toronto sunset

Watching the sunset has become one of Toronto's favourite pandemic activities

Toronto has always had many beautiful spots for those looking to sit and admire the colourful skies brought on by the sunset, but it took a global pandemic for the activity to become one of the city's favourite pastimes. 

Hobbyiest photographer Peter Papadimitriou typically visits either Polson Pier or Riverdale Park East with his family each weekend, and he says it's clear more people have taken up the activity since the pandemic first hit.

"The crowds are thickening," he tells blogTO. "You can't do anything, so you kind of have to become a tourist in the city."

Papadimitriou says that while onlookers did admire the sunset from time to time pre-pandemic, city-dwellers are now making an event of it and bringing pizza, beverages, picnic blankets and more to make the most of the experience.

"It's not spontaneous," he says. "They plan. They'll bring a blanket, sit down, take it all in."

The photographer says he's even seen couples shooting their wedding photos with the sunset as a backdrop. 

And while some may have concerns about crowding at these locations, Papadimitriou says photos taken at a certain angle can make people appear closer together than they really are. 

"My feeling is that they're keeping a safe distance," he says. "Generally, if you're there, they're spaced out."

Anyone looking to partake in the newly-trendy activity can choose from a number of spots at which to do so, but Papadimitriou says Riverdale Park East and Polson Pier are his favourites because they offer unparalleled views of the entire skyline and the CN Tower.

"It's beautiful," he says. "When the lights start to sparkle off the water, it's really pretty."

COVID-19 has certainly pushed residents to take advantage of the outdoors more than ever before, and Papadimitriou says people have clearly woken up to how amazing it is to be in nature.

He believes, or at least hopes, that this trend isn't going anywhere post-pandemic. 

"Fresh air, the sun on your face, with a friend, with your kids, having an ice cream cone, the sun is setting.... There's something about it," he says. "I'd be happy to see it remain. I'm pretty sure it will remain."

Lead photo by

Peter Papadimitriou

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