Toronto’s medical officer of health has issued a cold weather alert “until further notice”, as temperatures are expected to plunge to -15 degrees or more overnight. The alert comes when weather is anticipated to reach or drop below -15 C, which can feel like -20 with the wind chill.
The alert will trigger the opening of warming centres for homeless people, meaning they can access to two 24-hour drop-ins, additional shelter beds, TTC tokens for people to get to shelter, increased street outreach, and a direction to shelters to relax any service restrictions in place.
Temperatures will remain at about -11 C during the day on Monday, Environment Canada says.
Public health officials in both cities noted that cold weather has the greatest effect on the homeless, the elderly, young children and infants.
Halton warns “anyone can be affected by extreme cold-related weather conditions, depending on length of time of exposure to cold and exertion levels”. During extreme cold, call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk. Open doorways to basement areas and crawl spaces enough to keep these areas warm. Each of those agencies, including Salvation Army, will implement their policies and procedures with regards to cold weather.
Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside.