Guelph: Cooling Centres Open

by | Jun 8, 2021 | External, GWSA News

Three cooling centres across Downtown Guelph are available for those wanting to catch a break from the heat. The Royal City Mission, The Drop In Centre and the Guelph City Hall lobby are all offering cooling spaces for people to cool down during the summer heat.

As the warm weather started at the beginning of May, Royal City Mission transitioned into a cooling centre from a warming centre in the winter. The centre is now open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Gavin Wark, director of operations stressed the importance of a cooling station for people downtown especially during the time of COVID. He said the Royal City Mission sees approximately between 30 to 50 people on any given day. “There’s very little open for people who don’t have a shelter so even a place to get out of the heat, a place to use a restroom. Those are things that are very difficult to access,” said Wark.

Lead pastor Kevin Coghill said Royal City Mission is continuing to also serve its regular meals as takeaway for those experiencing housing insecurities, is offering water and snacks throughout the day and playing movies for entertainment.

The Guelph Wellington Poverty Elimination Task Force puts out a community hot weather response for individuals experiencing homelessness every year which should be coming out in the upcoming days.

The Drop In Centre is open as a cooling centre 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week. It was also used as a warming centre in the winter.

Mark Poste, housing program manager at the County of Wellington, said the county is currently working with community partners to identify if there are more sites needed. “I think individuals would definitely be looking for spaces at any time COVID or not,” said Poste. 

The city hall lobby will also be open during extreme heat events on weekdays from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Brendan Macmullin, community emergency management coordinator said the city will monitor weather conditions and air quality and make adjustments accordingly.

Dan Atkins, deputy CEO of the Guelph Public Library, said once the province allows them to open, they will definitely be a cooling centre for the community. “It’s contingent on when we open in Stage 2 with reduced capacity,” said Atkins.

Read the full article in Guelph Today: