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Jan 20, 2022

5 min. read

Canada is home to many sites that provide amateur astronomers with the ideal backdrop to view the stars. These protected areas are dedicated to preserving the night sky by limiting artificial light pollution to ensure thousands of sparkling stars remain visible to the naked eye.

Here are four star-studded spots where you can go for an out-of-this-world adventure in Ontario this winter.

Killarney Provincial Park, Killarney

Located about four hours north of Toronto on the shores of Georgian Bay, the vast 26-acre Killarney Provincial Park offers some of the best stargazing in Ontario.

Killarney’s on-site observatory is home to an impressive telescope that visitors can reserve to get an up-close look at constellations, meteor showers, planets and nebulae—clouds of gas and dust visible only in the night sky. The park also hosts educational events throughout the year as part of its astronomers-in-residence program.

Torrance Barrens Reserve, Muskoka

The Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy, shooting stars and the legendary northern lights are just some of the otherworldly marvels visible from Torrance Barrens Reserve.

Set near Gravenhurst, the observation area offers prime viewing opportunities that are conveniently located just steps from the parking lot. Smooth granite rocks make the perfect platforms to set up a telescope, while low-lying trees and vegetation ensure unobstructed views of the twinkling night sky.

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Tobermory

Leave the glowing city lights behind and head north to Bruce Peninsula National Park for an unforgettable stargazing adventure.

This remote wilderness area boasts crystal-clear skies that reveal meteor showers, comets and the best views of the northern lights in southern Ontario. Overnight visitors can enjoy winter camping at the Cyprus Lake Campground or book an eco-chic stay at the new yurt campsite.

Point Pelee National Park, Leamington

This ecologically diverse park is located at the southernmost tip of Canada’s mainland, which makes it a slightly warmer option for star-sighting in the cold winter months.

Point Pelee National Park is the only dark sky preserve in the country where observers can spot constellations from the southern hemisphere and deep space objects. Plan your visit on the darkest nights of the year—during the new moon on February 1—when the park stays open until midnight for a prime stargazing experience.

Plan ahead

Before taking off for your next adventure, speak to a CAA Travel Consultant to get the most out of your getaway and to ensure your travel insurance is up-to-date in case of unexpected delays or cancellation.

Image credit: Susan Dykstra/Design Pics/Getty

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