Hot hot hot

During the second week of July 1936, Toronto was hotter than it had ever been before or has ever been since. According to the Environment Canada records, the temperature reached 40.6C on July 8, 9, and 10.

Naturally, the heat was the leading topic in the Toronto Daily Star for July 10 1936:


By July 10, 22 people had died in Ontario. The temperature had reached 103.7F by the time the Daily Star went to press (it was an evening paper at the time).

In Hamilton, it was even worse, as the temperature peaked at 108F, and factories were forced to cut back or shut down to protect their workers:


Five cities in Ontario topped 100F (assuming they got Brantford right, which was listed at both 99F and 100F). And several cities in the United States also hit three digits, and some western Canada cities pushed into the 90s:


It was so hot that:

  • Touching a cold bottle could cause it to shatter in a person’s hand.
  • Bees became homeless when wax from honeycombs melted and sealed the entrance to their hives.
  • Railway workers had to wear gloves to be able to handle steel rails.
  • And, yes, someone was able to fry eggs and bacon:


The Star’s editorial page listed the previous days that had gone over 100F since 1911. There hadn’t been many:


Naturally, advertisers were eager to offer suggestions on how to deal with the heat. Movie theatres that were air-conditioned proudly advertised the fact. And the makers of Eno’s Fruit Salt offered this suggestion for “coolth”:


The overnight low for July 10 was 25.6C, which was the highest overnight low temperature of the heat wave. This meant that the July 11 Toronto Daily Star headline featured more grim heat-related news:


The heat wave continued for several more days after this, with the highs for the next six days being 35.6C, 33.3C, 37.8C, 33.3C, 30.6C, and 31.1C. July 29 would have seemed blissfully cool, as the high that day was only 20C.

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