Niagara Falls Prepares for Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024

On Monday, April 8, 2024, Niagara Falls, Ontario will be one of only a handful of Canadian cities to be directly in the path of totality and experience a total solar eclipse. The eclipse experience is expected to start at 2:04 pm and last for about two and a half hours. The sun will be fully eclipsed at approximately 3:18 pm and will last for approximately three minutes.

The experience has been ranked as #11 on National Geographic’s “Best of the World” list for travel adventures for 2024. Up to a million visitors are estimated to drive into Niagara Falls to observe this phenomenon, causing potential traffic delays, road closures, supply issues, and disruptions. 

The City is actively preparing for the event in terms of traffic and transportation and safety measures for residents and visitors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Eclipse Events & Programming

A range of events and community activities will be taking place throughout the City:

  • April 4 | Museum Lecture: Eclipse 101 (Niagara Falls History Museum)
  • April 6 | Intergalactic Dance Party: Star Wars Themed, 19+ (Niagara Falls Exchange)
  • April 8 | Free Community Activities
    • Crafts, dance party and drop-in programming (MacBain Community Centre)
    • Community skating (Gale Centre and Chippawa Willoughby Arena)
  • April 8 | Free Niagara Parks Solar Eclipse Concert (Queen Victoria Park)
    • Featuring The Glorious Sons.

Visit niagarafalls.ca for more information.

Tips for Residents

If you live in Niagara Falls, you have a front-row seat to this spectacular event! You don’t have to pack up the car or kids, simply step out into your front yard or walk to your local park and enjoy the day.

If residents would like to be part of a larger viewing experience, the City has identified the best viewing points:

Starting Friday, April 5, traffic will be heavy and lines for local services such as restaurants, gas stations, grocery, and retail stores may be longer than usual; do what you can ahead of time before the anticipated impact days and allow for extra time to get where you need to go.

Here are some tips to prepare:

  • Travel:
    • Expect crowds, lines, traffic and limited parking.
    • Call 211 or check the City’s website for service changes, closures and more.
  • Think about your personal safety and security:
    • Purchase ISO 12312-2 eclipse glasses in advance from a reputable supplier, as you may not be able to find any on April 8.
    • Make sure children know how to view the eclipse safely.
    • Do not leave valuables in your vehicles.
  • Errands & Appointments:
    • Schedule your errands and appointments early, before Friday the 5th if possible.
    • Check ahead if you have plans for Monday the 8th; some services may be closed or have limited hours during this time.
    • Arrive early to events and activities.
  • Supplies: Overall, some supplies may be limited due to the high demand; which may mean the items you want are not available immediately before or after the total solar eclipse.
    • If there is something important you want, get it early.
    • If you’re heading to an eclipse event, pack everything you need for the day. Have snacks, water, phone chargers, entertainment, medication and first-aid supplies on hand.
    • Have an emergency kit and preparedness plan for potential disruptions.
  • Gas: If you normally fill up your gas tank Friday – Monday, be sure to do that task early, before Friday, April 5th.
  • Cellular Service: As with any large event that brings high levels of visitation into a concentrated area, it is possible that cell signal may be compromised. Consider these ideas to assist with communications during this time:
    • Develop a communication plan with family and friends if you lose or have limited service.
    • If you only have a mobile phone at home find out which of your neighbors have a landline number in case you need to call 911 for an emergency.
  • Cash: If you regularly use cash or want some on hand, consider visiting your local bank or ATM before April 5th as some ATMs that operate on WiFi might be unavailable due to the increased cellular traffic.

Tips for Visitors

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early, come prepared, and have reasonable expectations during this unprecedented time.Here are some helpful things to consider in advance of visiting Niagara Falls:

  • Pack everything you need for the day.
    • Do not think, “We’ll just pick up what we need when we get there.” Supplies will be limited or have long lines due to high demand.
    • Have snacks, water, phone chargers, entertainment, medication and first-aid supplies on hand.
  • Think about your personal safety and security:
    • Purchase ISO 12312-2 eclipse glasses in advance from a reputable supplier, as you may not be able to find any on April 8.
    • Make sure children know how to view the eclipse safely.
    • Do not leave valuables in your vehicles.
  • Plan for the road closures and anticipated traffic delays.
    • Fill up your gas tank before the eclipse.
    • Check travel conditions and road closures on Ontario 511.
    • Prepare to park and walk, bike, or take public transit to your preferred viewing location for the solar eclipse.
  • Have a good communication plan with your family members.
    • As with any large event that brings high levels of visitation into a concentrated area, it is possible that cell signal may be compromised.
      • Pick a landmark where you can reunite if you get separated in a crowd.
      • Have an emergency kit and preparedness plan for potential disruptions.
  • Help us keep our community and public areas clean and safe.
    • Please do not litter. Follow the rule “Pack it in, Pack it out!”
  • Plan for an enjoyable eclipse experience.
    • Arrive early to events and activities.
    • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
    • Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hat/visor.
      • Be mindful that many viewing areas do not permit tents or shade structures of any kind – specifically Niagara Parks, throughout the Queen Victoria Park area (Clifton Hill to Kingsbridge Park).
    • Pack a folding chair.
    • Pack snacks/food.
    • Print maps of the area if you need directions; in case of cell service disruptions.
    • Bring cash.

