Wildfire smoke in Toronto: Take appropriate measures to protect your health

Please be advised that Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement indicating that high levels of air pollution are possible due to smoke from forest fires in Quebec and Northeastern Ontario and are expected to persist through this weekend.

Even at low concentrations, wildfire smoke can be harmful to people’s health. Exposure to air pollutants, like smoke, can cause a range of symptoms including irritated eyes, increased mucus production, coughing and difficulty breathing.

Keep your windows closed

Toronto Public Health is encouraging everyone in Toronto to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People should be aware of their sensitivity to air pollution and take appropriate measures to protect their health.

Windows should be kept closed if the temperature is comfortable. Those with air conditioning are encouraged to use it and, if possible, set HVAC systems to recirculate air and use HEPA air filters.

People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms.

Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke.

How to stay informed

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Alerts webpage provides more information and updates on the Special Air Quality Statement currently in effect for Toronto.

The Government of Canada’s Air Quality Health Index webpage provides the latest conditions and forecasts related to air quality, as well as information about related health risks.

Did you know you can set custom Air Quality Health Index notifications in the WeatherCAN smartphone app? To quickly set them up to help protect yourself, visit the Environment Canada website for instructions.