Torontonians warned to 'dress in layers' as wind-chill values fall to nearly –30
Watch for cold-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, Environment Canada warns
Torontonians are being warned to bundle up, with temperatures plunging Friday night and an extreme cold weather alert issued for the city.
The city reached its Friday high of –2 C in the early morning but by the evening temperatures had fallen to –15 C, and it feels a lot colder with the wind chill.
"After temperatures rapidly fall through the day today, wind chill values near –30 are forecast to develop overnight," Environment Canada said in a statement.
"A reprieve from extreme cold conditions is expected to begin Saturday morning."
The federal weather agency is reminding people that extreme cold puts everyone at risk.
Residents should watch for cold related symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes, Environment Canada said.
"Dress in layers that you can remove if you get too warm. The outer layer should be wind resistant. Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill," Environment Canada warned.
"If it's too cold for you to stay outside, it's too cold for your pet to stay outside."
City opens new emergency 24-hour respite sites
The City of Toronto says it has opened new emergency 24-hour respite sites at community centres to help people experiencing homelessness get out of the cold.
Beginning Friday at 4 p.m., spaces are available at the following locations:
- Warden Hilltop Community Centre, 25 Mendelssohn St.
- Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Ave.
"These two sites will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing up to an additional 89 physically distanced spaces to give those who are vulnerable and may be experiencing homelessness a safe and welcoming place for meals, rest and help connecting to important wrap-around supports such as mental and physical health care," a statement from the city said.
Space at the community centres was made available after regulations, implemented by the province on Jan. 5, resulted in the cancellation of indoor sports and recreational programs.
Although temporary, spaces at these locations will continue to operate until further notice, the need for the sites will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the City's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), the city said.
With the current extreme cold weather alert in place, the city's four warming centres are also open. They are located at:
- 129 Peter St.
- 5800 Yonge St.
- Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre, 195 Princes' Blvd.
A fourth warming centre will be activated at 1684 Queen Street East, the city said. It temporarily replaces the warming centre typically located at the Scarborough Civic Centre, which is currently unavailable due to construction.