Royal City Mission Will Have Cooling Centre in Time for Next Heat Wave

You may have noticed that there’s a heat wave right now. Typically, this annoyance has a solution for people without air conditioning as they can head to the mall, the library, or a rec centre to enjoy a respite from the heat. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away that option, but there is one place in the Royal City that is looking to reclaim a space for the public to enjoy the cool once again. At least in time for the next heat wave.

In their weekly newsletter, Royal City Mission put out an ask for volunteers who will help make a cooling centre at the Quebec Street church a reality. “The heat we have experienced for the last few days has been extremely hard on those who aren’t housed and so we have contacted Public Health to ask what we need to do to have a safe and healthy space for people to cool off, have some water and even use a bathroom,” RCM said in the newsletter.

The goal is to have the cooling centre open on June 8 with operating hours between 11 am and 4 pm from Monday to Friday, with the possibility of more hours if the community support is there to maintain them.

Speaking of cooling, among the items that RCM is looking for right now includes freezies and drink boxes along with baked goods. If you can provide those items, or would like to volunteer for the cooling centre, you can send an email to lisa [at] royalcitymission.ca.

A story in the Guelph Mercury Tribune Tuesday noted that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has advised the City to keep facilities shut and prioritize battling the pandemic over beating the heat. CTV News reported Monday that Waterloo Region will not be opening cooling centres this summer out of pandemic concerns either.

A spokesperson for public health told the paper that Health Canada is presently revising their information about how to react to extreme heat in the wake of COVID-19, and public health will then adapt them. In the meantime, public health is advising older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, children and infants to be especially cautious as they’re more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Avoid direct sun, drink plenty of cool liquids, draw your shades and blinds at home, and try to spend time in the coolest part of the house.

Environment Canada’s forecast for Guelph promises progressively cooler weather over the course of the next few days with the heat and humidity coming to an end with a likely thunderstorm on Friday, and a high of only 16 degrees on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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