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Cooling options crop up as promised heat wave arrives in Greater Victoria

Municipalities highlight places, open spaces, to help keep residents cool
Royal Athletic Park is open to help residents cool down during the latest heat wave. (City of Victoria/Twitter)

While the latest heat wave isn’t expected to hit the highs Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland saw at the end of June, temperatures remain dangerous for many people.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for much of Vancouver Island. Daytime temperatures between Wednesday (Aug. 11) and Saturday (Aug. 14) are expected to hit between 29 C and 32 C. The average high for this region at this time of year is 22 C.

Heat-related illness happens when the body can’t cool itself as fast as it heats up, and can lead to weakness, disorientation and exhaustion. In severe cases, it can lead to life-threatening heat stroke.

Many communities offer cooling centres for residents who may not have other options for remaining cool.

READ ALSO: 51 rainless days not a record for Greater Victoria

View Royal tweeted the town doesn’t have appropriate facilities to host a cooling centre, and pointed to one in nearby Langford.

There, a cooling centre is to be set up Aug 11 to 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Connection Point Church, 103-737 Goldstream Ave. The centre will have COVID-19 protocols in place and suggests users bring a snack, a game or a craft while they come take a rest in the cool air.

Colwood also looks to its available spaces, directing residents to air conditioning at the Juan de Fuca library branch, and water play at Juan de Fuca pool, Colwood Creek Park (splash pad) and Lookout Lake. Colwood Firefighters will check in with seniors at facilities and do “pop up spray parks” as they are able.

Heat wave tipsheet: What to do and who can help in Greater Victoria

Saanich suggests residents visit G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre or Gordon Head Recreation Centre to take a break from the heat. All three are air conditioned and able to accommodate residents and their controlled pets. The district also points to water parks at Beckwith Park and the Uptown Shopping Centre.

Victoria reminded residents the giant watering can and playground splash pads on the Douglas Street edge of Beacon Hill Park are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Misting stations are also available at Royal Athletic Park on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Find a full list of sites to cool down in the city of Victoria here. A map of water fountains can be found here.

On the Saanich Peninsula, Beacon Community Services reminds residents that the air-conditioned SHOAL Centre at 10030 Resthaven Dr. in Sidney is available as a cooling space from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with COVID-19 protocols appreciated.

Also, the North Saanich Fire Department hosts a misting station at the fire hall on Wain Road and Jubilee Park Playground on Mills Road.

Central Saanich and Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization host a cooling centre now through Aug. 14 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Central Saanich Cultural Centre’s Room A (near library entrance). Water will be provided.

For information about how to guard against heat-related illness, visit People can also call HealthLink B.C. at 811.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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