Tips for businesses are also available on niagarafalls.ca/solareclipse.
For events and planning tips specific to Niagara Parks’ properties, visit niagaraparks.com

Safe Viewing Information

Although observing a solar eclipse can be astonishing, it’s vital to safeguard your eyes from potential harm. Protect your vision, and experience the total solar eclipse safely with these tips:

  • Purchase ISO-certified solar eclipse viewing glasses in advance. The City is currently selling glasses at the Niagara Falls History Museum’s gift shop while supplies last.
  • Before using a solar filter, carefully inspect it for damage and follow the provided instructions. Discard it if you notice any scratches, tears, or punctures.
  • Supervise children when using solar filters.
  • Keep eyeglasses on and wear eclipse glasses over them or hold them in front for viewing.
  • When viewing the sun, stand still and cover your eyes with eclipse glasses or a solar viewer. Turn away before removing the filter.
  • Never view the sun through unfiltered optical devices during an eclipse.
  • If appropriate eye protection is unavailable, alternative viewing strategies, such as a live stream, should be considered.

Getting to and around Niagara Falls

The City is working to ensure smooth traffic flow and crowd management. While road closures are planned for Monday, April 8, increased traffic congestion in and around the Niagara region is expected to begin on Friday, April 5 and build throughout the weekend.

Plan your visit and transportation in advance.  

Road Closures

  • On Monday, April 8, 2024, in the City of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic from Queen Street to Fraser Hill, beginning at 12 p.m. until midnight, coinciding with the concert set to take place within Queen Victoria Park that afternoon and evening. Clifton Hill from Victoria Avenue to Falls Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 12 p.m. until midnight, along with Murray Street from the Niagara Parkway to Fallsview Boulevard.
  • For information concerning alternative access and parking for the businesses and properties within the road closure area, please contact the respective business to inquire. Access to Niagara Parks’ Falls Parking Lot will continue from the south. 

Public Transit 

  • With the expected traffic congestion and gridlock both into and throughout the destination, guests are encouraged to consider taking public transit, such as the WEGO Bus Service and/or GO Transit, into Niagara Falls. 
  • Niagara Parks’ WEGO Green Line will be rerouted during the road closures and will include a WEGO shuttle from Rapidsview to Table Rock, as well as WEGO bus service to transport guests travelling to their destination on GO Transit.
  • WEGO Red line and Blue line will move to reduced routing due to the road closures. Service delays and disruptions should be expected for any routes travelling through the tourism area. Please download and refer to the Transit App for up-to-the-minute bus arrival information.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

  • If you wish to locate the charging stations in Niagara Falls, you can use ChargeHub’s or PlugShare’s charging station maps. 

Boat Launches

  • Aligning with direction across the region and under the guidance of the Niagara Parks Police Service, Niagara Parks will be closing all public boat launches on its property on Monday, April 8.
  • The City of Niagara Falls Welland River (Chippawa) boat launch will also be closed to the public on Monday, April 8. Only emergency services will have access to the launch.

Parking & Transportation

  • Visitors are advised to plan for the road closures and anticipated traffic delays by preparing to park and bike, walk or take public transit to their preferred viewing location for the solar eclipse.
  • There are a number of parking lots throughout Niagara Parks properties, including Niagara Parks’ Rapidsview Parking Lot (located on Upper Rapids Boulevard) with a WEGO shuttle to Table Rock Centre at the brink of the Falls. The Falls Incline Railway will operate on an extended schedule to transport guests from the upper Fallsview area to Table Rock Centre.
  • There are also a number of public and privately operated parking lots throughout the City of Niagara Falls. View the Niagara Falls Municipal Parking map below or download here (PDF)

City Facilities | What’s Open & Closed on April 8?

  • City Hall: Closed for in-person customer service and payments. Online and phone service will be available. A dropbox is located outside of City Hall, on Zimmerman Avenue for payments.
  • Chippawa Willoughby Memorial Arena: Open 12 pm – 11 pm
  • Gale Centre Arena: Open 7 am – 11 pm
  • MacBain Community Centre : Open for programming from 7 am – 9 pm. In-person customer service and payments are not available. A dropbox is located inside for payments.
  • Niagara Falls Exchange: Closed
  • Niagara Falls History Museum: Closed

Stay Informed | Eclipse Updates

Residents are encouraged to frequently visit the City’s dedicated eclipse webpage for timely information and updates that may impact them.

The option to subscribe to text/email alerts and receive eclipse-related updates will soon be available on niagarafalls.ca/solareclipse

Regular updates will also be broadcast live on 105.1FM The River, twice an hour, from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday, April 8, 2024.

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