COVID-19 Announcement

As warm weather returns, I am writing to update you on the status of the RASC Toronto Centre’s various programs during the COVID-19 state of emergency. As you are no doubt aware, the Government of Ontario has extended the State of Emergency until 30 June 2020, although a limited number of retail and service businesses have been allowed to open.

The Ontario Science Centre remains closed to the public until further notice. As a result, the Toronto Centre will continue to offer you Recreational Astronomy Night programs online through our YouTube channel until August. Lecture programs will resume in September, and will most likely be online. Please check our website www.rascto.ca for details.

The continuing state of emergency requires us to suspend almost all of our education and public outreach programs. Although we are unable to offer the Stargazing Cruises on the MS Chi-Cheemaun this summer, Owen Sound Transportation Company has generously agreed to continue as a corporate sponsor. We hope that we can resume the program for the 2021 sailing season. The DDO Subcommittee is offering a series of astronomy presentations on our YouTube channel this summer. See our website for details. The EPO Committee is working on plans for the resumption of “in person” operations once the state of emergency is lifted.

Similarly, all EPO and observing programs at the E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory remain suspended. The CAO Committee has presented a plan to Council for re-opening the CAO after the government ends the lockdown. Meanwhile, supervisors are continuing to visit the CAO to perform necessary maintenance of this valuable Centre asset.

I would like to remind you that the RASC is offering many online programs through the National YouTube channel. The Society recently established an Emergency Fund to assist members who are in financial difficulty because of the pandemic with their membership fees. Information about how to apply for this fund and the other online activities of the Society are on www.rasc.ca.

The return of the summer skies gives all of us a good reason to pull out the telescope and binoculars. Please remember to practise physical distancing if you’re in a public area. I wish you clear skies and continued good health.

B. Ralph Chou
President