The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert on Monday after forecasters predicted plunging temperatures and biting winds over the next two days.
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, issued the alert at 7:40 a.m. Monday, to remain in effect until further notice. The alert allows the deployment of additional resources for homeless people, including emergency warming centres and extra street outreach.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said last week that he was not satisfied with the city's system for issuing extreme cold weather alerts and plans to launch a review to find ways for it to be "more pro-active and flexible."
Two men died on the city's streets last week, one of them found in a bus shelter wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, raising questions about whether the city does enough to protect homeless residents during cold temperatures.
The city's medical officer of health usually issues cold weather alerts when temperatures are expected to hit the -15 C threshold.
Temperatures in Toronto are predicted to drop from -2 C on Monday morning to -10 C overnight with a wind chill rating of -27 C.
Alerts were not issued last week when the two men died because the actual temperature late on Monday was -14 C, even though the wind chill made it feel more like -21 C.
Mr. Tory intervened after the second death, ordering the opening of emergency warming centres.
With files from Ann Hui