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Want to know some of the best spots in Toronto for Instagram and Photography? In this guide, I will tell you the spots I discovered whilst living in the city. I lived in the city for 15 months, and as a photographer, I spent much of my spare time exploring and searching for the best photo spots. All these spots are publicly and legally accessible, many are free but some such as the CN Tower you’d have to pay for.

Here is a guide to the best and must visit Instagram and photography spots in Toronto.

1. Nathan Phillips Square, City Hall and Old City Hall

Nathan Phillips Square is at the centre of the city and is awesome to photograph pretty much all throughout the year. In the winter they have ski skating on the water feature in front and in recent years they have introduced a bright Toronto light sign. For a good perspective of the Old City Hall, it’s good to go up the steps to the upper platform which is directly opposite the Old City Hall across from the pond. Use the pic below as a guide.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 100 Queen St W, ON M5H 2N2 (Google Maps link)

Nathan Phillips Square and Old City Hall
Nathan Phillips Square and Old City Hall

2. Royal Ontario Museum (Royal Ontario Museum)

The front facade of the Royal Ontario Museum is called the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and is creative architecture at its best. I personally recommend taking pictures of the Rom at night and with light trails from traffic going past. It does also look good during the day.

Best time for pics: Night
Cost: Free (outside)
Location: 100 Queens Park, ON M5S 2C6 (Google Maps link)
Website: rom.on.ca

Royal Ontario Museum at night
Royal Ontario Museum at night
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3. Museum Subway Stop

Close to the Rom is the Museum Subway Stop. The platforms have been designed with this in mind with fantastic pillars and designs.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Subway ticket
Location: Museum, Line 1 (Google Maps link)

Museum Station
Museum Station

4. Gooderham Building

One of the coolest buildings in the city, the Gooderham Building, also known as the Flatiron is superb. From some angles, you can get the CN Tower in the shot too.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 49 Wellington St E, ON M5E 1C9 (Google Maps link)

Gooderham Building Flatiron
Gooderham Building Flatiron
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5. Casa Loma

I wouldn’t say Casa Loma is the easiest building to photograph. Few things that may help is to use a wide angle lens, or visit in the spring/summer and then try and compose your shot with flowers in the foreground such as below.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free (outside)
Location: 1 Austin Terrace, ON M5R 1X8 (Google Maps link)
Website: casaloma.ca

Casa Loma in the Spring
Casa Loma in the Spring

6. Polson Pier

Polson Pier is one of the classic Toronto spots, but most tourists probably aren’t aware of this location. To get here you take bus #72A from Wellington Street West near King Station and then get off at Cherry Street. You then have a five-minute walk past the Asian supermarket and it’ll be on your right. Check the location (Polson Street) in Google before you go too. Or you could also just jump in an Uber. This is a great spot for taking pictures during the golden hour and then the blue hour.

Best time for pics: Sunset/Night
Cost: Free
Location: 2 Polson Street, ON M5A 1A4 (Google Maps link)

Toronto skyline from Polson Pier
Skyline from Polson Pier

7. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto, or UOT, is a great place to visit and walk around. Some of the colleges and buildings including Robarts Library, Knox College and many more have stunning architecture, and the university is often used a location for weddings and movies.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: King’s College Cir, ON (Google Maps link)

Trinity College, University of Toronto
Trinity College, University of Toronto
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8. Humber Bay Bridge and viewpoint

Around Humber Bay Bridge you get great views towards the city and you also have the Humber Bridge which is great to photograph. This is a great sunrise spot and during certain times of the year, you’ll be able to get the sun rising up behind the downtown skyline.

