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Extreme Heat Warning: Toronto opens 15 Cooling Centres, extends outdoor pool hours

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TORONTO, ON., July 2 — It is going to be sweltering hot in the Toronto area for the next several days and Environment and Climate Change Canada has declared a Heat Warning for Toronto for Thursday, July 2 through to Sunday, July 5.

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 2, the City of Toronto will open 15 Emergency Cooling Centres (ECCs) for the duration of the Heat Warning.

Toronto cooling centres interactive map

Toronto cooling centres interactive map

An interactive map is available to help those who need to locate an Emergency Cooling Centre near them. Please note that the location in South Etobicoke has changed from Ourland Community Centre for Mimico-Coronation Club House.

The Emergency Cooling Centres will 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 will run 24 hours during Heat Warnings.

Extended hours at select Toronto outdoor pools

Sunnyside Park/Gus Ryder Pool

Toronto is also extending hours at select outdoor pools to help residents cool off during the Heat Warning. The following outdoor pools will be open, weather permitting until 11:45 pm tonight and may continue to operate with extended hours until the Heat Warning is cancelled:

Alex Duff Pool, 779 Crawford St.

Earlscourt Park/Giovanni Caboto Pool, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W

Monarch Park, 115 Felstead Ave.

Smithfield Park, 175 Mount Olive

Sunnyside Park/Gus Ryder Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

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.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, people who are at higher risk for COVID-19 (e.g., persons who are more than 70 years of age), or who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 (e.g., symptoms, high risk exposure), may visit an Emergency Cooling Centre if necessary to beat the heat while taking the following precautions:

  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering at all times
  • Avoid use of public transportation, taxis or ride-shares
  • Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Practice physical distancing

When arriving at an Emergency Cooling Centre, inform a staff member prior to entering of your COVID-19 or self-isolation status during the screening process.

Emergency Cooling Centre staff will screen all visitors and accommodate those who are required to self-isolate in an alternate space separate from the main Emergency Cooling Centre area.

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 Emergency Cooling Centre 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.

The Environment and Climate Change Canada Heat Warning statement for Toronto is available at weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html .

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