Torontonians are being warned to huddle together, with temperatures plunging Friday night and an extreme cold alert issued for the city.
The city peaked Friday at 2°C early in the morning, but by evening temperatures had dropped to 15°C, and it’s much colder with the wind chill.
“After the rapid drop in temperatures throughout the day today, wind chill readings near 30 are expected to develop overnight,” Environment Canada said in a statement.
“A reprieve from the extreme cold conditions is expected to begin on Saturday morning.”
The federal weather agency reminds people that extreme cold puts everyone at risk.
Residents should watch for cold-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle aches and weakness, numbness and discoloration of fingers and toes, Environment Canada said.
“Dress in layers that you can take off if you get too hot. The outer layer should be wind resistant. Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with the wind chill,” Environment Canada warned.
“If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for your pet to stay outside.”
City opens new 24-hour emergency respite sites
The City of Toronto says it has opened new 24-hour emergency respite sites at community centers to help homeless people get out of the cold.
As of Friday at 4 p.m., places are available at the following locations:
- Warden Hilltop Community Center, 25 Mendelssohn Street.
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Center, 220 Cowan Ave.
“These two sites will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing up to 89 additional physically distant spaces to provide those who are vulnerable and at risk of homelessness with a safe and welcoming place for meals, rest and recreation. helps connect to important wraparound supports such as mental and physical health care,” a city statement read.
Space at community centers was made available after regulations, implemented by the province on Jan. 5, resulted in the cancellation of indoor sports and recreation programs.
Although temporary, the spaces in these locations will continue to operate until further notice, the need for the sites will be reviewed with the city’s emergency operations center (EOC) on an ongoing basis, the city said.
With the current extreme cold alert in place, the city’s four warming centers are also open. They are located at:
- 129, rue Pierre.
- 5800 Yonge Street
- Venue, Better Living Center, 195 Princes’ Blvd.
A fourth warming center will be activated at 1684 Queen Street East, the city said. It temporarily replaces the warming center usually located at the Scarborough Civic Center which is currently unavailable due to construction.
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