AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Science of the Stars: The National Heritage of the Dominion Observatory (Abstract)

Volume 47 number 2 (2019)

Sharon Odell


(Abstract only) After the Dominion 15-inch telescope was removed from the Dominion Observatory in 1974, there was an enquiry as to whether this architecture should still stand if it no longer served its original purpose: keeping time, seismology, and astronomy for the country. Astronomers joined fellow Canadian citizens to challenge this declaration, by claiming that the architecture alone was worthy of national heritage designation. This presentation examines the documents, actions, and historical scientific merit put forth to the Canadian Government, in a determined effort to safeguard Canada’s National Observatory. Additionally, it compares this past challenge to a similar one facing it today, with the construction of a new hospital super-campus that is about to be placed on its grounds.