supermoon toronto

Where to watch the year's best moonrise in Toronto

Tonight's moonrise in Toronto will be special. The full moon will be closer to the Earth than it has been in 68 years, and it'll take another 18 years to return to this proximity. Based on last night's super-moonrise, we're in for a real treat, but witnessing the moon at its most spectacular is all about being in the right place at the right time.

While this supermoon of supermoons will be obviously brighter than a full moon at apogee (the furtherest point from the earth), it won't appear especially huge if you look up at it when it's high in the sky. The key to appreciating the supermoon in general is to watch it rise above the horizon, when the moon illusion makes it appear impossibly big.

As far as timing goes, the moon will rise at 5:30 p.m., which is 37 minutes after the sun sets. Unlike yesterday, that means it will hit the horizon when it is already predominantly dark out and have an increased glow. Yesterday, it was very faint as it came into view thanks to the residual light from the sun, which was still just above the horizon in the west.

The timing is the easy part, though. Location is everything, especially if you plan on trying to take good photos of the moonrise. Because the moon will come up in the east northeast, the best spots to shoot the moon and the cityscape in one frame are southerly points on the west side of the skyline.

For my money, Humber Bay Shores Park is the best spot to watch this particular supermoon as it rises in close proximity to the CN Tower. As an added bonus, there are a handful of other awesome vantage points nearby that you can scurry to for different angles on the moonrise, including Humber Bay Park East and West.

Closer to downtown, there were about fifty people gathered on Strachan Avenue by the railway underpass at twilight yesterday who were able to watch as the moon passed behind the CN Tower, which produced some interesting shots. The Bathurst Street bridge is another option, though you'll have to wait for the moon to rise above the Rogers Centre.

If you plan on taking photos, the big thing to remember is that a normal or wide camera lens will make the moon appear much smaller than it does to the human eye. To get the type of eye-popping pictures you've seen others take, make sure to use a zoom lens of at least 200mm (and preferably more).

You'll also find that it's difficult to expose for the nighttime sky and the brightness of the moon in one image, so many photographers take two exposures and merge them. Some will call this cheating, but it's more of a trick to recreate the conditions as they were experienced in the moment.

Good luck!

Know of another vantage point to suggest? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Nicoli OZ Matthews.

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