Thousands gather in Victoria for best eclipse viewing spot in Canada

Thousands gather in Victoria for best eclipse viewing spot in Canada

WATCH: Large crowds gathered for eclipse viewing parties in Victoria. Experts say B.C.’s capital was the best viewing spot in the country. Isabelle Raghem reports.

Thousands gathered for one of the city’s biggest viewing parties at Mount Tolmie Monday.

“We came because we knew this was the best place to watch the eclipse [in Canada],” said one woman who came from Manchester, England.

The moon began covering the sun shortly after 9 a.m.

Some watched the spectacle through eclipse glasses, some with telescopes and others brought their homemade viewing devices.

“We did our research and saw there’s another [eclipse] in about 30 years so if we keep the [viewing] box we’ll be all set,” said one man who built his on device.

Hundreds also gathered at the Royal BC Museum as the morning sky began to darken shortly before 10 a.m.

The maximum coverage hit by 10:20 when the moon blocked 90 per cent of the sun.

The event bringing out the giving side of people, as strangers passed their glasses around.

“I’m happy to share, I can only use them for a little while at a time and it’s nice to see other people’s reactions,” said one woman who purchased her eclipse glasses last month.

Joan Ainscough brought an important photo of the eclipse for the occasion.

“My father George Paul took [the photo] in 1979 in Goldendale Washington. He was an amateur astronomer and a member of the royal astronomical society,” said Ainscough, “It brings back lots of memories and makes me feel close to my dad.”

People at Beacon Hill Park came to view not only the display in the sky but also to see if the animals would notice.

But it seemed no bother to goats and the pigs. They took advantage of the darkness for a snooze.

While the eclipse itself was short-lived, viewers say it left a long-lasting impact.

If you missed it, you have lots of time to prepare: While you’ll be able to catch a bit of next eclipse in 2024, the next total or near-total eclipse in Victoria isn’t until 2045.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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