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Toronto’s Best Sunset Viewing Spots

Growing up in the Ontario countryside, I remember so many evenings walking along the cedar trees in our backyard, watching the sky to the west fade into shimmering pinks, purples, and clouds orange like they’re on fire. Toronto combines those astounding Ontario sunsets with its impressive skyline. There are many places around this beautiful city where you can consider yourself lucky to catch a sunset. But for the best sunset viewing spots in Toronto, there are two that promise a special experience and, if you’re into photography, amazing photos.

Riverdale Park for a Toronto Sunset Picnic

Of all the views you can get of Toronto, at any time of day, the one from Riverdale Park is consistently beautiful and impressive. When I lived nearby, I would walk down Broadview Avenue early on Sunday mornings to meet friends for coffee and croissants at Rooster Coffee House. The green trees of the park, with the glass towers downtown reflecting the sunrise, is only outdone by the scenery at the end of the day.

Riverdale Park is also one of Toronto’s best parks for its amenities. It connects to the system of ravine hiking trails. There’s a public pool, multiple sports fields, you’ll often find outdoor exercise classes going on, and on snowy days, the hill along Broadview is packed with kids (of all ages) tobogganing.

The Toronto skyline as the sun sets. At the bottom of the photograph is a lush green forest around a park. The skyline of the downtown core seems to float above it, against a pink and purple sky as the sun sets, the last yellow rays of sun reflected in the glass facades of the skyscrapers downtown.
Downtown Toronto at sunset, seen from Broadview Avenue, on the edge of Riverdale Park

How to get to Riverdale Park:

Click here for Riverdale Park on Google Maps

By taxi: 479 Broadview Ave – That’s the address for Rooster Coffee House, right across from the park. Their double-baked almond croissants are best in the mornings fresh out of the oven. But they’ll still have delicious food and drinks for your evening adventures as well. 

By transit: If you’re starting at Broadview Subway station on Danforth Avenue, hop on any of the 504 King Streetcars. and ride south down Broadview to the Langley Ave stop. The park will be unmissable on your right. If you’re traveling from downtown, hop on the 504B King Streetcar. Confirm with the driver that it’s going to Broadview Station. Some streetcars stop early. Ride it up Broadview and hop off at the Withrow Ave stop. 

Centre Island for that Toronto Sunset Waterfront Skyline

If you find the right spot on the island to gaze at the Toronto skyline at dusk, when the sky turns purple, its towers begin to sparkle, and the CN Tower lights up over the glowing Rogers Centre, it’ll feel like this magical floating city is all your own.

Generally referred to by locals as “Toronto Island”, it’s actually a cluster of man-made islands in Lake Ontario, a short ferry ride away from the downtown waterfront. Billy Bishop Airport is there, the popular (clothing optional) beach at Hanlan’s Point, several yacht clubs, a kid’s playground with bumper cars, big family barbecue and picnic areas, restaurants, music festivals, and bike paths all around it.

The Toronto skyline at dusk, lit up, and reflected in the calm waters of Lake Ontario
The downtown Toronto skyline, seen from Centre Island

Time your island trip with the sunset and you’ll be well rewarded. My favorite spot to catch the sunset and Toronto skyline at night is over by the Toronto Island Sailing Club’s docks. Click here for that spot on Google Maps.

How to get to Toronto Island:

The simplest way is to go to Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, at the intersection of Queens Quay West and Bay Street. From there you can catch a ferry to one of the three different ferry docks on the islands: Hanlan’s, Centre Island, or Ward’s. If you’re just going to get some sunset photos, the Centre Island or Ward’s ferries are your best bet. 

Find the ferry schedules and buy tickets in advance here: Toronto Island Ferry Schedule

The Toronto skyline at sunset, seen from across the water, on Centre Island. The camera is held close down to the rocks at the water's edge, so the city seems far off in the distance. There's a bright yellow lens flare on the left of the photo from the setting sun.
Toronto at sunset, captured by Andre Furtado, from Russian Beach. One of the Toronto Island ferries is visible to the right side of the photo.

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