Canada is one of the best countries in the world (if not the best) for catching a glimpse of Aurora Borealis. Here, it’s a frequent sight that can appear in the midnight sky in almost every season of the year. The mesmerizing game of light is not exclusive to remote northern areas. There’s a high chance of witnessing the phenomenon in the cities, smaller towns, next to the lakes, in the middle of the forest, or by the shores of the oceans. This is your guide on where to see the Northern Lights in Canada and have it finally checked off on the bucket list.
General tips for viewing the Northern Lights in Canada
The Aurora Borealis is a magical thing to see, but it doesn’t come easily, and you have to follow some rules to have the best chance of making it to the show.
First of all, you should be in an area with minimal light pollution. Lakes, meadows, and remote beaches will do. That doesn’t mean that you can’t see it from the city, but the spectacle will be much more intense when there are no artificial lights around.
Secondly, season matters. Different Canadian regions have different Aurora sightings at different times. For example, the Yukon is an all-around kind of destination, while in Ontario, autumn is the best time to see the Northern Lights.
Thirdly, the weather should be your friend, and checking the forecast is obligatory for increasing your chances of catching the Aurora. The best-case scenario is when there are no clouds above and the sky is completely clear.
Regarding the best time, expect the Lights to show up between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. September to March is the optimal period for Aurora hunting in Canada, as it includes fall and spring equinoxes with the highest solar activity.
The websites that will facilitate your Northern Lights chasing are Aurora Forecast, which covers the whole of Canada, and Aurora Watch, with a focus on Edmonton and Alberta.