toronto weather air quality

Toronto placed under special air quality statement as blazing heat continues

A record-breaking April heat wave has Toronto residents basking in the sunshine, but anyone dashing out the door to catch some end-of-week rays may have to contend with some unpleasant air quality hampering their enjoyment of the unseasonably warm conditions.

Environment Canada issued a Special Air Quality Statement for the City of Toronto just after 10:30 a.m. Friday, warning of the possibility of deteriorating air quality.

"Hot and sunny conditions are expected to cause increasing ground-level ozone concentrations this afternoon in the above regions," cautions the federal climate and weather agency, adding that air quality health index (AQHI) values will range from moderate to high risk during the afternoon hours.

According to EnvironCan, the AQHI values can trigger symptoms including increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath, and cautions that children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases like asthma are at heightened risk of reaction.

Anyone experiencing illness or pre-existing respiratory symptoms should probably play it safe and enjoy the sunshine without engaging in any strenuous outdoor activities until the special air quality statement is lifted.

Toronto has experienced temperatures soaring into the mid-and high 20s in a week of broken weather records, but the sneak peek of summer temperatures will depart in the coming days as values return to seasonal levels.

So, if you can handle the less-than-ideal air quality, get out there and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

Lead photo by

Phil Marion


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