Toronto is under an extreme heat alert as temperatures are expected to soar to 29 degrees by Wednesday afternoon.

The city's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown said the alert will be in place until further notice.

Despite a civic strike in the city, Toronto has opened a number of cooling centres for public use:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W
  • North York library, 5120 Yonge St.
  • Parkdale Library Branch, 1303 Queen St. W.
  • Richview Library Branch, 1806 Islington Ave.
  • Salvation Army Cedarbrae Community Church, 2085 Ellesmere Rd.
  • Salvation Army Yorkwoods Community Church, 20 Yorkwoods Gate
  • Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel Church, 2021 Lawrence Ave. E.

Water and snacks are available to the public at these centers.

The public is also being encouraged to visit local libraries and air-conditioned shopping centres to get out of the heat.

Intense temperatures are especially difficult for seniors and small children as well as people who suffer from heart-related illnesses or who are homeless. The public is being warned not to leave children, pets or seniors unattended in a car.

Wednesday's extreme heat alert is Toronto's first in 2009.

Here are a few tips to beat the heat:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.