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August 1, 2007
Heat Alert upgraded to Extreme Heat Alert, Cooling Centres open
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has upgraded yesterday’s Heat Alert to an Extreme Heat Alert for today. The Extreme Heat Alert will be in effect until further notice.

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 of suffering health consequences from hot weather.

In addition to shopping malls, one of Toronto’s numerous local library branches, or numerous air conditioned community centres located in each neighbourhood that are available as cooling places, during an Extreme Heat Alert five of the City’s civic centres are operated as Cooling Centres:
  • Metro Hall, 55 John St. (John and King), open 24 hours

  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. (Coxwell and Mortimer), from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (Burnhamthorpe and Hwy 427), from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. (Yonge and Sheppard), from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr. (McCowan and Hwy 401), from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Snacks and water are available at the five Cooling Centres.

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 air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of more than 190 local library branches and air conditioned community centres located in each neighbourhood or one of the five Cooling Centres listed above
  • Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car
  • Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to set up dedicated cool rooms and check on vulnerable tenants. A few hours in a cooler location can save lives.

Many homeless shelters will also allow people to stay inside during the day to keep cool.

Those in need of assistance may call the Red Cross Heat Information Line at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Termination of all heat alerts are posted on our website at For all regular updates and more information, please visit our website or call Toronto Health Connection at 416-338-7600.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Rishma Govani, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974 (weekdays), 416-690-2142 (weekends only)
Tanya Elliott, Canadian Red Cross, 905-890-1000 ext. 202 or 416-442-1948

For information about the Cooling Centres:
Elaine Smyer, Manager, Emergency Planning, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration
416-397-1384, 416-714-2730 (pager), 416-392-4529 (weekends only)



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