The last time it was this cold in Guelph, Ont., on Feb. 13, Wilfrid Laurier was Canada's prime minister.

On Friday, the city tied a 116-year-old record with a temperature of -28.9 C. The frigid temperature matched a record set back on Feb. 13, 1899.

Bitterly cold Arctic air has been sweeping across the province of late.

In Kitchener, a temperature of -29.1 C broke a nearly 20-year record, shattering the previous low on Feb. 13, 1997 of -23.1 C. The area remains under a special weather statement from Environment Canada.

The wind chill is cold enough to damage exposed skin in 10 to 30 minutes.

Many people in the Kitchener are opting to call a cab in order to avoid time spent outside in the bitter cold.

City Cabs says they've already received 1,000 calls in the area since 6 a.m. Friday morning.

"It has been nuts today," said Barb Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the cab company, told CTV Kitchener.

"It's freezing out there … so a lot of people, instead of doing their usual walk, will take a cab where they need to go," she added.

Environment Canada says that the Kitchener-Waterloo area will experience a temporary reprieve tonight as temperatures will return to "near-normal values" for this time of year.

However, the weather authority expects another blast of Arctic air to sweep through southern Ontario on Saturday. It warns that temperatures could reach "warning levels" across the region Saturday and extreme cold warnings may be issued.


In Toronto, the temperature dropped to -23 C early Friday morning, with Environment Canada estimating that it felt more like a frosty -31 with the wind chill.

The city is under a special weather statement from Environment Canada, and Toronto's Medical Officer of Health issued an extreme cold weather alert on Thursday, which has yet to be lifted.

Residents have been asked to check up on vulnerable community members including the homeless, outdoor workers, elderly, infants and people with medical conditions.

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning on Thursday, but it was dropped on Friday morning.

Temperatures are expected to rise on Saturday morning, but Environment Canada says they will likely drop again Saturday afternoon and reach near -20 C or below by Sunday morning.

The average temperature for this time of year is between -1 and -8 C.


In the nation's capital, an extreme cold warning was lifted on Friday afternoon.

The warning was issued on Thursday, and was followed by nearly 24 hours of freezing conditions.

Temperatures on Friday morning felt like -40 C in places with the wind chill.

Ottawa's frostbite warning has been downgraded to an advisory, and temperatures are expected to rise to a high of -9 on Saturday.

With a report from CTV Kitchener and files from CTV Toronto and CTV Ottawa