Friday could feel like 50 C

One temperature record has fallen and others could be in jeopardy as the heat wave that has enveloped Toronto takes a slight break on Thursday before roaring back with a vengeance on Friday.

'It's going to be a scorcher'

Torontonians try to keep cool at Sugar Beach. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

With an extreme heat alert in effect, Torontonians are looking for ways to beat the heat.

On Wednesday the city broke a 57-year-old heat record.  The temperature hit 36.3 C, topping the 36.1 C record from 1955 — and it's going to feel even hotter.

It's not likely any records will tumble on Thursday, but it's still going to be hot.

"It's going to be a scorcher," said Johanna Wagstaffe.

The CBC meteorologist said Wednesday's record high, combined with the humidty made it feel like 45 C.

"You will notice a little bit of relief today [Thursday] — we're talking 32 degrees instead of 36, feeling like 35 instead of 45, with the humidity — so that is relief for some people."

It's going to feel close to 50 C

But, Wagstaffe says, enjoy it while you can. 

"Tomorrow [Friday] it's back in full force. I think we'll get up to the mid-30s once again - and we're talking dangerous heat. I expect the extreme heat alert will still be in place and humidex advisories re-issued. It's going to feel close to 50 C [on Friday] ... it's going to be all sunshine as well and that's just going to add to how oppressive it feels outside." 

The city has sent out an advisory asking people to "call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are okay."

Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto's associate medical officer of health, says drinking water helps.

"It's important to keep drinking a fair amount and not wait until you get thirsty," he said.

At greatest risk are people with breathing problems.

City swimming pools open late

The extreme heat alert means city cooling centres are open for people who need them — and pool hours will be extended at eight city-run swimming pools during the heat wave. 

"It's very nice to swim at this time.  You can just cool down," said one man taking advantage of the longer hours at the Alexandra Park pool.

"I just installed my air conditioner — but not properly," said another woman at poolside.  "So instead of electrocuting myself I've decided to come for a swim to cool off." 

Elizabeth Modeen says sitting in the shade, beside a fountainside is her way of cooling down.

"Listening to water, you don't think of the heat. We should have more water around," she said. 

The forecast says the heat wave will probably stick around until next week.