CAO Bookings

UPDATE. These pages updated on 12 July 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.



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 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. Waiver and Attestation documents will be provided by the CAO Bookings Coordinator once a booking has been confirmed.


Stage 2C is the third reopening stage and will feature the following conditions:

·          Access to CAO facilities is available only to members, their families and their guests generally in a modified communal fashion. According to the current provincial guidelines, total site occupancy is limited to a maximum of 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.

·          All users of CAO may access the downstairs washroom facilities, both upstairs and downstairs kitchen areas and must comply with regular cleaning procedures. 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 all persons on site with a confirmed booking.

·          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 their family and guests) permitted per night. Eyepieces 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 persons on the site. Please wear a mask if you must enter another’s living space.


Remember that you must bring all your own food, drinks, personal toiletries, kitchen washcloths and dish towels, bedding, pillow and bath towels. Cleaning supplies are available on-site.


If a member has never previously stayed overnight at the CAO, then their 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. For a member to get a key and independent access to the CAO during 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 and 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

·       Buy Annual CAO Pass

·       CAO Covid-19 Procedures

·       CAO Usage Policy

·       CAO Directions

·       SLO Requirements

·       SLO Documents

·       SLO Calendar