Solar Eclipse 2024

On April 8, 2024, residents and visitors to Niagara Region will find themselves in the direct path of totality during a historic total eclipse of the sun. This spectacular event will last for almost four minutes, starting at 2:04 p.m. and ending at 4:33 p.m., with totality occurring at 3:18 p.m.

solar eclipse path of totality

What is a Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. People viewing the eclipse from locations where the Moon’s shadow completely covers the Sun – known as the path of totality – will experience a total solar eclipse. The sky will become dark, as if it were dawn or dusk. Weather permitting, people along the path of totality will see the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun.

What you can see during a total solar eclipse depends on the weather and the location from which you view it. You need clear skies to have the full eclipse experience, with a clear view of the Sun and Moon. However, the eerie daytime darkness associated with an eclipse is still noticeable with cloud cover.

solar eclipse

 How to avoid eye injuries.

It is very dangerous to look directly at the sun at any time, but during an eclipse the temptation to have a quick glance can be very strong. 

To avoid damaging your retinas when viewing the solar eclipse:

  • Do not view the eclipse at all or use a proper method of blocking the sun's dangerous rays while viewing.
  • Use a filter that blocks all dangerous light. To do this, you must use ISO-certified eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. The manufacturer's name and address must be printed on the product.
  • Do not use any viewer if it has scratched or wrinkled lenses.


What to avoid

  • Ordinary sunglasses or multiple pairs of sunglasses
  • Neutral density or polarizing filters, such as those made for camera lenses.
  • Smoked glass.
  • Photographic or X-ray film (unexposed, exposed or developed)
  • Eclipse glasses with a binocular or telescope 
  • Garbage bags, coffee cups, and any other do-it-yourself filters

For more information visit the Region of Niagara website LINK

 eclipse graphic "we're preparin.  Are you?"

Traffic Congestion

Solar Eclipses are an infrequent act of nature.  A solar eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017, affected 14 states across the Unites States of America.  This event saw millions of people traveling to areas in the Unites States that were part of the path of totality.  The path of totality covered 16% of the United States.  The millions of travelers resulted in significant traffic congestion and gridlock.

The Monday April 8, 2024, solar eclipse path of totality will pass through the City of Niagara Falls, and Port Colborne, and the Town of  Fort Erie, and other Ontario cities.  With Niagara Falls being one of Canada’s top tourism destinations it is anticipated that people from across Ontario, Canada, the United States may travel to the Niagara area. 98% of Niagara's 14,000+ hotel rooms are presently booked.

Traffic congestion is anticipated to be begin in the Niagara area Friday April 5, 2024, and build until the time of the eclipse.  Following the eclipse, congestion may continue as visitors attempt to the leave Niagara.  The congestion will affect many local Niagara roads and provincial highways.

cars in a traffic jam


 Tips to Mitigate Traffic Congestion
  • Promote Carpooling and Ridesharing to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
  • Implement Flexible Work Hours: Employers should be considering flexible work schedules, or staggered start and end times to reduce peak-hour traffic congestion.
  • Active Transportation: Encourage walking, cycling, and other forms of active transportation to move about Niagara Falls and the tourist district.
  • Encourage Telecommuting and Remote Work: Promote telecommuting and remote work options for employees to reduce the need for commuting altogether, thereby decreasing traffic congestion during peak hours.
  • Commercial Vehicles and Large Trucks should plan accordingly to not add to the congestion or have loads delayed in traffic.
  • Distracted Driving: Defensive driving is always the best approach. Distracted driving (smart phone use, talking, eating, and taking photos) can lead to a collision further compounding traffic congestion.
  • Stopping in Safe and Prohibited Locations: Drivers expect the normal flow of traffic on roadways and highways.  Vehicles randomly pulling over to take photos can lead to congestion and collisions.
  • Mass Transit: Consider using a train to come to and leave Niagara.
  • Construction and Road Crews: Should plan to limit work to emergency or time-sensitive circumstances.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is the proactive process of planning and organizing resources to effectively respond to, and mitigate, the impact of potential emergencies. Visitors and residents of Niagara should be preparing for the possibility that large crowds could impact traffic movement and access to supplies. 

