Witness the 2024 solar eclipse in Niagara Falls and Southern Ontario
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 at 2:04 p.m. and last for about two and a half hours. The sun will be fully eclipsed at approximately 3:20 to 3:23 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.
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 at 3:12 p.m. 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.
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.
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 starting at 3:18 p.m.
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.
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.
And a new themed Niagara Falls Illumination will be showcased on Sunday, April 7 in anticipation of the solar eclipse.
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.
Next along the path of the eclipse, the shadow will pass over the southeastern reaches of the city of Hamilton at 3:18 p.m.
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.
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 at 3:19 p.m.
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 at 3:21, 3:22 and 3:24 p.m. respectively.
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.
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.
Solar eclipse playlist
Create a sun, moon and eclipse-themed soundtrack as you plan and travel to your destination to experience the eclipse. Get started with:
Sun Giant by Fleet Foxes
She’s Only Happy in the Sun by Ben Harper
A Place in the Sun by Stevie Wonder
Towards the Sun by Alexi Murdoch
Bad Moon Rising by CCR
The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
Fly Me to The Moon by Frank Sinatra
Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
Ain’t No Sunshine (cover) by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Des’ree
Eclipse by Pink Floyd
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd
The Sun is Shining by Bob Marley
I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
That’s Amore by Dean Martin
Last updated: February 23, 2024