Venture further north, however, and the odds of spotting the aurora climb quickly. Indeed, when I was in Yellowknife a few Octobers ago, shimmering veils of colour danced across the sky every single night.
I admired the celestial spectacle from various NWT locations -- my hotel room, a gravel road, the viewing platforms of the quirky Aurora Village -- and was under the impression the experience was as good as it could realistically get.
Now, there may be an ever better way to see the aurora. Last month, Tourism Yukon, Air North and the Yukon Astronomical Society announced a new partnership to view the Northern Lights from 36,000 feet in the air aboard a private-chartered flight, the first of its kind in Canada. This will get passengers closer to the lights, which range in altitude from 80 to 600-plus kilometres, but more importantly will eliminate cloud cover and reduce light pollution.
The flight out of Whitehorse starts at $950 and is set to take place on either Nov. 24 or 25, depending on the local aurora forecast. In addition to optional accommodations and flights to the Yukon capital, packages include a pre-flight welcome reception at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and a certificate from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada stating that guests have crossed the Arctic Circle.
So that's TWO quintessentially Canadian questions sorted, then...