Toronto is a very photogenic city. We have one of the best skylines in the world. With that said, there are some sections of the city that have amazing character - Queen Street West is certainly one of them. My name is Richie (@rich3dee) and am a Toronto based portrait and street-style photographer, sharing what inspires me for photo shoots and capturing moments along Queen Street West.
Favourite Places To Shoot On Queen West
Everyone’s favourite spot, or perhaps the most notable spot is Graffiti Alley. Its the longest stretch of alleyway in the city where you can see street art from some of the city’s most talented artists. My very first portrait session was shot in Graffiti Alley in 2016 because like everyone else, I wanted to take pictures in a cool urban scape with character. I mean, where else can you find a random couch and step stool to use as a prop for a shoot?
More recently, Graffiti Alley has been utilized by artists to address social issues such as Black Lives Matter with an initiative called “Paint the City Black”. During the height of the social injustice that occurred at the beginning of the summer, many artists showed their solidarity through art.
This is such a cool spot for street photography as you can capture a lot of people on the go as they are rushing out of the station to catch the street car or running into the station to catch the next train.
Queen and Spadina
Such a busy intersection with a mix of old and new Toronto, coupled with heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic, Queen and Spadina is a street photographers dream (beware to not get caught on the street car tracks!). The south-west corner of the intersection also offers a nice unobstructed view of the CN Tower.
With street photography in Toronto, I look at it as an opportunity to capture the character, beauty and charm that makes the city such a unique and diverse place. I absolutely love shooting our street cars, our historic buildings and people in motion. We have some of the most photogenic street cars in the world, the bright red rocket that you can see coming from a mile away. Queen Street West definitely offers some unique views of our space needle aka CN Tower. One thing is for sure, the people in the streets of Toronto are always hustling, always on the go which always makes for amazing actions shots during a leisurely stroll of Queen West.
Tips for Shooting on Queen West
Photography and Writing by Richie Dos Santos