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July 2, 2006
Extreme Heat Alert declared, Cooling Centres open
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Heat Alert for today, Sunday, July 2nd.

Prolonged periods of heat may increase the risk of health effects for those populations most vulnerable, such as the elderly, infants, young children, the chronically ill, and those taking certain medications.

The public is encouraged to call or visit vulnerable and elderly friends and neighbours who may be at risk from hot weather.

During an Extreme Heat Alert four of the cities civic centres are operated as cooling centres for those needing relief:
  • Metro Hall, 55 John Street (John and King)
  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue (Coxwell and Mortimer)
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (Burnhamthorpe and Hwy 427)
  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street (Yonge and Sheppard)

Metro Hall will be open 24 hours while the three civic centres will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Homeless shelters will allow people to stay inside during the day to keep cool.

The public is advised to "Beat the Heat" by taking these precautions:
  • drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
  • stay out of the blazing sun or heat
  • avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
  • go to places that are air conditioned, including shopping malls and libraries
  • never leave children or pets unattended in a car

Toronto Public Health has a program encouraging landlords and property managers of rooming houses and other residences without air conditioning to set up a cool room in their buildings for vulnerable tenants during Heat Alerts and Extreme Heat Alerts. A few hours in a cooler location can help save lives. The Hot Weather Protection Plan also includes asking landlords to ensure windows in rooms can be opened, and to check on vulnerable people.

Media contacts:

Toronto Public Health

Tanya Elliott
Canadian Red Cross
905-890-1000 ext 202

For information about the cooling centres:

Elaine Smyer
Emergency Planning
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration
416-714-2730 (pager)



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