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July 7, 2008
Extreme Heat Alert declared, Cooling Centres open
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has issued an Extreme Heat Alert for today. The Extreme Heat Alert will be in effect until further notice.

During an Extreme Heat Alert, the public is encouraged to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness. Other at risk groups include people with chronic illnesses, including mental illness, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are marginally housed or homeless.

In addition to using air conditioned shopping malls, local libraries and neighbourhood community centres as places to cool off, Cooling Centres are open during Extreme Heat Alerts for those in need. The City has expanded the number of Cooling Centres to seven this year (up from five), available at the following locations:
  • Metro Hall - 55 John St. (King St. W. at John St.)
  • East York Civic Centre - 850 Coxwell Ave. (Coxwell Ave., south of O’Connor Dr.)
  • North York Civic Centre - 5100 Yonge St. (Yonge St., north of Sheppard Ave. W.)
  • Driftwood Community Centre - 4401 Jane St. (Jane St., north of Finch Ave. W.)
  • Etobicoke Olympium - 590 Rathburn Rd. (Rathburn Rd. at Melbert Rd.)
  • Heron Park Community Centre - 292 Manse Rd. (Manse Rd. south of Lawrence Ave. E.)
  • Centennial Recreation Centre - 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (Ellesmere Rd. west of Dolly Varden Blvd.)
Water and snacks are available at the seven Cooling Centres. Additional information on supports to help people cool off is available at

The public is also advised to “Beat the Heat” by taking these precautions:
  • Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
  • Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries and community centres located in each neighbourhood
  • Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
  • Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car
Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for residents to escape the heat.

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

For more information on How to Beat the Heat visit

Often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions. People with heart and lung conditions, seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at

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 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974
Tanya Elliott, Canadian Red Cross, 905-890-1000 ext. 202 or 416-442-1948 (pager)

For information about the Cooling Centres (Monday - Friday, business hours only):
Elaine Smyer, Manager, Emergency Planning, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration,



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