Instagram has become the unofficial resource for travellers to discover off-the-beaten-path locations and new angles of iconic locations in cities. We got the scoop from Toronto’s popular instagrammers on their favourite spots to shoot—including tips on how to maximize your exploration of #TheSix this summer and make your photos stand out.
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1. Kensington Market
Kensington Market is chock full of hidden alleyways, colourful fruit stands and vibrant characters; one of the best places to capture local neighbourhood life. Pop into one of the ethnic grocers like Perola or The House of Spice before you figure out where to have lunch. (Otto’s Berlin Doner, Torteria San Cosme, or Seven Lives Tacos y Mariscos are popular options and will provide for fun food photos.)
Tip: visit on Pedestrian Sunday #PSSundays when the market’s streets are closed to traffic and replaced by musicians, performers and of course, locals soaking up Kensington’s bohemian vibe. (Photo: Kensington_BIA @kensington_bia)
Popular instagrammer @lammer, Colleen Lam says, “Cabbagetown is one of my favourite spots to shoot in Toronto. I adore the charming Victorian houses and friendly neighborhoods. I love vibrant doors and #Cabbagetown does not disappoint. (Lam is the founder of the Instagram project, #reddoorsundays.) ”
Tip: Riverdale Farm–across the street from the historic Necropolis cemetery–is a free farm to explore with the family and get that animal selfie. (Photo: Monica Sisson @monicasisson)
3. The Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square
3D installations of city names aren’t new (think #iamsterdam) but the #share3DTO sign does give ultimate selfie status satisfaction and enable both locals and visitors to showcase their Toronto pride in front of city hall. The fountains in front of the sign in the summer are the ideal accompaniment for your photo.
Tip: for an overhead shot of the sign, take the stairs up to the second level. You’ll also get some nice snaps of the City Hall building in the background. Do check out the farmers market every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the newly refurbished peace garden adjacent to Osgoode Hall. (Photo: Will Castillo, @iwilltravel)
4. The Gooderham Building
A favourite location for top Toronto Instagrammers like Kael Rebick of @punkodelish, this flatiron building is a historic focal point before Toronto’s modern financial district. At the crux of where Wellington and Front meet, the opportunities are endless for action shots. Rebick says, “The shape and colour (of the building) stand out dramatically against its surroundings. It looks incredible in all kinds of weather. It’s my favourite building in the city.”
Tip: this is a great photo pitstop pre- or post-visit to the St. Lawrence Market. (Photo: Kael Rebick @punkodelish)
5. Toronto Islands
From dawn to dusk, this popular summertime spot is one of the best places to get a snap of the city’s skyline and Lake Ontario. Take the ferry to Ward’s Island or Hanlan’s Point and explore the five-kilometer stretch of the islands.
Tip: try to get to the edge of the islands for your skyline shot and look for landmark posts like a boat or trees to frame your shot and make it stand out. (Photo: Adyemi Adegbesan @soteeoh)
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