Hi, I’m Mike. On Instagram I run a community for photographers called Tdot Shots (@tdot_shots). I’m a fan of shooting in iconic spots and so I brainstormed this new feature called “Tdot Spots.” If you live here, you already know about this list. Whether you live here or come for a visit, these are essential stops on your photo tour. Interested in a photo walk? Hit me up (link), I lead individuals and groups on city walking tours that focus on photography.
Note: This list is for buildings, landmarks, and neighbourhoods.
How I created this list. I contemplated the most iconic images that are found on Toronto instagram accounts. Of course this means that on some level these locations are a both a combination of “must get” and “played out,” but when I’m in the city with my camera I almost always try to grab some snaps of these spots even if I’m just strolling through on the way to a meeting or killing time before my train.
With regard to the above, please do try to get a unique frame or perspective while you’re at these hot Tdot Spots! There’s classic and there’s innovative! If it helps, get further back or closer, or go left or right, but try to get an original! I like the image from Ash aka #offbeat images at TD Centre. There are many shots like it but most are shot on the opposite corner and only show a streetcar in frame. Ash had the patience to capture two iconic vehicles in the shot – a streetcar and Beck taxi! This makes it a killer shot with exceptional qualities, and that’s why it’s in this gallery.
The 6ix List
- Waterfront (Harbourfront, Polson Pier, The Islands)
- City Hall / Old City Hall
- TD Centre (King and Bay)
- Gooderham Building (Front St.)
- Brookfield Place
- Humber Bay
Runners-up: Distillery District, Union Station, Yonge-Dundas Square, Chinatown
Runners-up and alternatives
It’s really hard to make a list like this “top 6ix” because there are dozens of great spots in this city. To round out this article I decided to offer some alternates based on convenience to downtown and popularity on the “gram” (Instagram).
As promised here are the alternates:
- Distillery District
- Yonge-Dundas Square
- Graffiti Alley
- Union Station
If this were a top 10 list obviously my secondary selections would be on it. They are all worthy of a check out and make for great stops on any city walking tour. I’ll explain the pros and cons of each here.
If you are an on-trend, event-oriented instagrammer you might have the Distillery District on the main list. It’s certainly a premier destination for events. The Distillery is very trendy, has a great mix of cafes, restaurants and is a major destination for special events (right now the winter “Light Fest” is going on). It has some sight-lines of the downtown and it’s more convenient than going to either Polson or Humber Bay. But at the end of the day, with regard to city skyline, or authentic street photography, it’s not quite as iconic (though the architecture is very interesting).
In the same category is Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s trendy and downtown and right near the Eaton Centre mall. It’s a handy place for night photography. Personally I dislike the advertising and wish so many shots from here didn’t contain recognizable ads delivered via the massive billboard lights. This spot is dope though for some creative bokeh work or from the little nooks and corners. You can also catch taxis, streetcars and some pedestrian traffic in your frames.
While I included Graffiti Alley, this list excludes the “cute spots” that are popular with lifestyle bloggers. These are easy to find and many of them are in the trendy downtown west near King and Queen St.
Hope you found this post interesting! Check out and follow the photographers!