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Outdoor Music and Early Morning Conjunction

(August 22, 2014)

Songs Under the Stars flyer

On Friday evening, August 29, come join us for some stargazing in Richmond Hill's old town centre with live music provided by Derek Christie and his Band! The DDOD Astonomers will provide telescopes for free stargazing outside the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts (10268 Yonge Street, 1 block north of Centre Street, on the west side).

There will be chairs set up outside in the front courtyard for you to relax and enjoy the free live music and enjoy something to drink from the Centre's bar or from Covernotes Coffee House right next door.

And EARLY (<5:30 am) on Saturday morning, August 23, look to the Eastern horizon to see the crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter meet in a celestial triangle. If you have a pair of binoculars, see if you can spot the four bright moons around Jupiter and the "Beehive" star cluster above it.

If you provide us with your email address sent to: sheltonfam2001@hotmail.com, we can send you e-mail to keep you informed about upcoming events.

Clear skies,

--Ian Shelton and Tuba Koktay, DDOD's Vice Chair & Resident Astronomers

The David Dunlap Observatory lies nestled in the heart of Richmond Hill, Ontario, a city of 200,000 just north of Canada's largest city, Toronto. The 190-acre oasis of mature forests, pastures and springs is home to two distinct deer herds and an abundance of other wildlife, including a coyote pack, foxes, voles, rabbits, honey bees, many species of butterflies, and birds including hawks, owls, doves, crows and songbirds. The property represents the last and largest urban open green space in southern Richmond Hill.


Originally deeded to the University of Toronto by the philanthropist Jessie Donalda Dunlap in memory of her husband David, the Dunlap Observatory opened on May 31st, 1935. Its magnificent 74-inch telescope was the second largest in the world at that time and has been used through seven decades to conduct much groundbreaking research, including the discovery of the first known black hole, Cygnus X-1.

In 2007, the University of Toronto wrested control of the land from Jessie Dunlap's heirs through a protracted legal case spanning 4 years. They then broke the public covenant that the land would remain a park and a research and outreach centre in perpetuity by selling the property to a developer intent on replacing most of the greenspace with hundreds of houses.

The DDO Defenders have been working hard to represent the public and inform all levels of government about what will be lost if the developer is allowed to proceed.


On April 12th, 2012, after six long and anxiety-ridden months of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mandated mediation following a four year hard-fought and very public battle, an agreement was reached in March between the mediation parties to the David Dunlap Observatory Lands OMB case.

Minutes of Settlement were drawn up for signing by all parties to the mediation -- the landowner, Corsica Development Inc. (a subsidiary of MetrusDevelopments Inc.), the Town of Richmond Hill, the Region of York, the Toronto and Area Conservation Authority (TRCA), and the David Dunlap Observatory Defenders (DDO Defenders) Inc. This historic document was ratified by Richmond Hill Town Council on Thursday, April 12th. All mediation parties had been sworn to absolute secrecy under a strict gag order until Council signed off on the agreement, but now the silence has finally been broken and the details of the settlement agreement can be made public. (read more)

For further information or to offer support, please contact:

The Minutes of Settlement is posted at the Town of Richmond Hill - DDO webpage.


Please support our Community Advocacy

The DDO Defenders are deeply committed to preserving the David Dunlap Observatory, surrounding Lands and the Dunlap Legacy. Our mandate is to ensure that the campus continues to operate as a world-class astronomical and astrophysical research facility and a centre of excellence in public Outreach, Education and Experiential Learning regarding all aspects of the Scientific, Physical and Natural World.

Donating Online

Donating by Cheque or Money Order

Please make your cheque or money order payable to "DDO Defenders Legal Defense Fund" and send it to:

DDO Defenders
18 Harding Blvd, Unit 902
Richmond Hill, ON
Canada L4C 0T3.

Donating by Phone

Call us at (416) 990-6694


Venus-Jupiter-Moon conjunction Venus, Jupiter & crescent Moon above eastern horizon at 5:30am, Saturday Aug.23.