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Arctic air mass descends on Toronto, expected to stay till the weekend

Pedestrians bundle up against the severe cold temperatures while crossing Bloor St. West at St George St. on Jan. 22, 2013. The city is under an extreme cold weather alert with the city opening up shelters.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

An Arctic air mass over Eastern Canada will lead to colder-than-usual temperatures for Ontario throughout the week.

The air mass caused a city in northern Ontario to experience the second-coldest temperature recorded anywhere in the country Monday night, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell. The city, Armstrong, experienced temperatures of -45C. (The coldest place was 5 km north of Quebec City, at -46C.)

By Tuesday night, Toronto was expected to reach a low of -18C – weather typically seen in the Edmonton area, said Mr. Kimbell.

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He added that though the Arctic air mass is expected to remain until the weekend, temperatures should gradually increase within the next few days and climb above 0C by next week.

The cold temperatures are hardly a surprise for this time of year, he said.

"It's January. It's that time of year when we expect the coldest temperatures," said Mr. Kimbell. "That's just the natural ebb and flow of weather in Canada."

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