In 1921, David Dunlap, a retired lawyer and industrialist with a passion for astronomy, attended a public lecture on comets.
The talk was being given by Clarence Chant who had established the Department of Astronomy at the University of Toronto, and who for years had been pursuing his dream of building an observatory. From such a modest beginning, the David Dunlap Observatory and, eventually, the Dunlap Institute were born.
The Dunlap Institute continues the David Dunlap Observatory’s mission of sharing the thrill of discovery with the public. Through outreach events like the Transit of Venus at Varsity Stadium, through social media, video chats, a web portal and interactive planetarium—and public talks like the one David Dunlap attended in 1921—we are helping the public discover more about the universe they live in.
Our work is greatly enhanced through collaborations with people involved in outreach in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, David Dunlap Observatory, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the 99 branches of the Toronto Public Library.