dark sky preserve

10 dark sky preserves in Canada for stargazing that are out of this world

Canada has 22 sites designated as Dark Sky Preserves across the country. A Dark Sky Preserve is an area that restricts artificial light pollution, in order to create a healthy environment for its inhabiting creatures and protect biodiversity. 

Here are Dark Sky Preserves in Canada that offer the best conditions for stargazing. 

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

This 381 square kilometre park is the only Dark Sky Preserve in Nova Scotia. The park hosts night sky interpretive programs in the summer, but the view is available any time of the year.

Mont-Mégantic National Park, Quebec

Mont-Mégantic was recognized as the first international Dark Sky Preserve by the International Dark-Sky Association. The reserve's 34 municipalities developed outdoor lighting regulations that have significantly limited the growth of the light pollution in the area, making for clear, dark skies.

Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan 

Known as Canada's darkest Dark Sky Preserve, Grasslands National Park is also among the largest with about 730 square kilometres. As well as offering spectacular views, the preservation of the day-night cycle offers a healthy habitat for the plentiful wildlife, flora and fauna of the park. 

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario

Away from the glow of the city lights, the Bruce Peninsula boasts some of the darkest skies in southern Ontario. It's the perfect place to catch sight of the Milky Way, comets, meteor showers – and even Andromeda, our neighbouring galaxy. All of which, can be seen with your naked eye.

Jasper National Park, Alberta 

During the month of October, Jasper National Park celebrates the night sky with dark sky month and the Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival. If you can’t make it, you can still soak in Jasper's skies any other one of the 365 days of the year.

Point Peelee National Park, Ontario

Known for being Canada’s southernmost tip, Point Pelee National Park is building its reputation for its dark skies. Once a month the park stays open until midnight for stargazers. In August, it's open around the clock for the Perseids meteor shower, which causes 20 to 30 shooting stars an hour. 

Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta

The Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world. This designation preserves habitat for almost a dozen owl species, bats, as well as the park's other nocturnal animals. It's also a prime spot for viewing the northern lights. 

Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador 

Terra Nova was just recently designated a Dark Sky Preserve in 2018, making it the first in the province. Sandy Pond or Blue Hill – which will get you up as high as the stars – are the best spots in the park to set up camp if you're looking to stargaze. 

Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick

Kouchibouguac is home to over 25 kilometres of shifting sand dunes, lagoons and salt marshes, the endangered piping plover, and the ultimate conditions for viewing constellations and shooting stars. 

Torrance Barrens Conservation Area, Ontario 

It may not be a national park, but Torrance Barrens is still worth a mention. As Canada's first ever Dark Sky Preserve in 1999, it's legally protected by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The undeveloped land provides the perfect ambience for a brilliant star show.  

Lead photo by

Gardner at Torrance Barrens

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

Canada is getting a massive new resort that pays homage to Indigenous culture

Burnaby Mountain park in Canada is home to the Playground of the Gods

The Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewan are a slice of the Wild West

Mingan Archipelago national park reserve is home to the largest group of monoliths in Canada

Ouimet Canyon has breathtaking fall colours and an unreal lookout bridge

This tiny Scandinavian cottage in the Canadian forest is the ultimate getaway

The Parkhurst Ghost Town is an old logging outpost hidden deep in the Canadian forest

The Eastern Townships in Quebec look absolutely breathtaking in the fall