Great Locations for Toronto Photos
Seems more and more these days, people have been asking me about great spots for photography in Toronto and around the Greater Toronto Area.
There are so many!
In a previous article I talked about some of my favourite places to shoot in Toronto – I encourage you to give it a read if you haven’t already.
In this edition of the Fotoreflection blog we’ll explore some other great venues and locations for photography outside of Toronto’s urban core, expanding around the GTA.
Still in Toronto But Outside the City
Toronto is huge, there’s no question about it.
One could stay within its urban areas and still spend days or weeks exploring and photographing it. Every time I’m wandering around Toronto, I find something new and different.
Outside the city itself, Toronto still has a number of spots that are ideal for photography – be it engagement shoots, lifestyle portraits, commercial shoots… you name it.
The islands are great for shooting. A lot of people take a ferry over and follow the crowds to spend a Saturday or Sunday. What I recommend, if it’s within your budget (and it’s still a good value) is renting a sailboat and crossing over from the downtown waterfront to Toronto Island. That’s a ride that gives so many beautiful views, at all times of day, and is really a romantic and elegant way to do a photo shoot.
Humber River Bridge & Humber Bay Parks
Just to the west of downtown Toronto, as the famous skyline starts to become a little smaller, past High Park along Lake Ontario is Humber Bay.
Being a waterfront location, it’s a pretty strong contender for great Toronto photography.
A prominent landmark in these parts is the Humber Bay Arch Bridge. It’s a photogenic structure and offers lovely shooting at sunrise, sunset and other times of day – from a variety of angles.
Past the bridge are two parks: Humber Bay Park East and – you guessed it – Humber Bay Park West. They are separated by an inlet which the trail crosses by a small footbridge (not to be confused with the Arch Bridge). Humber Bay East Park offers some fine views of the Toronto skyline; while not as close as the skyline view from the Toronto Islands, it does give a great backdrop in a fairly accessible location.
The ‘Sauga has a number of parks and venues that make for great portrait backgrounds.
Port Credit Park comes to mind, situated at the mouth of the Credit River, with its gazebo and walking trails. Like many locations, this park does require a permit for professional photography.
You can have peace of mind that, as a seasoned pro, I’ll have these details covered before we set out for our shoot together.
As we get further west into the GTA and start to head around the Horseshoe of Lake Ontario, we get into some lovely and lively areas!
Oakville has quite a bit of natural beauty. At the top of my list in Oakville are Gairloch Gardens and Bronte Butterfly Gazebo.
Closer to Mississauga, Oakville’s Gairloch Gardens are a photogenic spot that thus require a permit. I find this area quite tranquil, and usually ideal for photos.
Bronte Harbour is on the other side of Oakville, closer to Burlington, and offers a gazebo that’s often used for weddings, wedding photos, engagement photos and much more. Again permits are required.
The waterfront and marinas in both these Oakville photo locations, plus some natural canopy, make for spectacular photos for a variety of occasions.
Burlington is my back yard and playground!
Being a Burlington-based photographer, I’m happy to recommend a number of beautiful locations around this fine city.
First up is Spencer Smith Park and the Burlington Waterfront Trail. Adjacent to downtown Burlington and fronting onto Lake Ontario, Spencer Smith Park gives us great backdrops at different times of day. It’s got a wide variety of natural and man-made features, including the Brant Street Pier, some very nice trails, and of course the water lapping ashore.
Next in Burlington we have Paletta Mansion and Paletta Lakefront Park. A bit northeast of downtown Burlington along the lake, this venue features a 3-storey, 11000 square foot, 1930’s era mansion on a 14-acre waterfront park. You might consider holding your wedding day or other function here. It’s also great for engagement photos and other portraiture.
Finally in Burlington I also like to shoot at Lasalle Park. West of the QEW, in the vicinity of the Burlington Golf & Country Club and the Burlington Sailing & Boating Club, Lasalle Park is another waterfront green space that’s ideal for wedding photos, engagement sessions and more. It’s got great colour in the fall, and is lovely for a walk throughout the year.
Hamilton & Niagara
I’ve had the pleasure of doing photo shoots throughout this part of the GTA.
While there are some lovely venues such as the famous wineries – from Grimsby and Beamsville to Vineland and St. Catharines, and beyond to Niagara on the Lake – I’m just as happy shooting in an quaint restaurant or other venue that has meaning to you as a couple, family or individual.
Don’t get me wrong: the wineries are great! If you’re a oenophile or wine lover, by all means we can shoot there. It take some planning and some tolerance that there will be crowds (especially in peak times / season), but I’ve enjoyed shooting at a variety of wineries and would be happy to accommodate all your wishes.
Having said that, if you have another venue that has meaning to you, I encourage you to consider a shoot at such a location. This could be a restaurant, a church, a park, etc. Maybe it’s in front of the coffee shop where you first met… the theatre where you had your first date… a park that you and your family love to frequent…. really, the possibilities are endless!
Schedule a Shoot or Find Out More
I encourage you to give me a call at 289.828.3030 … or use the contact form below if you prefer. We can chat about what you’d like to accomplish, where and when you’d like to have your shoot, etc.
If you get my voicemail, I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.
Until next time!