Heat warnings for large stretch of Ontario as temperatures near mid-30s

Tyler Griffin, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, July 19, 2022 6:16PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 19, 2022 6:18PM EDT

Much of Ontario sweltered under heat warnings on Tuesday, prompting some residents to head to public pools while others sought cooler spots indoors.

Environment Canada issued warnings for a stretch of the province from Prescott and Russell in the east to Windsor in the southwest, with temperatures hitting 30 C and higher in several spots. The weather agency said some parts of southern Ontario could see the heat linger for up to five days.

At Sunnyside Beach in west Toronto, Sonia Gemmiti dipped her toes in a nearby wading pool and said while she typically enjoys warmer weather, Tuesday’s temperatures were “a little too hot.”

“I just go in the kiddie pool, wet my feet, go for a walk, go back in the kiddie pool, try and enjoy it,” she said. “We thought it would be cooler by the lake with a bit of a breeze.”

Gemmiti said she and her husband plan to head north this week to enjoy the weather, though they also plan to stay indoors when temperatures get too hot.

At an outdoor pool elsewhere in Toronto – which hit 34 C by late afternoon – Andy Gilson said he planned to spend much of the week indoors or by the water.

“I’m from England and I’m hearing from my family how terrible it is over there,” said Gilson. “But because I’m English, I’m like ‘This is great!'”

Britain shattered its record for highest temperature ever registered Tuesday amid a heat wave across parts of Europe. The typically temperate nation was just the latest to be walloped by unusually hot, dry weather that has triggered wildfires from Portugal to the Balkans and led to hundreds of heat-related deaths.

Gilson said he bought the cheapest air conditioning unit available from a local Canadian Tire this week.

“I have to keep cool, otherwise I’ll be miserable too,” he said.

At a library in Toronto, Molly Short said she was using the facility’s air conditioning to get a break from the heat.

“I was trying to get some work done and it’s cooler in (the library) than it is in my apartment,” she said.

“It’s too hot, it’s crazy hot.”

Environment Canada had heat warnings in place for parts of northern Ontario on Tuesday as well, including the Greater Sudbury Area, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Elliot Lake. Other areas, including Thunder Bay and Kenora, were under severe thunderstorm watches.

Several Ontario cities urged residents to try beating the heat by drinking plenty of water even before feeling thirsty; staying in the shade; going to air-conditioned places; wearing breathable, light-coloured clothing; and rescheduling outdoor exercise for cooler parts of the day.

Residents were also encouraged to check in with friends, family and neighbours living alone, as well as those at high risk, such as older adults, young children and people with chronic illnesses.

Communities also warned residents to watch for symptoms of heat illness, including dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headaches, extreme thirst, fast breathing and very dark yellow urine.

In Toronto, the city extended the hours of seven pools until 11:45 p.m. Tuesday in light of the heat warning.

– with files from The Associated Press.