| Environmental Columns

Heat events and heatwaves

During the summer, we experience periods of extreme heat and heatwaves. Scientists agree that the higher temperatures caused by climate change come with a greater risk of heatwaves now than in the 2000s.1 These periods cause discomfort and, in some cases, can be dangerous for vulnerable people.

An extreme heatwave is defined as “three consecutive days when the average maximum temperature reaches 33°C and the average minimum temperature doesn’t drop below 20°C, or when the temperature doesn’t drop below 25°C for two consecutive nights.”2

It is important to be well prepared for this period in order to minimize the risks to your health and limit the discomfort:

  • Drink water to stay hydrated
  • Wear pale coloured, light clothing
  • Avoid the outdoors and limit your physical effort and activity
  • Spend time in a cool, preferably airconditioned, place, such as a library
  • Cool off in a shower, a municipal pool, splash pad or body of water
  • Check in on loved ones who live alone

During this period, certain symptoms can indicate that you are experiencing heatstroke. Be vigilant! If you experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, a change in your breathing, heart palpitations or fainting, or if you notice a change in your child’s behaviour, call Info-Santé at 811.

Heat and workers

Do you work outdoors? The advice above applies to you too!

Since the risks of heatstroke can be greater because you are exposed to the heat for longer periods, it is important to drink large quantities of water to stay hydrated all day long. Do not wait to feel thirsty before drinking and follow the recommendations of your employer and the CNESST to successfully manage this period and limit the risks to your health.

Actions by the City of Pointe-Claire

To help residents better tolerate these temperatures, the City of Pointe-Claire is implementing measures for cooling off. During these periods, the City will quickly inform you of the implementation of various measures on the City’s website and social media.

Here are a few measures offered to residents:

  • The opening hours of the slash pad at Valois Park could be extended
  • Airconditioned rooms at the Aquatic Centre are open to the public
  • Residents can cool off in outdoor pools

1 Météomédia website, Article: Depuis 20 ans, les canicules sont plus fréquentes au Québec https://www.meteomedia.com/ca/nouvelles/article/depuis-20-ans-les-canicules-sont-plus-frequentes-au-quebec (in French)

 2 Santé Montréal website: https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/advice-and-prevention/heat-and-extreme-heat/