Shirley and Guy Jubinville have the right idea.

In bathing suits under a rainbow-coloured umbrella on Hamilton's beachfront, the couple drove all the way from Acton to enjoy the summer weather on this hot July afternoon. At 2 p.m., they've been there for four hours.

"We come here to get the cool breeze," Shirley said.

"For 40 years, we've been coming down," Guy adds.

The Jubinvilles are relaxed and cool; there's jazz music coming from their small portable radio and they're full of Hutch's fish and chips. Not too bothered by the soaring temperatures.

The thermometer hit 32 degrees Monday, but with the humidex Environment Canada projected it felt more like 39 degrees. The city put a stage two heat advisory in effect. That means the humidex reading is at about 40 or higher for at least two days.


The city has issued a stage two heat advisory. (City of Hamilton)

However, no records were set in Hamilton today. The highest temperature for July 15 was in 1983 - 33. 5 degrees, according to Environment Canada. But still, camps around the city were forced to adapt, many keeping kids indoors and adding extra water breaks.

On the Mountain where around 3 p.m., residents were not only dealing with heat but also smog. The provincial ministry of the environment's air quality reading index for Hamilton Mountain was listed as 'poor' Monday afternoon.

With temperatures this high and the air quality poor, all campers at Mohawk College's summer camp had to stay inside as per the camp's hot weather policy.

But that was no problem for camper Lucas Milinkovic, 7.

"Cause it's super hot," Milinkovic said, who was enjoying the day's games of beanbag tosses and charades in the air-conditioned portable. He even suggested we do this interview inside to stay away of the heat.

Friend Emma Russo, 6, is more of an outdoor gal. She'd prefer to be running around playing sports, even if it feels like 40 degrees.

Down in the lower city just before 4 p.m., Gage Park's splash pad had seen a steady stream of families beating the heat with sprinklers and a wading pool, said lifeguard Anja Jakovina. But luckily, she hasn't seen any heat-related medical emergencies.

Sitting in a nearby tree's shade, Toni Berisa keeps an eye on grandson 3-year-old Quinton. He runs back and forth from the sprinkler to the shade to show grandma how wet he's getting.

"We've spent the day here," Berisa said. "We've got water and snacks and if it gets warm, I run through the sprinkler to cool off a bit."

Temperatures in the 30s are expected to remain all week. Environment Canada forecasts a high of 33 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday.

Back at the beachfront, five-year-old Wyatt Masnaghi is dripping wet. He just ran out of the lake and into his big cousin's towel. Masnaghi has no problem with the hot weather sticking around - it means he gets more time in the cool lake.

"It could stay in there for 100 days," he said.

Cousin Leo Phillips agrees.

"It's good, I like the heat," the 8-year-old said. "I can just go to the beach and play."

But the lake isn't for all beach-goers. The Jubinvilles are content staying away from the water under their umbrella in the shade.

"It's too cold for me," Shirley said with a laugh and an approving look from her husband.

To keep cool, try these steps:

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on hot days.
  • Go to an air-conditioned place. Visit a cool place such as a mall, public recreation centres, public libraries, and other city-run air-conditioned facilities, etc.
  • Dress to protect from the heat. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing. Wear a hat or take an umbrella to keep your head cool and don't forget sunscreen.
  • Take it easy. Limit physical activities (walking, running, gardening, etc.) during the day. If rescheduling activities to dawn or dusk when it may be cooler, protect yourself with insect repellent as mosquitoes are more active at such times. Check labels to apply.
  • Cool off. Take a cool bath or shower.
  • Keep your living space cool. Close your blinds or curtains. Open windows to let air circulate when using a fan.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.
  • Check on your neighbours and family.

Environment Canada says a cold front is expected to move into southern Ontario late Thursday, and temperatures should drop a few degrees by the end of the week.

To check out where to cool off in Hamilton, click on the interactive map of splash pads and wading pools below:

View Where to cool off in Hamilton in a larger map

And here's what Hamiltonians are saying about the heat online: