As things continue to heat up in Greater Victoria, communities have set up places for people to cool down.

With temperatures climbing over 30° for the week, the first heat event of the summer has officially arrived, prompting Environment Canada to issue a special heat warning weather statement for much of BC.

Those at the greatest risk are children, older adults, pregnant women, people working or exercising outdoors, and people with chronic illnesses.

For resources on heat-related illnesses, you can check out HealthLink BC or call them at 8-1-1.

To help the public get through the heat, municipalities are setting up cooling stations to help residents keep comfortable. Here’s where you can cool off from the heat in and around Greater Victoria (and we’ll keep updating as more locations open):

Victoria

After last year’s “heat dome,” the City of Victoria introduced several new strategies to ensure public safety, including deploying over a dozen misting stations. Found at key locations across town, select stations will be accompanied by shade tents, drinking water, and trained support staff.

This misting stations can be found using this interactive map online and fountains can be found here.

Several air-conditioned cooling centres will also be available for people to cool down, that includes the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and Cook Street Activity Centre. The Salvation Army ARC on Johnson Street, Our Place Society on Pandora Avenue and Greater Victoria Public Library branches downtown and in James Bay have also been designated as cooling stations.

Click here to see a full list of designated spots.

In Esquimalt, water fountains are available at Saxe Point, High Rock, Memorial, West Bay, Gorge and Adventure parks. There are also air-conditioned sites at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Gorge Park Pavilion for residents to cool off in.

If you’re in the Oak Bay area, drop-in cooling centres are available at the Oak Bay Rec Centre and Monterey Rec Centre. Both areas are self-managed, available during open hours, and are accessible for people with mobility issues.

Saanich

If you’re in Saanich and needing to cool down, the municipality has opened its four recreation centres for people to escape the heat.  The free areas include air-conditioned libraries at Saanich Commonwealth Place, G.R. Pearkes Rec Centre, the art galleries and lobby at Cedar Hill Rec Centre and the lobby at Gordon Head Rec Centre.

The ice arenas at Pearkes are also available for cooling and spectating.

Saanich Peninsula area (Sidney, Central Saanich)

Many residents living on the peninsula likely got an alert text Monday night informing of a cooling station at the Cultural Centre at the Central Saanich library branch. It’s open from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

The Central Saanich Fire Department will be hosting misting stations with firetrucks throughout the week. Firefighters will be at Tanner Park from 11 a.m to 11:30 a.m. and Rom Knott from noon until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and on Wednesday and Thursday, they’ll be at Centennial Park from 11 a.m. until noon.

The town of Sidney has initiated its heat response plan from Monday through Friday by opening the air-conditioned Shoal Centre as a cooling centre. The water spray park at Iroquois Park will also have extended hours during this time period, open from 7a.m. to 10 p.m.

West Shore area (Langford, Colwood, Matchosin)

Both Langford and Colwood released an interactive map which shows where residents can go to help cool off. The map includes the location of water fountains, splash pads, lake or beach access or air-conditioned public spaces.

Several stray parks in Langford have extended the hours of during the heatwave, operating from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., they include:

  • Centennial Park – 2805 Carlow Road
  • Veterans Memorial Park – 2830 Alwynd Road
  • Leigh Place Beach Park – end of Leigh Place
  • Glen Lake Park – 3078 Shoreview Drive

The Langford Mobile Information Centre will be distributing cool water from Thursday to Saturday at the following locations:

  • Thursday – Veterans Memorial Park 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday – Goldstream Provincial Park Welcome Centre 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

· Saturday – Goldstream Provincial Park Welcome Centre 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Salvation Army Connection Point Church will host a cooling centre from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It’ll be open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The GVPL branch off Langford Parkway and the Juan de Fuca branch on Island Highway are air conditioned facilities and the public is welcome to cool down at.

In Metchosin, the fire department have set up a number of water misting and cooling stations around the village centre when needed. For more information, check out their Facebook page.

We will keep updating this as more cooling locations come available, or you can email us at tips@victoriabuzz.com with information.

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