Torontonians who were enjoying the brief bout of spring weather this weekend are in for a rude awakening Monday morning. Toronto’s medical officer of health issued an extreme cold weather alert today as temperatures are expected to drop to a chilling -20°C. The cold is supposed to hold into the evening with a low of -12°C which will drop down to -20°C with the wind chill overnight.
Strong gusts of wind of up to 100 km/hour are also expected to be blowing through the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Southern Ontario. Environment Canada initially issued a wind warning for the City of Toronto but cancelled it this morning at 8:12 AM. A similar warning for blowing snow was also cancelled early Monday at 8:44 AM.
The cold weather warnings will activate several emergency weather services for Toronto’s homeless residents. Services will include the supplement of TTC tokens for people trying to get to shelter, a temporary relaxation of shelter restrictions and an increased street outreach program which will help those on the streets get out of the cold.
Metro Hall will be open at 7:00 PM today and will act as a warming centre until tomorrow at noon; a standard practice when a cold alert is sent out.
City officials are asking for residents to please assist any exposed or vulnerable people by calling 311 if that person needs shelter.
Here is a list of precaution listed by Public Health News:
- Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
- Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
- Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much higher if you are wet.
- Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton absorbs and holds moisture, no longer keeping the wearer warm.
- Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
If you are planning on going outside today, remember to dress warm and keep an eye out for anyone who may need assistance.