Posted on: February 2nd, 2023. By: Elizabeth Keith, newmarkettoday.ca, Original Article.
The Town of Newmarket has opened warming centres with extreme cold weather in the forecast.
Environment Canada is warning of wind chill values of minus 35C to 40C for tonight and into Friday morning and then again Friday night into Saturday morning.
“It’s certainly the coldest (this year) we’ve seen so far,” said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada.
He said the cold weather will be short lived but will be joined by harsh winds.
“It doesn’t diminish the fact that it will be extremely cold for several hours,” he said. “With that wind chill, it can be very dangerous and freeze flesh in minutes.”
The town has opened warming centres at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex and the Magna Centre, which will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“There’s never a good time to experience homelessness, but with these extreme temperatures, this is where people die or get seriously hurt. And so warming centres become essential,” said Michael Braithwaite, CEO of Blue Door.
He said warming shelters may be used by clients of the nightly Out of The Cold program, which is operated through a partnership of churches, and the seasonal programs at both Blue Door and Inn From the Cold, and anyone who may have precarious housing that isn’t actually very warm or safe.
“This is a tough time of year,” he said.
The Town of Newmarket advises people limit their exposure to extreme cold, consider staying indoors if possible, protect your head, face, ears, neck, hands and feet, and avoid alcoholic beverages as they cause your body to lose heat faster.
Individuals or couples experiencing homelessness and seeking shelter during the cold weather are asked to call the Transitional Shelter Intake Line at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76140 or email AccessYork@york.ca.
Families with children in need of shelter are asked to contact Leeder Place Family Shelter by calling Blue Door at 1-888-554-5525.