Toronto under extreme cold weather alert

Video: Christina Stevens takes a look at how Canadians are coping with the frigid effects of the polar vortex.

TORONTO – The City of Toronto remains under an Extreme Cold Weather Alert as temperatures stay near the minus 20 degrees Celsius mark for Tuesday.

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 the expected high in Toronto today will be -18 degrees Celsius and reach -22 without the wind chill overnight.

And the freezing weather is also impeding TTC operations. The public transit agency announced Tuesday afternoon that 35 streetcars would be taken out of service due to the extreme cold weather during the evening rush hour.

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The Greater Toronto area is already under a wind chill warning.

“We’ve got our salters out and we’re clearing the streets as best we can,” Chair of the city’s Public Works Committee Denzil Minnan-Wong said Monday.

WATCH: Toronto is under a wind chill warning as extreme cold weather grips the city. 

Wintry weather has put a strain on city resources in the last few weeks but the city still has plenty of salt in reserves, he said.

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

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

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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.

VIDEO: Environment Canada’s David Phillips says the bone chilling temperatures expected around Toronto will be unlike anything seen in decades

Officials say the alert is in effect until further notice.

A list of shelters people can get TTC tokens from