A cloudy view of the solar eclipse at Niagara Falls

Apr 11, 2024 | GTA/Local News, News

The long-awaited solar eclipse hit Ontario on Monday but for many, the day wasn’t what they expected.

Peter Johnson came from New York. He flew to Toronto and paid for two nights at a hotel, He said he wished he could have seen more.

“It’s a little disappointing, it’s been clear the last two days, it’s clear and sunny now and just those couple of hours we didn’t catch it,” Johnson said.

Last month the city declared a state of emergency because the border city expected thousands of attendees.

“The spotlight will be on Niagara as thousands of visitors join us to share in this once-in-a-lifetime event, and we will be ready to shine,” said Jim Bradley, the Niagara Region Chair,

While people were coming from all around, Niagara Falls wasn’t as busy as expected.

A partial view of the Sun covered by  dark clouds and the shadow of the moon.

Solar eclipse at third contact at 3:20 p.m. April 8 taken at Whirlpool golf course in Niagara Falls. Photo credit: Jeferson Quiros-Vargas

Boston Pizza manager Amandeep Kar said they were prepared to deal with a high demand that never came.

Kar says while people were expected to come from all around, Niagara Falls wasn’t as busy as expected. She said holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve have a bigger spike in business.

“For us, it was like a normal summer day,” Kar said.

She said she thinks the cloudy weather stopped many from coming to the Falls.

Suraj Kha is a fellow traveller who woke up early that day to take the 10 am GO train with two friends.

They came from Toronto taking the express train from Union to Niagara Falls which he said was “pretty hectic.”

“We didn’t get a place to sit. We were sitting on the stairs,” he said.

In Ontario, a city can declare to be in a state of emergency for as long as it’s deemed reasonable.

Despite the city initially believing they would need to stay on high alert, they concluded the state of emergency just before 6 p.m.

A cop car blocking the road towards tourist attractions.

A police cruiser blocks the road leading to Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, around 6 p.m. on April 2. This is the main tourist strip of the area. Photo credit: Jeferson Quiros-Vargas

“Niagara Region wishes to thank the hundreds of volunteers and numerous staff who worked diligently throughout the day to ensure the health and safety of all remained a top priority,” the press release said.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, the next total solar eclipse won’t be visible in Canada until 2044, when it will be visible in Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, other parts of Alberta, and sections of northeastern B.C.