Staying Healthy and Safe During Extreme Cold

When the temperature drops to -15 Celsius and below or feels like -20 Celsius with the wind chill, Niagara Region will expand shelter services to provide relief and stay healthy during extreme cold.  

Visit Environment Canada for current weather conditions and local forecasts. 

Daytime Cold Weather Relief 

Anyone seeking relief from the cold is welcome to keep warm at the following Township of West Lincoln and West Lincoln Public Library facilities during regular business hours. (These are not emergency shelters with social services. Anyone seeking overnight shelter should call 2-1-1 to be connected to the Niagara Assertive Outreach Team.)

Township of West Lincoln Facilities

West Lincoln Community Centre

177 West Street, Smithville

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

West Lincoln Public Library Branches

  • Smithville Library Branch (177 West Street)
  • Caistorville Library Branch (9549 York Street)
  • Wellandport Library Branch (5042 Canborough Road)

Please visit for hours of operation.

Social Supports in West Lincoln & Niagara

Call 211 Ontario to:

  • Connect with someone from the Niagara Assertive Street Outreach team
  • Get housing and homelessness resources in Niagara
  • Answer questions or concerns about someone experiencing unsheltered homelessness during cold weather

Community Care of West Lincoln

2660 Industrial Park Rd.

Smithville ON L0R 2A0


Food Bank & Thrift Store: (905) 957-5882

Emergency Contacts

Police & Ambulance

9-1-1  (emergency only)

Protect yourself during cold weather

During cold weather, everyone is at risk, but those most at risk of developing a cold-related illness include infants and children, seniors, people living in poverty or without shelter, and people who work or exercise outdoors. To protect yourself:

  • Stay in a heated building
  • Dress appropriately by wearing a hat and covering exposed skin
  • Wear multiple clothing layers
  • Keep children indoors if the temperature falls below -25 degrees Celsius
  • Check on neighbours who are at risk
  • Take shelter from the wind
  • Drink warm fluids but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks
  • Limit time sitting by moving around
  • Use caution when shovelling snow especially those with medical conditions
  • Evaluate and review successes

Health effects during extreme cold temperatures

There are two major health risks of extreme cold.

  • Symptoms include white / grayish area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy with numbness
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • In extreme cold weather, exposed skin can become frostbitten in 30 seconds


  • Symptoms / signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling or uncoordinated movements, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness