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Stargazing in Ontario at Torrance Barrens Reserve

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Approximately 45 minutes from Rawley Resort, you can gaze into the cosmos at the world’s first permanent dark sky reserve! Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve offers some of the best stargazing in Ontario, providing crystal clear views of the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy, and the Northern Lights. The preserve is surrounded by almost 5,000 acres of protected and undeveloped land, acting as a buffer from urban light pollution. Additionally, the Canadian Shield bedrock of the reserve offers unobstructed 360-degree views of the sky. Pack your telescope, flashlights, and star maps, head to Muskoka, and reach for the stars!

What Do You Need for Stargazing in Ontario?

Before you head to the Torrance Barren Dark Sky Reserve, we’d like to highlight some rules and stargazing tips to keep in mind. The reserve asks all guests not to start fires, stay on designated trails, pick up any garbage, and leave nothing but footprints. As you are packing your bags for Rawley, don’t forget these essentials:

  1. The preserve will be completely dark, so it is important to have a flashlight to guide you. However, we ask that you limit your flashlight usage and consider a red flashlight to help your eyes adjust to the dark.

  2. If you have a telescope, you are more than welcome to bring it with you! If you do not, binoculars are a cheap and effective way to get a closer look at the night sky.

  3. Sky maps and star finders are great tools for finding specific celestial objects, 

What to See at Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve

To get to the Torrance Barrens dark sky viewing area, you will follow Southwood Road until you reach the Ministry Sign. You can drive up to this location and unpack your telescope if you have one. You can also find an excellent binocular viewing spot by walking down the main trail, across the boardwalk, and up the first ridge. 

Northern Lights & Galaxies

Seeing the Northern Lights in person is a bucket list experience, and it can be done right here in Central Ontario! Fall and winter generally offer the best viewing opportunities. Use the features on Space Weather to discover the best nights to witness the Northern Lights.

You will also have the opportunity to see the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies with your naked eye at Torrance Barrens. 

Stay at Our Central Ontario Luxury Resort

Plan your getaway at Rawley Resort and discover some of the best stargazing in Ontario, less than an hour away! Continue to connect with nature with our Bespoke Experiences and curated Fall Experiences. We invite you to relax with a treatment at The Spa at Rawley and experience culinary excellence at our Lighthouse45 Restaurant. We can’t wait for you to experience the finest in retreat indulgence at Rawley Resort, Spa & Marina.

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