Residents of Toronto are being warned to gather, with temperatures falling Friday night and a warning of extremely cold weather issued for the city.
The city reached the Friday high of -2 C early in the morning, but in the evening the temperatures had dropped to -15 C and it feels much colder with the wind cooling.
“As temperatures rapidly fall through the day today, wind chill values close to -30 are expected to develop overnight,” Environment Canada said in a statement.
“A release from extreme cold conditions is expected to begin Saturday morning.”
The federal weather agency reminds people that extreme cold puts everyone at risk.
Residents should keep an eye out for cold-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle aches and weakness, numbness and discoloration in fingers and toes, Environment Canada said.
“Wear layers that you can remove if you get too hot. The outer layer should be wind-repellent. Freezes can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind-cooling,” Environment Canada warned.
“If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for your pet to stay outside.”
The city is opening new emergency 24-hour relief sites
The city of Toronto says it has opened new 24-hour emergency shelters in community centers to help people experiencing homelessness get out of the cold.
From Friday at 16 there are vacancies in the following places:
- Warden Hilltop Community Center, 25 Mendelssohn St.
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Center, 220 Cowan Ave.
These two places will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide up to a further 89 physically remote spaces to provide those who are vulnerable and may experience homelessness a safe and inviting place for meals, rest and help to get in touch with important enveloping support such as mental and physical health care, “said a statement from the city.
Space on the town halls was made available according to rules, implemented by the province on January 5, resulting in the cancellation of indoor sports and recreational programs.
Although temporary, sites at these sites will continue to function until further notice, the need for the sites will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the city’s emergency operations center (EOC), the city said.
With the current extreme cold alarm in place, the city’s four heating centers are also open. They are located at:
- 129 Peter St.
- 5800 Yonge St.
- Exhibition Venue, Better Living Center, 195 Princes’ Blvd.
A fourth heating center will be activated at 1684 Queen Street East, the city said. It temporarily replaces the heating center typically located at the Scarborough Civic Center, which is currently unavailable due to construction.