Heat warning issued for Ottawa: Emergency cooling centres open

Ottawa heat warning

OTTAWA, ON, August 20, 2021 – With humidex values reaching as high as 40 in the capital region this weekend, a Heat Warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). As a result, the City of Ottawa is opening three emergency cooling centres today and on Saturday to provide relief from the heat to residents in need.

AT 3:48 PM EDT Friday 20 August 2021 the ECCC issued a statement to say that Hot and humid conditions are expected in the Ottawa region this weekend with the hottest day appearing to be Saturday.

Heat Warning in effect for:

  • Ottawa North – Kanata – Orléans
  • Ottawa South – Richmond – Metcalfe


Maximum temperatures in Ottawa are expected to reach between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius, with humidex values 36 to 40. While ECCC says the minimum temperatures near 20 degrees Celsius at night.

ECCC says that temperatures may be a degree or so lower Sunday and Monday, although confidence in this slight cooling trend is low.

Ottawa cooling centres open this weekend

Due to the obscenely hot and humid forecast, the City of Ottawa says the following cooling centre sites will be open today and Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm:

  • City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West (Sports Hall of Fame – 1st floor Heritage Building)
  • Plant Recreation Centre, 930 Somerset Street West
  • Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill Street

The City says it will monitor participation and adjust response measures, as required.

The emergency cooling centres are set up to ensure users can practice proper physical distancing and have access to water. Residents should bring a mask with them if they have one.

ECCC also warns Ottawans that “Hot and humid air can also bring deteriorating air quality and can cause the Air Quality Health Index to approach the high risk category.”

The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.

Meanwhile, the City says “heat warnings issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone. While City splashpads, beaches, wading pools and outdoor pools have opened, some of the other ways we cool off may not be available this summer because of measures put in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus .”

The City of Ottawa also advises, that it will be important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool while respecting Public Health COVID-19 prevention measures. Keep in touch with others who may not be able to stay cool, especially during a heat warning. Ottawa Public Health has information on how to Beat the Heat this summer. Heat illnesses are preventable. Residents are encouraged to stay cool at home using the Beat the Heat tips such as taking cool showers and using fans or air conditioning during the heat warning.

lead photo Ottawa Rowing Club by Matthew Fournier

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