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The top 5 photo meetup groups in Toronto

Posted by Staff / January 27, 2014

Photo Meetup Groups TorontoPhoto meetup groups shift what is often a purely solitary pursuit into a community social experience. And since Toronto is brimming with amateur and professional photography talent it's no secret that photo meetup groups are thriving here. Regardless of their specific spin, photo meetup groups encourage image-makers of all ages and skill levels to network and socialize, improve their skills and capture the city's architecture, people, landscapes and street life.

Here are 5 photo meetup groups in Toronto worth checking out.

Toronto Photo Walks
Every second Saturday these popular walks are held in various neighborhoods around the city, rain or shine. Organizers aim to accommodate the mixed interests of the group's members with a range of locations featuring architecture, graffiti, wildlife and people. The group occasionally ventures outside city limits to explore smaller cities and rural wildlife. Toronto Photo Walks has held over 100 events and recently celebrated its four-year anniversary.

This relatively new meetup group is centred around, you guessed it, Instagram photography. Meetups are held monthly on weekends, with ad hoc mini-meets held in between. Though smartphone cameras rule in this group, DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras are most welcome. Recent Instameets have taken place at the Harbourfront ice rink and Ripley's Aquarium.

Toronto Photography Meetup Group
This group focuses on developing the skills of its members through organized studio shoots, free photo walks, and print swap critiques. The group has an average of three events per month held in various locations in the city. The Toronto Photography Meetup Group splits the cost of studio shoots among participating members. The group's active online forum has discussions on technique, gear and mentoring opportunities.

500px Meetup
Toronto's favourite photography startup hosts occasional photography meetups for its members and those curious about the 500px website. The informal meetups encourage members to put a face to a username and shoot in neighbourhoods around the city. 500px meetups are currently on hiatus for the winter and will resume in the coming months.

Flickr Meetup
Toronto members of this globally popular photo sharing site have been organizing monthly meetups since 2005. Primarily a social get-together for Flickr users, Toronto's monthly Flickr meetup is typically held in a pub or restaurant. Shooting happens informally, and group members skew toward the baby-boomer demographic.

What did I miss? Give props to your favourite Toronto photo meetup group in the comments below.

Writing by Emily Baillie. Photo by Tyler in the blogTO Flickr pool



PeterHurley / January 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm
This is perhaps the worst posting ever. Does anyone do ANY research? The author should be fired! This is terrible.

Instameet? No meet ups planned. Last one was in April 2013 and four people attended. The one before that was in January 2013 and two people attended.

500px? Only two events EVER! Only the organizer attended the fist one! Nothing planned.

Really blogTO...this is pathetic. It's obvious the author knows nothing about the subject.
Emily / January 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm
Hi Peter, Instameets have been happening more than once a month for some time now. If you are interested you should check out @torontophoto on Instagram.
Michael / January 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm
What, no East PhoTO?
Peter / January 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm
What about Drink and Click Toronto?
Vicki replying to a comment from PeterHurley / January 27, 2014 at 01:19 pm
Toronto Photo Walks is a wonderful informal group that gets together and but nothing to do with Meetup. Although your content is correct, you really should research better before you post.
steve replying to a comment from Emily / January 27, 2014 at 01:20 pm
Instameet!?!?!? Ha! It's funny what passes for photography these days! Really though, you should check out and search for photography meetups in Toronto. There are much better groups.

Drink and Click! Like!

PeterHurley replying to a comment from Vicki / January 27, 2014 at 01:31 pm
Vicki, I'm going to assume you meant to address the author of this article and not me. I didn't mention Toronto Photo Walks. I'm sure it's a fine group that is actually active.

To the author, your article still sucks and it is terrible what passes as journalism these days.
Ellen / January 27, 2014 at 02:16 pm
Thanks for the info. Good to know there are meet up groups for all types of shooters. Most photographers I know find the social aspect of exploring and sharing more important than the gear. Hope to see some constructive comments from your readers on these and other meet ups in the city.
Nicole / January 27, 2014 at 02:43 pm
I thought the author did a great job emphasizing the diversity of photo meet ups in this city. It's helpful to know the range or purpose of these meetups,from more skill based, informative meetups to more socially focused networking opportunities. This article serves as a great tool in choosing the right meetup for the right person.
John Carvalho / January 27, 2014 at 03:29 pm
its a Mississauga Group but they do explore Toronto
Mississauga Photo Club its all free and fun to take part.

top link best always updated but see both links
??? / January 27, 2014 at 03:41 pm
I belong to many photography meetups groups and none of them are on the list LOL this list is a joke...

alex / January 27, 2014 at 03:43 pm
Any meet ups in the richmond hill area? I hate public transit, traffic and pay parking
Shiaoshiao / January 27, 2014 at 03:48 pm

It is very unfortunate to hear that the attendance was poor at the Instameets. We’ve had very successful ones still though, with as many as 60 people attending. Please follow @torontophoto instagram account for more details on each meet. They usually post about a week or two before the actual meet up.


