Fire restoration work is expected to continue into late August. The main stairwell and office wing on both second and third floors of the Physics building will be closed until necessary repairs to the main stairwell are completed.
Administrative offices have been relocated to PHY 345.

Please contact individual faculty members to request appointments, as many faculty have been relocated during this process.
Please do not cross any caution tapes whilst in the building.

Gustav Bakos Observatory

Observatory guide Robbie Henderson views the stars through the telescope.The Gustav Bakos Observatory, named in honour of the first astronomer at the University of Waterloo, houses a twelve-inch telescope, which is located on the roof of the Physics building. The observatory has been in operation since 1967. The telescope has been used for research on visual binary stars and for undergraduate student assignments.

Public tours

Free tours for the public have been conducted at the Gustav Bakos Observatory for over ten years. These tours include monthly public tours; scheduled tours for groups such as girl guides, boy scouts, and elementary and high school classes; and tours for viewing special events such as eclipses and comets.

The Observatory is open for public tours usually on the first Wednesday of each month, offering a chance to look through the university's telescope. This will be preceded by a short talk on astronomy (around 30 minutes) plus an opportunity to ask questions, followed by a tour of the dome. In the event of bad weather, the observing will not be possible, but the talk and tour of facilities will go ahead. [No optical telescope on Earth can see through cloud - if it's too cloudy to see stars with the unaided eye (or the Sun earlier in the day), then we won't be able to see stars through the telescope.]

Everybody is welcome. There is no need to book in advance for the public tour and it is free of charge (but note that some of the parking lots are coin entry).

During special events of astronomical interest, additional tours may be scheduled and will be announced here approximately one month in advance.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a private tour for your group, you may send an email to the observatory coordinator at

Note: the schedule for public tours in the Fall 2018 term will be posted in mid to late August. Please contact us if you would like to be notified when our Fall public tour schedule is confirmed.

We welcome comments and/or suggestions - please leave feedback!
Will it be clear tonight? Astronomical forecast