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Hang in there: The heat wave isn't over yet

TTC riders in a hot streetcar in Toronto.

Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Congratulations Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto: You've survived the first half of a nasty heat wave.

Those in the rest of the country? Be glad you dodged it altogether.

Southern Ontario, Eastern Ontario and the western part of Quebec will continue to endure temperatures as high as 35 degrees and a humidex of 43 this week as a slow-moving high-pressure ridge over the northeastern United States passes through, Environment Canada meteorologist Mark Seifert said.

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The sweltering temperatures are expected to remain until Thursday night or early Friday, when a cold front will bring sweet relief in the form of showers, he said.

The heat wave is carrying air from the southern states, Mr. Seifert said, and will wash over the corridor from Windsor to Montreal, a strip of the country that's prone to such humidity.

An Environment Canada high heat and humidity alert issued for Montreal remained through Tuesday evening.

Toronto issued an extreme heat warning for the week and has seen an increase in 911 calls. Toronto's medical officer of health, David McKeown, said the hot weather is having a significant effect on vulnerable people, and asked the public and landlords to check on elderly or isolated tenants and neighbours.

The city is on track to endure the longest stretch of days with temperatures around 30 degrees since 2005, Mr. Seifert said. The heat and humidity might feel especially unbearable compared to last year's far more temperate summer - Toronto and Ottawa didn't have one day warmer than 30 degrees last July, he said.

Ottawa's busy ByWard Market was quieter Tuesday as people tried to avoid the 33-degree heat and humidex of 43.

Mark McConnell, a bartender at the Clock Tower Brew Pub, said business was uncharacteristically slow as the bar was forced to close doors and windows to keep the air conditioning in. He hoped traffic would pick up for the pub's wing night Tuesday.

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"It's typical Canadian in Ontario - complain when it's hot, complain when it's cold," Mr. McConnell said.

Mr. Seifert said the wave is already hitting New Brunswick, where the temperature was expected to reach 32 degrees on Wednesday.

While Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver are enjoying more normal temperatures this week, in the low-20s range, they shouldn't get too comfortable: Environment Canada forecasts a summer of hotter-than-normal temperatures all across the country.

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