Mike’s Picks: Six Iconic Instagram-Worthy Photography Spots to Shoot in Toronto
On Instagram I run a hub or community for photographers called Tdot Shots.
Skyline from Waterfront (Polson Pier, Islands, Humber Bay)
The iconic Toronto skyline can be shot from multiple places. There are 3 primary locations: Polson Pier, east of downtown, The islands, and Hunber Bay, west of downtown. Though Polson Pier looks close on a map, it is a bit of a trek, however the reward is immense if the sky gets a Toronto sunset burn. This may be the premier location for most iconic waterfront shot. The islands have a more central view though many shootng sots can also ctch sunset. Humber Bay is furthest from the downtown and is a primary spot for catching sunrises.
TD Centre (Bay St. and King St.)
Address: 100 Wellington St. West > Map
TD Centre is the biggest and baddest cluster of buildings in the centre of downtown Toronto. It;’s ground zero for “lookups” – those shots where the photographer points the camera at the sky while standing between buildings. Built in the 1970s, it was the first of its kind in Canada – a multi-building skyscraper complex clad in black metal and glass.
It’s become my favourite building. Shooting here is a thrill. There are a dozen cool micro locations for shooting around here, whether in the plaza of TD Centre, or anywhere nearby the intersection of Bay and King (commonly referred to as the centre of Canadian economic power).
“The Toronto-Dominion Centre, or TD Centre, is a cluster of buildings in downtown Toronto, Ontario owned by Cadillac Fairview. It has six towers and a pavilion covered in bronze-tinted glass and black painted steel. It serves as the global headquarters of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, and provides office and retail space for many other businesses. About 21,000 people work in the complex, making it the largest in Canada.
The project was the inspiration of Allen Lambert, former President and Chairman of the Board of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. Phyllis Lambert recommended Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as design consultant to the architects, John B. Parkin and Associates and Bregman + Hamann, and the Fairview Corporation as the developer. The towers were completed between 1967 and 1991. An additional building was built outside the campus and purchased in 1998. Part of the complex, described by Philip Johnson as “the largest Mies in the world”, was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2003 and received an Ontario Heritage Trust plaque in 2005.”
Also Nearby:: Union Station, Brookfield Place
City Hall / Old City Hall (Queen St. West)
Address: 100 Queen St. W. > Map
City Hall is a favourite for many strollers and photographers because of its central location and proximity to places like Queen St. West, Eaton Centre (shopping mall), and Bay St. It’s also arguably the most photogenic building in Toronto after the CN Tower.
I love it partly for the easy photo variations such as shooting from the elevated platform or the bridge that connects the plaza to the Sheraton Centre hotel. Also, Osgoode Hall is next door – one of the downtown core’s hidden gems.
Bonus: Old City Hall is just across the street and it’s amazing clock tower is prominent almost anywhere around the entire block (this clock tower is taller than both the Peace Tower in Ottawa and Big Ben in London).
The Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, is the seat of the municipal government of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (with Heikki Castrén, Bengt Lundsten, and Seppo Valjus) and landscape architect Richard Strong, and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel, the building opened in 1965. It was built to replace Old City Hall, which had housed city offices since 1899. The current city hall, located at Nathan Phillips Square, is the city’s fourth and was built to replace its predecessor which the city outgrew shortly after its completion. The area of Toronto City Hall and the civic square was formerly the location of Toronto’s Old Chinatown, which was expropriated and bulldozed during the mid-1950s in preparation for a new civic building.
Address: 49 Wellington St. East (at Church St.) > Map
The Gooderham Building is a downtown building in what is sometimes referred to as “Old Town,” Toronto. Front St, and Wellington, between Church and Parliament streets, have marvellous old buildings from the mid to late 1800s.
“The Gooderham Building, also known as the Flatiron Building, is an historic office building at 49 Wellington Street East in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the eastern edge of the city’s Financial District (east of Yonge Street) in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, wedged between Front Street and Wellington Street in Downtown Toronto, where they join up to form a triangular intersection. Completed in 1892, the red-brick edifice was an early example of a prominent flatiron building.
The Gooderham Building is the focal point of one of Toronto’s most iconic vistas: looking west down Front Street towards the building’s prominent rounded corner, framed on the sides by the heritage commercial blocks along Front Street, and with the skyscrapers of the Financial District towering in the background. The CN Tower is also visible from certain angles behind Brookfield Place. This vista frequently appears in imagery of the city.”
Also nearby: St. James Cathedral and Berczy Park
Address: 181 Bay St (at Front St.) > Map
Brookfield Place, formerly known as BCE Place, is a beautiful atrium in an office complex not far from Union Station.
Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) is an office complex in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, comprising the 2.1 ha (5.2-acre) block bounded by Yonge Street, Wellington Street West, Bay Street, and Front Street. The complex contains 242,000 m2 (2,604,866 sq ft) of office space, and consists of two towers, Bay Wellington Tower and TD Canada Trust Tower, linked by the Allen Lambert Galleria. Brookfield Place is also the home of the Hockey Hall of Fame (housed in an opulent former bank from 1885).
Also nearby: Union Station, TD Centre, Gooderham Building
ROM (Bloor St. West)
Address: 100 Queens Park > Map
The ROM is an old building with a funky futuristic facade at its new main entrance. A favourite for night-time photography featuring long exposures.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM, French: Musée royal de l’Ontario) is a museum of art, world culture and natural history in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is one of the largest museums in North America, and the largest in Canada. It attracts more than one million visitors every year, making the ROM the most visited museum in Canada. The museum is north of Queen’s Park, in the University of Toronto district, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West. The Museum subway station of the Toronto Transit Commission is named after the ROM, and since 2008, it is decorated to resemble the institution’s collection.
Also nearby: The University of Toronto, Yorkville, The Annex