City offers locations for relief from wildfire smoke

Kingston City Hall, normally clearly visible from Fort Henry Hill, is barely perceptible through the smoke on Tuesday, Jun. 6, 2023. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

With wildfire smoke continuing to envelop the Kingston area and much of eastern Ontario, the City of Kingston and community partners have made a number of locations available for community members to escape the very poor outdoor air quality.

The region has been under a Special Air Quality Statement from Environment Canada since Monday morning, advising that high levels of air pollution have developed due to smoke from forest fires in Quebec and northeastern Ontario. Currently, Kingston is showing the highest level of air pollution in the province, with local conditions considered “Hazardous” according to Air Quality Ontario.

The locations and their hours of operation are noted below, along with contact information:

INVISTA Centre – 1350 Gardiners Rd.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Phone: 613-544-4442, ext. 1800

Kingston East Community Centre – 779 Highway 15
Hours:
Monday – Fri 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sat/Sun. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Phone: 613-546-4291, ext. 1994

Calvin Park Branch – 88 Wright Crescent
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-549-8888

Isabel Turner Branch – 935 Gardiners Road
Hours:
Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-549-8888

Central Branch – 130 Johnson Street
Hours:
Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-549-8888

Pittsburgh Branch – 80 Gore Road
Hours:
Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-549-8888

Rideau Heights Branch – 85 MacCauley Street
Hours:
Monday & Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-549-8888

Rideau Heights Community Centre – 85 MacCauley Street
Hours:
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, 8:30 a.m – 5 p.m.
Phone: 613-546-4291, ext. 1900

Housing & Social Services – 362 Montreal Street
Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 613-546-2695

Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) told Kingstonist that the Central and Isabel Turner Branches are the best options for library visitors looking to avoid the current poor outdoor air quality by visiting a library branch.

“While our other branches remain safe and comfortable, the Central and Isabel Turner Branches’ HVAC systems are constructed to minimize outside air without affecting the interior building temperature,” the library stated.

Read more about visiting KFPL to avoid poor outdoor air quality on their website.

The Town of Greater Napanee has also informed the community that the Strathcona Paper Centre (16 McPherson Drive) will be open today until 9 p.m. for members of the public that don’t have access to an indoor location for relief from the smoke. Please enter the building through the main entrance.

The Napanee Library (25 River Road) is also open today until 8 p.m. as a location for relief from the smoke.

For those concerned about the impacts of wildfire smoke on their overall health, KFL&A Public Health has provided some useful information.

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