Extreme cold alert for Toronto

Feb 13, 2015 | News

Construction workers shovel snow off the future bus shelter (Jordan Biordi/Humber College)

Construction workers shovel snow off the future bus shelter (Jordan Biordi/Humber College)

By Jordan Biordi and Jessica Richard

An extreme cold weather alert has been issued for Toronto.

Environment Canada’s website said the combination of cold temperatures and wind will produce wind chills of minus 30 to minus 35.

“The best advice is if you have to be outside to dress for conditions…layers are normally the best bet because each layer of clothing has a little air space between it, that little air space adds a little bit more in the way of insulation to help protect you from the cold and the wind. And obviously a good hat, good gloves and mitts, and a good pair of boots,” said Environment Canada Meteorologist Geoff Coulson.

The City of Toronto also issued its own cold weather alert, with today being the coldest day of the year so far.

Everyone is told to dress warmly, “synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation,” said the Environment Canada alert.

The weekend is looking like more of the same with colder than normal temperatures.

“We’re not really looking at a lot in the way of relief or return to more seasonal temperatures for a while,” said Coulson.

Extreme cold warnings are issued by Environment Canada when “very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frost bite and hypothermia,” said the website.

Michael Case, a Humber College security guard, said they are not allowed to be out for more than five minutes at a time.

“We shift back and forward and relieve the guys in the booth so everyone can get warm,” he said.

He said even in the cold people still need to be kept safe and parking needs to be monitored.

“The job needs to get done. Personally, I love it. I love my job, even in the cold,” he said.

Henry Chen, a co-op student who works with the construction company PTL, said there are safety measures in place when they’re working outside.

“On a day like this we’ll talk and say ‘look, extreme cold alert, if you can’t handle the cold, you can go home.’ No one is being forced to work,” he said.