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Northumberland County prepares for total solar eclipse – Peterborough

While Niagara Falls and Kingston may be considered the prime area to view the total solar eclipse in Ontario, Northumberland County is also preparing for an influx of visitors for the celestial event.

County officials expect visitors on April 8 to pack Victoria Beach in Cobourg and other Lake Ontario waterfronts in the communities of Port Hope, Brighton, Grafton and Colborne.

The moon will pass between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on the region. The lower part of Northumberland County, east of Toronto, will sit directly in the path of totality which is approximately 185 kilometres wide.

It’s estimated there will be nearly two full minutes of totality in Northumberland County.

“There’s a lot of great spaces that people can come to down and experience the eclipse,” said Brian Geerts, the Town of Cobourg’s community services director.

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The total solar eclipse is expected to draw thousands to the region, although the town isn’t hosting any specific events for the occasion.


The path of totality of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse will be near parts of Northumberland County in central Ontario.

 


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“For those who like more of the beach experience or more of the urban environment right next door, we have the marina and the campground area and Victoria Park with easy access to the waterfront and a great southwest exposure to see the eclipse,” Geerts said.

Northumberland County warden Brian Ostrander hopes communities near the path of totality will see an economic boost on Monday.

“We hope that people come, have a good time, see the total eclipse, maybe visit a restaurant and go home,” he said.

The start of the eclipse will begin at 2:06 p.m. in Port Hope. Full totality or total darkness will begin around 3:20 p.m. and is expected to last about a minute in Port Hope and two minutes in Brighton.

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Solar eclipse timing in Northumberland County
Location Partial Full Totality Totality Duration
Port Hope 2:06:47 p.m. 3:20:59 p.m.  55.5 seconds
Cobourg 2:06:59 p.m. 3:20:56 p.m. 1 minute 21.5s
Colborne 2:07:24 p.m 3:21:02 p.m. 1m 51.7s
Grafton 2:07:12 p.m. 3:21:00 p.m 1m 34.7s
Brighton 2:07:39 p.m. 3:21:10 p.m 1m 59.9s

But Ostrander notes the surge in visitors could be a cause for concern, noting some businesses may not be at peak summer staffing levels. He also says the county is preparing for additional impacts on emergency services.

“Some serious road issues, and some traffic issues — we hope nothing bad happens, but of course we’re preparing,” he said. “As always we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

The eclipse will also risk eye safety for those unprotected or staring for too long.

Geerts advises people viewing the eclipse to use proper eyewear.

“Eye protection is very important, so there are ISO-rated glasses available for the public — just make sure they’re the certified version so you have adequate protection for your eyes.”

The next total solar eclipse in the area won’t be available for another 375 years.

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