City basks in cooler summer sunshine, but another heat wave could be coming

Toronto basked in a third straight day of comfortable summertime temperatures on Sunday, but weather watchers aren't ruling out another intense heat wave in the coming weeks.

'I wouldn’t want to rule out another heat wave happening,' Environment Canada meteorologist says

Fresh fruit juice was in high demand at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday. (Desmond Brown/CBC)

Toronto basked in a third straight day of comfortable summertime temperatures on Sunday, but weather watchers aren't ruling out another intense heat wave in the coming weeks. 

A searing eight-day stretch of sweltering humidity finally ended on Friday, though according to an expert at Environment Canada, it will continue to be "fairly warm" across the GTA. 

"Over the course of this week, over Ontario anyway, we are still looking at fairly warm temperatures approaching 30 degrees, probably on the high side of 20, which will be a few degrees above normal for this time of year," said Steve Knott, a severe weather meteorologist.

"Monday we're going for a high of 31 C with sunny skies, and then really it's kind of the same throughout the week right out until at least for Friday."

The high on Sunday was 29 C but it felt more like 32 during the warmest part of the afternoon. 

Despite the relatively high temperatures, they brought relief from the scorching heat wave that baked all of southern Ontario and parts of Quebec last week. Some locations experienced record-breaking temperatures for the time of year. 

Many people visited Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday for the final day of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. (Desmond Brown/CBC)

Another heat wave could be coming

Forecasters can't say with certainty if there will be another prolonged stretch of extreme heat in the near future, but there are signs that one could develop before summer's end, Knott said. 

"Just judging from the way the jet stream looks for the next little while, I wouldn't want to rule out another heat wave happening," he told CBC Toronto. 

"Last summer was kind of a cool, wet summer, so the jet stream is totally different for this summer compared to last summer, so it's much warmer than it was this time last year."

Heat wave or not, people across the GTA have been making the most of the agreeable weather. 

Organizers of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at Nathan Phillips Square say they have noted an increase in attendance this year, a trend they attribute to the comfortable conditions. 

Just judging from the way the jet stream looks for the next little while, I wouldn't want to rule out another heat wave happening.- Steve Knott , Environment Canada meteorologist

"It's been great. We have the most attendance this year and our layout has really accommodated people to flow very easily and freely," executive and creative director Anahita Azrahimi said. 

"We usually attract over 100,000 visitors, and I think this year there has been an increase, we predict over 20,000. People spent over $2 million on sales over the three days and as you've noticed we've had sunshine all around this weekend . . . so it's been great."

The free exhibition is open to the public and showcases works by more than 300 contemporary visual artists and makers, ranging in medium from painting, photography, and mixed media to jewellery and ceramics.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair executive and creative director Anahita Azrahimi estimates that 20,000 more people attended the show this year than last year. (Desmond Brown/CBC)

Afrofest at Woodbine Park

Hundreds of people also took part in Afrofest, a celebration of African culture, in Woodbine Park.

And this year, organizers say they broke the record for the biggest djembe drum ensemble in Toronto.

Organizers say Afrofest brings out the best in people and shows what Toronto is about.

"It's a melting pot of cultures from all over the world," djembe master Mohamed Diaby told CBC Toronto. 
Organizers of Afrofest, held at Woodbine Park, say they broke the record for the biggest djembe drum ensemble in Toronto. (CBC)

The annual music festival, which is in its 30th year, features performers from more than 20 countries with headline acts like Roga Roga & Extra Musica from Congo; Queen of Bikutsi, Lady Ponce from Cameroon; Monique Seka from Ivory Coast and more.

"It's like going home. It's like being at home. You're awakened, alive in the spirit," Ufuoma Overo-Tarimo said.

Peel Pride

Peel Pride, now in its 15th year, took over Brampton's Garden Square on Sunday.

Chairperson Sonya Shorter said they were invited to partner with the City of Brampton for the first annual Pride in the Square.
Chairperson of Peel Pride, Sonya Shorter, performing Sunday during Pride in the Square in Brampton. (CBC)

The event, though small compared to Toronto Pride, continues to grow in popularity.

Shorter said they anticipated crossing the 1,000 mark this year.

"I'd love to see 1,000 people come through here, and I'd like a third of them to be straight — supporter and allies, family [members]," she said.

With files from Myriam Eddahia