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Archived - Ottawa Opens Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning

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May 26, 2020
Announcements and Events

A heat warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for the City of Ottawa for May 26 to May 28. Heat warnings mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone. Some of the usual ways we cool off may not be available this summer because of measures put in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

It will be important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool and keep in touch with others who may not be able to stay cool, especially during a heat warning. Ottawa Public Health has information on how to Beat the Heat this summer. Heat illnesses are preventable. Residents are encouraged to stay cool at home using tips below such as cool showers and fans or air conditioning during the heat warning.

The City of Ottawa has set up four emergency cooling centres to provide relief from the heat to residents in need. The emergency cooling centers are set up to ensure users can practice proper physical distancing and will have access to washrooms and water. Residents should bring a cloth mask with them to the cooling centres if they have one.

Emergency cooling centres will be open Tuesday, May 26 from 3 pm to 7 pm, and will operate on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday May 28 from 11 am to 7 pm. The emergency cooling centres are located at the following City facilities:

  • Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre: 102 Greenview Avenue
  • Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre: 3320 Paul Anka Drive
  • Sandy Hill Community Centre: 250 Somerset Street East
  • St-Laurent Complex: 525 Coté Street

Protect Yourself and Help Others during Hot Weather

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoid heavy outdoor activity
  • Take cool baths and showers as often as needed or soak hands and/or feet in cool water.
  • Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available
  • Cool off in the shade or at a park or greenspace. See for locations and check the guidelines for use.
  • Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on any windows facing the sun
  • Open windows at night once the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air; close windows in the morning before hotter air comes in
  • Use fans at night to help exhaust warm indoor air and bring in cool outdoor air
  • Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are taking medications as some can make it harder to control body temperature.
  • Stay connected with people in your community who have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone. Check on them regularly.
  • Masks do become more uncomfortable in hot temperatures, but they will still work to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Please visit the Ottawa Public Health website for information about masks and heat.
  • Contact Telehealth Ontario by calling 1-866-797-0000 for free medical advice.  If it is a medical emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.  

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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