Extreme Cold Warning Issued for Parts of Ontario, Quebec

Extreme Cold Warning Issued for Parts of Ontario, Quebec
A person walks past steam created from a building vent in the cold weather in Toronto on Jan. 10, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Matthew Trueman

After several provinces underwent chilly overnight temperatures on Jan. 10, extreme cold warnings affecting parts of Ontario and Quebec continued to be in effect on Jan. 11.

The extreme cold alerts, issued by Environment Canada, affect parts of northern Ontario, northern and southern Quebec, as well as New Brunswick and Labrador.

On the morning of Jan. 11, temperatures in Montreal fell to -25 Celsius, with the wind chill making it feel closer to -34°C. In Toronto, temperatures dipped as low as -21°C, or -34°C with wind chill, in the early hours of Jan. 11.

As of publication time, the only extreme cold alerts still in place in Ontario were for the Cree First Nation reserves of Peawanuck and Fort Severn, both located in Kenora District. Both communities are expected to face temperatures between -30 and -32°C (with wind chill values near -45°C) starting tonight and continuing into the morning of Jan. 12.

Parts of northern and southern Quebec, New Brunswick, and Labrador also remain under extreme cold warnings.

The definition of extreme cold varies from region to region, but Environment Canada issues extreme cold warnings whenever very cold temperatures or wind chill create an elevated risk to health. The main health risks associated with extreme cold include windburn, frostbite, and hypothermia.

The federal government’s website notes that although anyone who is dressed inadequately is at risk during cold weather conditions, some groups are at a greater risk for hypothermia and frostbite. These include homeless people, outdoor workers, and people living in poorly-insulated homes. Infants and seniors also face a heightened risk.