Located on Lake Ontario’s shores, Toronto has tons to offer every type of photographer. Because PIXEO HQ is just up the road in Ottawa, Ontario, we love visiting Toronto. While exploring Ontario, we frequently stay in Toronto, and each time we scour the city for the top places to take pictures. In this insider guide, we’ve narrowed it down to ten of the best downtown photo spots. So, grab your camera, and follow along with some canucks as we walk through our Top Ten Toronto Photography Spots. 

Pro Tip: If you are serious about your shooting or want to get permits to do commercial shoots, be sure to visit the City of Toronto website.

1. Toronto Museum Subway Station

Museum Subway Station - Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Museum Subway Station - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

One of the most photogenic Subway Terminals in the world. The Toronto Museum Subway Station is located underneath Queen’s Park at Charles Street West. It is named for the Royal Ontario Museum and as a result, features a number of sculptures and a unique museum aesthetic. The subway station was opened in 1963 and can be found on the University line. When visiting Toronto, this photography spot our absolute favourite subterranean photo location in the big city.

2. Graffiti Alley

Toronto Graffiti Alley Photo Spot - Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Toronto Graffiti Alley Photo Spot - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Toronto is full of vibrant street art. So much so that three blocks of an alley in the Fashion District is dedicated to the art form. This hidden photo location gem features hundreds of expansive and extremely high-quality graffiti murals. Originally an unsanctioned home to Toronto’s best graffiti artists, the Queen Street West Business Improvement Association if was formally recognized as an area of municipal significance in 2011. Since then funding and the StreetARToronto organization take care of its upkeep. This is a fantastic Toronto photography spot, in particular for model shoots and other fashion style photography. As this location has gotten popular with tourists in recent years we also recommend that you visit in the earlier part of the day. Foot traffic will be less in the mornings and allow you to get far enough back to capture some of the larger murals without people in the shot.

3. Sharp Centre for Design

Toronto Sharp Centre for Design - Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Toronto Sharp Centre for Design - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Architecture photographers rejoice. The Sharpe Centre for Design is one of the most unique and stunning buildings in a city already full of unique and interesting architecture. This wildly modernist take on building design has become a Toronto landmark since its first opening in 2004. Part of the Ontario College of Art and Design, this award-winning structure is known for its bizarre tabletop structure, black and white checker pattern and bright colours. Even if your not an architecture photographer, this photography location is a must-visit during a trip to Toronto. We recommend shooting the building at night to capture the stark white contrast of the building against the dark night sky.

4. Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum - Photo by Sayantan Basu
Royal Ontario Museum - Photo by Sayantan Basu

Speaking of unique architecture photography spots, be sure to check out the Royal Ontario Museum near Queens Park. This controversial work is a mashup between the historic museum building built in the early 1900s with a wildly imaginative “Crystal” addition added in 2007. This blending of old and new architectural styles is a subject of some controversy in Toronto, but this building offers some great shooting opportunities for the travelling photographer. Be sure to buy a ticket and go inside as well; within its halls can be found seemingly endless corridors of photogenic museum displays, history and art. Known locally as the “ROM,” this museum is a top Toronto Photography Spot. Get more info at the Royal Ontario Museum website before you go. 

5. Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island

Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island - Photo by jplenio
Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island - Photo by jplenio

No photography trip to Toronto would be complete without a photograph of the cities iconic skyline. Now there are a lot of great places to take photos of the city, but none are better than the views from Olympic Island. This island in the Toronto city harbour is one of the city’s best photography spots. This shooting location offers a stunning view of the city on solid ground. Perfect for night photography, when the city’s lights sparkle at their brightest. The waterfront views here are some of the best in Toronto and we can think of no better place to take fantastic full-frame photos of the cities evening beauty.

6. Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Humber Bay Arch Bridge - Photo by Erick Bermudez
Humber Bay Arch Bridge - Photo by Erick Bermudez

A simple pedestrian bridge in Humber Bay is now a very popular photography location. The white curve of its tied-arch bridge construction makes for unique angles, and its beautiful location makes it extremely photogenic. Photographers and wannabes alike flock to this location to capture the symmetry of the bridge, modernistic street photography looks, and would-be influencers are often here snapping photos for Instagram. Despite this, it is a popular spot for good reason. This truly is a great photography spot, and the Nearby Sheldon Lookout also offers some opportunities for getting an angular view of Toronto on clear days. We love this photography location at sunrise and sunset so be sure to check the times before heading out to shoot.

7. Casa Loma

Casa Loma-Photo by Larry Koester
Casa Loma-Photo by Larry Koester

Casa Loma is Toronto’s Castle. Built for Toronto business magnate Sir Henry Pellatt in 1914, this opulent private estate has since been converted to a museum. The flower gardens, fountains, and beautiful grounds make this a great spot to take photos. The interiors also offer great shooting opportunities, including a stained-glass dome in one room. But, for us, if you are willing to brave it, the winter evenings provide some of the most fairytale-like photo opportunities of Casa Loma. So be sure to stop by and shoot this iconic Toronto landmark when visiting and for more info, visit the Casa Loma website.

8. Gooderham Building

Gooderham Building - Photo by Lianhao Qu
Gooderham Building - Photo by Lianhao Qu

An Instagram favourite, the Gooderham building is a beautiful triangular building built-in 1892. The building’s unique location and early architectural style juxtaposed against skyscrapers make this a fantastic Toronto photography location.   Also known as the Flatiron building, the classic architecture makes it a popular photo spot for locals and visitors alike. One the back half of the building can be found a nice park and mural that only add to the beauty of this photo location. This spot makes for amazing light trail photography and is especially good for pictures at night after the rain.

9. Toronto City Hall

Toronto City Hall-Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Toronto City Hall-Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Toronto City Hall is a great photo spot, offering many interesting angles and photo opportunities in Nathan Phillips Square. The curved soaring buildings are fronted by a beautiful fountain and the word Toronto, just in case you forget where you are. This photography spot is spectacular to shoot at night with tonnes of unique and interesting angles to capture the evening light show. Bring a tripod and be ready to capture bright and beautiful colours every night of the year. We recommend shooting from one of the elevated walkways that overlook the square to capture the buildings and the fountain in the same shot.

10. Distillery District

Distillery District - Photo by Benson Kua
Distillery District - Photo by Benson Kua

The Distillery District is one of those places in Toronto that the tourists kind of know about, but the locals love. This part of the city remains largely original with 19th century cobbled streets that snake and wind among restaurants, bars, and of course, distilleries. The area is a hot spot for culture with musicians, performers and artists filling its squares and courtyards in the summer. The place is alive with energy almost every month of the year and we think its a great place to shoot in Toronto because between shots you can easily grab locally crafted drinks too. After all, alcohol and photography go hand in hand, don’t they? Street photographers should stop by on the weekends and capture the lively bustle of the Sunday market in the summer months as well. The Distillery District is without a doubt one of the Top Photography Spots in Toronto.

To discover even more fantastic photo spots in Toronto, check out the PIXEO Photo Spot Map of Canada or download the Free PIXEO App. You’ll find even more great places to take pictures in Canada’s iconic and largest city.

Explore Ontario Photo Spots