Celebrating the Extreme Cold in Thunder Bay

Proving that winter is more mind over matter, Thunder Bay's Dman takes a morning run at minus 40c
Proving that winter is more mind over matter, Thunder Bay's Dman takes a morning run at minus 40c

THUNDER BAY – Living – Life in Thunder Bay can be different. At minus 15c, the City of Toronto declares an Extreme Cold Advisory, during the winter, in Thunder Bay, that is a warm spell.

Celebrating Extreme Cold Thunder Bay Style


Damien Gilbert is a videographer based in Thunder Bay who does some amazing images. Dman also has a silly side. At minus forty, in Thunder Bay its not a severe issue. It is like how it is in the winter.

Dman stated, “I dunno if anyone knows how cold -40 is but this is something I had to do to bring in the New Year.

Toronto Declares Extreme Cold Alert

By way of contrast: The City of Toronto has called an Extreme Cold Weather Alert to make vulnerable homeless people in Toronto aware of the dangers of staying outside too long in cold weather and to ensure they have safe and warm places to go. The alert is in effect until further notice.

An Extreme Cold Weather Alert is called to trigger additional homelessness services. Alerts are typically called in the morning for the coming overnight period so that community agencies have sufficient time to call in extra staff to provide enhanced services.

During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert:

  • Shelters are directed to relax any existing service restrictions and are reminded that if a bed is not available at their site, they are to allow the client to stay at the shelter until they are able to find a bed for them elsewhere in the system.
  • The City of Toronto immediately adds 26 shelter spaces for men and women to the shelter spaces available to staff looking to refer a client to a shelter bed.
    Overnight street outreach is increased in the downtown core, focusing solely on warning people of danger and urging them to get into a shelter or another warm, indoor place. Workers will transport people to warm places if necessary.
  • TTC tokens are available at some drop-ins so people can use public transit to get to shelters.
  • More than 100 agencies are advised of the oncoming extreme weather and asked to relax any service restrictions they may have.

An alert is called when there is increased danger to homeless people from extreme cold weather or extreme winter weather conditions. It is usually called in the morning when Environment Canada takes any of these actions:

  • predicts a coming overnight temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill
  • issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area
  • predicts extreme weather conditions such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature,