With Edmonton locked in a punishing heat wave, residents are trying anything, from swamp coolers to peppermint oil, to stay cool. 

Some residents are sticking to tried and true cool off methods. Dorothy Ritz says, “Soak your feet in cool water.” Nadine Riopel recommends retreating to the basement, and Maggie Glasgow opted to invest in window air conditioning she purchased through a neighbour. 

Hydrating and taking cool showers are popular with some residents, while other people use less conventional strategies. 

Maria Galea recommends applying peppermint oil on your neck. “It really helps!” she says. Be sure to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil before applying it to your skin. Applying essential oils directly to your skin can irritate it.

Ali Hammington made herself a swamp cooler to beat the heat. All you need is a bucket of ice and a fan. Set the fan behind the ice and enjoy your cost-effective DIY air conditioning. 

Ali Hammington’s swamp cooler. | Ali Hammington 

Rebecca Lippiatt has gone an even less traditional route. “I had all these little [ice packs] I was going to throw out and then realized they were in fact useful!” she says. Ice packs might just become the hottest new heat wave accessory. Tuck them in socks, waistbands, and more!

And if you’re tired of being stuck in the basement, find cool places to be outdoors. Victoria Stevens says, “I’m hanging out at the Eastwood spray park.” The Alberta Avenue (9210 118 Ave), Eastwood (11803 86 St), Elmwood Park (12505 75 Street), Spruce Avenue (10240 115 Ave), and Westwood Park (12139 105 St) spray parks are all open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Bring your sunscreen, a few towels, and enjoy the day. 

The heat wave is set to last until Friday, July 2. So far, these past five days are in line to become some of the hottest days in Edmonton’s history. 

A heat dome over Western Canada and the United States causes temperatures to reach 38 degrees Celsius in Edmonton. | Pixabay

The blistering temperatures are caused by a heat dome, which are essentially ridges of high pressure acting as a lid to the slow cooker that Edmonton has become. High temperatures are spreading across Western Canada and into the United States. 

It is difficult to attribute specific weather events to climate change, but more likely than not, climate change is playing a role in causing these sweltering temperatures. Simon Donner, a climate scientist and professor at the University of British Columbia, tweeted on June 28 that “this heatwave is an example of weather we expect to see become much more common, unless we seriously cut GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.” 

In the meantime, stay safe, try to keep cool, and use this heat as an excuse to load up on ice cream.