sunrise toronto

10 places to watch the sunrise in Toronto

Viewing the sunrise in Toronto is likely more rewarding than the sunset because you have to work for it a bit more. You have to set an alarm and be in your chosen spot at a time when sleep would be more convenient. But no light is more appealing than that which is cast at the break of dawn, and the experience of witnessing the rising sun over the city can be downright restorative.

Here are some beautiful places to watch the sunrise in Toronto.

Eastern Beaches

From Woodbine Beach all the way to the R.C. Harris Water Treatment plant, there are few places more alluring than here to watch the sunrise. Make sure to arrive before the sun hits the horizon to see Lake Ontario at its most serene.

Leslie Street Spit

One of the few places on this list that also makes for good sunset viewing, sunrise here is a majestic sight. You don't necessarily need to confine yourself to one vantage point here, as the view to the east remains unobstructed for much of the spit.

Scarborough Bluffs

The view of the sunrise from Bluffer's Park Beach is nothing to complain about, but the most memorable place to take in the scene is from the top of the bluffs, where you can watch dawn roll in over the marina and lake.

Humber Bay

There are so many vantage points here to catch the sunrise over the city, by my favourites are from the Humber Bay Arch Bridge and from Humber Bay Park West, where you can curl around the city and look at the skyline from a very acute northeasterly angle.

Dufferin St. Bridge

Here the Gardiner appears as a massive vein drawing cars into the heart of the city, but it all looks wonderfully compelling when the sun first peeks over the horizon and bathes the city in saturated orange and yellow light.

Colonel Sam Smith Park

The souther most tip of this park (which you can park near to) offers a lovely distant view of the city to the northeast. If you're taking photos, be sure to bring more than a wide angle lens.

Rouge Beach

Rouge Beach offers a rather surreal view of the sunrise as it ascends above the Pickering nuclear plant in the distance. Fans of Antonioni's Red Desert will like this spot.

Centre Island Pier

The trick to getting to this vantage point early enough is making sure to take the Ward's Island ferry, which leaves far earlier than the one headed for Centre Island. From there, you'll have to walk over to the pier, but it's well worth it.

Chorley Park

So many of the places on this list have views across the lake, but Chorley Park hovers above the Don Valley, which provides a nice combination of urban activity and natural beauty. You can walk down to the Brick Works for breakfast after the sun comes up.

Cherry Beach

Cherry Beach is almost always deserted at the earliest hours of the day. The Leslie Street spit blocks a long view across the lake, but that just makes the view more novel as you watch the sun rise above the tree line.

Lead photo by

Sanjin Avdicevic


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