Blog Description - A collection of media articles and tweets highlighting 1) the dangers of sun glare while driving, 2) the issue of shadowing due to urban development, and 3) random fun sun facts.
Blog Purpose and Disclaimer - This blog compiles and shares public interest stories in an effort to educate and raise awareness. Sources, credits and links are provided for articles and images, and it is my belief that this blog complies with the fair dealing exception in Canada's Copyright Act. However, if you wish your item removed, simply ask.
Cheers, Ralph Bouwmeester
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Torontohenge is the name given for the phenomenon that occurs four times per year when the sun rises or sets in line with Toronto's major east-west streets downtown. The event, twice per year at sunrise, and twice at sunset, gives photographers great opportunities to capture the sun as its top edge grazes the horizon between the canyon walls of buildings on either side of the street.
Photo courtesy of Rudy Limeback @rudydotca
Although Torontohenge technically falls on the dates given below, great photos can be taken for about a week before the August and October dates and a week after the February and April dates as the rising/setting sun passes over the street. Not great for driving, but quite a sight just the same.
The Torontohenge dates for 2021 are:
February 15 - 5:48 PM EST
April 19 - 6:28 AM EDT
August 23 - 6:31 AM EDT
October 25 - 6:18 PM EDT
See monthly Toronto sunrise and sunset times here...
Warning for Drivers and Pedestrians
Despite the opportunities for photographers, conditions for motorists and pedestrians may be difficult for a week or more after the February and April dates and before the October and August dates. NOTE: The first and last hours of daylight are typically the worst. Be prepared, and be extra careful.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Thursday, April 2, 2020
What you will need...
- a watch or a clock
- an open area of lawn (ideally at least 6m x 1.5m (20' x 5') for the sundial to work between 10 AM and 5 PM)
- stones (size is up to you) or other markers, 16 for the hours between sunrise and sunset in June
- a shadow-caster, your child
- head outside and place two stones to mark the spot for the shadow-caster to stand
- have the shadow-caster stand facing north (roughly) with their toes just touching the two stones
- wait for the top of an hour (e.g. 8, 9, 10, etc.) and place a stone at the tip of the shadow
- repeat Step 3 each hour on the hour (See Figures below to see how your sundial will look when done.)
- if you like, paint the hour number on each stone
A time-lapse animation is provided below the Figures showing how your shadow will move during the day.
See our time-lapse animation.
- Since the sun runs slightly ahead of or behind your watch time, depending on the time of year, you may want to adjust your sundial every couple of weeks or so. Simple fix, move the stones to match your watch.
- Probably more noticable than the sundial running fast or slow, the shadows will begin to get shorter as we approach the summer solstice (June 20 in 2020). Again, you can simply move the stones to match your watch.
- If you like, gather up more stones and add another row next month (preferably on the same day of the month), and the month after that, etc. In this way, you can see how much higher the sun gets between now and the first day of summer.
- After the first day of summer, you will notice the shadows getting longer again.
Monday, March 2, 2020
Thank you Denis, same to you.— Ralph Bouwmeester (@SunPosition) February 5, 2020
Cars should not be comfy entertainment centres. #RoadSafety— Ralph Bouwmeester (@SunPosition) February 13, 2020
How to make drivers more attentive and careful? Replace the steering wheel airbag with a 6” spike. #RoadSafety— Ralph Bouwmeester (@SunPosition) February 13, 2020
i took the above picture on Feb 18 last year, also a couple of days after #TorontoHenge, from Queen St at Church, with the sun shining right through the new Eatons-Simpsons walkway (or whatever it's called now)...— Rudy Limeback (@rudydotca) February 17, 2020
and i'm pleased i was asked to share this picture with Ralph Bouwmeester (@SunPosition) to illustrate his great TorontoHenge web page, where you can find the dates of the three other #TorontoHenge events this year— Rudy Limeback (@rudydotca) February 17, 2020