   Avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
    -   Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of more
        than 190 local library branches and air conditioned community centres
        located in each neighbourhood or one of the five Cooling Centres
        listed above
    -   Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car
    -   Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to set
        up dedicated cool rooms and check on vulnerable tenants. A few hours
        in a cooler location can save lives.

    Many homeless shelters will also allow people to stay inside during the
day to keep cool.
    Those in need of assistance may call the Red Cross Heat Information Line
at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
    Termination of all heat alerts are posted on our website at
www.toronto.ca/health. For all regular updates and more information, please
visit our website or call Toronto Health Connection at 416-338-7600.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

                 Visit our website at www.toronto.ca/health

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Rishma Govani, Toronto Public
Health, (416) 338-7974 (weekdays), (416) 690-2142 (weekends only); Tanya
Elliott, Canadian Red Cross, (905) 890-1000 ext. 202 or (416) 442-1948; For
information about the Cooling Centres: Elaine Smyer, Manager, Emergency
Planning, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, (416) 397-1384, (416)
714-2730 (pager), (416) 392-4529 (weekends only)

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