Welcome to Winter! Part 2: How to be Winter Safe

January 21, 2012 | Debby

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Now that you know of all the great things that can be done during the winter season in Toronto, it’s important to understand some of the risks and dangers of colder weather.

With temperatures in Canada dropping, there are a few tips that are important to know in order to have a fun and safe winter.

With all the snow and ice on the roads, car maintenance and safe driving become crucial for safety reasons.

Drivers are encouraged to prepare their vehicles by getting a winter-ready check-up. It’s always advised to bring your vehicle into an automotive shop to get a complete check to the car including battery, ignition system, lights, brakes, and tires in case anything may need replacing.

            Car-tire    Vehicle-snow
            [Photo Credit: Ontario Ministry of Transportation]

This also means having proper snow tires to grip the icy roads, having sufficient windshield washer fluid and proper brushes to clear off any ice and snow from obstructed views are important to have ready.

Another safety tip for drivers to consider is having a winter survival kit ready, in the car, for any unpredicted situations. Find items in a recommended kit here.

                            [Photo Credit: Ontario Ministry of Transportation]

Lastly, with winter driving it’s always safest to be alert and drive carefully!


Another factor to consider in the winter is home maintenance. With colder temperatures outside, it’s important to eliminate drafts coming into the home by insulating your windows and doors. In the average home, heat can escape through drafts and openings, so proper insulation and weatherproofing techniques can help save money and protect the home from the cold.

 Toronto Public Library also has many recommended websites for home maintenance, including insulation, weather proofing, and home care.

        Weatherproofing by Fox Chapel Publishing      Popular mechanics home how-to. Weatherproofing and insulation by Albert Jackson      Quick guide insulation & ventilation by Jerry Germer

Check out some of the books that your library has on weatherproofing and making your home warm, dry, and safe from the elements of winter. For even more books, visit the Toronto Public Library catalogue!

Finally, it’s important to understand that with the winter season, temperatures will drop to averages of -8 degrees Celsius with possible extreme cold alerts of -15 degrees Celsius or lower. Extreme weather conditions, such as ice storms, heavy snow, freezing rain, or blizzards may also be forecasted, so it’s always a good habit to check the local weather reports before going out.

This also means that winter season is “cold and flu season,” the time of year when people are prone to developing cold and influenza illnesses. To find out how to treat these symptoms, see Body and Health Canada’s Fighting Cold and Flu Season or click into one of our Health databases with your library card.

You can also browse through the many books that the library offers to keep you and your family healthy all year long.

 The good doctor's guide to colds and flu by Neil Schachter  100 questions & answers about influenza  by Delthia Ricks Ah-choo The uncommon life of your common cold by Jennifer Ackerman  The doctors book of home remedies for colds and flu incredible tips to get you on your feet fast, from the leading experts by Mary Kittel

Click onto Toronto Public Library's Health and Wellness Blog to find out more about Flu season.

There are many things you can do to have an enjoyable and safe winter season in Canada. Visit your local library for a warm and relaxing day or spend a day outside and use extra precaution when the weather is cold!

Don't forget to check out part 1 of our blog in the same series: Welcome to Winter! Part 1: How to Fight the Winter Blues

What's one tip you would share to someone new to Canada's winter season?