Quetico Provincial Park, an Ontario Park, has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
With the support of Starry Skies Lake Superior IDA chapter and the Heart of the Continent Partnership (a Canadian/American coalition of land managers and local stakeholders working together on cross-border projects on the Ontario/Minnesota border), Quetico becomes the third public land in the region to achieve the Dark Sky Park designation following Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. This unique international partnership builds on a long history of cooperation to create an internationally significant area of pristine protected night skies in Northwestern Ontario and Northeastern Minnesota.
“A starry sky free of light pollution is a source of wonder and inspiration for visitors to Quetico Provincial Park, and an important part of the park’s natural environment. Receiving this designation from the IDA will help us to promote the preservation of night skies in our region and maintain the ecological integrity of the park. When gazing skyward from one of Quetico’s campsites today, you can see a night sky similar in quality to what someone would have seen 100 or 1,000 years ago camped at that very same spot.
… I hope that 100 years in the future the same will hold true.” – Trevor Gibb, Park Superintendent, Quetico Provincial Park
Achieving this designation involved a rigorous two-year process which required:
- Light management planning to convert existing external lighting to dark sky compliant light fixtures.
- Annual sky quality measurements to ensure dark sky criteria were met.
- Development of new educational programming and signage to help visitors learn about the importance of protecting night skies.
Quetico joins Killarney Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park as the third provincial park in Ontario to receive a Dark Sky designation since 2018.