The bright, elusive, and gorgeous shimmering lights in the clear skies that compels people to tour across places to catch a glimpse of it, is nothing but the Aurora Borealis in Canada, or you may call it the Northern Lights. The natural phenomenon of the lights is stunning and ethereal.
Its elusiveness is what makes the natural phenomenon so attractive.
You can get lucky to see Auroras once in a lifetime, as it is something unpredictable. The chances are more in the Northern Hemisphere near the magnetic pole. The fascinating hues of the aurora borealis in Canada can form the shapes like arcs, misty wisps, and translucent clouds in colors that may vary from pink, purple, and green to yellows.
First, let us know about the causes of the aurora borealis in Canada and the best months to catch its glimpse.
What’s the ‘Northern Lights’ or the ‘Aurora Borealis in Canada’?
The name Aurora Borealis comes from Aurora, the Roman God of dawn, and Boreas, the Greek God of the North Wind.
You can catch the most spectacular display of the Aurora Borealis in Canada as it mainly lies beneath the Northern Hemisphere’s Auroral Oval, which is also one of the main hot spots for the natural phenomenon.
The auroras are an effective natural phenomenon that mostly happens in the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere. It happens when the sun’s electrically charged particles that are riding on the solar wind enter the Earth’s atmosphere and thereby collide with the gases, nitrogen, oxygen, and also the Earth’s magnetic field acting on it greatly.
And, therefore, this effective solar activity is formed. This spectacular phenomenon is also likely to be most effective when the sun is most active and during clear skies.
One of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the world is The White North in Canada. The beautiful and vibrant lights are visible in the shades varying from purples, greens, reds, and yellow in the dark skies.
However, to get a clearer view of the lights, it is best to visit the locations in Canada during the summer months, when the lights are visible clearer and for more hours above the horizon than in the winter months. These celestial displays are worth the watch.
In this article, you can know more about the best months for tours and the best spots on Earth to see the aurora borealis in Canada.
What are the best places?
1. Yellowknife, Canada’s Northwest Territories
If you are looking for someplace to see Aurora Borealis in Canada during winter, this place is surely not to be missed out on.
Yellowknife is the center of the aurora oval, also one of the isolated cities where you can find the Aurora Borealis at best in the Northwest Territories.
One of the most provoking attributes that favor this place to be the best among all is its flat surface, spatial population, and less precipitation. Features such as less precipitation will make the nights cloudless, and the flat surface of the place will give an unobstructed view of the beautiful lights.
These features, in particular, favor the brightest Aurora Borealis in Canada. For the best and the brightest viewing experience, you can visit this place from mid-November until April.
The view of the Aurora Borealis in Canada viewing night is also alerted by tiny lighthouses that signal while they show the Aurora Borealis that night.
2. Muncho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
The Muncho Lake gets its name from the word ‘Muncho,’ which means big water, reflecting the Aurora Borealis’ calmness. You cannot miss out on this location among the list of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada. If you are someone who loves nature, then this location is just for you.
Located on the magnificent folded mountains and the wonderful wildlife variations along with the bright-colored wildflowers, this location has to be added to your must-visit Aurora Borealis in Canada list. Along with the gleaming and bright light show, you can also enjoy the delightful and picturesque sights here.
It is also known to have the best Aurora Borealis in Canada sightings all around the year as it lies very close to the Yukon Valley.
You can also spend a day or two to get the full experience feels of the Aurora Borealis in Canada in the best possible way. Stay in the Northern Rockies Lodge, which is also a haven for most aurora catchers due to its rustic cabins amidst the magnificent and gleaming Aurora Borealis in Canada.
3. Whitehorse, Yukon
Not to be missed on the list of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada is Whitehorse, the capital city of Yukon. It is also one of the favorite places for all the aurora chasers.
For its relatively low pollution rate and clearer skies, it is what make it the ideal place for viewing the northern lights. Whitehorse lies in the confluence of two Aboriginal communities. It is also known for its longest northern lights viewing season which is from the mid of August to mid of April.
Every part of the city is so scenic and surreal, not to mention the accessibility, which makes it an ideal location for anybody who wants to watch the Aurora Borealis.
4. Fort Mcmurray, Alberta
Don’t miss out on this spot on your list of best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada. It is located on the confluence of the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers, on the 65th Parallel within the Aurora Band, where most Auroras occur. This place is also known to be the hotspot of Aurora Lights in Canada.
Unlike some of the best places like Yellowknife, this city faces negligible pollution, making the stunning Aurora Borealis in Canada appear a little dim. Its mostly clear visibility can be seen around the cold winter evenings and midnights around October to March.
Keep heading north towards the northwest direction for the best and brightest view of the Aurora Borealis in Canada. You will not be disappointed by its beauty and charm.
5. Churchill, Manitoba
Add this to your list of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada. Churchill also tops the list among the top three places to view Aurora Borealis in the world. It is also known as the World’s Polar Bear Capital- Churchill, which lies on the western shore of Hudson Bay.
