BC’s Dark Sky Parks

Explore the Milky Way

Now that the days are getting shorter, this is a great time of year to go star gazing – and you won’t have to stay up too late past your bedtime.

The Milky Way – photo by Aquamarine4/Dreamstime

BC is home to two amazing dark sky parks: McDonald Park near Abbotsford, and Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park on the Oak Bay waterfront.

The government of Canada and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designate dark-sky preserves in the country. And while BC’s two parks aren’t designated by the government as preserves, they’re still amazing places to set up your telescope and get an ant’s eye view of the stars and Heavens above you.


McDonald Park

Many people might know McDonald Park as a day-use area near Abbotsford, but on many nights the Fraser Valley Astronomers Society hosts astronomy-related events. Visit http://www.fvas.net to find out more about the group’s events and join in the fun!

Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park

This is a beautiful star-gazing park located on the Oak Bay waterfront. You can walk along the shore, as well as explore the Oak Bay Walk Of The Inner Planets Trail and Oak Bay itself. Cattle Point is one of two urban star parks in Canada, where the skies are still usable for astronomy. Visit the Victoria chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to find out more about their events in this park: https://victoria.rasc.ca/events/rascals-cattle-point/.

If you or someone in your family is a budding astronomer, you’ll want to keep these locations in mind for your next star-gazing, planet-finding adventure.

Northern lights – photo by Meaghan Soloveoff/iStock

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