Wind-chill warnings were lifted in southern Ontario after residents woke up to their coldest morning of the year so far.

Warnings had been issued Monday morning for the Toronto, London, Hamilton, Milton, Durham Region, York Region and Waterloo areas.

With a low of -18 in Toronto, the winds of 50 kilometres per hour were making it feel like -31 C, which is cold enough freeze exposed skin in 10 minutes.

"Look at him, my son is crying because he's freezing so I'm taking him home," one woman told CTV Toronto, while taking her son to school.

Northwestern Ontario communities like Dryden and Ignace saw wind-chill measurements dip as low as -37, but no warning was issued.

"We issue wind-chill warnings for different parts of the country depending on how used to cold temperatures people are," Environment Canada climatologist Bob Whitewood told The Canadian Press.

"That's one of the reasons why you'll have colder temperatures further north but not necessarily a warning about it, because people tend to know what to do in those cooler conditions."

CAA Toronto said they had received 4,000 calls on Monday morning from people requiring a boost.

Toronto remained under an extreme cold weather alert Monday although temperatures warmed up slightly in the afternoon, sitting around -10 C but the wind chill still put the city in a deep freeze at around -20 C.

Despite the briskness down south, the Toronto Maple Leafs held an outdoor practice at an East Toronto rink on Monday, one they'd help pay to refurbish.

Students from a nearby elementary school were delighted to watch their heroes play, but they shivered through the workout.

"I'm wearing two pairs of pants, snowpants, a sweater, a long sleeve shirt and my jacket," one student said as her class watched the practice skate at Withrow Park.

The city first issued an extreme cold weather alert Sunday as a warning to homeless people to seek shelter from the bone-chilling temperatures.

Shelters prepared to accomodate homeless people looking to get out of the cold by adding extra 80 beds. Support staff will drive around the city throughout the night trying to convince people to seek refuge in shelters rather than brave the temperatures out on the street.

Elsewhere in Ontario, snowsquall warnings have been issued for the Barrie and Owen Sound areas. Schools were closed in Owen Sound after a weather-related shutdown of all roads in Grey County.

With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Toronto's Matet Nebres