The 70-year-old David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill — once Canada’s leading observatory where scientists first discovered black holes — has outlived its usefullness and will likely be sold, say officials at the University of Toronto, which owns the 200-acre property. It really is sad because it is an incredible structure. Instead Richmond Hill will gain another subdivision.
The lights of the city are simply too bright to let astronomers see clearly enough into space for modern research.
Donated to the university in 1935 by the widow of mining mogul David Dunlap, an astronomy buff, the telescope was built on farmland that seemed far from the bustle of Toronto. But as urban sprawl wrapped around its forested setting in the 1980s, astronomers began to leave the Dunlap observatory for other countries.