The top 5 places to go stargazing in the Ottawa area

The night sky is full of wonders. And every sunset until sunrise, we’re lucky to be blanketed by trillions of stars. With Ottawa’s proximity to many parks, green spaces and conservation areas, there’s no shortage of opportunities to go skywatching just outside of the city limits. 

Parc Omega

Just 50-minutes from downtown Ottawa is Parc Omega, a Canadian wildlife safari sprawling across 12-kilometres. As a natural habitat for free roaming animals like deer, elk, bison and much more, light pollution is kept to a bare minimum.

While the wildlife safari is a self-drive experience during the day, you can book a variety of overnight accommodations, including camping, pods, cottages, and a unique experience to sleep in total immersion with wolves.

You’ll feel one with nature under the stars at Parc Omega.

Mer Blueue Bog

Mer Blueue Bog offers the perfect nature escape for stargazing enthusiasts in the Ottawa area. Tucked away from the city lights but just a 25-minute drive from downtown, this expansive wetland sanctuary provides a tranquil setting to marvel at the celestial wonders above.

Whether you're strolling along the peaceful boardwalks or finding a cozy spot to lay down on a blanket, Mer Blueue Bog’s untouched wilderness ensures unobstructed views of the star-filled sky.

With its calm atmosphere and natural beauty, it's the perfect spot to unwind and reconnect with the cosmos, making every stargazing experience truly magical.

Snowshoeing under the starts

From mid-January until the end of March every year, you can spend Friday evenings snowshoeing under the stars with an experienced Friends of Gatineau Park nature interpreter. Plus, you’ll learn about various animals and how they survive the winter months.

Registration for the event is mandatory and attendees must be 13 years or older. The event is deemed light aerobic activity and the trail is considered easy. No snowshoeing experience is necessary and don’t forget to properly dress for the cold!

Gatineau Park

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life sits Gatineau Park, an ideal retreat if you’re seeking a serene, unforgettable skywatching experience. The outdoor oasis can be found a quick 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, in Quebec.

This vast natural sanctuary provides the perfect backdrop for gazing at the night sky. Whether you're finding the perfect spot on one of the park’s beaches or many viewpoints or finding a cozy spot on a peaceful trail, the expansive views and minimal light pollution make for a memorable stargazing adventure.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Ottawa

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Ottawa chapter hosts monthly family-friendly star parties. Members set up telescopes for all attendees to have the opportunity to look through. If you have your own telescope or binoculars, you’re welcome to bring them as well!

These gatherings offer a unique opportunity for both seasoned astronomers and curious novices to explore the wonders of the night sky together.

Held at various locations around Ottawa, the star parties provide access to high-quality telescopes and knowledgeable volunteers who happily share their passion and expertise. Whether observing distant planets, star clusters or celestial phenomena, the star parties foster a sense of community and excitement as participants marvel at the beauty and mystery of the universe.

Be sure to check out their guidelines before attending for the first time!

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