Solar eclipse in northern Canada

A total solar eclipse will hit northern Nunavut early in the morning on August 1. Map of the eclipse’s path. It should be pretty as the eclipse will start just after sunrise. Total eclipses are rare enough (they occur about once per 12-18 months) and they have a tendency of appearing in remote parts of the globe. See this map of solar eclipses until 2025. The next time a total eclipse returns to Canada is on April 8, 2024. Everythying you wanted to know about the eclipse is here.

So it is worth travelling to Nunavut to see this one. Only one slight problem: it is so expensive to get there, that from Vancouver it would be cheaper to travel to China or even Bayan Olgii in western Mongolia to watch the eclipse there. And the chances of getting clear skies are much better in Mongolia and China (map).

Grise fiord is the only Canadian town in the path of the eclipse. To get there, you first fly to Iqaluit via Ottawa or Montreal, then onwards to Resolute, and from there to Grise Fiord. Total cost: probably well over $4000 (!). From Resolute to Grise Fiord alone is about $1000 return. The list price from Iqaluit to Resolute alone is $2200. It’s difficult to promote tourism in this area when it is so hard to get there.

To get to Bayan Olgii, you take a non-stop flight to Beijing, another one hour flight to Ulaanbaatar, and then an interior flight to Olgii. Probably less than $1500 or so return. You could also watch the eclipse in northern China, just one flight and a bit of overland travel away. You’d just have to get well away from Beijing and its pollution. The southern Gobi would be a good place to watch.