Living in the city, we've gotten used to looking up at the sky at night and seeing a dark sky with a few stars scattered here and there but basically nothing else. Since light pollution and smog cover most of the stars, galaxies and planets sitting in the great beyond we're missing out on so much.
You'd be surprised how much of space and the universe is actually visible with the naked eye but we don't get a chance to see it from the heart of the city. But if you travel just 2 hours outside of Toronto you'll find a secret spot that offers a truly magical place to see the stars and so much more!
Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve is known for being one of the darkest spots in Ontario which makes it ideal for star, space and even Northern Lights viewing!
The Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve is located in Gravenhurst, Ontario which is right in the heart of Muskoka cottage country. It's about a 2 hour drive from Toronto, a 5 hour drive from Ottawa, a 4 hour drive from Kingston and a 3.5 hour drive from London.
It's always hard to tell when the Northern Lights will be visible in Southern Ontario so there's no guarantees that you'll see them but you can see so much more from this preserve as well! You can see The Milky Way and The Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye, you can use a telescope to see the cloud banks of Jupiter and then rings of Saturn, and you'll be surrounded by a dome of shimmering stars!
The Preserve is easily accessible by car and you can actually set up a tent or, if you have a large truck, camp out in the back for an unforgettable night! They don't have any official campsites but they encourage some camping to take place as long as everyone visiting is respectful of the nature around them and keeps their light pollution to a minimum.
It's a truly magical place that will offer sights you've probably never seen before living in the city! See the galaxy unfold around you and watch ancient constellations and planets shimmer from above.
Check out their website for more information.