Best time for pics: Sunrise/Night
Cost: Free
Location: Humber Bridge (Google Maps link)

Humber Bay Bridge, Toronto
Humber Bay Bridge

9. Rush Lane/Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley off Spadina Avenue is pretty cool to wander along. Sometimes you may capture artists at work too.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Rush Lane, ON M5V 2W1e (Google Maps link)

Rush Lane - Graffiti Alley
Rush Lane – Graffiti Alley

10. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

The AGO is awesome and great to photograph from the outside and inside. Few of the best spots in the museum is the main spiral staircase in one of the main halls and the cafe seen below. You can even visit for free on Wednesdays after 6pm. Head to www.ago.net/how-to-visit-for-free for more info.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Ticketed/Free sometimes
Location: 317 Dundas St W, ON M5T 1G4 (Google Maps link)
Website: ago.net

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

11. View from the CN Tower

A visit to Toronto should definitely include a trip up the CN Tower, which was once one of the tallest towers in the world from 1976-2010! The Tower has various floors that are accessible providing great views of the Toronto skyline, including the main lookout levels at 342m and 346m, a restaurant at 351m and a Skypod at 447m. For those wanting a thrill, you could also do the EdgeWalk.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Ticketed
Location: 301 Front St W, ON M5V 2T6 (Google Maps link)
Website: cntower.ca

View from CN Tower, Toronto
View from CN Tower

12. From a Helicopter

Although a helicopter ride goes extremely quick, they are a great way to get some aerial views of the city. Unfortunately, you are probably going to be shooting through glass so you may have problems with reflections.

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You can book helicopter tours through getyourguide.com.
Downtown Toronto from a Helicopter
Downtown Toronto from a Helicopter
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13. Skywalk at Union station

The Skywalk is pretty cool but not the easiest to photograph. Something you could try is taking pictures on a 0.3-1 second exposure so the people become slightly blurred, giving a sense of motion. I always intended to do this but never got round to it.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Skywalk, ON M5J 1C3 (Google Maps link)

Skywalk at Union Station in Toronto
Skywalk at Union Station

14. Brookfield Place

This is a classic Instagram spot and if you follow any Instagram hubs you’ll often see this interior come up. It’s located a short walk up from Bay Street from Union Station.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 181 Bay St, ON M5J 2T3 (Google Maps link)

Brookfield Place, Toronto
Brookfield Place

15. Sugar Beach

Not just a great place to relax, Sugar Beach is also a great place to go and take photographs, and you can even take photographs in the winter such as below.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 115 Queens Quay E, ON M5A 1B6 (Google Maps link)

Sugar Beach, Toronto
Sugar Beach

16. Scarborough Bluffs Park

A little bit East of the City is Scarborough Bluffs Park which is a series of nice beaches, parks, boat houses. The view below is from Scarborough Bluffs Park towards Bluffers Park. To get here and to the park below is not that easy and I recommend an Uber, Taxi, drive or to cycle. The road leading down to the lower park and beaches is Brimley Road South. You can also use public transport (bus 12 or 302) and walk down but it’s not the nicest walk to be honest.

Best time for pics: Day/sunset/sunrise
Cost: Free
Location: 61 Under Cliff Dr, ON M1N 3Z5 (upper park)
OR: 52 Bluffers Park, ON M1M 3W3 (lower park) (Google Maps link)

Scarbrough Bluffs
Scarbrough Bluffs
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17. Upwards Perspectives in Downtown

All along downtown and in particular this spot near King Street West and Bay street are huge skyscrapers. To get the best shots use a very wide angle lens or a GoPro (what I used) to get shots like the below.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 244-254 Bay St (Google Maps link)

Downtown lookups, Toronto
Downtown lookups

18. Cool Camera wall along Scollard Street

A little bit north of downtown is this very peculiar building which has hundreds of cameras on the facade of the wall. The closest subway station is Bay Street and it’s cool to check out if you are in the area.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: 125 Scollard St (Google Maps link)

Camera Wall along Scollard Street, Toronto
Camera Wall along Scollard Street, Toronto

19. Spadina Avenue Bridge towards the CN Tower

From the bottom of Spadina Avenue is a bridge going over the railway tracks. It’s quite a cool spot to get shots and if you take a long exposure at night you may get trails from the trains.

