Extreme Cold

Southwestern Public Health issues cold weather alerts when Environment Canada forecasts an air temperature below -15˚C or a wind chill below -20˚C.

During a cold weather alert, residents should take precautions to protect themselves from the cold to avoid complications such as frostbite and hypothermia.

Those most vulnerable to the effects of the cold include older adults, infants and young children, outdoor workers, those who like outdoor sports such as skiing and hiking, and homeless persons and others who do not have shelter, proper clothing or food.


Warming Centres and Shelters

During periods where Southwestern Public Health issues Extreme Cold Alerts, please contact one of the following locations for more information.

St. Thomas:

  • Timken Centre: 519-633-7112
  • St. Thomas Public Library: 519-631-6050
  • St. Thomas Seniors Centre: 519-633-2850
  • Inn Out of the Cold - Central United Church: 519-637-9898


  • East Elgin Community Complex; 519-773-5631


  • Malahide Community Place: 519-765-4755

West Elgin:

  • West Elgin Community Health Centre: 519-768-1715


The Inn (formerly Inn Out of the Cold) offers shelter to homeless adults during the winter months at Old St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 723 Dundas Street, Woodstock.

People arriving after 11:00 p.m. must be accompanied by police. The Inn can be contacted through Operation Sharing or directly at  519-537-3912.

The Salvation Army in Woodstock’s Emergency Housing also provides temporary housing to families for a period of up to six weeks. This program can be reached by calling 519 532-2649 and leaving a message.

For more information on emergency shelters, call 211 or visit www.211ontario.ca.


Cold Alert Guidelines and Recommendations

Stay Warm in Winter

Other Websites:

Public Weather Warnings

Windchill Index