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Toronto air quality warning ends after 4 straight days of smoky conditions

The smog that has hung above the city of Toronto as a result of wildfires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec has cleared.

Environment Canada’s air quality advisory, which has been in effect since Monday, was lifted on Friday morning.

That means people in the city can take a breath without the “campfire” smell that’s polluted the area for the better part of a week.

According to the federal weather agency, Toronto’s air quality is currently sitting at a level 2 on its index, which is described as “ideal air quality for outdoor activities.”

Air quality in the city reached as high as level 7 on Wednesday, which presented a “high risk” to members of the public, according to officials.

A number of school boards in the Greater Toronto Area moved outdoor activities like recess indoors due to the smoky conditions and several municipalities across the province issued fire bans, some of which remain in effect.

All week, Environment Canada has urged the public, especially those with respiratory conditions, to stay indoors to avoid the poor air quality and recommended the use of a face mask when outdoors to reduce the inhalation of smoke particulate.

At one point, Toronto’s air quality registered as the second worst in the world on the World Air Quality Index.

And although the air quality advisory has ended in Toronto, the fires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec are still active, with more 50 and 140 active fires burning respectively.

The smoke from those fires reached as far as New York earlier this week, where thick orange smog blanketed that city’s iconic skyline.

These two photos, taken a year apart, show the intensity of the smoke in New York City due the wildfires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec. (Trevor Sutton)

“There was no skyline at all. It had completely disappeared under a cloud of smoke,” Trevor Sutton, an amateur photographer from Hamilton who captured images of the conditions in New York, told CTV News Toronto in an interview.

While the smoke has cleared, Toronto’s forecast for Friday is mostly cloudy with intermittent rain throughout the day. The city will get a long overdue dose of sunshine on Saturday with temperatures reaching as high as 22 degrees Celsius. Top Stories

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