Visitors should be prepared and have a full gas tank, extra water, and food. While there are numerous public restrooms in Niagara, visitors stuck in traffic gridlock may not be able to access one nearby. Public urination and defecation are illegal.  Visitors are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Local residents are asked to also plan ahead (48-72 hours in advance) by ensuring all of their vehicles are fueled up and having extra household supplies.  In being prepared, residents will be able to limit their need to travel to areas congested by traffic.


Preparing for a solar eclipse involves ensuring safety and maximizing the experience. Here are ten emergency preparedness tips:

  1. Protect Your Eyes: Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, such as solar viewing glasses or eclipse glasses. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse.
  2. Plan Your Viewing Location: Choose a safe and unobstructed location to view the eclipse, away from tall buildings, trees, or other obstacles that may block your view.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep updated with weather forecasts and any local advisories regarding the eclipse. Be aware of any potential hazards or emergency situations that may arise.
  4. Bring Supplies: Pack essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and protective clothing to ensure your comfort during the eclipse. Consider bringing a first aid kit and any necessary medications. 
  5. Use Caution When Driving: If you plan to travel to view the eclipse, exercise caution while driving and be aware of increased traffic congestion. Avoid stopping on highways or other busy roads to view the eclipse.
  6. Protect Pets: Keep pets indoors or under supervision during the eclipse to prevent them from looking directly at the sun or experiencing any anxiety or confusion due to changes in light.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially if you'll be spending extended periods outdoors during the eclipse. Dehydration can occur quickly, particularly in hot weather.
  8. Monitor Children: Keep a close eye on children during the eclipse to ensure they don't look directly at the sun or engage in unsafe behavior. Provide them with proper eye protection and educate them about eclipse safety. In the large crowds it is important to keep an eye on children and vulnerable people. Have a plan if people get separated. A group photo when starting off could help identify and locate a member of the group if they become separated or lost.
  9. The Darkness: Be prepared for a sudden decrease in light during a total solar eclipse. Bring flashlights or lanterns if you'll be outdoors during the event and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
  10. Have a Communication Plan: Establish a communication plan with family members or travel companions in case of emergency. Agree on a meeting point or method of contact in case you become separated during the eclipse.


By following these emergency preparedness tips, you can safely enjoy the awe-inspiring experience of a solar eclipse while minimizing potential risks.


Solar Eclipse Niagara – Road Closures – Niagara Falls and Fort Erie

Planning for the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse remains ongoing in the Niagara Region to have a safe and enjoyable event.  To allow for the safety of pedestrians, traffic management, and the movement of emergency vehicles there will be planned road closures in the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of Fort Erie.

The closures will allow access for local traffic, employment, emergency vehicles and to obtain some services (e.g., hospital).  Motorists may experience short stoppages at the controlled barriers.

Unplanned road closures may occur due to the ongong operational assesements of the events.

Niagara Falls

City of Niagara Falls Road Closures – Access for emergency vehicles/local traffic/employment – 11am Monday April 8, 2024

  1. Morrison Street will be closed between Portage Road and River Road
  2. McCrae Street will be closed between Stanley Avenue and Victoria Avenue
  3. North Street between Main Street and Buchanan Avenue
  4. River Road between Morrison Street and Hiram Street
  5. Portage Road Between Dunn Street and McLeod Road

Niagara Parks Police / Niagara Regional Police Service Road Closures for eclipse crowd management – as needed or at 12pm Monday April 8, 2024

  1. River Road between Hiram Street and Fraser Hill
  2. Clifton Hill between Victoria Avenue and River Road
  3. Murray Hill between Fallsview Boulevard and River Road

 map of niagara falls eclipse road closures

Fort Erie

Fort Erie Road Closures – Access for emergency vehicles/local traffic/employment - Monday April 8, 2024

Town of Fort Erie Road Closures

  1. Point Abino Road South at Erie Road (8:00am – 6:00pm)
  2. Crystal Beach Waterfront Park. Ridgeway Road will be closed at Crystal Beach Drive (before the Millington Skyway) and closed at Crystal Beach Drive and Lake Avenue intersection. (8:00am – 6:00pm)
  3. Derby Road between Erie Road and Cambridge Road East (12:00pm – 6:00pm)

