Extreme Heat Alert in Toronto: Cooling Centres Open & Swimming Pools' Extended Hours Jul.16, 2013

Extreme Heat Alert in Toronto: Cooling Centres Open & Swimming Pools’ Extended Hours Jul.16, 2013

This is an update to my previous blog Heat Alert for Toronto July 15, 2013 .

The Heat  Alert of July 15 is upgraded to Extreme Heat Alert which will be in effect in Toronto until further notice.

  • 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,
        • limited mobility, and
        • certain mental health illnesses;
      • infants and young children;
      • people on certain medications; and
      • those who are homeless.

In addition to using air conditioned shopping malls, local libraries and neighbourhood community centres as places to cool off, seven 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 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 Recreation Centre – 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Water and snacks are available at the above seven cooling centres.

Also, during Extreme Heat Alerts, the City of Toronto’s extended hours pool program is in effect, starting July 16.

  • Please note that the decision to extend pool hours is made on a daily basis in the early afternoon. (An Extreme Heat Alert does not guarantee that pool hours will be extended.)
    • A City of Toronto news release will be issued each day when pools are to remain open for extended hours.
      • Here is the recent update; the following eight swimming pools will be open until 11:45 p.m., the evenings of July 17 and 18:
        • Alex Duff Memorial Outdoor Pool, 779 Crawford Ave.,
        • Alexandra Park Outdoor Pool, 275 Bathurst St.,
        • Cummer Park Indoor Pool, 6000 Leslie St.,
        • Giovanni Caboto Outdoor Pool, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W.,
        • McGregor Park Outdoor Pool, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.,
        • Monarch Park Outdoor Pool, 115 Felstead Ave.,
        • Smithfield Outdoor Pool, 175 Mount Olive Dr., and
        • Sunnyside-Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
  • To obtain information about pool locations and operating hours, please call 311 or click here.

You can “Beat the Heat” by taking City-advised precautions such as:

  • drink lots of water or natural fruit juices (do not wait to feel thirsty);
  • go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries or community centres located in each neighbourhood;
  • wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing made of breathable fabric;
  • 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.

    • Please call 911 to report any sighting of this emergency / life-threatening situation wherein they are left unattended in a vehicle.

Please click here for more information on how to Beat the Heat.

Responsibilities of Landlords, Community Agencies and Employees

  • 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.
  • Ontario is encouraging workplaces to make every effort to prevent heat stress which can lead to worker illness, disability and even death.
    • Employers must take steps to protect their employees from the effects of this heat stress hazard such as:
      • reducing the temperature and humidity through air cooling;
      • providing air-conditioned rest areas;
      • increasing the frequency and length of rest breaks;
      • scheduling strenuous jobs for cooler times of the day;
      • providing cool drinking water near worker and remind them to drink a cup of water about every 20 minutes;
      • assigning additional workers or slow down the pace of work;
      • training workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress; and
      • start a “buddy system” since people are not likely to notice their own symptoms.

Symptoms of heat stress can include:

  • excessive sweating,
  • headache,
  • rashes,
  • cramping,
  • dizziness, and
  • fainting.

Often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions.

  • People with heart and lung conditions as well as seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at http://www.airhealth.ca .

For those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries the contact info is as follows:

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311 .

Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
(can be used within Toronto if you can’t reach 311).

TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889) .
Fax: 416-338-0685
E-mail: 311@toronto.ca

If your matter is urgent, please call City of Toronto. They are open 24/7.

Always call 911 for emergencies.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

NEWS RELEASE

July 16, 2013

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

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 in Toronto 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, limited mobility and with 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. (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 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.)

The public is 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://www.toronto.ca/health.

Water and snacks are available at the seven cooling centres: http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/beatheat_ac_places.htm

Often, high air pollution occurs 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 which are available at http://www.airhealth.ca.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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