North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve

This dark sky preserve is one of the best places for stargazing in Ontario

There's nothing like looking up at a sparkling canopy of stars and constellations to bring out childlike wonder, but unfortunately for us, that's an experience we city folks don't get often. 

Drive a few hours away from Toronto's light pollution though and you'll come across incredible places where the sky is at its absolute darkest on this side of the province like North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve

A good three and a half hours from Toronto and two hours from Ottawa, the long drive is worth it for serious stargazers with prime star-spotting and nighttime photo ops at the observation pad. 

North Frontenac became the first municipality in Canada to receive dark sky status in 2013. It's still one of the only municipalities in the world with its own as most are located in parks. 

The preserve even gained its own observatory to house a 16" telescope, last summer. Another first for dark sky preserves in Ontario. 

There are also some amenities to make your visit more comfortable including parking, washrooms, electrical hookups and picnic benches. 

Anyone can set up their telescope on any given night and free events are held a few times each year with amateur astronomers there to provide context on what you're looking at. 

In order to get the most out of your visit, make sure to check the predicted stargazing conditions beforehand. This sky forecast was created by a group of astronomers. 

If you're itching to do a night of stargazing but don't want to make the trip out to North Frontenac, find equally breathtaking skies two hours from Toronto at the Torrance Barrens preserve

Lead photo by

Mauricio Ledón


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

Popular sunflower farm in Ontario is opening a second location

This Mississauga park has an otherworldly forest of glowing metal pine trees

This breathtaking island is the ultimate camping destination two hours from Toronto

Ontario's most epic swimming hole opens for the summer next month

You can view shipwrecks from a glass bottom boat on a lake in Ontario

10 camping sites near Toronto you need to experience at least once

Parkwood Estate near Toronto is home to lush gardens and a tea house

Agawa Rock in Ontario is covered in ancient pictographs next to turquoise waters