Extreme cold weather alert remains in effect as temperatures dip
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:45AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:54PM EST
As a chilly blast of winter continues to blanket Toronto, police are investigating whether freezing temperatures were a factor in the death of a man found in Scarborough Monday night.
The 53-year-old man was discovered behind a shopping plaza at Markham Rd. and McNicoll Ave.
Police told CP24 that the man had medical conditions that may have led to his death. Investigators are also looking into whether the man was suffering from hypothermia when he died.
The “Extreme Cold Weather Alert” issued by the City of Toronto on Monday remains in effect today, as residents continue to confront frigid temperatures and blowing snow.
Temperatures dipped to -13 C overnight Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon the wind chill was tracked at -20C. Moderate morning snowfall tapered off by the afternoon, but left behind a coating that made for slippery conditions on roads and sidewalks.
Forecasters are calling for the cold trend to continue throughout the week.
When an extreme cold alert is issued, the city ramps up efforts to protect the people most vulnerable to the cold.
• easing of rules at homeless shelters, so that people are not turned away without alternate accommodations
• the opening of 172 additional overnight shelter spaces
• an increase in overnight outreach on downtown streets
• distribution of TTC tokens at some drop-in centres
An alert is typically issued when Environment Canada predicts a temperature of -15 C or lower, without wind chill.
Anyone seeking information on accessing city services during the Extreme Cold Weather Alert can call the city's 311 telephone information line, or contact the Central Intake line directly at 1-877-338 3398.
The Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre located at the intersection of Peter and Richmond Streets is also open 24 hours a day. People who want a respite from the cold, but do not want a shelter bed are invited to visit there any time.
Environment Canada has issued snow squall warnings Tuesday for areas in Perth and Huron counties. The Niagara Region has also issued an extreme cold weather alert.
With the frigid weather, motorists are encouraged to anticipate poor winter driving conditions with possible reductions to visibility in areas with flurries and blowing snow. Drivers should also have their vehicle battery inspected to ensure it is working properly.
CAA says this is the time of year when drivers should be keeping a winter driving kit with warm clothing, flashlight, batteries, jumper cables and a shovel in their vehicles.
Travellers are also advised to check ahead for flight schedules and possible cancellations due to weather conditions before heading to the airport.