The E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory (or CAO) is one of the benefits of membership with the RASC Toronto Centre, available to all of our members. Many people, visual astronomers and astrophotographers, arrive on Friday after work and spend the weekend. They enjoy time out of the city with friends they've met in the Toronto Centre. Located between the Blue Mountains and Beaver Valley, the site offers very dark skies with comfortable amenities.
The house has 3 bedrooms, additional sleeping facilities, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and internet access. Red lighting is used throughout the facility at night to help keep everyone’s eyes dark adapted. The building's accessible features including a ramp and wheelchair-friendly picnic tables. Some members prefer to camp on-site. In the warmer months, you can spot tents and camper trailers.
The Geoff Brown Observatory (GBO) features a roll-off roof. This is our main observatory and has a research grade telescope and mount which members may use when a supervisor is on duty. There's lots of extra room in the observatory for members to set up their own telescopes. Pop into the "warm room" to chat, dodge the mosquitoes, or warm your toes. Members can have the supervisor set up the CCD or MallinCam camera or attach their own camera to any scope.
There is a large Observing Pad with AC power for members bringing their own telescopes or binoculars. Many astronomers will gather here for a fun, friendly, and social evening. Everyone is happy to share views from their telescopes. Members help each other with questions and technical gremlins. Beginner astronomers get tips and advice from our knowledgeable members and the site supervisor.
Members are asked to book their visit to the CAO noting their arrival and departure dates and number of people in their party. The reservation form is available in our members-only area (use your RASC National login information). See the bookings page for more information and modest fees. The CAO bookings coordinator will contact you with a formal confirmation of your reservation.