April 08, 2023
The Solar Eclipse Comes to Montréal in April 2024
Most (but not all!) of the city will go dark on April 8th, 2024 for several minutes as the Moon blocks out the Sun
In the middle of the afternoon on April 8th, 2024, Montréal will go dark for several minutes. And this time, you won't have to check the Hydro Quebec outage map.
On that Monday afternoon, if the weather is good, traffic will cease. Every building will be vacant of people. The streets and parks will be flooded with people wearing eclipse glasses looking upward.
The sky will begin to darken, and the birds and animals might think it's nighttime and start their evening routine. The temperature will drop a few degrees. In each direction you look, a 360° sunset will begin taking place.
And at exactly 3:26 PM, the moment we've been waiting years for will have arrived: the Moon will totally block out the Sun over Montréal.
For just a few minutes, people will be able to take their eclipse glasses off and marvel at the sight. Crowds will shout with joy and some may even begin to cry.
And then, the Moon will move and the Sun's light will return. Glasses back on, and slowly, the city will return to normal. People will return to their office desks, traffic will recommence, and countless thousands of eclipse glasses will be discarded in garbage cans and on the streets.
It's gonna be magic. Here's how to see it:
- April 8th, 2024
- 2:14 PM – Moon starts blocking the Sun
- 3:26 PM – Moon fully blocks out the Sun
- 3:28 PM – Moon ends fully blocking out the Sun
- 4:36 PM – Moon ends blocking out the Sun
In order to see the Moon fully block out the Sun, you need to be in the path of totality. This is shown in the map below by the narrow band of dark red. View the interactive map here.
Montréal is just barely exists inside of the path of totality. And that's where it gets weird.
Where in Montréal
The path of totality cuts through the island of Montréal.
Yes: only some of the island will be able to see the Moon totally block out the Sun. And if you're not in the right spot, you'll miss the climax of the eclipse, which you don't want to do.
I've made this map to showcase roughly where totality will take place in Montréal. Sorry, Laval:
Challenges for Montréal
I'm preparing a video about the eclipse, but the city of Montréal needs to be prepared for the unique nature of this eclipse:
- how will they handle traffic coming from Laval all at once to see the eclipse?
- how many tourists can the city handle?
- will the city shut down traffic for several minutes during totality?
- should they mandate the schools and businesses take the day off to celebrate?
- how will the city/province hand out eclipse glasses to everybody?
- what if another ice storm happens just days before the eclipse? it can happen!
If you work at the city and are reading this post, get in touch and I can help redirect your questions to people who can offer advice.
What if it's Cloudy?
I'm writing this on the morning of April 8, 2023. And it's sunny with clear skies! Let's hope it's the same for next year.
It'll be unfortunate if it's cloudy, but even if it is, there's still magic to be had. For the 15 minutes before and after totality, the sky will go completely dark. It'll effectively turn into nighttime.
Although not the ideal scenario, what an odd thing to witness and remember: the day Montréal went dark in the middle of the day.
I will be doing a live stream covering all you need to know about the eclipse on April 16th at 8:00 PM. YouTube embed below: