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Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, and a great place to see the night sky. | SkyNews
Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, and a great place to see the night sky. (Kayvan Mazhar)

Find dark-sky sites and preserves in Canada

Use this SkyNews directory to find a dark-sky site near you.

Canada’s urban and suburban skies can be quite bright, but there are gorgeous, easily accessible dark skies to be seen all over the country. 

Use this directory to find a dark-sky site near you. While we’ve listed sites and parks that are used by RASC centres and other astronomy clubs, there are obviously many more wonderful places where there are dark night skies. Care to share your favourite spot? Send us an email at editor@skynews.ca.

Learn more about the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s dark-sky site designations here.

Also, when visiting dark sites where there are other night sky admirers, please follow proper etiquette. The RASC Edmonton Centre has listed some points online.

Choose your region

Alberta

Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area (RASC Nocturnal Preserve)
Location: Southwest of Calgary
Details: A 4,800-acre day-use area with a focus on wildlife and habitat protection — dogs, bikes, camping, etc. are not permitted.

The Beaver Hills Dark-Sky Preserve encompasses Elk Island National Park. | SkyNews
The Beaver Hills Dark-Sky Preserve encompasses Elk Island National Park. (bantersnaps, Unsplash)

Beaver Hills and Elk Island National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: East of Edmonton
Details: In addition to being an important refuge for bison, elk and more than 250 bird species, Elk Island National Park is also an oasis of calm for day picnickers and overnight campers alike.

Blackfoot Dark Site
Location: East of Edmonton
Details: Part of the Blackfoot Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area with free entry and night access. Main dark-sky site for the Edmonton Centre RASC. The Waskahegan Dark Site is an alternate site located in the same area. 

Black Nugget Lake Dark Site
Location: Southeast of Edmonton
Details: Future location of the Edmonton Centre’s observatory and home of the Northern Prairie Star Party.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Straddling southern Alberta and Saskatchewan
Details: A huge park spanning two provinces for various outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping. Also contains the National Heritage Site of Fort Walsh.

Jasper Provincial Park has some beautiful scenery, and it's also a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve.  It's a win-win. | SkyNews
Jasper Provincial Park has some beautiful scenery, and it’s also a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve. It’s a win-win. (Caleb White)

Jasper National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Western Alberta
Details: Over 11,000 square kilometres in size, Jasper National Park is one of the largest dark-sky sites in the world, and hosts the Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival every October.

Lakeland Provincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Northeast of Edmonton
Details: A park offering lake access for canoeing, Lakeland is also a winter destination for cross-country skiing and ice fishing. Shaw Lake is in the provincial park.

Wood Buffalo National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Straddling northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories
Details: Canada’s largest national park and the RASC most northern designated Dark-Sky Site, Wood Buffalo is a critical ecological area which protects endangered bison.

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British Columbia

Cattle Point (RASC Urban Star Park)
Location: Victoria
Details: Along the coastline of Oak Bay, Cattle Point provides clear views of the water and sky, with only a single lamp post disturbing the darkness of the entire area.

Loon Lake Road Reclamation Site
Location: West of Kelowna
Details: Bortle Class 2. Faint shadows cast by the Milky Way are visible on white objects. Clouds are black holes in the sky. No light domes. The Milky Way has faint extensions making it 50 degrees thick. Limiting magnitude 7.1 to 7.5. Used by the Merritt Astronomical Society.

McDonald Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: East of Vancouver
Details: Used by the Fraser Valley Astronomers Society, McDonald Park overlooks the Sumas River and is situated between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

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Manitoba

Spruce Woods Provincial Park 
Location: West of Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Centre of RASC holds a star party here annually over Labour Day weekend. 

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New Brunswick

Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, is also home to world's highest tides. | SkyNews
Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, is also home to world’s highest tides. (Tim Foster)

Fundy National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: South of Moncton
Details: Home to the world’s highest tides, Fundy is used for amazing water activities and exploration, including walking the ocean floor at low tide.

Irving Nature Park (RASC Urban Star Park)
Location: Saint John
Details: A 600-acre protected site created by the J.D. Irving, Limited company, the site is located just outside Saint John with a diverse landscape.

Kouchibouguac National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: North of Moncton
Details: On the east coast of New Brunswick, Kouchibouguac offers trails, water access, and winter activities.

Mount Carleton Provincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Northern New Brunswick
Details: Hiking and camping are main draws of Mount Carleton, with free skis and snowshoes available for day-use in the winter.

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Newfoundland

Terra Nova National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: East coast of Newfoundland
Details: The Trans-Canada Highway runs through Canada’s most eastern national park, which offers hills, ponds, the ocean, and a variety of interactive programs.

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Nova Scotia

Kejimkujik National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: West of Halifax
Details: The only national park to also be designated a national historic site, with rock-art illuminating thousands of years of Mi’kmaw heritage.

