1. https://scopetrader.com/light-pollution
  2. https://scopetrader.com/canada-sky-glow-is-less-than-in-the-united-states/
6/27/2024 10:00:33 AM
Canada sky glow is less than in the United States
Canada,Light regulations,Dark skies,Light pollution,Sky glow,Astronomy,Astrophotography
Light Pollution

Canada sky glow is less than in the United States

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Richard Harris Richard Harris

Canadian cities actively work to preserve dark skies through specific light regulations aimed at reducing light pollution. As a result, Canada sky glow is much less compared to what Americans see. These measures include the use of shielded light fixtures, promoting timers and motion sensors, and implementing lower intensity lighting. Cities like Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montréal are leading these efforts, ensuring better conditions for stargazing and protecting wildlife.

Recent observations show that Canadians generally experience less sky glow than Americans. This difference is mainly due to varying population densities and urban development patterns between the two countries. With its vast wilderness and lower population density, Canada has fewer urban centers contributing to light pollution.

Why Canadians have less Sky-Glow than Americans

Moreover, Canadian cities often implement more stringent light pollution regulations, further reducing sky glow. This favorable condition allows Canadian stargazers and astronomers to enjoy clearer and darker skies, enhancing their ability to observe celestial phenomena.

Canada sky glow, light pollution-related regulations include:

  • Toronto: The city has adopted "Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines" which include measures to reduce light pollution. This involves the use of shielded light fixtures and promoting the use of timers and motion sensors to minimize unnecessary lighting.
  • Calgary: Calgary's "Outdoor Lighting Policy" mandates that all outdoor lighting on city properties must be fully shielded to direct light downward, thereby reducing sky glow and light trespass.
  • Vancouver: The "Greenest City Action Plan" includes initiatives to reduce light pollution by improving street lighting efficiency and minimizing light spill.
  • Montreal: The city has implemented regulations that require all new streetlights to be shielded and use lower intensity lighting to minimize light pollution.
  • Banff: As part of the Banff National Park's dark sky preservation efforts, the town has strict outdoor lighting bylaws that require the use of fully shielded fixtures and limit the brightness of outdoor lights.
The importance of dark skies

The importance of dark skies is not just for stargazers

Dark skies are not only essential for both professional and amateur astronomers,  but reduced sky glow is also crucial for wildlife, helping to preserve natural behaviors that are disrupted by artificial light. As urban areas grow, effective light pollution management becomes increasingly important. Light pollution diminishes our view of the night sky and affects ecosystems and human health in ways we are just beginning to understand.

Canadas commitment to preserving dark skies attracts astronomers globally

Canada's commitment to preserving dark skies attracts astronomers globally

Canada's commitment to preserving dark skies not only benefits local astronomers but also attracts international attention. The country's dark sky preserves and parks are popular destinations for astrophotographers and researchers worldwide. By continuing to prioritize light pollution reduction, Canada can maintain its status as a prime location for astronomical observation and research. Canada's government actively preserves dark skies through various initiatives. The country has established numerous Dark Sky Preserves, such as Jasper National Park and Mont Mégantic, which implement strict lighting controls to minimize light pollution. Regulations mandate the use of shielded fixtures and lower-intensity lighting to reduce sky glow. Public education campaigns raise awareness about the importance of dark skies for astronomy, wildlife, and human health. Collaborations with national parks and local communities further promote responsible lighting practices, ensuring the protection of these valuable natural resources.

Stargazing locations in Canada

Stargazing locations in Canada

  • Jasper National Park (Alberta)
  • Wood Buffalo National Park (Alberta/Northwest Territories)
  • Grasslands National Park (Saskatchewan)
  • Keji (Kejimkujik National Park) (Nova Scotia)
  • Mont Mégantic (Quebec)
  • Bruce Peninsula (Ontario)
  • Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve (Ontario)
  • Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Saskatchewan/Alberta)


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