• DDOD Outreach
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WATCH SOLAR ECLIPSE WITH US ON MONDAY !!!

On Monday August 21, North America will be treated to a Total Solar Eclipse. BUT NOT FOR US IN CANADA. Here in Richmond Hill, we will only see 70% of the Sun's brilliant face covered by the Moon, which is much too bright to look at unless you use *SPECIAL* SOLAR GLASSES. We can provide the glasses, and much, MUCH More!

Join us from 1 pm to 4 pm at Elvis Stojko Arena (350 Sixteenth Avenue, three blocks east of Yonge Street) for free, SAFE ECLIPSE VIEWING through our telescopes, special viewers and by eye using special solar glasses.

We will also be providing LIVE STREAMING VIDEO sent from locations within the United States experiencing a TOTAL solar eclipse. The first will happen at the west coast in Oregon at about 1:18 pm EDT, and the last will happen at the east coast in South Carolina at about 2:47 pm EDT.

Here in Richmond Hill, we will see the Moon cover the first bit of the Sun at about 1:10 pm and it will reach its greatest ingress (blocking 70% of the Sun) at about 2:32 pm. The Sun will then slowly return to its normal appearance at 3:49 pm as the Moon continues travelling eastward.

If you have the opportunity to travel this summer, you won't have to go too far to see the Moon completely block your view of the Sun's bright disk along the narrow path of totallity that goes through the upper United States from Oregon to South Carolina. But expect all the highways along and leading to the total eclipse path to be congested on Monday; and it may now be too late to find accomodations, as many of the hotels and motels along the eclipse path are already fully booked.

If you stay here in the GTA, you'll only get to see about two-thirds of the Sun's disk being covered by the Moon. The sky and ground won't seem that much darker, and the Sun itself will still be much too bright to observe without using a special filter or method to safely create an image of the Sun. Normal sunglasses are *totally inadaquate* and using them could lead to perminent eye damage or even blindness!

Wishing everyone clear skies,

--Ian Shelton, DDOD Chair

The David Dunlap Observatory lies nestled in the heart of Richmond Hill, Ontario, a city of 200,000 just north of Canada's largest city, Toronto. The 190-acre oasis of mature forests, pastures and springs is home to two distinct deer herds and an abundance of other wildlife, including a coyote pack, foxes, voles, rabbits, honey bees, many species of butterflies, and birds including hawks, owls, doves, crows and songbirds. The property represents the last and largest urban open green space in southern Richmond Hill.


Originally deeded to the University of Toronto by the philanthropist Jessie Donalda Dunlap in memory of her husband David, the Dunlap Observatory opened on May 31st, 1935. Its magnificent 74-inch telescope was the second largest in the world at that time and has been used through seven decades to conduct much groundbreaking research, including the discovery of the first known black hole, Cygnus X-1.

In 2007, the University of Toronto wrested control of the land from Jessie Dunlap's heirs through a protracted legal case spanning 4 years. They then broke the public covenant that the land would remain a park and a research and outreach centre in perpetuity by selling the property to a developer intent on replacing most of the greenspace with many hundreds of houses.

The DDO Defenders have been working hard to represent the public and inform all levels of government about what will be lost if the developer is allowed to proceed.


On April 12th, 2012, after six long and anxiety-ridden months of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mandated mediation following a four year hard-fought and very public battle, an agreement was reached in March between the mediation parties to the David Dunlap Observatory Lands OMB case.

Minutes of Settlement were drawn up for signing by all parties to the mediation -- the landowner Corsica Development Inc. (a subsidiary of Metrus Developments Inc., now known as 'DG Group'), the Town of Richmond Hill, the Region of York, the Toronto and Area Conservation Authority (TRCA), and the David Dunlap Observatory Defenders (DDO Defenders) Inc.. This historic document was ratified by Richmond Hill Town Council on Thursday, April 12th. All mediation parties had been sworn to absolute secrecy under a strict gag order until Council signed off on the agreement, but now the silence has finally been broken and the details of the settlement agreement can be made public. (read more)

For further information or to offer support, please contact:

Ian Shelton - Chair, DDO Defenders Inc.
sn87a@hotmail.com or (905) 762-0072

The Minutes of Settlement is posted at the Town of Richmond Hill - DDO webpage.


Please support our Community Advocacy

The DDO Defenders are deeply committed to preserving the David Dunlap Observatory, surrounding Lands and the Dunlap Legacy. Our mandate is to ensure that the campus continues to operate as a world-class astronomical and astrophysical research facility and a centre of excellence in public Outreach, Education and Experiential Learning regarding all aspects of Science and the Natural World.

Donating Online

Donating by Cheque or Money Order

Please make your cheque or money order payable to "DDO Defenders" and send it to:

DDO Defenders
240 Bantry Avenue
Richmond Hill, ON
Canada L4B 4H9.

Donating by Phone

Call us at (905) 762-0072