Snap some pics and fill your feed with the unique architecture and attractions of one of downtown Toronto’s most historic neighbourhoods.
For some people, the photos taken along the way are half the joy of exploring places—and then the other half is posting them online for likes.
The Old Town neighbourhood of downtown Toronto ticks all the boxes for travelling shutterbugs, starting with having lots to discover by walking around. It’s also compact: the area bounded by Yonge Street to the west, the Don River to the east, Queen Street to the north and the city’s railway lines to the south, boasts an Insta-worthy collection of cheery open spaces, fancy facades and public art.
And Old Town is easy to get to by transit: From Union or King subway stations, step outside and head east on foot. Then keep walking, camera in hand, toward these top photo ops. (We’ve included some suggested Instagram hashtags to help you get seen.)
“The dog fountain”
You’ve got to be pretty keen on your Toronto trivia to know that the gathering place next to the Gooderham Building is officially called Berczy Park. Since a mid-2010s redesign, you can just say “the dog fountain” and every Torontonian will know you mean the two-tier fountain featuring 27 dog sculptures… and one cat (two if you count the one in another corner of the park).
How to tag it: on Instagram, the hashtag #BerczyPark has some 6,700 posts
The Gooderham Building
Known as the Flatiron Building to locals, this more-or-less triangular edifice was completed in the 1890s at a whopping cost of $18,000. While the angular front corner of the building at the junction of Church, Front and Wellington streets makes for a nice photo, don’t miss the west-facing trompe l’oeil mural by artist Derek Besant either.
How to tag it: #GooderhamBuilding has been used 13,600 times
The Hockey Hall of Fame
You shoot, you score! A photo, that is. Most visitors will probably want to head inside the HHOF and photograph the memorabilia and treasures within this temple to hockey—the Stanley Cup resides here, for one thing. But the building itself takes a nice picture, too: formerly belonging to the Bank of Montreal, it’s a rococo birthday cake of stone featuring lovely angles. Get the kids to make faces with the goofy goons of the Eddie Parker sculpture “Our Game.”
St. Lawrence Market
From shiny fish scales to vibrant veggies, Instagrammers love an eye-catching food photo. You’ll be spoiled for choice at St. Lawrence Market, the city’s pre-eminent food market. The building itself (completed in its current form in 1904) is attractive, too—though it’s in danger of being upstaged by the Victorian classical splendour of nearby St. Lawrence Hall, which was built as an event venue in the 1850s and still serves that function today.
How to tag it: #StLawrenceMarket has 76,000 posts
Distillery Historic District
A revitalized arts, dining and retail district, the Distillery District’s car-free cobblestone streets and Victorian-era industrial architecture are as fascinating as they are photogenic.
Snap shots of the area’s public art, including the famous 14-foot-tall Big Heart arch and Love Locks installation (yes, you can add your own!). Stick around for stunning photo ops of the downtown skyline and light-adorned pathways at dusk, truly magical sights.
How to tag it: #distillerydistrict has over 314,000 posts on Instagram
Getting to Old Town
- King or Union subway stations, then walk eastbound