High temperatures already being experienced in Greater Victoria and elsewhere in the province have prompted some municipalities to open up cooling centres to assist residents seeking refuge from the heat.
Environment Canada is predicting highs between 31 and 35 C inland and 25 to 29 C near the water between now and Friday or Saturday for areas around south Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
The City of Victoria has 12 misting stations set up at fire hydrants located across the city and air-conditioned cooling centres at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and Cook Street Activity Centre. Other cooling centres are located at the Salvation Army ARC on Johnson Street, Our Place Society on Pandora Avenue and Greater Victoria Public Library branches downtown and in James Bay.
Other community assets available to the public during the heat warning include Beacon Hill Park’s splash pad and watering can, Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre and the Banfield Park dock.
Elsewhere, Saanich residents can cool off at any of the district’s four recreation centres. Hours and schedules for Saanich Commonwealth Place, Cedar Hill, Gordon Head and G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centres can be found at saanich.ca/recreation.
In Esquimalt, water fountains are available at Saxe Point, High Rock, Memorial, West Bay, Gorge and Adventure parks, while residents can also cool off in air-conditioned sites at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Gorge Park Pavilion.
🌡️Heating up? Your community #Saanich Recreation Centres are here for you! Stop by & take advantage of one of these cool options.
🕘Hours and schedules at https://t.co/HxdYUybtAV pic.twitter.com/fvcmZcWEZa
— Saanich Parks, Recreation & Community Services (@SaanichParksRec) July 25, 2022
Langford and Colwood shared an interactive map which pinpointed where residents can go to help cool off. The map includes the location of water fountains, splash pads, lake or beach access or air-conditioned public spaces.
The GVPL branch off Langford Parkway and the Juan de Fuca branch on Island Highway are also air-conditioned spots where residents can cool down, while Langford has four spray parks. There are also water fountains scattered throughout Langford, Colwood and View Royal as well as water access at Esquimalt Lagoon, Thetis Lake, Langford Lake, Glen Lake, Lookout Lake, Florence Lake and Portage Park.
From 2 to 5 p.m. on July 26, Colwood Fire Rescue will be at Colwood Elementary School spraying water to help residents cool off. The city has also set up a misting tent at Herm Williams Park on Kelly Road. More stations will be scheduled for later in the week.
The Metchosin Fire Department will also be busy working to keep residents cool with a number of water misting and cooling stations set up around the village centre when needed. For more information, check out their Facebook page.
Who needs to shower when a fire truck is ready to hose you down, hey kids? pic.twitter.com/nzvyVjhUuQ
— Central Saanich Fire (@CSaanichFire) July 25, 2022
Heat risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.
Effects from heat illness include swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions.
Find other resources for dealing with heat at healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/heat-related-illness or call HealthLinkBC 8-1-1.
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