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Kingston emergency services partners seek public cooperation during Total Solar Eclipse

Release Date: April 4, 2024


Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), the City of Kingston, Kingston Police, Kingston Fire and Rescue, Frontenac Paramedics, and the Frontenac OPP are collectively asking for the public's cooperation on April 8, the day of the total solar eclipse, to ensure safety and accessibility across the city.


Anticipating a significant influx of visitors to Kingston, estimated to be as many as 500,000, it is expected that Kingston will experience substantial traffic delays and gridlock. Traffic routes must remain open for critical emergencies, and cooperation from the public is essential to support the smooth operation of emergency services during this period.

To ensure public safety and efficient emergency response:


  • Keep roadways clear: we ask motorists to help do their part and to stay off the roads whenever possible, leading up to, during, and immediately after the eclipse to alleviate unnecessary traffic congestion. We encourage Kingstonians to stay in their neighbourhoods; we already have the best seats in the country.
  • Emergency calls: in emergency situations, always call 911. However, we ask that the public please keep emergency phone lines and dispatchers free for true emergencies.
  • Respect emergency vehicles: please maintain a safe distance from ambulances, police and fire vehicles with emergency lights on, whether in motion or parked. All emergency services personnel should be treated with respect at all times.


To support traffic to and from the hospital, the City of Kingston will close King Street between Barrie Street and Mowat Street, as well as Sir John A Macdonald Boulevard from Union Street to King Street, ensuring access to the emergency department at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) remains unobstructed. Local traffic will be permitted on side streets south of Union Street, and access to Stuart Street and KGH will be maintained via Albert Street and Barrie Street. (please see the attached map)


Individuals seeking to access care at KGH can do so via the main KGH entrance on Stuart Street. For those looking to access the Emergency Department, they can do so by traveling down Barrie Street to Stuart Street, turning onto George Street then King Street. When leaving KGH we ask that people proceed to exit through the closure at Barrie Street.


Additionally, one lane northbound and one lane southbound on Sir John A Macdonald Boulevard will be closed to allow emergency personnel access to the hospital from the 401 and areas north of the city. Residents should be prepared for additional dynamic road detours that day, and always follow the directions of on-site traffic personnel.


Furthermore, the public is urged not to fly drones in the vicinity of KGH (particularly near the helipad in Breakwater Park) to capture images of the eclipse, as this may interfere with air ambulance traffic. This air space is protected year-round.


Kingston's emergency services community has been diligently preparing for this extraordinary event and will be ready to support the needs of our community on April 8.




  • “In a medical emergency, every moment counts, so we ask for the public’s assistance in helping keep roadways clear as KHSC is the trauma centre for southeastern Ontario. We have rescheduled non-urgent clinic appointments and medical procedures, as well we have upstaffed in our Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre to ensure we have the capacity to support community needs on the day of the eclipse.” - Chief Operating Officer Dr. Renate Ilse, Kingston Health Sciences Centre


  • “Frontenac Paramedics is prepared in case of increased demand for emergency medical response on the day of the eclipse. I encourage spectators to enjoy the experience but to take time in advance to think about how to minimize personal risks. Doing so helps to preserve emergency medical capacity for those who need it most.”  - Chief Gale Chevalier, Frontenac Paramedics


  • “Residents are encouraged to prepare for the event ahead of time to reduce the need to travel on April 8 as it is imperative that roadways are kept open for emergency response. Kingston Police are committed to doing our part to keep roads safe during planned solar eclipse events, we are counting on motorists to do their part by driving safely and complying with all traffic laws. The Kingston Police will be upstaffing to meet the needs of the community during the event. We want everyone to witness and enjoy the event whilst remaining cognizant of the needs of others. We wish everyone a safe and happy event.” – Inspector Greg Sands, Kingston Police


  • “Drivers are reminded that sharing the road safely is particularly important when attending large gatherings that generate higher than normal traffic volumes. The OPP remind drivers that vehicle headlights should be on during the eclipse, to not wear eclipse glasses while driving, to not photograph or take video of the eclipse while driving, to never pull over or stop on the roadway and/or shoulder of the road to view the eclipse, and instead exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic to view the eclipse. Also, please be aware of possible increased pedestrian traffic on April 8.” - Staff Sergeant Scott Underhill, Frontenac OPP


  • “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all residents for their understanding and cooperation regarding the upcoming road closures in preparation for the solar eclipse on April 8. Your willingness to adjust travel plans and respect these closures ensures the safety and accessibility of vital health services during this event.” – Commissioner Brad Joyce, City of Kingston




Kingston Health Sciences Centre:
John Pereira, Lead – Editorial Strategy, Media and Government Relations
Phone: 613-217-4067

Frontenac Paramedics:
Matt Mills, Communications Officer
Phone: 613-328-8953

Kingston Police:
Constable Ash Gutheinz/Anthony Colangeli

Ontario Provincial Police – Frontenac Detachment:
Constable Rob Martell
Phone: (613) 372-1932

City of Kingston:
Communications Department

Contact Us

Kingston Police
705 Division Street
Kingston, Ontario
K7K 4C2

Telephone: 613-549-4660
TTY (hearing impaired): 613-549-8792
Administration Fax: 613-549-3111
Operations Fax: 613-549-7111

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