CAO Bookings

UPDATE 12JULY2020: CAO CONTINUES CLOSED TO MEMBERS DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS  AS PLACED BY THE PROVINCE AND RASC-TC COUNCIL.

NO BOOKINGS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME.  CHECK BACK LATER, OR WATCH THE FORUM FOR UPDATES.

RASC-TC President will announce CAO reopening shortly, once safe conditions are established.

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 a sheltered facilities where members can operate their own equipment if they so choose. 

CAO is a communal living facility where people live together and share the responsibilities of the upkeep of the house and the property. All persons visiting or staying at the CAO MUST abide by communal living rules as set out below. 

COVID-19 restrictions:

CAO will be re-opened in stages, following the lead of the Province of Ontario. Date of re-open will be announced by the President. Additional instructions for use of facilites will follow once reopen date is announced.  Members will be required to agree to a waiver that releases RASC-TC of any and all liability from any consequence to any member or family member from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stage 2A will be the first re-open stage and will feature the following;

●     Access to CAO facilities by member(s)/families only in a non-communal fashion, where no piece of equipment is shared on the inside of the house, nor inside the member accessible observatories. Occupancy is limited to 4 members/families:

○     1 member(s)/families upstairs, with access to the upstairs washroom, bedrooms, and kitchen. Access downstairs is not permitted to these members.

○     1 member(s)/families downstairs, with access to the downstairs washroom and (new!) satellite kitchenette. These members will not be permitted to sleep in the house, and will camp in a tent or have an independent camper. Access upstairs is not permitted to these members.

○     2 member(s)/families of independent campers, RV or tent. Access to the house and facilities (both upstairs and downstairs) is not permitted to these members.

○     Independent campers are those who make no use of CAO facilities except for BBQ, power connection, and outside water temporary connection. Toilet must be a port-a-potty that you bring for use in your tent, or a toilet in your RV. Access to the house and facilities (both upstairs and downstairs, including washrooms and kitchens) is not permitted to these members.

●     Portable loaner telescopes are not permitted to be used in this time frame.

●     The GBO or SLO observatories may be used by a qualified operator, one person per night and fully cleaned and disinfected after each use. Note that only alcohol based cleaners should be used on eyepieces and telescope equipment. 

●     Observing pad and THO use is permitted with physical distancing and mandatory wearing of a mask. Obey the physical distancing markings on the observing pad, 4 telescopes maximum.

●     Lawn-based observing more than 10m from the observing pad is permitted without a mask.

●     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.

1. Guests of members are not permitted in Stage 2A reopen.

2. Remove footwear upon entering the house.

3. Smoking is not permitted inside any of the buildings.

4. Pets are not permitted in the house.

5.  Additional cleaning requirements will be necessary for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. Details will follow shortly.

6. For the duration of the Coivd-19 pandemic, ALL spices, cooking oil/vinegars, coffee, tea, hot chocolate as well as condiments on the fridge door for everyone will NOT be available. Members must not leave any personal items, including food, at CAO.  

7. For the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, all garbage receptacles (organic, recycling or landfill) are CLOSED. Members will be required to remove all waste and recycle at the end of their stay.

8. Be respectful of noise levels at night when others have gone to bed, and in the morning when others are still sleeping.  Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.

9. Prior to your departure, you must clean the CAO facilites you occupied per the Covid-19 pandemic cleaning instructions. 

10. Take all of your leftover food in the fridge/freezer/table home with you.

To make a reservation, please complete this form (you will need your National RASC website login information). Look for an automated email response regarding your pending reservation. Later, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation from the CAO bookings coordinator. 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.

Please note that during the winter months, the CAO is not accessible by car or 4x4 vehicle. Members must approach from the east (winter driving directions, map & parking pass will be emailed to you when your booking is confirmed), park at the side of the road and walk approximately 700 metres down a steep snowmobile trail with all your gear.

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

SUPERVISORS WILL NOT BE ON DUTY FOR THE DURATION OF STAGE 2A REOPEN.