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Montreal reports great conditions for a solar eclipse watch party in the park

People gather to watch the total solar eclipse at Parc Jean Drapeau, in Montreal, Monday.
Ryan Remiorz
People gather to watch the total solar eclipse at Parc Jean Drapeau, in Montreal, Monday.

MONTREAL — This city is in the path of totality, and its largest eclipse-watching event is taking place in Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Tens of thousands of people arrived, many by subway and bike, to the park, which is on an island in the St. Lawrence River.

Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain, directed by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is also here to accompany the eclipse live.

Cameron Johnson, sitting on the ground in a NASA sweatshirt, says he traveled from Washington, D.C., to see the total eclipse in Montreal.

Johnson drove down to South Carolina to view the solar eclipse in 2017.

"Last time we saw it we didn't go to a big, crowded place. We just went and found a very secluded area," he says. "So this time trying something different, experience it with other people."

Organizers say they have 150,000 pairs of eclipse glasses to distribute but the crowd could be even larger. Local schools closed for the day.

Nearby, Mylène Desrosiers says she came with her three children, her mother, Guylaine Rivest, and her nephews.

Desrosiers' family lives in the town of L'Assomption, Quebec, just over 20 miles outside Montreal, which she says is not projected to be in the path of totality.

"My son said it was really important to see the total eclipse the one time in the century that you can see it," she says. "He's really interested in everything to do with space, stars. He's really curious, so it was an important moment for him."

The last time a total eclipse was visible from Montreal was in 1932, but the view was cloudy.

Today, the conditions are perfect.

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