Niagara Parks Police / Niagara Regional Police Service Road Closures for eclipse traffic / crowd management - April 8, 2024 (8:00am – 6:00pm)

  1. Mathers Arch Circle
  2. Lakeshore Road between Central Avenue and Dominion Road
  3. Lakeshore Road between Dominion Road and Adelaide Street
  4. Dominion Road between Adelaide Street and Lakeshore Road
  5. Adelaide Street between Lake Shore Road and Dominion Road

 map of fort erie eclipse road closures

map of fort erie eclipse road closures


Welcome to Niagara - Once You Are Here

We asked visitors and residents to prepare for the day.  Our request for being prepared does not stop once you get here.  


To ensure a safe and enjoyable event we ask that residents and visitors consider the below tips:



Steer It and Clear It - Eclipse traffic is expected to be heavy with areas projected to see significant congestion. If you are involved in a collision, first assess if anyone is injured.  If there are minimal injuries and the vehicles involved are drivable; clear the roadway to a safe spot so that traffic can continue to move. Report the collision to the proper authorities using the NRPS nonemergency number (905-688-4111) or 911 if needed.  


Distracted Driving - Distracted driving continues to be a major safety factor on Ontario roadways. Distracted driving is the cause of hundreds of collisions across Niagara every year. Distracted driving, combined with congested roads and the eclipse event may compound problems on roadways in Niagara. The use of a handheld communication device while operating a motor vehicle in Ontario may result in a fine over $600.00 for a first offence. 


Parking - Visitors to Niagara are reminded to park in designated parking spaces and be on the lookout for signage marking an area as prohibited parking. Motorists who park in prohibited areas or park in a way that causes an unsafe situation or further congestion may find their vehicle has been towed at their expense.


Patience - Traffic congestion in large crowds can cause frustration. We ask that visitors coming to the area pack their patience and be prepared for delays.


Bikes Locked Up  - Active transportation such as riding a bike or walking can be a great way to get around traffic congestion related to motor vehicles. If you are bringing your bike to Niagara, we encourage you to ride safe, right defensively, be seen, wear a helmet, and secure your bike in a safe place when not in use e.g., hotel room.


Eye Safety - It is imperative when taking part in the eclipse event that you wear certified ISO safety glasses to protect your eyes when looking at the eclipse. Failing to do so could result in permanent eye damage.

Pedestrian Safety – Pedestrians are requested to use caution when walking and to stay on the sidewalk. It is important to cross at designated crosswalks and intersections following the proper traffic signals. 


Lost Family Members Prevention

  • Take a photo of the family at the start of the day. It is a great keepsake that could help find a missing person, identifying clothing that is being worn that day. 
  • Identify family rendezvous points during the day. Much like an emergency in your home, this is a spot where everyone can meet if they do get separated in a crowd.
  • Find a uniformed officer and report the missing child or vulnerable person a soon as possible.


Lock It or Lose It – It is important to leave your car locked with the windows up. Valuables should not be left in a vehicle but if you must they should be left out of sight or concealed.


Stay off the Rail – The historic safety guard rail that is along the Niagara River has kept millions of visitors safe for decades. Sitting or standing on top the guard rail is dangerous and increases the risk of falling or injury. 


Reasons to Call 911 - For emergency assistance, dial 9-1-1 on your telephone. An operator will answer your call and determine what service is required. You will then be connected to either the police, fire, or ambulance service in your area.  Please stay on the line until you are told to hang up. Let the operator control the conversation and answer all questions as best you can. In emergency situations, help is on the way as you are giving the information. A situation is where the safety of people or property is at risk. Examples of 9-1-1 emergencies include: a fire; crime in progress; or a medical crisis.


No People or Pets Left in Cars – Whether it be an overcast or sunny day, the interior of a car or van can heat up quickly placing a person or pet left inside at jeopardy. A vehicle with the window left ajar can still see deadly increases in the interior temperature.





To contact a officers from the Niagara Regional Police Service Media Relations Unit email: