Nothing’s better than stargazing on a warm summer night. There’s something almost magical about the experience. If you’re just like us and are mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the night sky, you might want to learn more about Ontario’s Dark Sky Preserves.

Luckily enough, the province has three protected areas for stargazing. According to Parks Canada, “Dark-Sky Preserves are protected areas that make a special commitment to protect and preserve the night, reducing or eliminating light pollution in all forms.”

That being said, many plants, wildlife, and insects depend on darkness to grow so not only is protecting the dark sky important for us but most importantly, for ecosystems.

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Like Alberta that homes six Dark-Sky Preserves, Ontario has some notable spots that deserve a road trip this summer.

Bruce Peninsula National was first recognized in 2009 as a preserve for its captivating night skies – and with reason. Did you know that it’s home to one of the 701 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the world and one of 18 Biosphere reserves in Canada?

You’ll be able to catch a stunning view of our Milky Way there.

 

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If you’ve planned a trip to Fathom Five National Marine Park for a diving trip, you may want to stay the night and experience a night with the stars.

Point Pelee National Park is another Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s designated Dark-Sky site. It was first recognized in 2006 and since then has become a top spot to stargaze.

You will have the chance to stay late and experience the park at night on designated Dark Sky Nights – the next one being August 13, 2022. If you happen to miss that date, don’t fret. There are several other days within the year where you can experience the park until midnight for a night show.

 

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Other Dark-Sky sites include Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve, Manitoulin Eco Park, and Killarney Provincial Park, according to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

If you’re a first-timer, here are some tips to help you on your stargazing adventure.

Make sure to always check the weather before heading out, have a star chart or download a star gazing app, and bring a pair of binoculars or a telescope if you happen to have one. Another tip is placing red cellophane over your flashlight. According to Parks Canada, red light is less obtrusive than traditional white light.

Now you’re set and ready to experience the night sky in all its glory.