Air quality guidance

On this page

    Environment Canada may from time to time issue information about high levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires or other situations.

    Exposure to air pollutants, like smoke, can cause a range of symptoms including irritated eyes, increased mucus production, coughing and difficulty breathing. Even at low concentrations, wildfire smoke can be harmful to people’s health.

    Staying informed

    Environment and Climate Change Canada's Alerts webpage provides information and updates about alerts currently in effect for Toronto.

    The Government of Canada’s Air Quality Health Index webpage provides the latest conditions and forecasts related to air quality, as well as information about related health risks.

    Did you know you can set custom Air Quality Health Index notifications in the WeatherCAN smartphone app? To quickly set them up to help protect yourself, visit the Environment Canada website for instructions.

    Watch the video to learn more about custom Air Quality Health Index notifications in the WeatherCAN smartphone app.

    Keeping your windows closed

    Toronto Public Health is encouraging everyone in Toronto to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People should be aware of their sensitivity to air pollution and take appropriate measures to protect their health.

    Depending on the alert level, authorities may recommend that windows should be kept closed if the temperature is comfortable. In that case, those with air conditioning are encouraged to use it and, if possible, set HVAC systems to recirculate air and use HEPA air filters.

    People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

    Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms.

    Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke.