Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Ontario In 2023


If seeing or photographing the spectacular Northern Lights has actually constantly been on your pail list, then look no more than the Northern Lights in Ontario, Canada. With its various dark sky protects and concealed gems, there’s no much better location to experience this enchanting natural marvel. We reside in Ontario and have the satisfaction of checking out the very best times and places to see the Aurora Borealis. We wish to share our important ideas to make your Northern Lights experience extraordinary.

Discovering the Northern Lights in Ontario

A night sky full of stars and the Northern Lights in Ontario

We have actually been fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights in a great deal of locations on the planet. This consists of Iceland, Greenland, and lots of areas in Canada. Did you understand that Ontario is home to some of the most amazing areas for aurora watching? You do not even need to take a trip far from Toronto or Ottawa to get a peek of the Northern Lights. Numerous Ontario Parks, consisting of national forests, provincial parks, and sanctuary, use great chances to witness the aurora borealis dancing throughout the sky.

If you are simply searching for a fast list here are some popular places for Northern Lights seeing:

With a lot of incredible locations to select from, you’re bound to discover the best area for your Northern Lights seeing experience.

What are the Northern Lights?

A colourful display of the Northern Lights in the night sky

The Northern Lights, likewise called the aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon brought on by electrically charged particles from the sun connecting with the Earth’s environment. This enchanting light program normally happens when there’s increased solar activity, such as solar flares.

The aurora borealis can show dynamic tones of green, blue, and purple throughout the night sky, developing an awesome phenomenon that draws many visitors to Ontario each year.

Best Times to Experience the Aurora Borealis in Ontario

A person looking up at the night sky to see the Northern Lights in Ontario

Observing the Northern Lights in all their elegance hinges mainly on timing. Preferably, in Ontario, you must intend to capture the aurora borealis in between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. The months from November to March use the very best chances for seeing, as the sun sets earlier and the nights are longer. In addition, cloud-free and clear skies throughout the chillier months in Canada make it much easier to identify the Northern Lights.

Keeping tabs on the regional weather report and aurora forecasts is likewise helpful. Cloud cover, rainfall, moon stage, and the aurora projection can all affect your possibilities of seeing the Northern Lights. With a little perseverance and the ideal conditions, you’ll be rewarded with a genuinely extraordinary experience.

Top 5 Dark Sky Preserves in Ontario for Northern Lights Viewing

A dark sky preserve in Ontario with no light pollution

Dark Sky Preserves are designated locations that use very little light contamination, offering perfect conditions for stargazing and Northern Lights seeing. Ontario boasts numerous first-class Dark Sky Preserves, best for experiencing the aurora borealis.

1. Quetico Provincial Park

Quetico Provincial Park is a wonderful location for Northern Lights lovers. Acknowledged as an International Dark Sky Park, Quetico provides a beautiful wilderness experience with over 2,000 lakes and unlimited remote wilderness. Found west of Lake Superior and surrounding Minnesota to the west, this park offers ideal conditions for aurora watching, thanks to its protected lighting and clear view of the stellar sky.

Not just can you witness the Northern Lights, however you can likewise capture meteor showers and area worlds in the night sky. With year-round outdoor camping choices, consisting of rustic cabin leasings at Dawson Trail campground, Quetico Provincial Park provides a distinct chance to immerse yourself in nature while looking at the spectacular aurora screen.

2. Manitoulin Eco Park

Manitoulin Eco Park is another exceptional area for capturing the Northern Lights in Ontario. With its dark skies and very little light contamination, this park offers prime conditions for seeing the aurora borealis. Found in Tehkummah on Manitoulin Island, Manitoulin Eco Park has to do with 2 hours far from Sudbury.

The park provides different occasions and activities particularly for aurora watching, making it a perfect location for Northern Lights connoisseurs. Visitors can camp over night or purchase a Night Pass for access to the park’s stargazing centers. With its mix of devoted occasions and beautiful skies, Manitoulin Eco Park is a must-visit for anybody looking for a memorable aurora experience.

3. Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario’s very first Dark Sky Preserve designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2018, is a prominent area for seeing the Northern Lights. Covering a huge 645 square kilometer location of unblemished wilderness, Killarney provides extraordinary conditions for stargazing and aurora watching.

One special function of Killarney Provincial Park is its observatory, making it among just 2 provincial parks in Ontario with this center. Visitors can delight in:

  • Astronomical programs led by Astronomers-in-Residence from York University
  • A best chance to get more information about the night sky
  • Witnessing the fascinating aurora borealis

4. Lake Superior Provincial Park

Lake Superior Provincial Park, a designated Dark Sky Preserve acknowledged by the Astronomical Society of Canada, is a renowned area for seeing the Northern Lights. The park provides nighttime telescope watchings at Agawa Bay Beach, offering visitors the opportunity to look at the aurora borealis up close.

With numerous camping sites offered, Lake Superior Provincial Park offers a range of lodging choices for visitors wanting to experience the Northern Lights firsthand. Whether you’re camping in a serviced camping site or delighting in the harmony of a backcountry camping area, this park’s beautiful conditions make it a perfect location for aurora chasers.

5. Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve

As the world’s very first Dark Sky Reserve, Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve deals prime conditions for experiencing the Northern Lights. Found near Gravenhurst in Ontario, this maintain covers practically 2,000 hectares of Crown Land and offers 360-degree scenic views of the night sky.

Visitors can camp over night and check out the maintain’s treking tracks throughout the day. To make sure the very best watching conditions, the park provides a Clear Sky Chart online, permitting visitors to examine the weather condition before their check out. With its pioneering status and extraordinary watching conditions, Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve is a must-visit area for anybody looking for to witness the Northern Lights in all their elegance.

Tips for Northern Lights Viewing In Ontario

Tips for viewing the Northern Lights in Ontario

Considering weather and perfect seeing times is a guaranteed method to optimize your possibilities of seeing the Northern Lights in Ontario. Cold, clear nights offer the very best chances for seeing the aurora borealis. The months from November to March are prime-time show for seeing, as the sun sets earlier and the nights are longer and darker.

So, you are preparing to chase after the Northern Lights? Excellent! Keep in mind, the location you pick must be far from the city lights. And do not forget to watch on your environments. It’s likewise a great concept to examine the regional weather report. You understand, things like cloud cover, whether it’s going to rain or not, the stage of the moon, and obviously, the aurora projection.

All these aspects can make or break your Northern Lights experience. Hey, do not fret too much. Simply be client, wait on the ideal conditions, and I assure, you remain in for a reward. Experiencing the Northern Lights is really extraordinary.

Northern Ontario’s Hidden Gems for Aurora Viewing

A remote location in Northern Ontario with no light pollution

Northern Ontario is a gold mine of surprise gems for aurora watching, using both special experiences and beautiful conditions. We now move our focus to some lesser-known places in Northwestern Ontario that are great perspective to witness the enchanting Northern Lights. These consist of North Bay, Cochrane, Moosonee, and Chapleau.

6. North Bay

North Bay is a city situated in northeastern Ontario. It is an excellent location for seeing the Northern Lights. With its various outside tracks, landmarks, and live home entertainment choices, North Bay provides a wonderful location for aurora lovers. A few of the very best locations to witness the Northern Lights in North Bay consist of the waterside and the provincial parks around the town.

The finest time to check out North Bay for Northern Lights seeing is in between September and November, with the ideal watching hours in between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. The Fred McNutt Family Trail and the Richardson Ridge Trails offer exceptional perspective for appreciating the amazing aurora borealis screen in the night sky.

7. Cochrane and Moosonee

Cochrane and Moosonee use fantastic chances for aurora watching, thanks to their attractive landscapes and picturesque train trips. Cochrane is understood for its great Northern Lights seeing conditions, as it’s far from light contamination. Moosonee, among the northern most towns in northeastern Ontario, is quickly available by train and provides spectacular views of the Moose River and James Bay.

For a genuinely regional experience, think about remaining at Moosonee Lilypad or The Sunflower Guesthouse, or camp at Tidewater Provincial Park. These lovely lodgings offer a relaxing base for your Northern Lights experience, permitting you to totally immerse yourself in the appeal of the aurora borealis.

8. Chapleau

Chapleau, a village with historical significance and the biggest wildlife maintain in the world, is a perfect area for Northern Lights seeing. Developed in 1885 as a connection point for the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post, Chapleau has actually developed into a center for mining, lumbering, and other markets. Its northern positioning and absence of light contamination make it a best area to witness the Northern Lights.

The finest time to check out Chapleau for Northern Lights seeing is in between October and late March.

Tips for Capturing the Perfect Northern Lights Photo

A stunning image of the northern lights in Ontario, with vibrant green and purple hues illuminating the night sky

Capturing the best Northern Lights picture can be a difficult yet satisfying experience. The secret to success depends on changing your video camera settings and try out structure. To get the very best shots, follow these actions:

  1. Set your aperture (f-stop) to a minimum of f4 or f2.8 for a large lens opening.
  2. Go handbook and set focus to infinity.
  3. Adjust your ISO and shutter speed appropriately.
  4. Use evaluative or matrix metering mode to make sure correct direct exposure.
  5. Include something or somebody in the foreground for much better structure.

Choosing the right camera and lens is likewise essential for photographing the Northern Lights. Some fantastic choices for video cameras consist of:

Wide-angle lenses with a minimum aperture of f/2.8– f/4 are perfect for catching the aurora borealis and the surrounding landscape. You are likewise going to wish to have a strong tripod. With the ideal devices and settings, you’ll be well on your method to catching spectacular pictures of the enchanting Northern Lights.

Preparing for Your Northern Lights Adventure

A person preparing for a Northern Lights adventure in Ontario

Before you go out on your Northern Lights experience, it’s crucial to be well-prepared. Something to bear in mind is that the very best watching conditions normally occur on cold, clear nights, so dressing properly is a must. Here’s what you must think about using:

You can’t fail with wool clothes. Believe wool beanie, winter season boots, wool socks, a wool sweatshirt, long wool underclothing, and mittens. We advise Merino Wool, it not just keeps you warm however it keeps you dry. Cotton, on the other hand, isn’t the very best option due to the fact that it will not keep you warm. Do not forget to bring additional layers and blankets to keep you comfortable. When preparing your Northern Lights journey,

Safety is another thing you must be believing about. Here are some things to bear in mind: check the local weather forecast Try to choose a seeing area that’s without light contamination. Constantly know your environments. And do not forget to

for cloud cover, rainfall, moon stage, and the aurora projection to ensure you’ve got the very best watching conditions possible.

By getting whatever prepared beforehand, you’ll be all set to totally enjoy your extraordinary aurora experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I see the northern lights in Ontario?

The finest time to see the northern lights in Ontario is throughout the chillier months of September and October and late during the night from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. when skies are complimentary and clear of clouds. Keep an eye out for subsiding or brand-new moons for an even much better seeing experience.

Where can you see the northern lights in Ontario?

See the Northern Lights in Southwestern Ontario at Point Pelee National Park, Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington’s Point Farms Provincial Park, Bruce, Grey and Simcoe, Kawarthas and Northumberland, Southeastern Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley, Muskoka, Parry Sound and Algonquin Park or Northeastern Ontario.

Can you see the northern lights in Sault Ste Marie?

Yes, you can see the northern lights in Sault Ste Marie throughout peak Aurora activity every 11 years. Algoma District, Northeastern Ontario is an excellent area for capturing the Aurora Borealis.

What time is best to see Northern Lights tonight?

Tonight is a great night for seeing the Northern Lights– they will show up around midnight when the sky is darkest and clear of cloud protection or light contamination.

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is an amazing screen of dynamic colours in the night sky, brought on by electrically charged particles from the sun connecting with our environment.


Ontario provides a wealth of chances for seeing the breathtaking Northern Lights. From dark sky protects and concealed gems to professional ideas for photographing the aurora and seeing borealis, we hope we have actually supplied you with important info to assist you prepare a memorable Northern Lights experience. With the right preparation and a little bit of perseverance, you’re sure to be rewarded with an enchanting experience that will last a life time.

Plan Your Next Trip To Ontario With These Resources(*)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here