Wings Magazine

The Latest developments related to the total solar eclipse set for parts of Canada

April 8, 2024  By Wings Staff

The rotating message on a digital signboard advises people to expect traffic delays, a day before a total solar eclipse will be visible in Kingston, Ont., Sunday, April 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A total solar eclipse is set to pass through parts of Atlantic and central Canada today, bringing darkness and a possible moment of celestial awe to massive crowds expected to gather in its path.

Here are the latest developments from across affected regions (all times eastern):

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques says a total solar eclipse is a rare chance for people to have a direct connection with what’s happening in space.


He says getting to feel the moon’s shadow on earth is a reminder of the “cosmic ballet” that’s constantly playing out in space.

While total solar eclipses happen somewhere on earth almost every year, he says there hasn’t been one in his home city of Montreal since the 1930s.

He says eclipses also provide scientists an opportunity for scientists to learn more about the sun and to study its properties.

9:50 a.m.

People are slowly trickling into Kingston’s Lake Ontario Park, unpacking blankets, chairs and coolers filled with drinks and snacks.

One man from Toronto says he’s considering driving to Montreal, which he says has clear skies forecasted, as he eyes the cloud coverage coming off from the lake.

City of Kingston workers at the park were all given free glasses to view the eclipse.

9:15 a.m.

Residents of Burgeo, N.L., woke up to clear blue skies as they prepared to celebrate the solar eclipse, which holds particular resonance in the town.

British cartographer Cpt. James Cook experienced a partial eclipse in 1766 on Eclipse Island, which is just off the shore from Burgeo.

Michael Ward, the fishing village’s town clerk manager, says the town will celebrate today’s spectacular solar event while honoring its special place in eclipse history.

He says there are songs and smudging ceremonies planned with the Burgeo First Nation, and the local fire department will sound an alarm when the moon blocks the sun completely, signaling that it’s safe for everyone to remove their eclipse glasses.

9 a.m.

Officials in Kingston, Ont., have blocked off several streets near downtown to accommodate throngs of eclipse watchers.

Locals are debating whether the city will see more people today than they did in 2016 when The Tragically Hip played their final show there.

As of this morning, just a handful of people were on the shore of Lake Ontario Park waiting for the eclipse.

8:40 a.m.

Eclipse watchers in Niagara Falls, Ont. are lining up to try to break a Guinness World Record.

The city is trying to get 300 people to dress up in sun costumes.

A sign by the falls reads those participating must be wearing black, yellow or white pants.

Officials say it’s a fun way to celebrate the solar eclipse – which will be on full view in the border community.

Niagara Falls is in the path of totality – a swath of North America which will see the skies go completely dark.

8:25 a.m.

The city of Niagara Falls is reminding residents to “prioritize safety” as crowds gather to witness the eclipse.

The border community is one of the best places in North America to view the eclipse.

Officials are warning of traffic congestion and long lines.

Niagara Regional police warn that many roads will be closed due to the celestial event.

The city is urging eclipse watchers to “make smart choices.” It is not safe to look at the eclipse without special glasses.

8 a.m.

The downtown area of Niagara Falls, Ont., is quite lively this morning. Several people are strolling by the falls, and many were seen lined up outside a Tim Hortons.

A row of portable washrooms are sitting across from the falls where the cruise operates. The city has set up a stage next to the portable washrooms. A big and bright sun is peeking through mostly cloudy skies every few minutes by the falls.

A shisha lounge with a tent set up outside has put out a sign saying eclipse glasses are being sold here.

4 a.m.

Forecasts suggest cloudy skies may spoil the view for some eclipse chasers in southern Ontario.

Sean Akiyama, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says the Niagara region is forecast to see mainly cloudy skies, with better conditions expected on the eastern and southwestern edges of the province.

Eclipse chasers in Quebec and the Maritimes are in better shape, with the forecast showing clear or mostly clear skies in those areas.

A low-pressure system looming over Newfoundland is also expected to bring some cloud cover to some parts of the island.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2024.


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