instagram star toronto

Toronto photographer captures the city at magic hour

Alexandra Mackenzie got into Instagram sort of by accident. But since discovering the platform, she's developed a passion for photography that's surpassed the simple photo sharing app.

"I actually got started because my kids joined Instagram and I wanted to watch what they were doing," says Mackenzie, who goes by @alexandramack22 on Instagram. "But then I became hooked."

At first, she used her phone to capture the city. A year and a half ago, she bought her first DSLR camera.

Mackenzie gets out to shoot around once a week. "I try to get up early on Sunday mornings to shoot because I like to have the city to myself in the early morning,” she says.

Her feed also features gorgeous sunsets. While she likes to shoot downtown, she often finds herself taking photos at Sunnyside Beach and Humber Bay Park.

Besides gaining more than 13,000 followers, Mackenzie also runs the popular @6ixwalks account. She co-founded it to keep doing Instameets after Toronto Photo stopped hosting them.

But even though @6ixwalks no longer hosts meet-ups, it still showcases work by local photographers. "It’s nice when you can feature the work of people who only have 500 followers or are new and are so thrilled to get a feature," she says.

Mackenzie's surprised by how many people she's met in real life via Instagram, a sentiment she shares with many of the photographer's we've profiled.

This speaks to the closeness of Toronto's Instagram community and its role as a hub for both professional and amateur photographers.

For Mackenzie, it's helped her finally get into photography, something she'd wanted to try but never found time for before.

And her three kids are proud of her accomplishments. One time, she recalls, her high school-age son saw one of his classmates on her account. "But," she says with a laugh, "I don’t think he ever actually said, 'that’s my mom.'"  

Lead photo by

Alexandra Mackenzie


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