Residents of London, Ont., looking to cool off over the next week will have plenty of options, even amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A heat warning from Environment Canada is expected to remain in effect through to Sunday while the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) previously issued an extended heat warning for the region.
As of early Thursday afternoon, the forecast was calling for a high of 32 C on Thursday through Sunday, a high of 31 C on Monday, and a high of 30 C on Tuesday. Environment Canada says with the humidity, it’ll feel as hot as 38 C on Thursday, 40 C on Friday and Saturday, and 42 C on Sunday.
In a coordinated effort similar to what was seen in late May during the first heat warning of the year, the City of London has partnered with numerous local organizations and agencies to offer a reprieve from the heat, in addition to offering its own services and amenities.
Splash pads previously reopened and select swimming pools and wading pools are set to open up starting July 4. Those wanting to use a local pool for recreation or lane swimming are required to book a time slot in advance online or by calling 519-661-5575 as “pool capacities will be reduced to permit physical distancing.”
The city says water fountains are available in Victoria, Gibbons, Springbank West and Pump House parks, as well as the Springbank House.
The South London Community Centre is open as a cooling centre from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Numerous drop-in services are increasing water distribution and some are also offering cooling spaces “for a limited number of individuals at a time to allow for distancing.”
Those services include:
- Salvation Army Centre of Hope at 281 Wellington St. — a water truck is available from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
- Youth Action Centre at 332 Richmond Street — offering water and limited cooling spaces weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They can be reached at 519-432-1112 ext. 101.
- Ark Aid Street Mission at 696 Dundas St. East — offering water, limited cooling spaces on weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They can be reached at 519-661-0280.
- My Sisters Place at 566 Dundas Street — offering water on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They can be reached at 519-679-9570.
- Intercommunity Health at 659 Dundas St. — offering water, limited cooling spaces from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. They can be reached at 519-660-0875.
- YMCA Centre Branch at 382 Waterloo St. — offering water, cooling spaces from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. They can be reached at 519-667-3300.
In an email to Global News, a spokesperson with the YMCA also noted that opening the Centre Branch as a cooling centre is in addition to ongoing services provided to those experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic, including shower services.
The city is also highlighting its emergency shelters and violence against women shelters, all of which operate 24/7:
- Men’s Mission and Rehabilitation Centre at 459 York St., 519-672-8500
- Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter at 42 Stanley St., 519-673-4114
- The Salvation Army Centre of Hope at 281 Wellington St., 519-661-0343
- Anova at 101 Wellington Rd. and 450 Clarke Rd., 519-642-3000 or 1-800-265-1576
- Atlohsa Family Healing Services, Zhaawanong Shelter at 256 Hill St., 1-800-605-7477
The health unit is reminding the public to cover exposed skin, wear a hat, drink plenty of water, and ensure that you maintain a two-metre distance and limit gatherings to no more than 10 people in order to protect against both the heat and humidity and the novel coronavirus.
It is also recommended that people avoid spending a lot of time outside and seek shade as much as possible.
People are also being reminded never to leave a child or a pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight.
The MLHU says people should also seek medical attention if they or others experience extreme symptoms as soon as possible.
Environment Canada says to watch for symptoms of heat illness including dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark urine.
— With files from Global News’ Sawyer Bogdan.