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by Paulina Gugala

We’ve got an extra special guest on today’s post! We wanted to put together a list of the best locations for engagement photos in Toronto & the GTA for you guys. So why not get a professional’s opinion on it? We brought in the amazing Rebecca Tisdelle-Macias of Black Umbrella Photography to put together her favorite locations for engagement shots. Take it away, Rebecca!


Best locations for engagements photos in Toronto and the GTA

Photography is how we capture life’s milestones to share with our friends and family, or to look back on for years to come. It’s how we make a single moment last forever.

Thanks to sites like Pinterest and Instagram, there are so many ideas to use for your own engagement or wedding photography – but it is your personal life story that will make these photos special to you. There are so many other aspects that make an engagement shoot personal to you and your significant other – the location, time of year, and everything in between will tell a part of that story.

It’s always such an honor when a couple takes me to a spot they spend a lot of their time at, you can instantly see the intimacy and warmth light up between them. It might be a park they like to picnic in, or a cottage where they have a chance to get away. It can be casual, it can be elegant, and sometimes it can be both!

No matter where the photos are taken, a complimentary wardrobe can really make the photos pop! From coordinating outfits, to fun props and activities. Whether it be formal wear, athletics or everything in between – what you choose to wear is the perfect way to tell a story. Go ahead and get dressed up to the nines! Throw your teams jersey and kick a ball around a soccer field! Anything you can think of and find yourself comfortable in will make for an amazing photo. It’s important to have fun and be yourself during your engagement photo session.

Once you’ve selected a photographer, the photography style of your choice, and also decided on what you’re going to wear, now comes the fun part – selecting your favorite location!

Over the past few years that I’ve spent doing engagement and wedding shoots, I’ve picked up a few spots in Toronto and the GTA that not only provide amazing backdrops and scenery, but are also top picks among most couples that I work with. Of course, every couple is different and their choices vary depending on what they are looking for, but these spots are the top picks among most of my clients these days.

Without further ado, here are my top picks for the best locations for engagement photos in Toronto and the GTA:

Scarborough Bluffs


best locations for engagement photos in toronto
Scarborough Bluffs Engagement Shoot
For the couples that love the beach, I am always inclined to bring them to the Scarborough Bluffs. There are several great spots to shoot with many gorgeous natural backdrops to choose from. On a good day, you can even pop into the water for a few fun and playful shots at the end of the session!
best locations for engagement photos in toronto

Permit required: Yes
Best time to visit: The Bluffs are better suited for a daytime session during the week as it can get really busy during weekends and evenings.


Humber College Lakeshore Campus (Humber Arboretum)


best locations for engagement photos in toronto

best locations for engagement photos in toronto

For the couples that aren’t into posing and prefer a casual, easy-going photography session, Humber College Lakeshore campus instantly comes to mind. It has lots of nice shooting spots – picturesque trees, the full scope of Lake Ontario, and plenty of architectural charm.

Permit required: Yes
Best time to visit: There really isn’t a bad time to visit this area for a leisurely shoot. The space is so wide open it’s almost a challenge to get in anybody’s way.


Riverdale Farm


best locations for engagement photos in toronto

best locations for engagement photos in toronto

So many people are including their pets in their portrait sessions these days and it’s so much fun to have them come along for the trip. Bring your furry friends and your favorite blanket and head out to Riverdale Farm, the perfect place for you and your pets. I love the old rustic feel of the weathered barns and fences. They do an excellent job of keeping the grounds green and spotless, always making sure that it’s well manicured at all times.

Permit required: Yes
Best time to visit: I find it’s best to visit at daytime hours during the week in order to avoid busy crowds.


Yorkville


best locations for engagement photos in toronto

best locations for engagement photos in toronto

For my fashion forward couples, it seems like we end up in and around one area of Toronto – Yorkville! There are so many modern architectural backdrops, cobblestone walkways, well-lit romantic Parisian alleyways and plenty of rooftops to sneak onto with the Toronto skyline in the background. Thanks to all these amazing elements, photos taken in Yorkville turn out very high-fashion and editorial with all the amazing lighting and backdrops.The twilight hour (just as the sun is setting) make for some dramatic photos and are definitely a must-try if you’re looking for high-fashion engagement photos.

Permit required: No
Best time to visit: Weekends, holidays and summer are very busy. I find the best times to visit are during the week during work hours or in the evening as people are leaving.


Outside of Toronto

Mississauga


best locations for engagement photos in toronto

Outside of the city, Mississauga has many wonderful spots. I love the area surrounding City Hall and Celebration Square near Square One Mall. Beautiful fountains and well-kept gardens are available with very low pedestrian traffic. As well, less than a 10 minute drive away is the Lake Shore and Port Credit which features a cute light house, an accessible pier and the abundant water of Lake Ontario, all of which make for a picturesque East Coast feel.

Permit required: Yes
Best time to visit: It is best to go during the day or late evening when most people have headed home. The Square One and Port Credit area are very hectic on weekends and holidays.


Brampton


Best locations for engagements photos in Toronto and the GTA

Brampton is another favorite place to shoot. Engagement photos are a pleasure to take in Gage Park with its gazebo and big green spaces. Chinguacousy Park has changed its look over the past few years and triples as a great spot for family portraits, engagement photos and even makes for a perfect wedding portrait spot. With a modern ski chalet, a pond, a small farm and a pathway filled with beautiful greenery that leads out to a gorgeous outdoor garden. There are so many fun places to choose from.

Permit required: Yes
Best time to visit: These parks get quite busy during the weekend. The best time to go is either during the day from Monday to Friday or right at dusk when people are leaving.


With all the different places in Southern Ontario to shoot, from Kleinberg to Oakville to Hamilton to Niagara Falls, I will shoot anywhere your vision takes you. From your favourite skatepark, neighbourhood ice cream parlor, or even that spooky graveyard you pass by on the way home! If the spot means something to you, it comes through in the photos.

Your photographer will always have a bucket full of locations ready to suggest. But why not go somewhere special to you?

Where are some of your favorite locations that you’ve found for your engagement photos? Tell us in the comments!

 

Paulina Gugala
Paulina Gugala

Digital Marketer by day, professional Netflix surfer by night, you can find Paulina either scouring the web for the latest news and trends, or sharing cute photos of her 15-year old pup with all of her coworkers.



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