A new web portal has been launched by the City of Toronto to educate residents about the risks of extreme weather and the actions they can take to help reduce those risks, weather-proof their homes and improve their resilience.
The portal offers residents a single point of access for programs, services and resources from a variety of City divisions, agencies, corporations and external organizations, with a focus on four weather scenarios – extreme heat, extreme rain/flooding, extreme cold, and extreme wind.
“In recent years, Toronto has seen, first-hand, the power of extreme weather and how it can damage our infrastructure, cause flooding, damage trees and even put our health at risk,” said Councillor Michelle Holland (Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “As we continue to identify where we’re vulnerable and work to improve the city’s overall resilience, it’s important for residents to do the same. I encourage everyone to visit this portal to learn about extreme weather and to take steps now to reduce the risks.”
In July 2013, a record rainfall caused extensive flooding of public and private property, power outages and disruptions to transportation, sewer and water systems. The storm cost the City $65 million and generated an estimated $850 million in insurance claims from residents and businesses across the Greater Toronto Area. Six months later, a massive ice storm damaged trees, brought down power lines and left about 300,000 customers without power, some for an extended period of time, at a cost to the City and Toronto Hydro in excess of $100 million.
By 2050, it’s predicted that the maximum daily temperature in Toronto will rise to 44°C from 37°C in 2009, there will be 66 days above 30°C versus 20 in 2009, the daily rainfall maximum will more than double to 166 millimetres from 60, and Toronto will experience four times as many extended heat waves each year.
Residents can learn more about extreme weather and the actions they can take to reduce their risks and weather-proof their homes at http://www.toronto.ca/
Residents can also get involved in TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Prosperous and Equitable Toronto, an initiative that will set Toronto on a path to a low-carbon future and drastically reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change, at http://www.toronto.ca/