The best photography sites to take engagement pictures in Toronto usually include All-Star, swoon worthy landmarks, like U of T or Distillery District. It’s not as if these spots don’t lend themselves to great engagement photography; on the contrary, I love coming back to these iconic locations as they make for some of the best engagement pictures. My photographer heart always leads me to new and exciting places that I think make for some pretty awesome, Instagram-worthy snaps. I was casually strolling around my neighbourhood the other day when I saw this one spot with heavenly afternoon light. Guess what? I brought my couple there the next day as I knew engagement pictures taken there would turn out to be super unique! As a wedding photographer, I’m always on the lookout for awe-inspiring engagement photo locations. Below are my top 10 best (not so common) photography sites in the GTA. Check them out:
1. Evergreen Brick Works
Stealthiness might not be a good option with this location because you will need to get a photo permit for your engagement photos to shoot here. Once you do, you will have access to one of the most breathtaking cityscape views. From the industrial brick walls to lush greenery, Evergreen Brick Works’ vast grounds make for a variety of pretty awesome backgrounds. You can spend an entire afternoon wandering its property and have some fun taking pictures along the way!
Features: Rustic brick walls, industrial settings, a bit of the woodlands and one heck of a view.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Once you get a permit, it’s all yours. Sundays can be also busy because of the farmers market.
Now this is not your typical Lakeshore. This spot is perfect for all kinds of adventurous souls who do not want another cookie-cutter engagement photo shoot. This spot just below the bustling highway provides a superb scene for some really cool engagement photos. It’s daring, minimalistic and modern. Need we say more?
Features: Towering highway columns that seem to be made for #TinyPeopleInBigPlaces pics.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Late afternoon to catch that golden hour.
3. Cherry Beach
Yes, almost every couple takes their engagement photos on a beach. But not every couple takes their engagement photos on this beach. See where I’m going? It’s rustic, romantic, spacious and pretty. Another good reason? This place is dog friendly, which instantly adds 1000 points in my book of pretty photography locations.
Features: Old safeguard house, rocky lakeshore and plenty of seagulls.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weeknights are your best bet.
4. Ashbridges Bay
Nothing says “romance” like a bunch of teenagers photo bombing your engagement photos, right? Well, if you look beyond the low riding jeans, you’ll find a sun-kissed spot that is mega unique and uber photogenic. Put on your well worn Converse and ripped jeans, it’s time to take some engagement photos that are guaranteed to help you achieve that 100+ likes goal on Instagram.
Features: Graffiti walls, a photogenic skatepark, and maybe a couple of friendly skateboarders.
Permit: Permit? Never heard of it.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Before 6PM on a weekday while those young Tony Hawk’s are still in school.
5. Puente de Luz
This is the fancy name for that yellow bridge at Concord Cityplace. A perfect choice for someone looking for something unique that is right in the centre of the city. Conveniently located by the beloved King West area, this bridge has won the hearts of many Instagrammers and couples alike. With its sleek lines and an awesome CN Tower view, there’s no wonder why.
Features: $8 Million bridge designed by a Chilean artist, Francisco Gazitua.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weekdays between 4PM – 6PM
6. Port Lands
If you happen to have access to a yacht, this place is ideal. It’s not very far from the city’s bustling core and has an amazing view of the CN Tower. Take photos facing the lake for some nautical prenuptial snapshots and enjoy the sunset while sipping a glass of fruity, white wine. It goes without saying, this spot is also pretty cool for some of us who do not happen to own a yacht of our own – you can still enjoy its pretty views and proximity to water.
Features: A row of snow-white yachts, photogenic wooden decks and the occasional sailor.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weekdays are the safest bet.
7. Top of Scarborough Bluffs
Views galore! This spot offers some fantastic panoramas of the city from across the water. Couples with a skilled photographer/part-time rock climber, would surely want to go right to the edge of the cliff to take some literally breathtaking frames. If you’re not afraid of heights, I would definitely add this place to my list of all-time favourite, GTA photography sites.
Features: Cliffs, tall grass, towering trees, and some kick-ass views.
Permit: No, but check for closure updates as it’s one of the most beloved spots of movie makers.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weeknights are preferred.
8. A Local Fire Station
Talk about unique locations! A couple of shots with a real fire truck are adorably cute. These trucks give your photos a much welcomed pop of colour while serving as a pretty cool backdrop for some city-inspired engagement snaps. With its huge fire trucks reminiscent of childhood car toys, somehow I have a feeling that your fiance is going to love it.
Features: Big fire trucks and even helmets as props if you happen to have a firefighter friend.
Permit: No, but even better if you happen to have that aforementioned firefighter friend to give you an all access pass.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weekdays before 5PM
9. East Queen East
This spot is one of my all time favourite photography sites. It’s elegant, classy, minimalist and spacious. You can enjoy some pretty dramatic light if you go there at sunset and take photos atop the hill. Best part? It looks equally as amazing in winter as it is in summer.
Features: Pretty, green doors, lots of stairs, turn of the century architecture and proximity to the lake.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Weeknights are the best.
Woodbridge is not top of the mind when it comes to best engagement photo locations. Surprising? Maybe. Pretty? Heck yeah. Woodbridge is home to some of the GTA’s prettiest parks and conservation areas. They are usually not as crowded as let’s say, High Park, thus providing for some much cherished privacy. Drive there to take photos at golden hour and you’ll end up with some of the most stunning engagement photos to kick start your family photo album.
Features: Parks, forests and woodlands.
Permit: Some parks require a permit.
Best Time of Day to Avoid the Crowds: Avoid weekends as they might be closed for weddings.
Loved this post? Check out Top 10 Toronto Photography Locations Part 1.