Southern Ontario is rapidly losing its night sky and beautiful view of the stars.
Do you remember those summer nights at the cottage, looking up at the night sky and counting stars, wondering how far each of them was from where you were sitting? Remember the wonder and the awe that came with feeling so small in a universe so big. Was it a calming feeling? Scary? Relaxing, knowing that we really have very little control over the solar system we are in, or equally frightening? No matter how those moments made you feel you can always remember gazing at the stars. Now you can relive those experiences all over again in the Land O’ Lakes.
The darkest region in the area, known as the ‘Dark Peninsula’, encompasses 4 Counties, Frontenac, Lennox-Addington, Hastings and Renfrew. For millions of people in southern Canada and the north-east US, this is the best view of the night sky and the Milky Way.
This ‘Dark Peninsula’ has captured the attention of many scientists, who wish to utilize its natural darkness for telescopic surveying. If you are lucky enough to experience this natural phenomenon, then you would be familiar with the fascinating spectacles it presents.
Located just a few kilometres north of Erinsville near the Sheffield Conservation Area, the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area is the most southerly point in Ontario where the night sky is so pristine, offering a night sky experience very similar to what was available more than 100 years ago.
The site includes a large concrete pad for camera or telescope setup, or placement of lawn chairs for general stargazing. While the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area is ideal for amateur astronomers and astrophotographers, it is designed for anyone wishing to observe the natural wonder of the stars.
North Frontenac is also lucky to have some of the most southerly exceptional dark skies in Canada. The Dark Sky Preserve in North Frontenac is a public space with amenities, including parking, washroom, electrical service and the concrete pad, where anyone can setup their telescope and enjoy the dark skies. It is located at 5816 Road 506 (44.91791, -76.93947) just south of Plevna.