Ville de Laval

    Oppressive and Extreme Heat

    ​Heat, especially when combined with various risk factors, can be demanding on the human body, can lead to significant discomfort and, in the most extreme cases, may also be life-threatening. In summer, heat waves need to be carefully monitored (3 consecutive days when the maximum temperature is equal to or higher than 30°C, without taking the humidex—short for humidity index—into account), as they can get worse. Such weather conditions are called oppressive heat or extreme heat. Extreme heat is one of the greatest causes of death among vulnerable people in Québec.​

    Oppresive heat

    Updated: July 13, 2020, 4 p.m.

    Current status: Seasonal watch

    From mid-May until the end of September, the Division sécurité civile, in collaboration with the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Laval​​, is keeping a close watch on temperatures, particularly during extreme or high heat. High heat episodes, which are not uncommon during the summer months, may cause discomfort even when the heat is not oppressive or extreme. Normal precautions are therefore recommended throughout the season.

    We ask residents to remain cautious and follow the instructions to protect yourself from the effects of the heat, especially for those who are more vulnerable.

    • Drink plenty of water, without waiting to feel thirsty.
    • Close curtains and blinds when the sun is shining.
    • Spend a few hours in a cool or air-conditioned area.
    • Take at least one fresh shower or bath daily or refresh your skin several times a day with a wet towel.
    • Take news from your loved ones, especially those who are losing their independence or living alone.

    Are you looking for a place to refresh yourself? Consult the list.

    If you have a problems with your health, call 811.

    On this page

    > Status of the situation
    > Municipal facilities where you can cool off> Press release
    > Oppressive and extreme heat: general documentation and information
    > Vulnerable people
    > Symptoms to watch for
    > What to do?​
    > ​Additional advice

    Status of the situation

    Temperatures have returned to seasonal norms. The City and the Direction de la santé publique de Laval remain vigilant for a further rise in temperatures.

    Increased vigilance remains required.

    Municipal facilities in Laval where you can cool off

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, and as directed by the Public Health authorities, a number of municipal facilities are closed or partially open at the present time.

    ​Open and closed 
    ​More information


    ​Maison des arts de Laval (in French)
    Gradual opening
    ​The Maison des arts remains closed. Its access is only reserved for visitors to the Salle d'exposition Alfred-Pellan.
    Splash pads
    Consult the list of open installations and the safety instructions to be observed​.
    Swimming pools and wading pools
    ​Gradual opening
    Consult the list of open installations and the safety instructions to be observed​.

    We recommend that residents reserve a free time slot in order to avoid queues and ensure their place in wading pools and swimming pools.
    Parks and outdoor areas
    ​Go outside in a shaded area with trees.

    Press release

    Press release of June 18, 2020: Mesures d'atténuation durant la canicule

    Oppressive and ex​​treme heat: general documentation and information

    Oppressive heat is when the temperature climbs to 30°C or higher and the humidex (temperature and humidity combined) reaches 40°C or more. In such cases, Environment Canada issues an oppressive heat and humidity warning.

    In Laval, extreme heat is when the weighted average minimum temperature is equal to or above 20°C and the weighted average maximum temperature is equal to or above 33°C, for 3 consecutive days, or if, for 2 consecutive nights, the temperature remains above 25°C. In such situations, the Direction de la santé publique de Laval issues an extreme heat warning.​

    High heat episodes, which are not uncommon during the summer months, may cause discomfort even when the heat is not oppressive or extreme. Normal precautions are therefore recommended throughout the season.

    Vulnerable pe​ople

    Some people are more likely to be affected by heat than others. More precautions must be taken in the case of: 
    • young children, especially 4-year-olds and under
    • seniors 65-year-olds and over living in a non-air-conditioned environment
    • people with certain chronic illnesses or mental health problems or those taking certain medication or consuming drugs or alcohol
    • people living in an urban heat island without access to air conditioning, those living alone and no longer fully self-sufficient
    • low-income earners 
    • workers and athletic people carrying out demanding physical activities or working in a particularly hot environment
    The effects of heat can be worsened when there is little wind or no air circulation indoors.

    Symptoms to watc​​h for

    Quebec Government's website​​ explains the effects of oppressive and extreme heat on health.

    Symptoms to watch for in adults: ​

    • general discomfort
    • extreme fatigue
    • dizziness, confusion, balance difficulties, erratic behaviour
    • nausea, vomiting
    • unusual headaches
    • difficulty breathing
    • chest pains
    • swelling of the lower limbs
    • muscle cramps
    • c​hills and sudden onset of high fever
    Symptoms to watch for in babies and children: 
    • unusual restlessness
    • irritability or confusion
    • drowsiness, prolonged sleep and difficulty waking up
    • headaches
    • difficulty breathing
    • abnormal skin colour, turning pale or red
    • hollow, dark-circled eyes
    • dark urine and reduced urination
    • vomiting, diarrhea

    If one of these symptoms occurs, it may reflect pathology related to the heat and the person must be seen by a doctor immediately.

    These symptoms are intended only as a guide and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any questions about your health condition, call Info-Santé at 811. ​

    What to do?

    • Check the weather​​​and air quality​​
    • Drink before getting thirsty but avoid alcoholic beverages, and beverages with high caffeine and sugar content
    • Spend at least two hours per day in an air conditioned or cool area
    • Take a shower or a cool bath or freshen up by using a cool and humid towel 
    • Avoid physical activity or intense prolonged sport, or cut down on physical effort
    • Set up your home to limit the amount of heat that comes in (install an air conditioner or fan, close blinds and curtains during the day and open them at night, create drafts, etc.)
    • Protect yourself from the sun with light and pale colour clothing and a hat
    • Never leave a child alone inside a vehicle or a poorly ventilated room
    • Check on relatives; specifically ones with reduced autonomy or living alone​

    Increased vigilance

    People at risk and those around them can familiarize themselves with the right habits to adopt in times of extreme heat. Consult the recommendations published by the Québec government (It's really HOT! (PDF, 497 KB)).

    It is also available in French and has been translated, as well, into Arabicsimplified Chinesetraditional ChineseCreoleSpanishItalian and Portuguese (PDF, 497 KB).

    Call for solidarity

    Visit frequently with neighbours, friends and family members who are older, isolated and those with chronic illness or mental health conditions in order to ensure their health does not deteriorate. 

    Landlords of apartment buildings are encouraged to check on their tenants to make sure they are cool and hydrated.

    Additio​​nal advice

    Links to Internet sites with more information

    Quebec Government - The health effects of heat​​

    Quebec Government - Preventing the effects of heat​​

    Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Laval - Heat​​

    Urgence-Québec - Oppressive or extreme heat​​​

    Commision des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail - Travailleur à la chaleur... attention!​​​

    Links to PDF doc​uments (mostly in French)

    Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec - Précautions à prendre pour les enfants en période de grande chaleur, 497 Kb

    Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec - Mesures de prévention additionnelles pour les person​nes plus vulnérables à la chaleur​, 589 Kb​​​

    Ministère d​e la Santé et des Services sociaux du​ Québec - It's really hot!​​, 700 Kb