Darkened Toronto Skyline

September 06, 2008

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Provided and Copyright by: Andrew Yee
Summary Author and Editor: Andrew Yee

In Toronto, Ontario, the 2008 Earth Hour global campaign took place on March 29 between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. This campaign was aimed at raising the awareness of energy conservation. Many residents and businesses in Toronto turned off non-essential lighting during the event, and as a result, electricity consumption in that hour dropped by 8.7 percent in Toronto and approximately 5 percent across the rest of the province of Ontario.

As seen from Centre Island, the reduction in lighting made a difference in appearance of the Toronto skyline. The top image, taken on September 2, 2007, shows a typical vibrant skyline that prominently features the 1815 ft. (553 m) tall CN Tower and the Rogers Centre (domed stadium), to its left. However, during the Earth Hour, the skyline looked subdued, as can be seen in the bottom image. The faint glow of the tower and the stadium comes from the reflection of streetlights. Both images were captured using the same camera and lens settings, and the exposure time of each image is 15 seconds long. Since Canada joined the U.S. in adopting an early switchover to daylight saving time, much of the Earth Hour happened in twilight. The visual impact of the event was not fully realized until the final quarter of the hour -- the bottom image was taken just before 9:00 p.m.