Best time for pics: Sunset/blue hour
Cost: Free
Location: Spadina Avenue, close to where it intersects with Front Street W (Google Maps link)

Downtown Toronto from Spadina Avenue Bridge
Downtown Toronto from Spadina Avenue Bridge

20. Atrium Mall

The Atrium Mall is located near Yonge-Dundas Square and if you look up you see this futuristic type architecture.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 595 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G 2C2 (Google Maps link)

Atrium Mall Toronto
Atrium MallC

21. High Park

High Park is a wonderful place to go all year round and a nice escape from the city. During spring you’ll find Cherry Blossoms in some parts which are fun to photograph. And during the autumn the trees will change into stunning colours!

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: High Park (Google Maps link)

High Park, Toronto
High Park
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22. Trinity Bellwoods

Another good spot during the Cherry Blossom season is Trinity Bellwoods, where you’ll find some of the flowers here (and lots of people taking photographs). It’s also another nice place to go and relax.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Trinity Bellwoods Park (Google Maps link)

Trinity Bellwoods and Cherry Blossoms
Trinity Bellwoods and Cherry Blossoms

23. Waterfront

If you start at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and then walk along the waterfront it’s quite nice. Along the way you’ll see plenty of good photo opportunities. I recommend walking as far as Marina Quay West and Ireland Park.

24. Marina Quay West

To get a great harbour perspective this is the ideal spot. I recommend using a wide angle lens as you’ll struggle to get the CN Tower, and the water otherwise. The shot below was taken in the winter so there’s ice, but you can often get perfect reflections when it’s not frozen.

Best time for pics: Sunrise/sunset/blue hour
Cost: Free
Location: Marina Quay West (Google Maps link)

Marina Quay West
Marina Quay West

25. Ireland Park

One of my favourite viewpoints is Ireland Park. It’s also pretty cool in the winter when you may get cracked ice. At certain times the water here can sometimes be quite still giving you great reflections of the city.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Ireland Park (Google Maps link)

Toronto from Ireland Park
Downtown from Ireland Park
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26. Canoe Landing

Slightly West of Downtown and just down from Spadina Avenue is Canoe Landing and also this interesting skittle artwork seen below!

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Canoe Landing (Google Maps link)

Skittles near Canoe Landing
Skittles near Canoe Landing

27. Toronto Islands

Most of the classic Toronto skyline shots are from the Toronto Islands, and a visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without you heading there. I recommend heading here before sunset and staying until after the blue hour. When you see the skyline from this perspective for the first time you’ll feel in awe.

The ferry goes to three points and the best photo positions are from Ward’s Island and Centre Island. The ferry leaves from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal which you’ll find at the bottom of Bay Street. The closest Station is Union.

Best time for pics: Sunset-night
Cost: Ferry ticket
Ferry Address: Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, 9 Queens Quay W, ON M5J 2H3 (Google Maps link)
Website: www1.toronto.ca

Toronto Skyline from the Islands
Toronto Skyline from the Islands

28. The Distillery Historic District

The Distillery has beautiful old architecture and is also the location of the main Christmas Market. Around this area are also some bars and galleries worth checking out. For tips on taking pictures of Christmas markets head to Photography Tips: Christmas Markets and Lights.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4 (Google Maps link)

Distillery Historic District, Christmas
Distillery Historic District, Christmas

29. Charles Street East and Rogers Way

Another popular artwork to take pictures of is outside a building at the corner of Charles Street East and Rogers Way. The closest subway here Bloor-Yonge.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: 596 Ted Rogers Way Toronto, ON M4Y (Google Maps link)

Artwork along Rogers Way
Artwork along Rogers Way

30. HTO Park

HTO Park is another one of Toronto’s city parks/beaches and this one is located a short walk from the CN Tower. The park is always open so you can get some snowy shots in the winter, or get some warmer shots during the other times.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: 339 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5V 1A2 (Google Maps link)

