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Sep 22, 2023

6 min. read

It’s prime time for stargazing. Fall is when the nights are longer, the air clearer, and the weather mild enough for revelling in the outdoors. Our country has some of the best venues for viewing the constellations, thanks to Parks Canada, which protects more dark skies than any other jurisdiction in the world. Escape urban light pollution and visit these spots, adjacent to dark-sky preserves (DSPs), for their night festivals, camping sites and astronomy destinations, all geared to sky watchers.


The Jasper Dark Sky Festival (October 13–22), which takes place in the world’s largest accessible DSP, features guided observation tours and speakers, family-friendly activities and live music.


Grasslands National Park, the darkest DSP in Canada, is a favourite destination of amateur stargazers and professional astronomers.


Spruce Woods Provincial Park was recently designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as Manitoba’s first DSP for its excellent night-sky readings, astronomy programs and strict guidelines for reducing light pollution.


The Chronos Observatory hosts popular stargazing events on the grounds of the Calamus Estate Winery. Using telescopes in the observatory silo and vineyard, visitors can immerse themselves in the wonders of the night sky.


Bruce Peninsula National Park is known as “where the Milky Way blankets the sky from horizon to horizon.” Volunteers from Bayside Astronomy offer talks and telescope viewings every Friday and Saturday, from Canada Day until Labour Day.


Newfoundland and Labrador’s Terra Nova National Park was designated a dark-sky preserve in 2018 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The annual Night Sky Celebration takes place in late August, but Night Sky Kits, with binoculars and sky viewing info, can be rented all season.

Plan your trip

Before you hit the road, connect with a CAA Travel Consultant for expert travel advice and helpful tips. Enjoy Member-exclusive savings and earn CAA Dollars® on dining, shopping, car rentals and hotel stays along the way. Visit CAA Rewards® for a complete list of partners.

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