toronto sunset

Toronto was in awe at last night's sunset and the photos are absolutely spectacular

In a world with infinite options for entertainment in the palm of your hand, it's nice to be reminded from time to time that nothing can compete with nature — not the smoothest gaming graphics, not the wildest plot twists, not even the cutest videos of piglets playing with kittens on TikTok.

Anyone who was outside or looking outside around 9 p.m. in Toronto last night understands what I'm talking about — and those of us who were too busy looking at screens to notice the sky on fire (guilty) can witness the spectacle retroactively through other people's photos.

Toronto is no stranger to pretty sunsets, but last night's was next level gorgeous.

People all over the city remarked as they shared photos from various viewpoints that it felt like the most beautiful sunset they'd seen to date this year.

It very well might have been.

The reasons for this are plentiful, but most relate back to atmospheric conditions — particularly clouds.

"To produce vivid sunset colors, a cloud must be high enough to intercept 'unadulterated' sunlight... i.e., light that has not suffered attenuation and/or color loss by passing through the atmospheric boundary layer," explains Stephen F. Corfidi of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"This largely explains why spectacular shades of scarlet, orange, and red most often grace cirrus and altocumulus layers, but only rarely low clouds such as stratus or stratocumulus."

Last night's solid decks of high-in-the-sky clouds effectively served to catch the sun's last spectacular setting rays, reflecting them toward the ground and intensifying the colours for our eyes.

It also happened to occur on what's traditionally held as the longest day of the year — June 21. 

While the summer solstice actually took place on June 20 (Sunday) this year, Monday's sunset was technically a little (less than a minute) later than Sunday's at 9:02:54 p.m.

Thanks for a good show, Mother Nature! 

Lead photo by


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