The Best Photography Spots in Toronto

From urban landscapes to green spaces, architecture to street art, no matter what type of photography you’re into, Toronto offers a huge range of options for the shutter enthusiasts. One day you could be in the thick of the hustle and bustle; the daily life of a large metropolis unfolding before your eyes. The next, admiring the city’s iconic skyline, with only the sounds of chirping birds and the water lapping against the shores as your soundtrack. I love photographing the city because of the variety of subjects available and I wanted to share with you some of the best photography spots in Toronto.

To do that, I called upon some of Toronto’s top Instagrammers to recommend their favourite spots in the city. No one knows Toronto’s best angles better than these guys and gals. These are the people you’ll see out at the crack of dawn, in the middle of a snow storm, after a heavy rainfall, and snapping away as the sun sets for the day. Whether you’re visiting the city for the first time or looking for a new spot or two, check out the best photography spots in Toronto below. And be sure to follow each of these creators on Instagram. Their feeds are incredible!

The Toronto Islands

Just a short ferry ride from downtown Toronto are the Toronto Islands. Made up from a collection of 15 smaller islands, the Toronto Islands is one of the most popular spots amongst photographers. There’s beaches, nature, and of course, that iconic Toronto Skyline shot.

 
 
 
 
 
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@argenel

“One of the main reasons why I love visiting the Toronto Islands is the peace and quiet that it can provide. Only a quick ferry ride from downtown, I find visiting the islands to be a good way to hit the “pause” button on the hustle and bustle of daily life. As someone who loves the outdoors and lives in a big city, the Toronto Islands provide an opportunity to reconnect with nature, as you go about exploring the many pathways and bridges that can be found there. On top of that, this area offers some of the most beautiful photo opportunities and views of the city and of the island itself, making it the perfect place to escape the city at pretty much anytime of the year.”

Trillium Park

Looking to get that Toronto skyline shot but don’t have time to visit the Toronto Islands? Then head to Trillium Park. Located on the eastern part of Ontario Place, Trillium Park is one of Toronto’s newest green spaces. This 7.5-acre park is located right on the waterfront and features a 1.3km trail, gardens, lookout spots, and even a fire pit.

 
 
 
 
 
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@jayeffex

“Trillium Park is one of my favourite spots to photograph in the city. It used to be a parking lot and has now been transformed into a beautiful park enjoyed by joggers, picnic goers, families, and everyone in between! It’s easily accessible and has one of the best views of the city skyline. Whether you’re watching planes take off from Billy Bishop Airport or enjoying Canada Day fireworks, I always recommend this place to everyone!”

Colonel Samuel Smith Park

There are a few spots west of downtown Toronto that also offer great views of the city especially for those amazing sunrise shots, starting with Colonel Samuel Smith Park. As one of the city’s largest waterfront green spaces, Colonel Samuel Smith Park is ideal for those photographers who love photographing nature and birds. The nearby yacht club also provides opportunities to snap some of the boats or to get those cool reflective water shots on a calm day.

Top photography spots in Toronto
The Toronto Skyline photographed at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Photo Credit: @kristupha

@kristupha

“Colonel Samuel Smith Park is west of downtown Toronto by Humber College. It’s far enough to provide solace from the city without committing to a longer trip elsewhere. I like shooting here because of how tucked away it is; there are lots of trees to block light pollution from the city and a wide view of the dark sky over Lake Ontario, which really helps with astrophotography – my favourite time to shoot! For the early birds, check out sunrise at Whimbrel Point. The view of the morning sun is surreal over the Toronto skyline.”

Humber Bay Park

Another great photography spot just west of downtown Toronto is Humber Bay Park. It’s divided by Mimico Creek, creating an East and West Park and offers nature photography opportunities along with skyline views of Toronto. Both sections of the park jut out into Lake Ontario and features walking trails, rock beaches, waterways and a butterfly habitat.

Top photography spots in Toronto.
Humber Bay Park. Photo Credit: @jakegrahamphoto

@JakeGrahamPhoto

“As a Toronto-born landscape photographer, I love being able to show the contrast of the natural and human worlds. I find the best place to capture this in the city to be Humber Bay Park East & West. In the winter months, the full moon rises perfectly behind the city’s skyline at sunset, allowing for a unique & reflective winter experience along the shores of Lake Ontario. With Toronto’s skyline growing rapidly, each return visit to the park offers a changing perspective.”

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

At the mouth of the Humber River is the Humber Bay Arch Bridge, a 456-foot-long pedestrian bridge that’s used by cyclists, joggers, and walkers. Its award-winning design features two steel-pipe arches and geometric shapes, great for shadow-play photography. This remarkable piece of architecture creates a stunning contrast with the surrounding nature, resulting in beautiful photographic opportunities.

 
 
 
 
 
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@smaku

“The Humber Bay Arch Bridge is an iconic landmark in Toronto’s west end, located just east of Humber Bay Park East. The architecture is striking and offers a great opportunity for photography, particularly during sunrise when passersby are silhouetted by the warm glow of the sun rising behind them. You can walk around the area to find several different and unique vantage points of this bridge, and catching it with pedestrians makes it even more of a beautiful shot. Just don’t forget to pack your patience.”

