Solar Eclipse April 8, 2024
- Date and Timeline of Eclipse
- Path of Total Eclipse
- Toronto Area Events
- Nearby Locations within the Path of Totality
- How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse
- Traffic Travel Warning
- Learn More
Date and Timeline
Eclipses occur about every 18 months somewhere in the world, but it is rare to have a total solar eclipse viewable near the Toronto region. April 8, 2024, will be the next total eclipse to be viewed in North America. The last total eclipse to grace the skies of North America was August 21, 2017, and was viewed as a 70% partial in Toronto.
The timeline of the upcoming eclipse will vary depending on your location. Toronto will be about 7 km outside the path of totality which means that it will be viewed as a 99% partial eclipse, which is still quite impressive. In Toronto, the eclipse will begin at 2:05 PM and reach a maximum coverage (99%) at about 3:20 PM, then end at 4:41 PM. However, if you would like to experience a total eclipse you don’t have to travel very far to be inside the path of totality.
See Nearby Locations within the Path of Totality for more details.
The times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
When is the next one?
Here are some dates for other upcoming partial eclipses visible from Toronto that will have over 50% coverage:
- January 14, 2029 at 51.75% coverage
- November 4, 2040 at 57.3% coverage
- August 12, 2045 at 51.88% coverage
Path of Eclipse
The eclipse’s path of totality will be visible across parts of Eastern Canada. The moon’s shadow will travel south from the US, flying over Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, before passing just south of Montreal. It will then head to Atlantic Canada for some lobster before saying goodbye to Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Time and Date has interactive tools that show the eclipse’s path. Complete with detailed information such as start and end times for different locations, when the eclipse will reach maximum, and more.
Toronto Area Events
Richmond Hill David Dunlop Observatory Solar Viewing Event
Stay turned for more information!
Ontario Science Centre Pre-Eclipse Events
The Ontario Science Centre will be hosting various events and workshops before the eclipse date about different aspects of solar eclipses and how to view them safely.
Checkout the Ontario Science Centre website for more information!
Nearby Locations within the Path of Totality
Even though Toronto will only be viewed as 99% partial, there are events within the path of totality that are a train ride or a few hours drive away.
Stay tuned and follow their page for more information.
If you are looking to head east, the Kingston RASC has web pages full of information about viewing around Kingston. They include what you can expect, tools to assist with viewing, and even diagrams on where to look.
Niagara Falls Region
Niagara Parks will be hosting a variety of solar eclipse related events. Check out their website for more information.
The City of Niagara Falls will be planning designated viewing areas at specific parks throughout the City. Please stay tuned on their website for more information.
The Niagara RASC Centre is not hosting an event for the total eclipse of the Sun. There will be dozens or probably hundreds of events and parties scattered across the Region.
Please contact them if you have questions about planning a safe and enjoyable event in the area.
Of course, if you want to be as possible to the center of the action, you can’t beat a viewing from Fort Erie. The town will be less than 10 km away from the center line, providing viewers there with the longest duration of totality, almost 4 minutes!
The town of Fort Erie has designed many sites where the public can safely see the eclipse, check out their website for more information on locations and things to keep in mind, including planning ahead if you are planning to visit.
Another town right by the shores of Lake Erie is Port Colborne. Many designated viewing locations are being set up where attendees can safely view the eclipse. Plenty of additional events are also being scheduled, from Planetarium Shows to solar and telescope tours.
For locations outside of the GTA and Southern Ontario, please take a look at the RASC national’s list of Eclipse events across the country.
How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse
NEVER EVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER EQUIPMENT! You can risk permanent eye damage. Instead, try using one of these options below.
Solar Eclipse Glasses
One of the best ways to view the solar eclipse directly is with dedicated solar eclipse glasses. These glasses have a special film on them to reduce the intensity of Sun, allowing you to safely view the sun.
If the film is damaged (puncture holes, tears, etc.), DO NOT USE the glasses as they may not be able to safely protect your eyes.
If you are looking to purchase some eclipse glasses, below are some retailers that you can check out:
Cereal Box Solar Projector
A cheaper alternative to safely view the sun is a solar projector. You can make one with a cereal box, some heavy foil and tape. This will allow you to view the progression of the eclipse through sun projection in the box.
A Colander (Or anything with holes)
Similar idea as the Cereal box solar project, holding up an object with holes on it (like a colander) in the sun will project the sun's shape on the ground.
Credit: Ron Clausen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Traffic Travel Warning
One important note if you are planning to travel anywhere around the GTA to view the solar eclipse, especially if you are heading south to the Niagara region, is to beware of the potential traffic as a lot of other eager eclipse viewers will also have similar plans in mind.
The QEW is the single major artery connecting Toronto and the Niagara region, so please account for potential of major travel delays.
Learn More about the solar eclipse
Below are some more resources about the upcoming eclipse!