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Toronto issues extreme cold weather alert, extra shelter for the homeless added

Digital writers

Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 8:17 AM -

The City of Toronto issued an extreme cold weather alert Monday morning to "make vulnerable homeless people in Toronto aware of the dangers of staying outside too long in cold weather and to ensure they have safe and warm places to go."

Officials say the alert is in effect until further notice.

The alerts are issued when Environment Canada predicts a coming overnight temperature of -15°C or lower, without wind chill. It can also be issued when extreme weather conditions such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drop in temperature is forecast.

During an extreme cold weather alert, the city immediately adds 26 shelter spaces for men and women to the shelter spaces available to staff looking to refer a client to a shelter bed.

"Overnight street outreach is increased in the downtown core, focusing solely on warning people of danger and urging them to get into a shelter or another warm, indoor place. Workers will transport people to warm places if necessary," the city adds.

TTC tokens are also available at some drop-ins so people can use public transit to get to shelters.

Temperatures are expected to gradually increase with a daytime high in the low single digits expected by Friday.

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