A windchill of -19 degrees has prompted the City of Toronto to issue an extreme cold weather alert Wednesday night. “Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health,” said Toronto’s medical health office Dr. Eileen de Villa. At these temperatures exposed skin can lead to frostbite in just 10 minutes. It’s important to wear multiple layers and cover all exposed skin.
When the city issues an extreme cold weather alert, it also activates local services focused on encouraging vulnerable people to stay indoors.
A warming centre opens at Metro Hall in downtown Toronto by 7 p.m. on the day that the alert is issued. It remains open until noon on the day that the alert ends.
Other services include a notification to community agencies to relax service restrictions, TTC tokens being made available at some drop-ins and additional overnight street outreach.
It’s important to make sure that you have a good battery in your vehicle as well. Cold temperatures reduce cranking power in aging batteries. If your car is older and your battery is weak, now might be a good time to do a battery swap. Carrying a battery booster pack in your vehicle can save you on a cold day.