Ottawa is under a frostbite advisory and a windchill warning as an expected high of -22 C is the coldest in eight years, says CBC Ottawa climatologist Ian Black.

Frostbite

Here's a list of everything you need to know on how to avoid frostbite and any other measures you must take if you have frostbite.

With the windchill, at times Wednesday it will feel like about -40 C. That sparked the wind chill warning from Environment Canada, which expected about 15 km/h winds.

Ottawa Public Health re-issued a frostbite warning Tuesday and health officials said when the windchill is -35 C or colder, exposed skin can freeze in less than ten minutes. They advise wearing layers.

It is also a busy day for mechanics with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in north and eastern Ontario after they received about 500 calls in an hour around 6 a.m. ET.

Korey Kennedy, spokesman for CAA in north and eastern Ontario, said Wednesday morning there was a four-hour delay in Ottawa for anyone at home calling for help to start their car. For anyone with a roadside emergency, he said the wait was about 30 minutes.

Some schools were closed in rural west Quebec due to the cold temperature and the power was also out in that area for about 2,000 customers. The outage also forced Camp Fortune to close Wednesday.

Rideau Canal opens another stretch

This cold weather did have one benefit in Ottawa. The National Capital Commission opened another stretch of the Rideau Canal.

The skateway had 5.8 kilometres available to the public from the Pretoria Bridge to Dow's Lake but very few took advantage due to the cold temperature.

The temperature was slightly warmer Tuesday with a high of -18 C, but it was still chilly due to the windchill. Some residents used it as a preparation day for Wednesday.

Mary Armstrong stood on a downtown street corner, clutching a clipboard and drumming up donations for one of the capital's non-governmental organizations.

"I have an extra pair of long johns and a lot of heat packs and I just got a free hot chocolate," said Armstrong. "So that's one of the perks to working outside." 

Julie Leclair also bundled up for the weather as she worked inside an old converted warehouse not intended for office use.

"I've got a big wool sweater with my fingerless gloves, which I absolutely need though I could probably use full mitts. They would probably be better but then it would be harder to type," she said. 

Leclair also planned to wear long boots and a shawl, with a space heater at her feet.