Some time ago, I published a blog post where I shared the Top 10 Toronto/ GTA Locations for an Engagement Session.
Planning a session requires a lot of thought and effort. I always recommend choosing a location which is meaningful for the two of you, or reflects you as a couple. I truly believe that great photography for engagements and weddings starts long before I pick up my camera. That’s why I am always available to my couples during the planning process. My goal is to ensure that my couples feel prepared, at ease, and ultimately get the most out of their engagement and wedding photos. If you love the city, then choose a vibrant city location. If you love to spend time in nature, I am always eager to shoot surrounded by greenery, open fields, and lakes.
This time, I have decided to create a list of Top 10 Toronto City Locations. I love Toronto for its diversity, vibe, and energy. I feel that every Toronto neighbourhood could be a separate city.
Below, I share my top 10 Toronto city locations for a couple sessions.
1.West Queen West
Style: Hip, vibrant.
Queen Street West is a very unique and dynamic street in Toronto. You cannot get bored there, that’s for sure. It’s a great spot for a session if you like the funky and creative parts of the city. Hidden graffiti alleys are also great spots for a session. Colourful and very artsy graffiti will add a lot of energy to your photos. In 2014, the West Queen West area was named by Vogue magazine as one of the coolest in the world.
2. King Street
Style: Hipster, rustic.
Another great spot for a photo shoot in the city is King Street West between Jarvis and Bathurst Street. This section of King Street is a part of a project which priorities streetcars over cars. Besides, the cool, very hip vibe in this part of the city is amazing if you want to capture some downtown vibes without heavy traffic. If you want to have your session downtown, but you don’t want to be photographed surrounded by a lot of people, this part of King Street is worth considering as your spot for a session.
3. Kensington Market
Style: Bohemian, eclectic, vibrant.
Kensington Market is probably the most bohemian neighbourhood in the city. Colourful indie shops, vibrant murals, and unique art spaces create an amazing background for a very eclectic photo session. I also know an amazing spot for great sunset photos overlooking downtown Toronto! If you are not afraid to be photographed around a lot of people, this is a place for you! I can guarantee that your images will be extraordinary and colourful.
Style: Hipster, relaxed.
This is another bohemian neighbourhood in Toronto. If you are looking for something between Queen Street and Kensington Market’s vibes, in my opinion Annex will be your spot for a session. Annex is an area around the University of Toronto, starting roughly on Bloor Street West between Avenue Road and Bathurst Street. This is where bohemia and academia come together. Annex offers a blend of beautiful old homes, art galleries, and coffee shops. It’s a great spot for a more relaxed photo shoot.
5. Financial District
Style: Urban city chic.
High rise buildings, downtown modern architecture, harsh shadows, and wide streets make the Financial District a great spot for a session, especially if you like the North American downtown vibe. The glass skyscrapers’ reflections provide an amazing opportunity to create some outstanding images. The huge plus of this location that it is almost empty after 5PM.
6. Distillery District
Style: Rustic, historical.
The Distillery District is an area of the city which includes heritage buildings and numerous brick-lined courtyards. It’s a very unique part of the city with a lot of exposed bricks and more of a European vibe.
Note: The Distillery District requires a photo permit, which costs approximately $250 + HST. If you would like to shoot here, please apply for the permit at this link: PHOTO PERMIT.
Style: Relaxed, urban city.
This is where Lake Ontario meets the city. It’s a great spot for everyone who loves nature, but who would also like to include some downwind vibes. Harbourfront is a very picturesque area with promenades, parks, and the waterfront.
8. St. Lawrence/ Esplanade Area
Style: Rustic, European vibe.
In my opinion, this part of this city represents the crossroads of Europe and North America. Here you can find the historic Flat Iron Building, well known as the Gooderham Building, which is located on the corner of Wellington East, Front, and Scott Streets. This is probably one of the most photographed buildings in the city. If you are a dog lover, you might be familiar with the Dog Fountain which features 27 dogs and one cat. The fountain is located at Berczy Park which is near the Gooderham Building. In addition to the unique park and the Flat Iron Building, this part of the city offers some amazing architecture as well as European looking arches.
9. Liberty Village
Style: Rustic, industrial.
The area near the Toronto Carpet Factory in particular offers a lot of brick walls. It has a bit of a Parisian vibe. If you like exposed bricks, then I recommend this spot as an alternative to the Distillery District.
Style: Hipster, relaxed.
Roncy, as locals refer to this Toronto neighbourhood, has this amazing feeling of a small town in a big city. It’s a great location for a more relaxed photo shoot. Roncy includes a lot of local coffee shops and unique stores. Its close proximity to High Park allows these two locations to connect. This way, you can get both city and nature photos.
Of course you can choose more than one location for your engagement session. Your session can happen either in two downtown locations, or if you love the city vibe but you are also a nature lover, we can combine city and nature locations (link). If you decide to shoot at two locations, I always recommend that they should be within walking distance from each other, or no farther than a 15-minute drive. I want to make sure that your 2-hour session isn’t rushed and that you enjoy your time without feeling overwhelmed.
Of course, I am always open to discovering new locations in the city and creating some magic!