Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Toronto

Developed by the City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, this report provides an overview of potential health impacts identified as related to extreme weather events from climate change including extreme heat, rainfall and flooding. The report also describes the related disruption of core services and other vulnerabilities, and offers some options for increasing resilience to climate and health impacts in Toronto. 

The focal health impacts addressed include: 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. Increases in extreme weather could also exacerbate indirect health impacts including food security, social networks, employment status, quality of housing, income and costs of recovery, and access to core services including electricity, transportation, and telecommunications. 

The report describes “disparities in health status,” varied levels of exposure, and how the ability of some groups to cope with extreme weather events may be especially limited. Some people are more likely to experience adverse impacts either because they are more likely to be exposed to the health risk, or because they are less likely to be able to cope with the fallout of an extreme weather event.


Actions to “green” Toronto are mentioned with regard to reducing the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, reduce runoff, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The report also suggests that agencies should be able to maintain more efficient, effective service following an extreme weather event.


Publication Date: October 21, 2013

Related Organizations:

  • City of Toronto; Ontario, Canada


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment


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