The Waterfront

 
 
 
 
 
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@Mke11y

“Toronto’s waterfront is one of the most dynamic places in the city, especially for photography. During the summer there’s always events happening, attracting tons of people that make for some great candid shots blending nature and city life. While not void of activities, the area is drastically different during the winter. With less people around, it’s a quiet retreat from the downtown core much like the islands, but without being fully disconnected from the city. Regardless of the season, it’s always a great place to watch/photograph the sunset and planes landing at Billy Bishop Airport.”

Historic Distillery District

The Historic Distillery District is another favourite photography spot in Toronto. Home to the former Gooderham and Worts distillery, the largest in the world at one point, is now a pedestrian only arts and entertainment district. The wonderfully preserved Victorian industrial buildings create a unique backdrop that you can’t find anywhere else in the city. The Historic Distillery District hosts various festivals throughout the year and is often used in film and television productions.

Top photography spots in Toronto
The Historic Distillery District during the Toronto Light Festival. Photo Credit: @jgazze

@jgazze

“The historic cobblestone streets of the Distillery District present an endless possibility of photographic opportunities. The former whiskey distillery is filled with historical buildings which present great architecture. Not into buildings? The pedestrian only paths have endless corners and alleys to create interesting vantage points for portrait shoots or dramatic scenes with minimal planning.

My absolute favourite time to go is during the Toronto Christmas Market or their annual Toronto Light Festival. You can get great shots of seasonal upbeat fun or gorgeous contrasting ‘light’ installations. A great contrast of modern chic and classic history.”

Brookfield Place

When it comes to architecture shots around Toronto, one of the most photographed interior spaces is Brookfield Place. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District, Brookfield Place is an office complex that houses the Hockey Hall of Fame. This is also where you’ll find the Allen Lambert Galleria, a 6-story atrium with soaring ceilings and curved steel arch beams. It was designed to resemble a forest canopy or tree-lined avenue and has also been featured in television and film productions.

 
 
 
 
 
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@ramona.c

“One of my all-time favourite spots is Brookfield Place. The architecture has always captivated me. And they always have great art installations and exhibits. Every year around Christmas, I love walking through it when it’s lit up. It’s always such a peaceful space to walk through. And even though it’s captured in a similar way by almost everyone, I never get tired of it.”

St. Lawrence Market & Gooderham Building

Just east of Toronto’s downtown core you’ll find the St. Lawrence Market. For over 200 years, the St. Lawrence Market has been selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and was named the top food market in the world by National Geographic in 2011. The main building on the south side of Front Street offers a number of photo opportunities, from the architecture of the building to the excitement of a working market on a busy Saturday morning.

Within the St. Lawrence neighbourhood you’ll find the Gooderham Building. This Flatiron Building is another favourite subject for Toronto photographers. Looking west you’ll get one of Toronto’s most iconic shots with the Gooderham Building framed by the towering financial buildings and the CN Tower.

 
 
 
 
 
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@punkodelish

“For as long as I can remember, my father and I have woken up early on Saturday morning for our weekly visit to the St. Lawrence Market. It’s a wonderfully historic part of the city and it’s truly charming before the crowds arrive. The Gooderham (our Flatiron) makes an impressive statement and is far and away my favourite building in Toronto. It’s become an old friend that I visit and photograph in every season, rain or shine, snow or fog…and everything in between.”

Aga Khan Museum & Ismaili Centre

 
 
 
 
 
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@pameladg8

“Toronto is rich with so many different cultures and religions that it gives us the opportunity to learn about them all. The Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre, and the gorgeous gardens surrounding both buildings can easily provide hours of education and entertainment. Not to mention the stunning modern architecture and photo opportunities! I spent hours wandering around soaking it all up. Aga Khan is a museum mainly devoted to Islamic art and culture, while the Ismaili Centre is a religious, social and spiritual building. Check them out for their new exhibitions, tours, talks & performances!”

Riverdale Park East

If you’re on the east side of Toronto looking for another angle of Toronto’s skyline, head to Riverdale Park East. This 18-hectare park is a recreational hub year-round; with baseball diamonds, a running track, tennis courts, a pool, and a children’s playground, plus an ice rink and one of the best toboggan hills in the city during the winter months. It’s from this hill, sloping down from Broadview Avenue, that you get another impressive view of the city.

@ashtontekno

“My favorite spot is Riverdale Park. I love the spot because you can get a wide and compressed perspective. Also, you can get the different seasons, Fall, Winter, Summer and Spring and each time it will look different. Also, sunset and nighttime changes the mood.”

Evergreen Brick Works

And last, but certainly not least, is the Evergreen Brick Works. Located in the Don River Valley, this former quarry used to make bricks for some of the most notable buildings and homes in Toronto. Today, the Evergreen Brick Works is a cultural centre and community hub with a focus on sustainability and the environment. There are weekend farmer and artisan markets, a cafe, art exhibitions, gardens, walking trails, and even a skating rink during the winter months.

@lisarobertsonpics

“Toronto offers so many different and beautiful locations to take photographs. I feel very lucky to live in a city that has so many options – there is something for everyone. My favourite corner of the city to explore with my camera is the Evergreen Brick Works. As a nature lover, the Brick Works is the ideal place to find peace and beauty while stepping away from the busy city, plus it’s open all year long. The numerous trails and pathways provide lots of opportunities for photographs. Birds, wildlife, incredible trees, flowers and ponds – this place has everything. A short hike to the top of the hill will even provide you with a spectacular view of the city. Enjoy!”

Did we miss any of your favourite photography spots in Toronto? Leave them in the comments below!

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From landscape to architecture and nature photography, these are the best photography spots in Toronto!