November 30, 2020

Top 10 Toronto/ GTA Nature Locations for an Engagement Session 

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The engagement session’s location is the first and often the most important decision to make when getting ready for your engagement shoot. Although I have plenty of suggestions for great locations, my first recommendation is to pick a place that means more to you and your loved one than any other.

It could be the place where you first kissed, a place where the proposal happened or the place that you both enjoy spending time at, such as a specific park or neighbourhood. My next suggestion is a place that may not be uniquely historical to you but fits your personality and pursuits as a couple. If you are a nature lover and plan to have an engagement session in the near future, this post is probably for you. Below, I share my top 10 nature locations for a couple sessions in Toronto and in the GTA area.

1. Humber Bay Park

Humber Bay Park Toronto is one of my favourite places for a session in Toronto. It’s not a popular spot in the city, yet! If you love wild nature and don’t want to be photographed in front of crowds, this is the place to go! The park has an amazing view of the Toronto skyline and endless ungroomed greenery, which transforms its colours depending on the season. I feel that although the Humber Bay Park is permanently changing, it still can surprise me.

Permit: Not required.

Couple having fun

2. Scarborough Bluffs

Scarborough Bluffs are one of those unreal places in Toronto, which you don’t expect to see when you get there. In my opinion, this spot is one of the most popular for engagement sessions within the city. Each time I photograph a session here, I see at least two more photographers walking around with couples. Despite its popularity, I believe this is a great place to shoot sessions ad enjoy its amazing views. This place offers an incredible landscape that is somewhat unusual for the Toronto area with plenty of greenery around.

Permit: Not required.

Engagement Session with dog

3. High Park

High Park is probably the most well-known park in the city. When I shoot sessions at High Park, I usually choose more ungroomed, less popular spots where you won’t be stared at by people. Feeling comfortable in front of the camera is always essential.

A note to keep in mind: Although, technically speaking, professional photography is not allowed at High Park, I have been able to shot sessions without any issues in the past few years.

High Park Engagement Session

4. Evergreen Brickworks

Evergreen Brickworks is located in the centre of Toronto’s Don Valley. It is surrounded by lush nature. The Don Valley Brick Works is also a former factory that produced bricks for over 100 years. The location is a combination of old factory buildings and beautiful greenery. This mix creates a great spot for the session in the city. If you are looking for a mix of nature and an industrial vibe, this is a place to go!

Permit: $350 (HST included). You can book the permit here: Evergreen Brickwork Photography Policy. 

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5. The Beaches

I definitely have so many favourite places for a photo session in Toronto, but the Beaches are definitely one of my preferences. Especially during the early mornings, when the area is almost empty. It makes the location feel more romantic and peaceful. The lake, the wide beach and small details around create a remarkable atmosphere.

Permit: Not required.

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6. Toronto Island, especially Ward’s Island

Ward’s Island is, in my opinion, a unique place where almost any angle is a perfect background for shooting. Small houses that look like they are taken straight from the movie “The Lord of The Rings,” the beach, the Lake Ontario’s sound, and an astonishing view of the Toronto skyline. The 15-minute ferry ride is also an excellent opportunity for additional photos.

Permit: Not required.

Tip: Get a ferry ticket in advance HERE. 

Toronto Island Enagagement Session

7. Bronte Creek Park, Oakville

The beautiful provincial park in Oakville offers vast open areas, tall grass and stunning nature. The park’s access is super easy, with 5-minute walk from the parking lot to some ideal spots. A small farmhouses located in a daily use area add some texture to the natural background.

Permit: Not required. You only need to pay an entrance fee to the park.

Bronte Creek Park Engagement Session

8. Andrews Scenic Farm, Milton

Andrews Scenic Farm is located close to Milton and offers beautiful walking trails, flowers and cornfields. If you love nature, but you want to add some additional colours besides the endless greenery, this a place for you.

Photography time slots are usually booked when the farm is closed for regular admission. This means that not a single soul will be there to watch you during the session, which is excellent if you may want to enjoy some privacy.

Photo anxiety is a real thing! You can read a littlest more about letting go of photo session anxiety in one of my blog posts HERE. 

Permit: $150. You need to schedule a time slot with the farm manager HERE. 

Andrews' Farm Market Milton Engagement Session

9. Rattlesnake Point, Milton

Suppose you want to get a little more adventurous and combine a hike with your engagement session. In that case, I highly recommend Rattlesnake Point, close to Milton.

Rattlesnake Point offers incredible escarpment viewpoints and trails surrounded by wooden areas. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and enjoy the beautiful views!

Permit: Nor required. You only need to pay an entrance fee to the park, which is required to get ahead of time.

10. Bruce Trail, Hamilton/Ancaster Heights

Last but not least is Bruce Trail near the Hamilton area. Lately, it is one of my favourite places to go for a hike with my dog, Kiwi. This part of Bruce Trail offers beautiful woods with some rolling hills, a river and charming, wooden bridges. If you love waterfalls, the trail leads to two waterfalls: Sherman and Tiffany Falls.

Permit: Not required.

I hope this post will help you choose a natural location close to Toronto, reflecting the two of you.

Of course, I’m always open to explore new places and expand my list!

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