Where and how to watch the eclipse

Campus Update

Where and how to watch the eclipse

The Queen’s campus community can experience the April 8 celestial event at viewing sites in Kingston, on campus, or via livestream.

By Communications Staff

April 3, 2024


An eclipse occurs whenever one astronomical object passes in front of another, blocking all or part of its light.

An eclipse occurs whenever one astronomical object passes in front of another, blocking all or part of its light.

On Monday, a rare phenomenon will occur in parts of North America: a total solar eclipse. During its peak, known as totality, observers can expect darkness and distinct effects such as drops in temperature, unique shadows, and changes in animal behaviour. For the first time since 1349, Kingston is in the eclipse’s path, with activity set to begin at 2:09 pm and end at 4:34 pm. 

A total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone fortunate enough to be in its path. And Kingston’s geographical location is a prime vantage point for viewing. But where and how should you watch it? Here are some options to consider:

In and around the city

There are over 10 city-sanctioned eclipse viewing spots in Kingston. Among them, Fort Henry and Grass Creek Park will offer curated programming, entertainment, and refreshments. Alternatively, locations like Lake Ontario Park, the INVISTA Centre, and various public and secondary schools across the city will provide facilities such as restrooms. Visit the Tourism Kingston website for updates and a map of locations. Queen’s Eclipse Ambassadors will be on-site to enhance your viewing experience and answer questions.

Beyond the designated city sites, there are other safe and potentially less busy places to view the eclipse, so long as you can see the sun in the sky. A backyard or another outdoor space in your neighbourhood may provide you with the perfect spot – just don’t forget your eclipse glasses!

Tindall Field, Queen's Campus.

The university's viewing event will take place at Tindall Field and Tindall parking lot on Queen's campus.

On Queen’s campus

For students, faculty, and staff who are on campus on April 8, Tindall Field and the adjacent parking lot are designated as the official on-campus viewing area for the Queen’s community. Research experts and Eclipse Ambassadors will be on-site from 1:00 to 5:00 pm to facilitate the exciting experience by pointing out phenomena, leading a countdown, and ensuring viewing safety. Eclipse glasses will be available on-site.

No chairs, food, or beverages other than water are permitted on Tindall Field, as they can damage the surface. They are permitted in the adjacent parking lot. Campus food retail locations will be open on the day of the eclipse.

Virtual live stream

Many of the effects of the eclipse can still be observed even in overcast conditions. However, if the weather in Kingston is poor or you prefer to stay indoors, a livestream of the eclipse, hosted by the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, will be available on April 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. You can register for Eclipse 2024: Chasing the Shadow from Niagara to Newfoundland to join expert correspondents stationed along eastern Canada's path of totality on YouTube, using your own device.

Queen’s Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, & Astronomy experts, who have been leading various initiatives and outreach, are working with their U of T colleagues to stream the eclipse experience from Queen’s campus.



Ensure you're prepared

The Queen’s eclipse website has more information, safety resources, and updates on activities. Free ISO-certified eclipse glasses are still available on campus for students, faculty, and staff (one pair per person; Queen’s ID required). Following the eclipse, bins will be available at the city and campus viewing locations to collected unwanted glasses for donation to Astronomers Without Borders, who provide certified glasses to communities worldwide who may not otherwise have a safe way to view an eclipse.

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