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Ontario

Binbrook Conservation Area
Location: South of Hamilton
Details: A locked site, managed by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. An annual Perseid Meteor Shower event is held here by the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers, attracting up to 1,000 observers each year.

Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Northwest of Toronto
Details: At the base of Bruce Peninsula, The Bluewater Astronomical Society is an incorporated non-profit organization that strives to promote basic and advanced astronomical knowledge among its members, and promote astronomy interest in the general public.

Bruce Peninsula National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Northwest of Toronto
Details: At the end of Bruce Peninsula, which extends towards Manitoulin Island as the eastern side of Lake Huron, the site offers a variety of year-round outdoor activities.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park
Location: Northeast of Kingston
Details: Offers a one acre observing field protected from lights specifically for astronomy available May to October whether you camp in-park or not. Extensive camping facilities. Skies very dark for a location so far south in Ontario. Hosts “Astronomy Night” once a year in August.

Gordon’s Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Manitoulin Island
Details: Offers the darkest skies in Ontario and rustic but comfortable camping, with facilities, private road access, and observing fields. Hosts “Thursday Nights Astronomy” in July and August, Stargazing Manitoulin in July and The Manitoulin Star Party in August.

Irvine Lake Airstrip
Location: Located at 19213 Hwy 41 between Bon Echo Provincial Park and Denbigh (Google Map)
Details: Unofficial observing site for Ottawa Astronomy Friends (OAF). 7.1 limiting magnitude. 

Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, and a great place to see the night sky. | SkyNews
Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is a RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, and a great place to see the night sky. (Kayvan Mazhar)

Killarney Provincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Southwest of Sudbury
Details: Near Georgian Bay, Killarney features over 50 lakes with rocky ridges and the historic village of Killarney, founded in 1820 as a fur trading post.

Lake Superior Provincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: North of Sault Ste. Marie
Details: Along the northern coast of Lake Superior, the park features hiking, paddling, fishing, and camping.

Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area
Location: Northeast of Belleville
Details: Offering a dark night sky experience well away from large sources of urban light pollution, the sky darkness is equivalent to locations 250 kilometres or more north of Toronto, but hundreds of kilometres closer to Highway 401. The site includes a large concrete pad for camera or telescope setup, or placement of lawn chairs for general stargazing. While the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area is ideal for both amateur astronomers and astrophotographers, it is also designed for anyone wishing to observe the natural wonder of a dark starry sky. There is no cost to visit the viewing area. It borders on a conservation area, is not gated, and is open from dusk until dawn year-round with no reservations required. 

North Frontenac Township (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: West of Ottawa
Details: The first municipality to be designated by the RASC as a Dark-Sky Site, the Township offers an observation pad for astronomy, open to all.

Point Pelee National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Southeast of Windsor
Details: A wetlands area providing opportunities for camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking, the park is the RASC’s southern-most designated Dark-Sky Site.

Quetico Provincial Park
Location: Northwestern Ontario, west of Thunder Bay
Details: On February 23, 2021, this park was officially designated an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. With over 2,000 lakes and 460,000 hectares of remote wilderness, Quetico is an iconic wilderness class park renowned for its rugged beauty, towering rock cliffs, majestic waterfalls, pine and spruce forests, picturesque rivers and lakes.

Torrance Barrens Conservation Area (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Muskoka
Details: The first site to be designated by the RASC as a Dark-Sky Site, Torrance Barrens contains 4,700 acres of wetland territory.

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Quebec

Au Diable Vert Outdoor Centre (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Southeast of Montreal
Details: A privately owned wilderness area with a view of the Appalachian and Green Mountains, the site offers outdoor activities and indoor accommodations.

Mont-Mégantic National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: East of Sherbrooke
Details: Featuring the ASTROLab Centre at the Mont Mégantic Observatory, the park offers a variety of outreach and educational programs in French and English in addition to typical outdoor activities.

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Saskatchewan

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Straddling southern Alberta and Saskatchewan
Details: A huge park spanning two provinces for various outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping. Also contains the National Heritage Site of Fort Walsh.

Grasslands National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: South of Swift Current
Details: Located at the south end of Saskatchewan, Grasslands provides an expanse of prairie landscape for camping and hiking, and even has history as a site for dinosaur bones.

Old Man on His Back Conservation Area (RASC Nocturnal Preserve)
Location: Southwest of Swift Current
Details: Over 5000 acres in southern Saskatchewan, the site protects the habitat of many prairie species, including bison, and offers various tours.

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Northwest Territories

Wood Buffalo National Park (RASC Dark-Sky Preserve)
Location: Straddling northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories
Details: Canada’s largest national park and the RASC most northern designated Dark-Sky Site, Wood Buffalo is a critical ecological area which protects endangered bison.

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Yukon

Watson Lake
Location: Just north of the border with British Columbia
Details: The Canadian Space Agency has listed this town as one of 13 amazing stargazing locations in Canada, noting the area night sky offers plenty of stars and occasional aurora sightings. It is also home to the Northern Lights Centre.

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