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Freezing Toronto temps break 57-year record

CityNews | posted Friday, Dec 29th, 2017

Temperatures dipped to -22 degrees without windchill being factored in. The previous record low was -18.9 set 57 years ago in 1960.

Environment Canada issued a slew of extreme cold weather alerts for the city and the rest of the GTA with the windchill making it feel closer to -30. The warning from the agency ended for Toronto and the GTA mid-day Thursday, but the city’s own cold weather alert remains in effect.

The length of this cold snap is not the norm for this time of year according to Environment Canada. The last time the city experienced similar conditions between Christmas and Jan. 1 was back in 1993.

Residents are warned that frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly at these frigid temperatures — so bundle up and cover up any exposed skin.

And it’s not just flesh and bones that feel the chill, vehicles and other machinery could also be affected — like the GO train doors that were jamming up earlier in the day.

“It’s so cold out that sometimes mechanical things can break down and like your car doors, they can jam and a train can’t move if a door isn’t working,” says Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins. “They try and fix it and see if there’s something jammed in it perhaps. We ask customers not to try and force it open — that can break it altogether.”

The city is also urging everyone to call or visit vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours – especially isolated seniors. Be sure to keep an eye on your pets as well — limit the length of walks outside and be sure to protect their paws from icy roads and salt.

The cold weather is being blamed for a water main break on Eglinton Avenue West between Trethewey Drive and Jane Street.

eglinton-water-main-break-1

Water main break at Keelesdale South Park and Eglington Avenue West, Dec. 28, 2017. CITYNEWS/Robin Kuniski

Water main break at Keelesdale South Park and Eglington Avenue West, Dec. 28, 2017. CITYNEWS/Robin Kuniski

Fire officials are reminding residents to open their taps up and let them run a little so the pipes don’t freeze.

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