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Ontario shivers in extreme cold

Too cold to stay outside for long
Too cold to stay outside for long

Lisa Varano, staff writer

January 22, 2011 — Toronto and other cities in southern Ontario issued cold weather alerts on Friday. But Sunday may be the coldest day to watch.

Along with the cold, we're seeing some snow
Along with the cold, we're seeing some snow

Street outreach workers are trying to get homeless people off the streets because of extreme cold.

Toronto is under an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. The city puts out this type of alert when Environment Canada forecasts a wind chill of -15, or an actual temperature of -15C.

Frigid conditions across southern Ontario prompted other cities in the region, including Hamilton and London, to issue cold weather alerts at the same time on Friday.

Outreach workers want to persuade the homeless to stay off the streets Friday evening, when it will feel even colder. Free transportation to shelters is being offered.

Farther east, Ottawa Public Health issued a frostbite alert for Friday and Saturday. The alert targets shelters and groups like the Red Cross and Salvation Army that help care for vulnerable people on cold nights.

Very cold wind chills are possible from Saturday into Sunday morning for the region, resulting from a large arctic area of high pressure over northern Ontario. There is a possibility that the -35 threshold could be reached. The cold Arctic air will blast Toronto as well. It could feel like -27 with the wind chill, so make sure to bundle up.

Tenants evacuate cold Toronto highrise
Tenants evacuate cold Toronto highrise

On Thursday, residents of a Toronto apartment complex were forced out into the cold when connected North York highrise buildings lost heat. About 1,000 people had to leave freezing apartments after a problem with the complex's electrical system.

Northwest of the city, a blackout hit about 7,000 Ontario Hydro customers overnight in Orangeville, Caledon, and other areas.

Bitter cold also gripped northern Ontario on Thursday night, making it feel like -40 to -50

On January 17, a woman froze to death in Toronto's east end after she had wandered away from her house without a coat. An Extreme Cold Weather Alert was in effect at the time of her passing.

With files from Jill Colton.

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