CAO Bookings

UPDATE. These pages updated on 5 April 2022.

The E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory provides Toronto Centre Members with a fully equipped observing facility that offers clear dark skies, excellent accommodations, a 16" Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope for visual astronomy, a guided 8" RC Telescope for astrophotography, red-lit warm rooms, as well as sheltered facilities where members can operate their own equipment if they so choose.

CAO is normally a communal living facility where people live together and share the responsibilities of the upkeep of the house and the property. However, access to all indoor areas has been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All persons visiting or staying at the CAO MUST abide by communal living rules as set out below.




 The Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) requires that all members and their immediate family visiting the facility be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 whether it be for in-house, camping or day use visits.  “Fully vaccinated” means you have received a minimum of two doses of a Government of Canada approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen) and your second dose was a minimum of 14 days ago.  At this time, exemptions will only be granted for children under 5 years of age or those individuals with medical exemptions provided by their physician.

 Once a CAO Booking Request has been submitted, the CAO Bookings Co-ordinator will set up a Zoom call with the member to verify the vaccination documents for all individuals who plan on visiting the CAO.  This can be in the form of a vaccine passport on your cell phone or a printed certificate (with QR code) either of which are to be held up to the member’s camera during the Zoom call in a readable manner for the CAO Bookings Co-ordinator.  Government issued photo ID will not be required.

Please note that members and their immediate family will only have to show their vaccine documentation for their first booking.  We will not be asking members and their immediate family to do this with each successive booking.  The RASC Toronto Centre will not use, share, keep or disclose any of the information provided on the Zoom calls except to record that the member’s vaccination status has been verified.

 Proof of vaccination is required before a CAO Booking Request will be confirmed. 

 We thank you for your cooperation as we continue to protect the health and safety of our members and their families who visit the CAO.

COVID-19 restrictions: See the CAO COVID-19 Procedures.

CAO will be reopened in stages, following the lead of the Province of Ontario. Members are required to agree to and sign a waiver releasing RASC-TC from any and all liability to any member or family member arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an Attestation of Health immediately prior to arrival at CAO. All documents are located in the CAO COVID-19 Procedures link on the website.

Stage 2B is the second reopening stage and will feature the following conditions:

·        Access to CAO facilities is available only to members and their families generally in a non-communal fashion; where no equipment is shared in the house nor in member-accessible observatories. According to the current provincial guidelines, total site occupancy is limited to a maximum of 10 bookings comprising up to 25 individuals including persons booked into the house, tent campers, RV campers and day use persons.

·        The upstairs washroom and all upstairs bedrooms are for the exclusive use of those persons who have confirmed bookings for the upstairs bedrooms. The current maximum occupancy of any individual upstairs bedroom is two persons. Note that during the current reopening plan, a one-hour vacancy period between bookings is required for all upstairs and downstairs bedrooms.

·        All users of CAO may access the downstairs washroom facilities, both upstairs and downstairs kitchen areas and must comply with specified cleaning procedures between users of different families. Users must wear masks to and from the downstairs bathroom and set its exhaust fan to run.

·        A maximum of three persons while masked may use any given communal area space at a time.

·        The main refrigerator and the basement mini-refrigerator may be used by anyone provided their foodstuffs are bagged and the bag is sanitized before placing inside the refrigerator.

·        Portable on-site loaner telescopes may be used provided they are appropriately sanitized after each use.

·        The GBO and SLO observatories may be used by a qualified operator, with only one member (including family) permitted per night. The GBO and SLO equipment and observatories must be fully cleaned and disinfected after each use. Note that only alcohol-based cleaners may be used on eyepieces and telescope equipment.

·        Observing pad and THO use is permitted with physical distancing and mandatory mask-wearing if other members are present within two-metres. Obey the physical distancing markings on the observing pad and the four telescopes maximum.


Note that short duration access through the house for security alarm, water system, and access to emergency equipment such as fire and first aid equipment is permitted by all who attend. Please wear a mask if you must enter another’s living space.


Remember that you must bring all of your own supply of food, drinks, personal toiletries, kitchen washcloths and dish towels, bedding, pillow and towels. Cleaners and disinfectants including sponges and rags are available on-site.


If a member has never previously stayed overnight at the CAO, then her/his first overnight visit to CAO must be during a period when the facility is staffed by either a CAO supervisor or another qualified member who is able and willing to take responsibility for the safety and security of the facility and its occupants. In order for a member to get a key and independent access to the CAO for a subsequent visit when it is not staffed by a CAO supervisor, the member must first have received personal instruction from a CAO supervisor on the proper procedures for opening/closing the house, operation of the furnace, water system and other safety items.



To access the following members only sub-categories, please click on this link (you will need your National RASC website login information):

§  CAO Calendar

§  CAO Bookings Form. Once you have submitted a form, look for an automated email response regarding your pending reservation. Later, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation from the CAO bookings coordinator.

§  Buy Annual CAO Pass

§  CAO Covid-19 Procedures/Waiver & Attestation Documents

§  CAO Usage Policy

§  CAO Directions

§  SLO Requirements

§  SLO Documents

§  SLO Calendar