The David Dunlap Observatory for those curious about astronomy

The David Dunlap Observatory for those curious about astronomy
The David Dunlap Observatory for those curious about astronomy

The David Dunlap Observatory (ODD), nestled in the heart of Richmond Hill, is a major figure in astronomical research in Canada. Witness to a rich history and carrying an educational mission, this observatory is both a scientific research center and a popular public attraction.

The Marsh Field Observatory

The ODD traces its origins to the property of Robert Marsh in 1802. Fifty years later, his grandson Alexander Marsh inherited the land.

In 1905, Dr. Clarence Chant, considered the father of Canadian astronomy, was looking for a location for a telescope. David Dunlap, a lawyer and philanthropist, supported his efforts.

Dunlap’s death in 1924, Chant suggested to his widow, Jessie Dunlap, that an observatory be erected in honor of her husband. The land, owned by the Marsh family for more than a century, became the site of the ODD after a $28,000 purchase in 1935.

Ms. Dunlap donated it to the University of Toronto. In 2017, the city of Richmond acquired the observatory and its park.

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