Toronto under extreme cold weather alert, wind chill warning ends

ABOVE: From multi-car pileups to entire buildings encased in ice – Global’s Alan Carter reports on how the city and it’s residents are coping with the cold 

TORONTO – The City of Toronto remains under an Extreme Cold Weather Alert as temperatures continue to hover around the -20 mark on Friday.

An alert is called when there is an increased danger to homeless people due to extreme winter weather conditions and when the temperature falls to -15 degrees Celsius, without the wind chill.

Environment Canada says temperatures will reach a high of -12 today, but can go down to -34 with the wind chill.

At these extreme values, frostbite on exposed skin can occur in less than 10 minutes.

An infographic on the number of Extreme Cold Weather Alerts called in Toronto over the last 9 years as of January 03, 2014. Peter Kim / Global News. Peter Kim / Global News

The weather is expected to warm up over the weekend reaching single digits with a high of -1 on Saturday and a high of zero on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, a wind chill warning ended for parts of the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, Halton and Peel region. York and Durham remain under the warming for the time being.

BELOW: The full Skytracker weather forecast for Toronto and the GTA for January 3rd, 2014

Toronto’s alert allows shelters to relax existing service restrictions for the homeless and permit themto stay at the shelter longer.

The City of Toronto also adds 26 extra spaces to each shelter, as well as adding overnight street ourtreach support in the downtown core and offering free TTC tokens at some drop-ins so people can use public transit to get to shelters.

Officials say the alert is in effect until further notice.

A list of shelters people can get TTC tokens from

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WATCH: Global News hit the streets of Toronto Friday to speak with Torontonians about this recent cold snap, and the consensus was pretty clear: they’re fed up with the cold

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