200 queens quay west

A popular Toronto selfie spot is now fenced off and guarded by 24-hour security

Toronto has very few publicly-accessible places to get an elevated view of the skyline, and for years, many have turned to multi-level parking garages as a setting for photo and video opportunities — often to the chagrin of property owners and staff.

The seven-storey garage at 200 Queens Quay West has always been a problem for the management due to its popularity with shutterbugs and videographers.

This proved a liability for former owner Canada Lands Company, and photography and filming have been forbidden for years, though the enforcement of this ban hasn't always been consistent.

The property was acquired by Lifetime Developments and DiamondCorp for a major redevelopment that will bring a tall tower to the site, and it seems the ownership change has come with tightened security.

Today, anyone taking the trip up to the top of the 200 Queens Quay West parking garage is met by a fenced-off upper level, protected by a 24-hour security guard.

It may come as a shock to photographers arriving for an unsanctioned photo shoot, but there's a pretty understandable reason why the new owners wouldn't want such activities happening several storeys above Harbour Street and the busy Gardiner Expressway.

And it all comes down to liability.

A representative of Lifetime Developments tells blogTO, "it was just an unsecured area that became dangerous to the public because it was so far from the guard station. It was an unguarded area that became a hotspot, and it was just a better idea to close it off to the public."

And anyone who has spent any time up on this parking garage will understand what was at stake. Back when the roof was still accessible, it wasn't uncommon to see wannabe models posing precariously, 905 auto bros staging photos with their obnoxious cars, and even low-budget music video shoots.

In fact, you can see all three of these scenes unfolding in this clip captured before the closure.

As a photographer, this closure bummed me out when I discovered it for myself this past weekend.

But anything that prevents whatever the heck is going on in that tweet above from happening in my city is a net positive outcome in my eyes.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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