Quebec heat will make moving day tricky

A blanket of hot weather moving into southern Quebec has prompted warnings on heat exposure, as well as water safety as more people seek refuge from the oppressive heat and humidity.

Montreal, other urban centres will be 'especially uncomfortable'

Movers and outdoor workers can expect at least another day of hot, sticky temperatures in Montreal. (Sophie Tremblay/CBC)

Montrealers are enduring another hot, sticky day as a blanket of hot weather settles over southern Quebec. 

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Montreal region and additional warnings across the southern portion of the province as temperatures and humidex values soar.

Southwestern Quebec, including the greater Montreal area, can expect daytime highs of at least 30C and high humidity levels over the next few days, according to Environment Canada.

“Conditions will be especially uncomfortable in the dense urban areas of Montreal and its surrounding areas,” the advisory reads.

Keep hydrated

Health Canada says older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses, homeless people, those without air conditioning and those who work or exercise in the heat need to be especially careful.

For Montreal movers, the heatwave couldn't have come at a more trying time. The city's annual moving day is tomorrow and the hot, humid conditions offer little respite to those doing the heavy lifting. 

Mover Frank L'Heureux said the humidity was the most difficult part of working through the heat, but he's used to it. 

"We're used to working anytime, 365 days a year — wintertime, summertime. We sweat, but that's the job, you know," he said. 

"It's like a gym. You pay to go to a gym. [Working in the heat,] you get a nice body and you sweat off the grease from the winter, so it's good."

Richard Massé of Montreal Public Health urged anyone planning a move to take plenty of breaks and keep hydrated throughout the day.

"Stop every 15 minutes or so and take a few minutes for yourself," he said.

It's easy to miss the signs of dehydration when you are working and it can lead to more significant health problems, he said.

Massé urged Montrealers to check up on anyone considered to be vulnerable to extreme heat including elderly family members or neighbours living alone.

Water safety

The uncomfortable temperature is driving many to pools and lakes for a quick way to cool down. 

But Quebec’s Lifesaving Society is warning swimmers and other people engaging in water sports and activities during this heat spell to be careful.

Fourteen people in Quebec have died from drowning or hypothermia since the beginning of the year, according to the organization. That’s about half of last year’s number at this point in time.

“We really get the impression that people are beginning to understand the message,” says director Raynald Hawkins.

Man in intensive care after almost drowning

A 22-year-old man is in intensive care after hitting his head and nearly drowning in the swimming pool at Gérard-Marchand Park in Limoilou, Que., on Sunday.

According to witnesses, four lifeguards were on duty and about 50 people were in or near the pool when the accident happened.

The young man hit his head while diving and sank to the bottom of the pool.

It went unnoticed by lifeguards, said witnesses. It was two adult swimmers who pulled him out of the pool.

He was resuscitated by lifeguards and first-responders, and transported to hospital. However, his condition worsened around 6:45 p.m. ET.  

Quebec City police are investigating and will assess safety measures in public pools.