There are some incredible places to shoot in Toronto, from well-groomed exotic gardens to graffiti covered back alleys. It’s taken us some time and a whole lot of shooting to come up with these 7 tried and true shooting locations in Toronto that are bound to be a hit in either rain or shine. We’ll vouch for them, and I’m sure both our adult students and teen campers would too!
1. Kensington Market
The market is filled with colourful buildings, murals, graffiti and eclectic merchandise. Train your eye to see both the wide shots of the streets and the minute details of the fruit stands and old poster boards. The textures, colours and patterns of this part of the city really pop! A great spot to depict bustling city shots – especially during Pedestrian Sundays in the summer where the streets are blocked off for strictly pedestrian traffic.
Join our guided Kensington Market photo tour through the market highlighting street photography techniques on April 11th.
2. The ROM
Photograph by past camper Crystal
This has been a favourite field trip location for campers for years. The new glass addition on the ROM creates amazing opportunities for photographs of the city through reflection. Create an all-new city through unique angles, warped perspective and unlikely reflections.
Photograph by past camper Teddi
A red plaque sits in front of the entrance which turns into an incredible filter to further distort images of the location.The combination of overlapping reflections and red-hot colour creates images that are completely unexpected!
3. Graffiti Alley
Well known as the setting for Rick Mercer’s rants, this alley is filled with phenomenal backdrops for portraits and urban cityscapes. In the warmer months graffiti artists commonly work on new projects in the alley making for great in-the-moment shots. Be very mindful of asking for permission as many artists work under an alias.
4. BCE Place
Ian C. Whitworth, http://icwphotography.photoshelter.com/image/I0000PZYr3qIDP2M
Capture the new and the old Toronto all under one beautifully-windowed roof. BCE place has the benefits of being indoors and also being very well lit. The architecture is enough to photograph on it’s own, but bring in a bride and groom and you have a spectacular setting for wedding photos. Plus, it happens to be across the street from yet another great shooing spot, Union Station. Tips for photographers planning on shooting in this location is that they aren’t keen on photography, particularly with tripods. A quick in and out usually goes unnoticed though.
5. Distillery District
The Distillery District is always a nice backdrop for portraits, wedding photos and architectural shots. A key to shooting in the Distillery is the time of year. The Toronto Christmas market taking place here gives photographers an abundance of lights to experiment with. The market transforms from an old stone village into a vibrant centre of activity.
John Vetterly, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/
Harboufront can be a busy part of the city to photograph, so timing is everything. Photographing during golden hours, sunrise and sunset, will help to simplify the complexity of the boats and buildings by the water. The reflections that emerge on the water at night are prime subjects and can be shown in a more interesting light if white balance is used creatively to bring pinks, blues or yellows to the forefront.
7. Philosopher’s Walk & Trinity College, U of T
Rémi Carreiro, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/
Tucked between the ROM and The Royal Conservatory is the entrance to the Philosopher’s Walk – a calm, green pathway leading toward Queen’s Park. It’s a great walkway with ample opportunity for framing with bright blue doorways lining a building on the side of the walk on the North end. Nearing the South end of the walk find the entrance to Trinity College, whose grounds are covered in an ‘X’ pattern. Not only is the landscaping very unique, but the hydrangeas are gorgeous when they’re in bloom. Nature photographers interested in macro photography might enjoy capturing the many bees that frequent these gardens due to the beekeeping program that takes place here. If you’re not into bees, don’t worry! The bees have never been a problem for the hundreds of campers we have brought through.
Whether you’re looking for a shooting location to explore on your own, or joining us for a workshop like Kensington Market or field trip for Photo 101, these locations will not let you down in terms of subject matter.