CAO 2017 Fall Work Party - October 14, 2017

2016 Fall Work Party by G. Seabrook
Friday, October 13, 2017 - 5:00pm to Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 12:00pm

With the hot summer temperatures that we’re enjoying right now, it’s hard to imagine that winter is just around the corner and it’s time once again to plan for the Fall Work Party at the Toronto Centre’s E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO). We are looking for volunteers from the Toronto Centre to help out in this annual event when all work party volunteers will have their facility usage fees waived for the weekend, and we will feed and water you from Saturday morning breakfast through to Sunday lunch inclusive. The work party is scheduled for Saturday, October 14 but most volunteers will show up on Friday night and stay until around noon on Sunday.

For those of you who may be new to the Toronto Centre and/or the CAO, Toronto Centre volunteers manage and maintain for the benefit of members the three-bedroom fully-furnished house along with its various observatories and outbuildings situated on 51 acres of the Niagara escarpment in a dark sky location in the town of The Blue Mountains near Thornbury/Collingwood. Although the facility is open year-round, each fall we complete some standard winterizing projects, clean-up, and tackle some special projects that are aimed at continually improving the facility for astronomical use. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know your fellow members better by spending a weekend with them having fun working side-by-side and enjoying meals together. There are a variety of jobs and projects to be undertaken during the work party, and instructions on how to complete them safely will be provided so don’t worry if you think you don’t have the knowledge or skills necessary – you will gain those skills over the weekend. We are also fortunate this year that the work party is scheduled on a 3rd Quarter Moon weekend and we can (clear skies permitting) expect some great conditions for observing or imaging, so bring your astro-gear with you as well. If you don’t have your own equipment or choose not to bring it, we have a number of telescopes (reflectors, refractors, SCT etc.) on-site that members can use while there, and we will be opening up the Geoff Brown Observatory (GBO) and running sky tours through the C14 (14” SCT) housed within it.

If you are interested in helping out your Centre at the work party, you need to book your spot in advance through the regular CAO booking form at and indicate in the comments section that you are volunteering for the Fall Work Party. This is important as we need to plan in advance for sufficient food and drinks for our volunteers. You will need to log into the Members Only section of our website with your National ID and password in order to get to the booking form. Please read the “packing list” part of the bookings area at as a reminder of what to bring. The only exception would be the Centre will provide all the meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages from Saturday morning to Sunday noon (five meals plus snacks). Also, please ensure that you receive a confirmation of your booking from Lora Chow, the CAO Bookings Coordinator.

If you are interested in going up to the CAO during the work party weekend but prefer not to participate in the work party, that’s ok as well but be advised that we always fill up all the bed spaces within the house with volunteers at our work parties so camping on the property may be your best bet.

Our work parties are always fun events, and I hope many of you will decide to participate. The CAO management committee thanks you in advance for your support.