Travel

Toronto has one of the most photographed skylines in the world

Here’s where to go to get the ultimate shot

  • Jul 03, 2020
  • 470 words
  • 2 minutes
Toronto’s iconic skyline is one of the most photographed in the world, according to an informal study of Instagram hashtag use. (Photo: Nina Stavlund/Can Geo Photo Club)
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Although some countries are tentatively beginning to reopen their borders to foreign travellers, it will likely be many more months before people feel comfortable hopping on a plane to explore an exciting new destination. In the meantime, Canadians are being encouraged to discover and appreciate all the amazing places we have right here in Canada — including, apparently, a city whose skyline is recognized and appreciated all over the world, at least by Instagram users. 

As part of its COVID-inspired Instagram Travel Guide, Inkifi, a company that lets you easily create photo albums and home decor products out of your own Instagram images, compiled a list of the top 10 most photographed city skylines in the world based on hashtag mentions. The top three are hardly surprising: New York, Chicago and London have truly iconic skylines and were major tourism hubs in pre-pandemic times. But coming in strong at number four? Good old Toronto.

To be fair, Toronto’s skyline has a lot working in its favour. There’s the CN Tower, often lit up different colours in recognition of a cause or occasion, rising high above clusters of glittering condos and office towers. 

Photo: Falisha Karpati/Can Geo Photo Club
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There’s Lake Ontario, which can be peaceful or moody depending on the day and the season.

Photo: Paul Walker/Can Geo Photo Club
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And if you happen to live on an upper floor of one of those condo towers (or know someone who does), you might be treated to interesting views of other downtown landmarks, including City Hall and the Rogers Centre.

Photo: Yuanyang Wei/Can Geo Photo Club
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All of it adds up to a city skyline that is unique and instantly recognizable. So where are the best places to see and photograph it in all its glory? There’s Polson Pier, formerly known as The Docks, which is a waterfront entertainment complex that juts into Lake Ontario. Many of the attractions are still closed or operating in a limited capacity due to COVID, but the skyline is its own draw. 

You can also hop a ferry to one of the Toronto Islands, though it’s important to note that the ferries are currently running on a reduced schedule. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are limited to 5,000 each day. 

Iconic Canadian city skylines

Of course, we know Toronto’s isn’t the only fabulous city skyline in Canada. Inspired by Inkifi’s informal study of Instagram behaviour, we decided to do our own quick search of the Canadian Geographic Photo Club to see what other city skylines our members love to shoot. Here are the results, in order of number of uploads. 

Calgary
Photo: Lisa Bourgeault/Can Geo Photo Club
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Top skyline-viewing spots: Scotsman’s Hill, McHugh Bluff

Vancouver
Photo: William Orsua/Can Geo Photo Club
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Top skyline-viewing spots: Prospect Point (Stanley Park), High View Lookout (Cypress Mountain), Lonsdale Quay

Ottawa
Photo: Guoqiang Xue/Can Geo Photo Club
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Top skyline-viewing spots: Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Que.), Alexandra Bridge

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