It is an ideal location to see the Northern Lights because of its absolute best location, which is just below the Aurora Oval.
However, the best time to view the Northern Lights is spring. The best time to see the Northern Lights is from January to March. You can also watch these beautiful northern lights from the custom-built Aurora Pod.
6. Iqaluit, Nunavut
The city is often known for its dropping minus degrees- Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut. It is known for being the best place to watch Aurora Borealis in Canada and for cold temperatures, which might drop about -10 degrees. Due to its relatively lesser pollution and spatial population, it is also one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada.
So, what makes it an ideal location for watching the Aurora Borealis? It is because it lies in a strategic location that is just below the Aurora Oval.
While you decide on your adventure to this place, make sure you are ready to witness the extreme cold temperatures!
7. Banff & Jasper, The Canadian Rockies
To see the northern lights in Canada that too in lower latitudes, the best places to see are British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, including Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
The Canadian Rockies give you the most amazing aurora displays on clear nights compared to other places in the south like Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, and other such places. The places down south are photogenic with the darkest skies and clear nights.
However, the Canadian Rockies are the best place to get the Aurora experience and offer the most amazing light shows during the night.
8. Kuujjuaq, Quebec
Add this to your list to see the best Aurora Lights in Canada. To see the best of the lights dance, head on to the northern parts of the province like Kuujjuaq.
Here, the conditions are most favorable, which include minimum city lights and dark skies. Also, the remote atmosphere gives you the experience of the most amazing northern lights.
When you decide to see the northern lights in a destination such as Canada, stay aware not to choose major cities to see the Northern lights such as Toronto, Montreal, and other territories, as the night sky could easily interfere with minimal pollution.
Also, make sure that the clouds could also interfere with the show. Therefore, get planned for your beautiful trip to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada.
Nothing can beat the bright shimmering lights that tower over the Canadian Rockies. A glassy lake reflects the glaciers of Northern Alberta, home to Athabasca University’s Geophysical Observatory studying the Earth’s magnetic field.
The northern lights on the pitch-black skies and light pollution are even more beautiful. You can also combine the Aurora Trip with paddling and hiking The Canadian Rockies.
The months from September to mid-May are the best aurora active time. You can very well add up this place to your bucket list to see the Aurora Lights in Canada. Other easy access nearby the place is Lake Minnewanka, Herbert Lake, Castle Junction, and the most famous Jasper National Park.
To catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis in Canada, you can plan out the trip accordingly to the time and month. While you decide, you can plan out the trip heading north during winter and south during summer.
However, it is better to plan out the tours during the winter, as there might be higher chances of seeing them. The Blachford lake lodge is highly recommended for watching polar bears all year round, seeing the midnight sun or the full moon. Though it is available for just four hours so, you have to wait for that prime time and if the weather permitting.
Witness the amazing Aurora lights in Canada, preferably once in your life. It will be a memory to cherish forever. It will be worth the watch! Let us know about your amazing experience after your trip in the comments.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Can you see Aurora Borealis, Canada, from Ontario?
Yes, you can see the Aurora Borealis from Ontario.
You can mostly see the effect further north and in the Arctic, but you can still catch the beauty of aurora in the lower latitudes of Canada, including Ontario.
The most amazing time to see the aurora lights in the night sky from Ontario are in September and October. The conditions are best to see the shimmering lights in the dark skies. However, the best places for aurora viewing are Cree Village Ecolodge, Pukaskwa National Park, and Manitoulin Island.
When you are already up north waiting for the northern lights to dance, you can also enjoy the trip and take part in the plentiful outdoor activities and sports that take place in the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. These are some of the best spots to enjoy both the northern lights and other sports during the aurora season.
2. What month is best to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada?
To get the most out of the Aurora Borealis in Canada tours, the best time is from October to March. Most hours are dark during this time, making the aurora experience even more amazing.
The solar activity that causes the Northern Lights is most prevalent from late September to march. It will be the most suitable to plan your Aurora tour mostly during the time of Spring Equinox and fall.
As you go further north, there will be fewer hours of darkness during the summer months; therefore, consider the hours of light whenever you plan for the Aurora trip. But if you want to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada during the summer months, the southern provinces are the best for it.
The high solar activity in the southern provinces gives you the best chances to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada.
September to October(Autumn)
Even though the days are comparatively not as long during this time of winter, the aurora viewing is much easier because of the high solar geomagnetic activity, which makes the auroras much clearer without any interference.
November to February(Winter)
It is easier to see the aurora borealis in Canada during this time as the sky is clear, the days are shorter, and the nights are dark compared to the summers. The skies are dark, and the northern lights are brightest during this time.
March to May(Spring)
During this time, the spring equinox acts as a very good agent that helps you watch the bright shimmering northern lights. The solar activity from early fall to early spring when there is more darkness is the best time for aurora viewing.