Total solar eclipse: Canadians soak up once-in-a-lifetime spectacle

A once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse passed through portions of Eastern Canada on Monday, with several cities hosting an influx of sightseers who were eager to stand in utter darkness across the path of totality on April 8.

While estimates are not yet available, crowds did not appear as enormous as first anticipated and there were no major traffic incidents as of 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Still, the spectacle drew in people from far and wide and many attendees described feeling emotionally and spiritually moved by the celestial event.

The eclipse first hit Ontario from the south just before 2 p.m. EDT on Monday and departed Newfoundland just after 5 p.m. EDT, or 6:30 p.m. NDT.

Hot spots like Niagara Falls and Kingston, Ont., Montreal, and Fredericton, N.B., received maximum coverage, with some experiencing it for as long as three and half minutes as the moon passed between the sun and Earth.

Here’s more on what happened at some of the most popular spots hosting viewing events.

Maximum totality (maximum coverage of the sun): 3 mins. 43 secs. between 3:18 p.m. and 3:21 p.m. EDT

The last time the Fort Erie area saw a solar eclipse was in 1925 and another one won’t be back until 2144.

Although the skies didn’t clear entirely on Monday, most who travelled out to nearby beaches and the Peace Bridge weren’t disappointed.

The municipality experienced the longest duration of darkness in Ontario, due to being closest to the centre of the path of totality.

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