heat wave in Toronto this week

Older adults and kids at risk as prolonged extreme heat wave hits Toronto

Summer officially kicks off this week, and along with the change in season, experts predict higher-than-normal temperatures throughout most of Canada. According to Environment Canada, Toronto will experience a prolonged heat wave event beginning today, with “dangerously hot and humid conditions” expected throughout most of the week.

Daytime highs are expected to be around 30 to 35 degrees Celsius (C), but humidex values will make it feel around 40 to 45 C. There will be little relief overnight as lows are expected to be 20 to 23 degrees C with humidex values making it feel like 26 to 30 C.

Environment Canada notes that health risks are greater for older adults, infants/young children, pregnant women, people with physical and/or mental illnesses, and people with disabilities or mobility issues. It’s important to never leave people (especially those who are vulnerable) or pets inside a parked vehicle, and to keep as cool as possible.

The agency suggests looking out for the effects of heat illness, such as swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, confusion, or unconsciousness).

As part of the City of Toronto’s heat relief strategy, cool spaces will be open to the public, including public libraries, civic centres, community centres, senior centres, public swimming pools, malls, and YMCA centres.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) noted that hot and humid air can bring deteriorating air quality and result in the air quality health index approaching the high-risk category.

“Climate change is affecting Canadians’ health, safety, and quality of life. We are already facing record-breaking climate conditions, with wildfires and extreme heat becoming more frequent,” the agency stated in a news release last week.

The ECCC stated that understanding the causes and risks of extreme weather events can help Canadians make informed decisions to protect their health. For this reason, they developed a new weather attribution system that can rapidly identify the link between extreme hot temperature events and human-caused climate change.

“Within about a week of an event occurring, climate scientists can now describe the role that human-caused climate change played in making a recent heat event more likely or intense.

Torontonians can download the WeatherCAN application to receive weather alert notifications directly to their devices.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO