COVID-19 Announcement

As you are no doubt aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of most public institutions and many businesses. The closure of the Ontario Science Centre and the David Dunlap Observatory until at least 6 April 2020 means that all of the activities we planned to conduct at these locations are cancelled.

Council held a Zoom meeting on the evening of 16 March to discuss what the Toronto Centre will do over the next few months. Our priority is the continued health and safety of members and their families. We are following the recommendations of the public health authorities and the Health Canada guidelines with regard to preventing exposure to COVID-19.

Although the Recreational Astronomy Night meeting of 25 March is cancelled, Council would like to hold a virtual Lecture Meeting on the evening of 15 April. Our speaker is long-time member Dr. Michael De Robertis of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University. We will be doing a live stream of Dr. De Robertis’ presentation. More information will be available on the Toronto Centre website.

All education and public outreach activities are suspended for at least the next 30 days. All observing sessions (solar observing, City Star Party and Dark Sky Star Party) are suspended until further notice.

The E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) will be closed until further notice. All scheduled outreach activity at the CAO is suspended until at least 15 May. The Spring Work Party will only deal with necessary maintenance work, and therefore only a small group of members will be invited to participate. Annual passholders and MODL and locker lessees will be contacted by the CAO Committee regarding access and use of the CAO.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at president@rascto.ca.

The pandemic presents many challenges to a volunteer-based charity like the RASC Toronto Centre. We hope to resume our public and members-only activities as soon as possible. I hope you will use electronic and other means to network with your fellow members and enjoy the night skies while we wait for the state of emergency to be lifted. In the meantime, please heed the advice given by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health Ontario and be safe.

B. Ralph Chou
President