Enjoy the celestial landscape in one of Parks Canada's dark sky preserves, a welcome escape from glaring city lights. Learn about stars, the moon, galaxies and constellations during special programming and events throughout the year. Plan your trip today, and you could find yourself wishing upon a star!

Did you know?

  • Thirteen Parks Canada places have dark sky designations: twelve are Dark-Sky Preserves and one is an International Dark Sky Park
  • Grasslands National Park is the darkest Dark-Sky Preserve in Canada
  • Wood Buffalo National Park, our country's largest national park, is presently the largest Dark-Sky Preserve in the world with an area of 44,807 km2.
  • Parks Canada protects more dark skies than any other agency or jurisdiction in the world.

Dark Sky Celebrations 2019

New Brunswick

Spring Star Fest

Kouchibouguac National Park
June 7 and 8, September 27 and 28
This year again we welcome volunteers from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in the park. Most activities are weather dependent so don’t hesitate to inquire before heading out the door. More details to come.


Fundy Star Party

Fundy National Park
August 30
Astronomy made easy! Fundy National Park is a Dark Sky Preserve, making it one of the best places in Canada to view the night sky – join us for a weekend filled with opportunities to take a “guided walk” through the stars. Presented by: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (NB)
Paul Owen, pacificpaul@msn.com

Newfoundland and Labrador

Night Sky Celebration

Terra Nova National Park
August 23-24
In 2018 Terra Nova National Park was designated as the newest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada! Join us and the St. John's Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as we celebrate the night sky!

Nova Scotia

Kejimkujik Dark Sky Weekend

Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
August 23-25
Search Kejimkujik’s spectacular night skies for planets, galaxies, constellations and much more in Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve! There will be stories and discoveries for all ages. Plan to camp or stay overnight close by – you don’t want to miss the show. Presented in partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC).

Ontario

Self-guided Dark Sky Night

Point Pelee National Park
February 2, March 9, May 18, July 27, September 28
Explore the park on your own after dark and experience the dark skies of Point Pelee. You will have the opportunity to stay late and see what goes on after dark. Note that there are no formal programs on these evenings. Visitors can pick up a seasonal star chart at the gate upon arrival. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated.


Dark Sky Nights with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Point Pelee National Park
April 6, June 1
Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Windsor Centre for an evening of stargazing. Bring your own binoculars or take a look through one of the special telescopes on site for the evening. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated. Visitor Centre Parking Lot.


Meteor Shower Beach Party

Point Pelee National Park
August 10-11
We’re celebrating the dark skies of Point Pelee National Park. The park will stay open all night between August 10 and August 11 for optimal viewing of the Perseid Meteor Showers. Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Windsor Centre on the beach and view the early night sky before sitting back and enjoying the meteor shower. Bring a chair or blanket and settle in on the West beach for the evening.

Saskatchewan

Astronomy: Beyond the Big Dipper

Grasslands National Park
June 1: East Block, July 27: West Block
The new moon opens the door to the darkest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada. Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as they unfold the mysteries within the rich darkness we actively protect.

Alberta

Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival

Wood Buffalo National Park
August 22-25
Embrace the night skies like never before at the Dark Sky Festival. Whether you’re a budding astronomer or seasoned stargazer, soak in the stars, constellations, planets and other space oddities in Wood Buffalo National Park. Watch homemade rockets streak into the sky and share a spot around the campfire with our renowned guest speakers. Curious kids (and adults) can join Professor Quark for our “Circus of Science” while budding astronomers can hone their observation skills during special workshops offered throughout the weekend. Kick around town and then spend the weekend camping out at Pine Lake. Advance registration required.

Milky Way Day

Elk Island National Park
September 1
An afternoon of fun awaits on Milky Way Day! Take in a stunning sunset over Astotin Lake and as night falls, take in the beauty of the park after dark. Skies above Elk Island National Park are naturally dark and provide the perfect backdrop to take in twinkling stars, a glowing moon, or dancing Northern Lights. Pick up a special night geocaching guide for a high tech scavenger hunt and peak through volunteer-provided telescopes to view the stars with stunning clarity. Night sky viewing is dependent on weather. The event is free with paid entry.

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

Jasper National Park
October 11-20
During the month of October we show our appreciation and celebrate the night sky with dark sky month.

Northwest Territories

Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival

Wood Buffalo National Park
August 22-25
Embrace the night skies like never before at the Dark Sky Festival. Whether you’re a budding astronomer or seasoned stargazer, soak in the stars, constellations, planets and other space oddities in Wood Buffalo National Park. Watch homemade rockets streak into the sky and share a spot around the campfire with our renowned guest speakers. Curious kids (and adults) can join Professor Quark for our “Circus of Science” while budding astronomers can hone their observation skills during special workshops offered throughout the weekend. Kick around town and then spend the weekend camping out at Pine Lake. Advance registration required.

 

Dark-Sky Preserve Designation

International Dark Sky Park Designation

Learn more