Instagram and mobile photography won’t ever replace professional photography, however it enables everyday workers and the general public to take pictures, and ultimately connect with a common interest group. Most of the instagram community in Toronto are working professionals, from teachers to office admin to students. We come together every month just to have a good time, share photo and fun editing tips and meet new people.

I am a serious amateur photographer with a DSLR but ever since I’ve joined instagram, it’s helped me get into a habit of taking and editing pictures everyday. It’s been 6 months since and I can honestly say that my sense of composition and overall execution have gotten a lot better. I hope you will try it out some time and come out to the meets.

You can find me on instagram (shiaosquared), 500px (shiaoc), and Facebook (/shiaoshiaojchenphotography) as evidence that I am indeed a photographer.
??? / January 27, 2014 at 03:59 pm
it would help if the writer actually attended some of these meetups being putting up a top 5 photo meetup groups in Toronto

Here are a few that are quite ACTIVE!! Also, the ones on the above list pales in comparison with these ones below!
Ellen replying to a comment from ??? / January 27, 2014 at 04:05 pm
??? You say you belong to many groups and the list is a joke . . . how about sharing some of these groups you say you belong to? The article is simply listing five and inviting others to share more. How is that a joke?
Michelle replying to a comment from steve / January 27, 2014 at 04:19 pm
You should see what phone cameras are capable of before you make uninformed, snide, and elitist comments. Do your research before you speak, you look like a fool.
Michelle / January 27, 2014 at 04:23 pm
If people are interested in instameets, don't follow, it's pretty dead-- follow @torontophoto on Instagram ( They do monthly meet ups! Not everyone shoots with a phone-- bring your DSLRs, SLRs, whatever you want!
Rick / January 27, 2014 at 04:26 pm
Oh my -- I think some of you commenters need to get a grip. If you don't like what's on the list, find another site. I mean if instagram offends your advanced, elite photographic sensibilities, here's a suggestion, don't attend their meetups.
steve replying to a comment from Michelle / January 27, 2014 at 05:16 pm
Michelle, the point was that the links were terrible and some of the recommended meet ups didn't have any events. The link to Instameet was to a specific group listed as having poor attendance and no events. Surely not one of the "top five". And I think you should educate yourself about what you CAN'T do on a smart phone! Yes I am elitist compared to someone who is as uninformed as yourself.

I agree it was a terrible article and was not researched very well. The title states that these are the "top five"! must be an amateur because you don't know a thing about editing if you think it's as simple as what you do on your smart phone.

candidcameraman / January 27, 2014 at 09:27 pm
There was a mix up somewhere, not sure how and why instameet was picked and linked towards a meet up posting from April 2011.

Just look up instagram and do a user search on torontophoto, the meet up are great and ongoing, it is all about getting to know people, does not matter which group.

Emily actually attends some of the meet up we have and I am sure she attended others.

Thank you for the mention and I am sure the link will be corrected shortly, there is more to come soon from @torontophoto

Michelle replying to a comment from steve / January 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm
I was referring to your comment as to what passes for photography these days. I am acutely aware of the limitations of a mobile camera, but I do not dismiss it as a legitimate form of photography. As someone who shoots with her iPhone and both a D700 and D800 with extensive Photoshop experience, no I am not uninformed.
Jono / January 28, 2014 at 08:36 am
People, especially photographers, are obviously gonna catch feelings with a post like this. The truth is, the best photo meetup groups are likely unplanned / unofficial ones. And as far as planned ones go, some of the more interesting (somewhat subversive) groups have not been mentioned. I would suggest just living your life, with a camera in your pocket / bag. Hopefully it's not a Leica M8 with a Voigtlander lens though, as in the title photo ; )

Stephen James / October 16, 2014 at 04:02 am
Wow... I was alerted by one of our over 3,880 members that we somehow got missed off this list. We are Toronto Photographic Workshops & Events and we're actually the largest photography meetup group in Canada, as well as being one of the most active.

In our 12 year history we have produced over 400 events. We cover everything from photography workshops, photo walks, exhibitions, social get-togethers, and unique photo-shoot opportunities.

You can find us here at:

or directly on meetup's web site:
Stephen James replying to a comment from ??? / October 16, 2014 at 04:06 am
Actually, ""; no longer exists. I can assure you, after having spent some time with Laurie in the past few weeks, it is no more and has been closed for good, which is a shame as she was and is an excellent Organizer.
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