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CAO 2016 Spring Work Party

CAO House

UPDATE: 2016-05-26

Thanks to all the members who have volunteered for the Spring Work Party at the CAO. We are happy to report on the overwhelming offers to help from our membership and now the house is completely filled up (with overflow people camping as well), so we cannot accept any additional volunteers for this work party. Please keep an eye out for an announcement about a Star-B-Que to be held at the CAO in July, and mark your calendars for the Fall Work Party which is currently scheduled for the weekend of October 14 - 16, 2016


Mark your calendar! The Spring Work Party at the Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) on Blue Mountain is scheduled for Saturday 28 May 2016.

At the spring event, there are many maintenance and seasonal activities to ready the facility. This includes storm window removal, lawn maintenance, setting out picnic tables, the BBQ, garden hose, and canopy, reconfiguring the security system for summer, inspecting the generator, tidying the garage, etc.  

And then there are the tasks and jobs to improve our observatory and dwelling and other structures. We would like to make various improvements in the Geoff Brown Observatory as well as the Tony Horvatin Observatory, continue work in the White Light Lounge, continue shoring the accessibility ramp, provide more electrical outlets in the Orion room, and repair the bath tub drain.

There will be big and little jobs to do both inside and outside of the buildings. Different jobs require different skills and knowledge. Don't worry if you're not sure what to do. We will help and train and coach. Work parties are a fun way to pick up some new abilities. Some tasks don't require any specialised skills.

All meals and drinks will be provided to volunteers starting from Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch and all CAO user fees are waived. Many volunteers arrive Friday night to socialise, observe (weather permitting), and get settled in. The Work Party proper starts early Saturday and usually wraps up mid-day Sunday. If you can only make it for part of that time, we are still happy to have you.

If you would like to help, please register in advance. Complete the CAO bookings form (RASC national ID and password required). In the comments section state “Work Party Volunteer.” We need all volunteers to book so we know how much food to prepare and how many beds are needed. If this will be your first visit, see the handy CAO packing list and directions page for more information.

Work Parties are a great way to meet more RASC members, learn about the amazing CAO if you've never been, help improve and maintain the CAO, learn new skills, and, if we get lucky with the weather, squeeze in a bit of observing in a very dark sky environment! What more could you want? Free food? We've got that too!

Thank you in advance for your assistance. The CAO operates solely on the time, energy, and dedication of our volunteers. Thank you for your continued support in maintaining the Toronto Centres’s private observatory.

Contact Tony Horvatin (tony.horvatin AT or Blake Nancarrow (blaken AT if you have any questions.