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Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory

Tower for the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

Tower for the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

The Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory building from which the 1882 transit of Venus (ToV) was supposed to be observed survives, although it was moved to its present location subsequent to 1882. The observatory tower was built to house the high quality 152mm O.G. Thomas Cooke refractor commissioned for the ToV. The telescope also survives, and is in the collections of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.

Photograph by R.A. Rosenfeld.

Original Transit Pillar Marking the 1882 Site of the Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory

Original Transit Pillar Marking the 1882 Site of the Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory

This pillar, erected to carry an astrometrical instrument called a meridian transit, is the only original surviving architectural feature on the site of the Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory, the nerve centre of the Dominion's 1882 transit of Venus campaign, and a place from which the ToV was not observed due to uncooperative weather.

Photograph by R.A. Rosenfeld.

Plaque Marking the Position of the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

Plaque Marking the Position of the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

The Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory was the nerve centre for the Dominion's Transit of Venus (ToV) campaign in 1882. That campaign was designed, organized, and directed by Charles Carpmael, the director of the observatory, superintendent of the Dominion's Meteorological Office, and first President of the reconstituted RASC from 1890-1894. The campaign involved thirteen observing stations, distributed from Charlottetown to Winnipeg.

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