5 amazing places to go stargazing near Toronto
Dark sky areas for stargazing and meteor showers around Toronto are typically at least a two hour drive from the light of the city, but that's not too bad considering what incredible sights you can see when you get to truly dark skies. From the northern lights to meteor showers to distant constellations, the wonders of the universe await.
Here are my picks for amazing places to go stargazing near Toronto.
This is a magical place about two and half hours north of Toronto that's eerily dark, which makes it an excellent spot for stargazing. Situated on crown land, you can camp for free during a meteor shower or when the Northern Lights appear at sub-arctic altitudes (you can also stay in nearby Gravenhurst and drive the 20 minutes to the preserve).
A rival to the Torrance Barrens, this dark sky viewing area at Lennox and Addington offers respite from light pollution typically experienced in places much further north. It features an observation pad that helps stargazers to navigate in the dark and for amateurs to set up lawn chairs. The drive from Toronto takes about three hours.
Offering fantastically dark skies given its relative proximity to Toronto and Ottawa, this preserve has a few amenities to make stargazing a bit more comfortable (e.g. washrooms, and electrical hookups). There's also an observation pad and plenty of parking for star-chasers. Some claim this area to be the darkest skies in Southern Ontario.
You don't have to go to a astronomically designated area for dark skies. Open up any light pollution map, and you'll find that Algonquin Park is one of the best spots within three hours of Toronto. Your best bet is to plan a back country trip around meteor shower and wait to be dazzled.
If you can't make it further away from Toronto's light pollution footprint, this conservation area near Hamilton works. There's a clear view to the southern horizon, which is relatively dark thanks to Lake Erie in the distance. Numerous amateur astronomy events take place here as does an annual gathering for the Perseid meteor shower.
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