Quebec’s health ministry is warning people to be extra careful as a heat wave descends on much of the province.
Environment Canada has issued a heat warning, with humidex values hovering around 40.
Vulnerable people like kids and the elderly could be in danger if they don’t take the right precautions.
Local splash pads like the one at Kent Park in Côte-des-Neiges offer some relief from the heat, especially when you’re living in an apartment with no air conditioning like Ankit Thaker, his wife and daughter.
“It’s not ventilated and it’s very hard to live in the afternoon, especially until seven or eight o’clock,” Thaker said as his daughter frolicked in the water. “There’s too much heat, it’s humid, we’re sweating inside the house.”
The couple was planning to buy an air conditioner, but their young daughter fell into their TV by accident and broke it. They chose to buy a new TV instead of an AC.
“Right now we can’t afford to get AC, so it’s very hard,” Thaker said.
Environment Canada announced a heat warning is in effect for the whole Montreal area, and Saturday was the hottest August 21 on record with a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius. Factoring in the humidity, temperatures were above 40 degrees.
“Oh, it’s brutal,” said Ali Farasat, who had come to the Kent Park splash pad with his son. “Thank God you have a park like this.”
Quebec’s health ministry is inviting the population to be vigilant in the face of the extreme heat. Babies, young children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases are particularly vulnerable. The government is asking people to drink a lot of water, spend a few hours in a cool space, avoid alcohol, reduce physical activity, close curtains when the sun is shining, and take cold showers or baths.
“We try to get her showered twice a day and get her here in the splash pad,” Thaker said of his daughter.
Some are unfazed by the weather, like Mariette Aboujaoudeh, who recently moved to Montreal from Lebanon, and has not yet experienced winter.
“We have to enjoy this weather because they are telling us it will be very cold in the winter,” she said.
That will feel like a distant future all week, however, because the heat is set to stick around until the end of the week.