HTO Park in the winter
HTO Park in the winter
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31. Riverdale Park East

Riverdale Park East is just down from Broadview subway station and is a great spot for sunrise, sunset and evening shots with the cities skyline. I’ve seen some of the most amazing sunsets of my life from this perspective. This spot is also great in the winter with snow on the trees and the field. It can get extremely windy and cold, so if visiting this point in the winter wrap up VERY warm. You can get here by walking down from Broadview Station, or you can also get the trams 304, 504 or 505 down from the station.

Best time for pics: Sunrise/sunset/night
Cost: Free
Location: 550 Broadview Ave (Google Maps link)

View from Riverdale Park East
View from Riverdale Park East

32. Massey Hall

Massey Hall is a famous venue holding concerts and other events. The architecture is pretty cool as you can see below.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free (exterior)
Location: 178 Victoria St, ON M5B 1T7 (Google Maps link)

Massey Hall
Massey Hall

33. Fairmont Royal York

As well as being a nice place to stay the Fairmont Royal York has a stunning lobby with the beautiful clock and staircase you can see below. A good viewpoint is from the upper level of the lobby which you can take the stairs to.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 100 Front St W, ON M5J 1E3 (Google Maps link)

Fairmont Royal York
Fairmont Royal York

34. Kensington Market

Kensington Market is an odd, colourful and very photogenic area which I highly recommend checking out! You’ll find lots of street photography opportunities here.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free (exterior)
Ferry Address: 282 Augusta Ave, ON M5T 2L9 (Google Maps link)

Kensington Market
Kensington Market

35. Nice Torontonian Streets

Around the outskirts of downtown are lots of beautiful Torontonian streets which are fantastic to walk around. Many of the houses have patios and beautiful styles and with almost all the houses having a slightly different design. Here are some streets which are pretty nice to not just photograph but also walk around.

Lake Shore Boulevard East

Just above Woodbine beach and along Lake Shore Boulevard East is a nice row of houses which are very pretty to see and photograph.

Houses near Woodbine Beach, Toronto
Houses near Woodbine Beach

Spadina Avenue

Spadina Avenue is pretty much the China/Asia part of the city and is pretty cool to take photographs from. You can also try and get photographs of downtown with some trams going past here.

King Street and Queen Street

These two streets are particularly nice from the West and you’ll find awesome shops and restaurants along the way.

Roncesvalles Avenue

Roncesvalles Avenue is quite a cute street and from the bottom, you’ll reach Lake Ontario where you can walk along the waterfront which is quite nice towards Humber Bay Bridge (mentioned above).

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Others spots in Toronto

Ravines

Head down to Toronto’s arteries of Ravines. Nice spots are the David Balfour Park Trail, which you’ll find close to St Clair Station, and Nordheimer Ravine close to St Clair West Station.

Roy Thomson Hall

The Roy Thomson Hall is another downtown spot and you’ll be able to get the Hall and also the CN Tower peaking between some skyscrapers from this angle.

Tommy Thompson Park

The Tommy Thompson Park is behind the Toronto Islands but connects to the mainland. It’s a bit fiddly to get to and the nicest way is to hire a bike, but not a city bike as they are expensive if used for long periods in one go. You should then cycle along Cherry Street towards Cherry Beach and then follow the paths all the way around. Once you get into Tommy Thompson Park you’ll also find lots of birds too and it’s best to have a zoom lens for shots of wildlife and the city from this perspective.

Open Doors

During the annual DoorsOpen event you get free and special access to buildings all around the city. This includes the City Hall Roof, Commerce Court North, City of Toronto Archives, Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre and many more. I think there are around 150 buildings that take part in this.

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Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is the primary author of Travel and Destinations. He is from the UK but spends most of his time travelling to new places and then shares his pictures and experiences through Instagram and this blog... [Read full bio]
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