July 5, Extreme Heat Alert for Toronto

Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued 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 okay. Other at risk groups include people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are marginally housed or homeless.

In addition to using air conditioned shopping malls, local libraries and neighbourhood community centres as places to cool off, Cooling Centres are open during Extreme Heat Alerts for those in need at the following locations:

• Metro Hall – 55 John St. (24 hours)
• 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 Olympium – 590 Rathburn Rd. (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.)

Water and snacks are available at the seven Cooling Centres. Additional information on ways to help people cool off is available at:http://www.toronto.ca/housing/cooling-centres.htm.

The public is also advised to “Beat the Heat” by taking these precautions:
• Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
• Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries and community centres located in each neighbourhood
• Stay out of the sun 
• Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
• Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car

Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for residents to escape the heat. Community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check 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 the Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

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