Public Health

Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Toronto

Over the coming decades, climate change in Toronto is expected to be characterized by more extreme weather events including extreme heat and severe rainstorms. This report provides an overview of potential health impacts identified in the published research including: more illness and death from extreme heat, poor air quality, and vector-borne disease; more injury and illness arising from flooding of homes and businesses; and impacts on mental health.

Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change: How Ready is your Health Care Organization

To help health organizations evaluate their preparedness and become more resilient to climate- related risks, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, together with Climate Change Nova Scotia and Health Canada, developed the “Health Care Facility Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit” which includes three components: a resiliency assessment checklist, a facilitator’s guide and an information resource guide.

Syndromic Surveillance System for Heat-related Illnesses (2012)

Due to the increasing frequency of extreme heat events in Ontario (and the continued increase expected due to climate changes), the province of Ontario is working closely with health units to reduce the health issues that are caused by such events. Current research efforts include a pilot project which uses existing syndromic surveillance systems that have been adjusted to monitor the progression of heat events and the occurrences of heat-related illnesses in real time.

The case study reviews the process and results of this study and discusses the challenges involved with delivering such a program.

Adapting to Extreme Heat Events: Guidelines for Assessing Health Vulnerability

This document, Adapting to Extreme Heat Events: Guidelines for Assessing Health Vulnerability (the Guidelines), addresses the need for information on considerations specific to the assessment of vulnerability to the health impacts of extreme heat events. The stakeholders and assessment steps relevant to the investigation of heat-health vulnerabilities in Canadian communities are presented along with examples of method application and information on key challenges and limitations.

Developing a Geospatial Decision Support System to Address Extreme Heat and the Urban Heat Island Effect in the Greater Toronto Area (2008)

To address the growing threat of extreme heat events to the population of Toronto, Ontario, the City partnered with the Clean Air Partnership, the GTA Clean Air Council and Natural Resources Canada with the end goal of developing a GIS-based decision support tool for decisionmakers. CAP conducted a user needs study to assess current GIS capacity of end users; identify the need for GIS based decision support with regard to heat-related decisionmaking; identify the technology, policies, data and services that would be required to address extreme heat within the City; and assess the Canadian Geospatial Data Inventory (CGDI) to understand its potential use for the tool.

The case study explores the process and results of the User Needs Assessments and makes recommendations for next steps that the City can pursue to establish the GIS-based decision support tool and integrate it into health and planning decisionmaking processes.

Impacts of Climate Change on Public Health

Date of publication unknown

Climate Change in the Great Lakes region could lead to a wide range of health effects related to heat, air quality, pollution, and disease vectors. In general, climate change will likely magnify existing health risks associated with air quality and water pollution. A publication from GLISA and Huron River Watershed Council.