A stock image of a solar eclipse.

Image by kjpargeter on Freepik

Witness the 2024 solar eclipse in Niagara Falls and Southern Ontario

A stock image of a solar eclipse.

Image by kjpargeter on Freepik

In the spring of 2024, a solar eclipse is expected to travel across North America with prime viewing in several southern Ontario locations, notably Niagara Falls. The last total eclipse experienced in the province was February 26, 1979, in Northern Ontario.

When is the 2024 solar eclipse?

Reports from NASA indicate that the event will occur on April 8, 2024, beginning over the South Pacific Ocean. After crossing Mexico and the U.S., it enters Canada in Southern Ontario on its eastward path.

In Ontario, the solar eclipse is expected to start just minutes after 2:00 p.m. and last for about two and a half hours. The sun will be fully eclipsed at approximately 3:20 to 3:25 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The sun’s disk is partially or fully obscured from sight by the moon, rendering the day into momentary darkness.

Throughout history, belief systems have interpreted an eclipse in many ways. It’s been seen as an omen, a conflict between the sun and moon and a disruption of the natural order. It’s also been viewed as courtship and companionship.

In more recent times, this rare cosmic event has become a moment of awe and wonder.

Where to view the 2024 solar eclipse in Ontario

Here’s where to experience the 2024 solar eclipse in order of view time in Ontario.

Plan and book accommodations well in advance of travel. Learn more about public transportation between Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hamilton and other destinations with GO Transit.

Southwestern Ontario: Pelee Island, Kingsville and Leamington

Canada’s southernmost communities in Windsor Essex will be the first to see the shadow of the eclipse in Ontario, from Pelee Island to Point Pelee National Park on the mainland a minute later.

Viewing events and celebrations dubbed “Celest-Fests” are planned at various locations including Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Hillman Marsh Conservation Area and several local wineries. Check out the solar eclipse guide for more information.

Learn more about the area

Pelee Island: Accessible by an hour and a half ferry ride, this is the southernmost inhabited land in Canada. There is a small selection of bed and breakfast, cottage and camping accommodations on the island.

Leamington: On the shore of Lake Erie, Leamington serves as the gateway community to Point Pelee National Park, square in the path of the eclipse. Local accommodations include hotels, motels and cottages.

Kingsville: Just west of Leamington, the community of Kingsville is surrounded by farms, vineyards and sublime lake views. From guesthouses to boutique inns, find the perfect place to stay.

Elgin and Norfolk Counties

Sun-soaked beach towns and farming communities along Lake Erie are preparing for the rare and spectacular April 8 event with special programming in Norfolk County and fun viewing parties planned in Elgin County.

Learn more about the area

Elgin County: Small-town charm and picture-perfect lake views make Elgin County a year-round hotspot.

Norfolk County: birds, beaches, vineyards and gardens characterize this predominately rural region. It’s also home to unique accommodations and outdoor adventures.

Niagara Falls and Fort Erie

Niagara Falls, Ontario will be the best location in Canada to view the event with over three minutes of total eclipse.

Almost a century ago in 1925, Niagara Falls experienced a full solar eclipse and isn’t expected to witness it again until 2144.

The city of Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks are actively preparing for the event in terms of traffic and transportation, designated viewing sites and safety measures for visitors and residents. WEGO provides public transportation in Niagara Falls and to most Niagara Parks locations.

Eclipse events in the Niagara Region

In celebration of this astronomical phenomenon, special programming and exciting activities will occur at key sites and attractions.

NASA and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) scientists will give talks at Niagara Parks Power Station and Old Fort Erie. In addition, budding astronomers will want to visit the Astronomy in Action mobile planetarium at the Niagara Parks Power Station. Interactive workshops and activities for kids will be offered at Table Rock Centre as well as hands-on activities related to STEM learning at the Butterfly Conservatory.

A new themed Niagara Falls Illumination will be showcased on Sunday, April 7 in anticipation of the solar eclipse. And live music performances are scheduled for April 8.

In St. Catharines, Brock University will host Eclipse on the Escarpment.

Commemorate the event with an eclipse t-shirt! They will be available for purchase from Niagara Parks at Table Rock gift shop, the Power Station gift shop and the Queen Victoria gift shop at the base of Murry Hill.

Learn more about the area

Niagara Falls: Famous for the waterfalls, the city boasts great entertainment, fine dining, renowned local wine, beautiful nature trails and green spaces.

Plan well in advance to stay overnight and enjoy all that this world-class destination offers, including the illuminations of the falls at night.

Hamilton

Next along the path of the eclipse, the shadow will pass over the southeastern reaches of the city of Hamilton. Find the best viewing locations and solar eclipse events taking place in and around Hamilton and beyond in Burlington.

Learn more about the area

Hamilton: Situated between Toronto and Niagara Falls and surrounded by parks, trails and waterfalls, Hamilton is making a mark in the arts and culinary scene. There are several comfortable hotels in and around downtown and up-and-coming entertainment choices.

Toronto and surrounding area

Although the city of Toronto will be outside the route of the total phase of the eclipse, a partial eclipse of the sun may be visible.

The Toronto Region Conservation Area provides information on where to view the eclipse near Toronto.

See how the animals react to the eclipse at the Toronto Zoo. Complimentary glasses will be supplied to guests.

Just east of Toronto, enjoy a wellness experience under the moonlit sky at Thermëa spa village in Whitby.

Learn more about the city

Toronto: From internationally-inspired cuisine and MICHELIN-starred restaurants to world-class museums, entertainment and events, this vibrant city is worth adding to your itinerary. From budget to boutique, find a wide range of accommodation options.

Southeastern Ontario: Belleville, Kingston and Cornwall

The eclipse will travel eastward and cross the communities of Belleville, Kingston and Cornwall respectively.

Discover prime locations in Kingston to view the eclipse, as well as other events, including a gathering at Grass Creek Park.  

The St. Lawrence Parks Commission and Fort Henry will host a Total Solar Eclipse Weekend with special guest speakers, including Bob McDonald from CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, plus live music and entertainment.

Another exciting eclipse celebration will be held at Upper Canada Village.

The town of Gananoque is planning an event called the Total Eclipse of the Park.

Follow the countdown to the eclipse in Cornwall and surrounding counties.

Learn more about the area

Belleville: Overlooking the Bay of Quinte in Hastings County, find water-based and land adventures around the historic town of Belleville. A variety of hotels and motels are available in town or look for accommodation in neighbouring Prince Edward County.

Kingston: Visit a fascinating reconstructed fort, tour a former prison and shop at a heritage market in one of Ontario’s most historic cities. You’ll also want to stay for great live music, cuisine and craft beer.

Cornwall: In Ontario’s easternmost corner, the timeless appeal and historic charm of the region beckons. Experience down-home hospitality in Cornwall.

How to view a solar eclipse safely

Don’t watch the solar eclipse with the naked eye, or it may be the last thing you see! Gazing directly at the sun can result in damage to your retina and eyesight impairment due to solar UV and IR radiation.

To view the solar eclipse safely, use international standard (ISO) certified eye protection glasses with special filters to watch all the phases of a solar eclipse.

Last updated: May 28, 2024

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