• By: OLM Staff

Kingston is Ready to Celebrate the Celestial Phenomenon on April 8th

The City of Kingston is one of Canada’s most beautiful historic towns. An easy two-hour drive from Ottawa, it offers great cuisine and fantastic museums, including Old Fort Henry and the Kingston Penitentiary Museum. It also has a lovely downtown core that’s super walkable.

Kingston’s location on the Saint Lawrence Seaway makes it an especially great place to experience the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8th.

A total eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking sunlight for a short period. The eclipse will only be visible in certain parts of North America, and Southern Ontario is one of those lucky places.

During the eclipse, the sky gradually darkens as the Moon moves in front of the Sun. Eventually, the Sun is completely covered by the Moon, creating a dramatic scene that appears as if daytime has turned to night for a few minutes. Standing in the Moon’s shadow is so rare that it happens on average only every 375 years. The experience is said to be humbling, reminding us of how expansive the universe is and how small in relation we are.

Kingston sits directly at the centre of totality, meaning it’s one of the few spots in Ontario where the Sun will be completely blocked out. The partial eclipse will begin at 2:09 p.m., and complete darkness will occur at 3:23 p.m.

The City of Kingston invites everyone to come and celebrate this incredible natural phenomenon with them. The city has designated viewing areas where you’ll find some of the best spots to view the eclipse.

When you go, make sure to have ISO-approved eclipse glasses to ensure you don’t damage your eyes. They are available at the Visitor Information Centre on Ontario Street or from online retailers. A creative way to get a pair of eye protection is to book a session at Stoked Sauna Co. and take part in their Stoked Solar challenge. If you can stay in their cold plunge pool for three minutes and four seconds—the length of the eclipse—they’ll award you with a pair of eclipse viewing glasses.

In the lead-up to the eclipse, there will be a variety of other fun events to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime experience. On Monday, March 25th, students from Queens University’s Drama and Physics Departments will showcase Total Eclipse of the Arts, a free event at which they will read seven 10-minute plays specially created for the Eclipse event.

Old Fort Henry will also have a weekend of special programming. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon filled with captivating guest speakers, local entertainment, children’s crafts and activities, an artisan market, and more; on the day of the event, the Fort will also host a viewing party.

In addition, the Museum of Health Care and Murney Tower Museum are both offering special eclipse programming. Some events require pre-registration, which can be done through the VisitKingston.ca portal.

Kingston is making it easy for people to get around on April 8th by offering free public transit. Park your car once and enjoy all-day hop-on-hop-off privileges courtesy of Kingston Transit. While you are in town, make sure to check out other activities like the highly entertaining Kingston Trolley Tour, the Kingston Food Tour, or one of the many musical performances, art exhibitions, and bars and restaurants.

Find out all you need to know to plan your Kingston total eclipse getaway at VisitKingston.ca.