April 25th, 2024

Solar eclipse expected to bring largest tourist crowd in Niagara Falls history: mayor

By The Canadian Press on March 30, 2024.

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – The mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont., says the city is expecting the largest crowd of visitors it has ever seen on the day of a celestial event that will turn daylight into darkness for a few fleeting minutes early next month.

Jim Diodati says close to a million people are expected to flock to the iconic southern Ontario city known for its waterfall on April 8 to observe a total solar eclipse, and the municipality of Niagara region has declared a state of emergency so visitors remember to be prepared.

The rare eclipse is expected to be observed in Mexico first at around 11:07 a.m. PT, when the moon will move in between Earth and the sun, before it moves to parts of southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The eclipse is set to cast a partial shadow in several parts of southern Ontario, while observers in Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Grimsby can expect total darkness for about four minutes sometime between 2 and 4 p.m. ET.

Diodati says people from across the country and the world are visiting to see the natural event while standing next to one of the world’s natural wonders — the Falls themselves.

He says the crowd of visitors — which is expected to include scientists from NASA and Canada’s Space Agency — is projected to be so large that the majority of the city’s hotels are booked and people are now renting out their driveways and backyards to others so they can camp overnight ahead of the big day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2024.

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