Haligonians try to stay cool as weather heats up
COW BAY, N.S. -- The first day of summer delivered full-fledged heat on Saturday. With heat warnings in effect for most of the Maritimes, Halifax Regional Municipality was one of many regions experiencing temperatures that surpassed 30 degrees. While all Haligonians experienced the heat – their levels of enjoyment varied.
Beaches, such as Rainbow Haven in Cow Bay, N.S., were busy spots for those seeking a way to cool off on the unusually hot day.
"We came early to the beach today to get away from the really hot afternoon sun," said beachgoer, Ghislain Saulnier, who visited in the morning before temperatures became too hot.
Meanwhile, others were thankful to catch some sunny rays.
"In the middle of the winter, when everything was going on, I thought 'will I ever get to the beach this summer?'" said beachgoer, Andrea Osmond. "I'm super excited to be here."
Despite large crowds at the beach, most visitors were practicing physical distancing – respecting Nova Scotia's COVID-19 protocol.
However, the sun-drenched Saturday wasn't a day at the beach for everyone.
For employees at a warehouse in Halifax, it was business as usual – despite the oppressive heat.
"Hard labour – we're at that warehouse, loading customers up, loading wood, driving forklifts in the heat," said one employee. "It's hot man – it can be brutal."
In an attempt to beat the heat, the employees took a break to visit a local ice cream businesses; however, even the ice cream business was having trouble staying cool.
"We installed A.C. yesterday because we couldn't be there inside. It was so hot – 42 degrees inside," said Sweet Ideas owner, Irina Gaevsky, whose food truck has been unbearably hot. "So, we hope it will bring the people to us today to try our cool treats."
Not surprisingly, air conditioners were a hot commodity at hardware stores.
"Fans and air conditioners are the number one thing," says Home Hardware manager, Tina Chiasson of recent best-sellers. "Garden hoses, lawn sprinklers – anything to make things wet or cool down."
With the hot temperatures coinciding with an international health pandemic, Chiasson says those stuck at home are looking for products to keep them cool and busy.
"Between the beach and park, and being at home, they've made their gardens their havens," says Chiasson. "Now, they want air conditioners to stay cool inside."
Unfortunately, for those without a place to call home, enduring hot summer months can be just as tough as living through frigid winters – making services offered by local shelters especially important.
"In the winter, those who are homeless find it hard to get out; but in the summer, it's easier to get around, so our numbers tend to get much higher," says Souls Harbour Rescue Mission chief thankfulness officer, Gregory Martell. "We are serving, right now, an average of 150-200 people daily."
While the dining room and shelter is closed due to COVID-19 regulations, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission continues to hand out meals – with an emphasis on keeping guests hydrated.
"We provide them with extra water and juice," says Martell. "We like to make sure our guests are well hydrated."
Meanwhile, heat warnings are expected to remain in effect across the Maritimes for Sunday as well, as high temperatures continue. Despite a slight evening breeze on Saturday, it seems Maritimers have another hot day to anticipate.