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Watching the solar eclipse in Waterloo Region and Guelph


All eyes were on the skies for Monday’s solar eclipse.

The best views of the celestial show were along the path of totality – in cities like Hamilton and Fort Erie - and more than million people gathered to watch the eclipse in Niagara Falls.

In Waterloo Region, some sat back and gazed at the moon’s transition across the sun's path at McLennan Park in Kitchener.

WATCH: Check our time-lapse of the solar eclipse from Kitchener

A different kind of viewing event was held in Cambridge. Idea Exchange hosted a party for kids who were off school for the solar eclipse.

“Dragged them away from the computer, shut down the WIFI, and get them out there and see a few things that are real,” one grandfather told CTV News.

The kids were also excited to experience this momentous occasion.

“It would be the only time I really get to experience a full total solar eclipse and so yeah, I think that’s pretty cool,” said one young enthusiast.

Kids also learned more about our solar system.

“A solar eclipse means, when the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching Earth,” said one.

“The moon looks bigger than the sun because the moon’s close to us,” explained another.

“It looks like somebody took a bite out of it because it’s like a quarter there.”

The solar eclipse viewing party at Idea Exchange in Cambridge on April 8, 2024.

For many people a total solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience, but one man in Cambridge has been lucky enough to see two.

Imrul Chowdhury saw his first almost 40 years ago in Bangladesh.

“Back in those days we all used to gather on the rooftop and we didn’t have those glasses,” he explained. “What we did – it’s so exciting – we used x-ray film in front of our eyes and that’s how we managed it.”

Imrul Chowdhury, his wife and daughter at Idea Exchange in Cambridge for the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse.

Chowdhury said his daughter is about the same age he was when he saw his first eclipse.

“It’s amazing and I can’t put it into words. My daughter has special needs and she’s just very excited here.”

Viewing party in Guelph

Hundreds of people also gathered at the University of Guelph Observatory to watch the solar eclipse.

“I’m just thrilled that people can bond together as a group over something as exciting as science,” said Orbax, U of G’s science communicator.

Long lineup of people hoping to get solar eclipse glasses at the University of Guelph on April 8, 2024. (Krista Simpson/CTV Kitchener)

The afternoon started off cloudy but cleared just before the light began to dim, prompting cheers from those gathered at Johnston Green.

The pivotal moment came at 3:18 p.m. – when 99.1 per cent of the sun was covered and only a sliver of the sun remained.

PHOTO GALLERY: See photos taken in southern Ontario during Monday's solar eclipse

“It was getting cold out and it was getting dark, but you could still see light, so it was weird,” said Barbara Merrill, a University of Guelph employee.

Solar eclipse viewing party at the University of Guelph on April 8, 2024.

Many of the people who gathered on campus said getting to experience it as a group made the once-in-a-lifetime event even more special.

"Honestly it was magical. It was so, so wonderful… You know it’s the end of the semester, it’s the end of winter, it just felt so great to be out in the sunshine and enjoying just the spectacle of nature," said Joanne O’Meara, a physics professor at U of G.

Watching the solar eclipse on the University of Guelph campus on April 8, 2024.

O'Meara hopes the solar eclipse will spark curiosity in those who watch this celestial wonder.

"We’re on a rock that’s orbiting around a star and we have a moon that’s orbiting around us," said O'Meara. "And it’s the combination of these three celestial objects coming into align that gives us this moment to kind of just stop and think about how incredible that is."

People pose for pictures on the University of Guelph campus after the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from southern Ontario will happen in 2144. Top Stories

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