Don’t forget to turn your head to the skies next week! The Perseid meteor shower in Ontario will reach its peak visibility for 2020 on the nights of August 11-12 and you’re not going to want to miss this galactic light show. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to watching the meteor shower in and around the GTA!

The Perseids happen every year, but in 2019 there was unfortunately a bit of interference with the meteor shower.

It was a full moon on the peak viewing nights, meaning light pollution was higher than normal and visibility was low.

Luckily, this year, we’ve just entered a new moon cycle, so there should be no problem. Our last full moon was August 3.

So, what do you need to know to ensure the perfect Perseid viewing experience?

Well, first of all, you’re going to want to avoid all light sources possible!

This is obviously going to be easier if you have a car and can visit designated stargazing sights. Places like Point Pelee National Park or Fathom Five National Marine Park can be pretty ideal.

But, if you’re stuck within the GTA, there are a few spots with less light pollution that we recommend if you’re trying to catch sight of a shooting star or two.

Per the Toronto Star, Karen Mortfield, a spokesperson for the David Dunlap Observatory, recommended the Leslie Street Spit, the Bayview Reservoir Park, (near Bayview Avenue & Sycamore Drive) or any large park like High Park.

Basically, any place where you can get as much distance between yourself and the lights of downtown.

If you’re looking to find out which parts of the city has the most light pollution, you can do it using this interactive map.

Best of all, you don’t need any special viewing equipment, as the Perseids are visible (and often stunning, we may add) to the naked eye!

Peak times range from just past midnight to dawn. During those hours, there can be 50 to 80 meteors an hour, according to the Canadian Space Agency!

Wherever you end up setting up camp, we recommend you pack something to sit on, like a mat or pillow, a flashlight (to help you get settled safely!), a thermos of something warm, and your best stargazing buddy.

Happy watching!

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