Art and Photography

Best vantage points in Toronto and Montreal?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 5th, 2017 8:52 pm
Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Montreal
For Montreal, the Olympic stadium is not so bad if you have a telephoto lens



If you want to be level with the city skylines then Parc Jean-Drapeau, accessible by bridge or subway
126333517.jpg

Old Montreal to be closer
boats-quays-of-the-old-port-montreal.jpg
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May 11, 2008
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Vancouver
The view from Parc de Dieppe in Montreal is pretty good as well.
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Montreal, QC
also, April is really a bad time to be in Montreal as we usually get the last snowstorm of the year. you are better off coming to Montreal around mid May or later as weather would be much nicer and more walkable and enjoyable
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I’ve done engagement photos at Polson Pier, you can park at T&T Supermarket, grab a snack making you a customer, leave your car, and walk down the street a few blocks to this view. Go at sunset, get great blue hour photos when the buildings and CN tower turn on the lights. Lens choice will determine your FoV, wide to closer.

Image

Pay attention to the signs, if you instead park on the street like some ignorant people, you’ll get a ticket. Or you can pay to park right at the Pier lot. It’s a popular spot and you may see other photogs there.

Don’t go to Centre Island, it’s a summer thing where you bring a bike and do a 2-3h tour because it’s a really big area with roads. IMO, waste of time/money to pay for a ferry ride and hang around the dock in cold weather, whereas you can do Polson in less than an hour.

There’s also lots of places to do architectural shots, google images and their locations. The Toronto sign at City Hall is popular.

Image

Also, the perspective you use and how you shoot it.

Image
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Jun 5, 2012
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ETOBICOKE
If you are looking for downtown skyline shots, there are a number of vantage points, ranging (from west to east) Colonel Samuel Smith Park; the Humber River, Ireland Park, Toronto Islands (in December Wards Island not Centre Island), Tommy Thompson Park (Also known as the Leslie St. Spit) and Riverdale Park.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park:
22394503904_8f6767f303_o.jpg
Humber River (Near the bridge):
From the Humber 1_edited-1.jpg
Ireland Park:
30874307261_fd6417a65c_o.jpg
Toronto Islands:
27187406650_641f28c32c_o.jpg
IMG_5395 small.jpg
IMG_20170309_162040_024_resized.jpg
Tommy Thompson Park (Be prepared for a lot of walking):
IMG_20170221_090650_793.jpg
IMG_20170306_215629_135.jpg
Riverdale Park:
35206242022_8aa10089b5_o.jpg
IMG_20171018_205318_881_resized.jpg
Aside from skylines, the Christmas tree is up at Nathan Philips Square:
31728178845_25ede9df94_o.jpg
Let me know if you need specific directions.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/94148385@N05/
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 1:19 am
Also, the perspective you use and how you shoot it.
Is that last one using a 10 Stop ND?
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 1:19 am
I’ve done engagement photos at Polson Pier, you can park at T&T Supermarket, grab a snack making you a customer, leave your car, and walk down the street a few blocks to this view. Go at sunset, get great blue hour photos when the buildings and CN tower turn on the lights. Lens choice will determine your FoV, wide to closer.

Pay attention to the signs, if you instead park on the street like some ignorant people, you’ll get a ticket. Or you can pay to park right at the Pier lot. It’s a popular spot and you may see other photogs there.

Don’t go to Centre Island, it’s a summer thing where you bring a bike and do a 2-3h tour because it’s a really big area with roads. IMO, waste of time/money to pay for a ferry ride and hang around the dock in cold weather, whereas you can do Polson in less than an hour.

There’s also lots of places to do architectural shots, google images and their locations. The Toronto sign at City Hall is popular.

Also, the perspective you use and how you shoot it.
Thanks for the tips. I won't be driving a car. I have zero experience with Toronto roads so I'm just going to be taking public transportation. As for Centre Island, isn't that the place with the "best" view of the Toronto Skyline? I want to see it with my own eyes. I actually don't go to Toronto all that often. The last time I was in Toronto was 19 years ago unless you count the number of times I had to change flights at YYZ over the years. I have 5 days and I mind as well do as much as I can.
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rebel_rfd wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 11:52 pm
Is that last one using a 10 Stop ND?
Youtube "black and white fine art tutorial" and/or google same with "post processing workflow".
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Nov 29th, 2017 1:42 am
Thanks for the tips. I won't be driving a car. I have zero experience with Toronto roads so I'm just going to be taking public transportation. As for Centre Island, isn't that the place with the "best" view of the Toronto Skyline? I want to see it with my own eyes. I actually don't go to Toronto all that often. The last time I was in Toronto was 19 years ago unless you count the number of times I had to change flights at YYZ over the years. I have 5 days and I mind as well do as much as I can.
There is public transit to Polson Pier but I'd be hesitant going to either Polson or Centre Island for a skyline photo unless that's your goal because it's cold and there's nothing else.
The ferry ride is fun, and you could take it to Ward's Island (part of Centre Island) to get your shot, it'll consume a couple of hours.

Image

Or you can explore downtown Toronto, get architectural shots of the CN Tower and other interesting buildings like the iconic Gooderham building in the financial district.

Image

This guy can tell you good vantage points (Cam Bartlett), there's tons to shoot in TO if you scroll down his page.

https://www.instagram.com/snappedbycam/
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Aug 15, 2015
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Markham, ON
I would suggest that Day One you take the street car provided by TTC along the lakeshore just to have a feel of the city since you haven't been in Toronto for 19 years. You can board it at Union Station without getting out of the subway.

You can get a tourist map very easily in downtown Toronto. You can even get the map of the tourist bus route for free without take the tour bus with the rooftop open.

Go into any hotels reception area where there will be lots of information available. The official Ontario Tourist Office is good too, if you can find it.

Montreal same thing. The official Montreal tourist office is good too, if you can find it.

Cities are busy with lots of people walking so you might miss a building but the same information are available elsewhere and is still free.
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 1:19 am
I’ve done engagement photos at Polson Pier, you can park at T&T Supermarket, grab a snack making you a customer, leave your car, and walk down the street a few blocks to this view. Go at sunset, get great blue hour photos when the buildings and CN tower turn on the lights. Lens choice will determine your FoV, wide to closer.

Pay attention to the signs, if you instead park on the street like some ignorant people, you’ll get a ticket. Or you can pay to park right at the Pier lot. It’s a popular spot and you may see other photogs there.

Don’t go to Centre Island, it’s a summer thing where you bring a bike and do a 2-3h tour because it’s a really big area with roads. IMO, waste of time/money to pay for a ferry ride and hang around the dock in cold weather, whereas you can do Polson in less than an hour.
I agree that there won't be much to do at centre island, especially in the winter. Although, it depends on the OP, and what he wants to do. I personally pay to go over in the summer time and leave. I do nothing else at center island. To most people its a waste, but really depends how much you're into doing this type of stuff. I don't shoot professionally, but I'll do almost anything to get the best shot i can. Even if it means paying to get a better point of view. While polson pier offers a decent view. I still think centre island gives the best perspective. To me, without the "skydome" (cough, cough rogers center) in the skyline, its incomplete imo. Each to their own though. OP can decide for himself if he likes the polson pier perspective, or the centre island one.
AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 29th, 2017 9:10 am
There is public transit to Polson Pier but I'd be hesitant going to either Polson or Centre Island for a skyline photo unless that's your goal because it's cold and there's nothing else.
The ferry ride is fun, and you could take it to Ward's Island (part of Centre Island) to get your shot, it'll consume a couple of hours.
I'd still advise centre island, as opposed to ward's island, because again, it doesn't give you that straight direct point of view, with both the dome and CN tower together.

Here's a couple of my own examples. One from the this year, and one from the year before. I'm still not 100% happy with either photo. I will be going back in the spring or summer to shoot it again.

ImageAfter the storm by Phu Vong, on Flickr

ImageToronto Skyline by Phu Vong, on Flickr
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If you were to redo that, does the top one extend left and right without foreground obstructions to create a pano?

Nice job! I’d print that large, you should sell that online somewhere.
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I was just told at the hotel that there are no ferries going to centre island. Am I better off taking the ferry to Ward's Island and then walk there? I was told it'll take only 30 min.
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 3:30 pm
I was just told at the hotel that there are no ferries going to centre island. Am I better off taking the ferry to Ward's Island and then walk there? I was told it'll take only 30 min.
Google images taken from Ward’s, view the EXIF if you can to see the focal length and other settings. It’s a long walk to Centre, your call whether you want a different angle. Zoom in on google maps to see distance.

Depending on time of day, effect you want, an ND might help (blurred clouds midday). Blue hour you just need a tripod, provided the ferry goes back that late.
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I was at Polson Pier about an hour ago and it feels like I'm inside a hurricane. So windy! There's a park (Jennifer Kateryna) and there's a great view there. Unfortunately, it was so windy that water from the lake was coming up to where I was standing. I gotta come back another day and yes I have a tripod. Definitely can't use it in an environment like this. I don't recalled seeing a Pier parking lot. Not sure if we're talking about the exact vantage point. I did go inside T&T to grab some food. There's a seating area inside.

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