Fall sunrises in Toronto

Fall is full of colour and the crisper air can contribute to some wildly spectacular and colourful sunrises too.

As the world turns, the sunrise location gradually shifts over time. In this multi-season series of posts, I will take you through the various sunrise locations as seen from the west end of the city of Toronto, following the sun as it moves throughout the season, and from one season to the next.

[ Winter | Spring | Summer | Fall ]

Fall Sunrises

September 22 – December 20

You can’t argue that Fall may be one of the most colourful of seasons for photography. Combine the colours of nature with the colours of a sunrise and you can get one brilliant photographic opportunity.

The approximate time of the sunrise is written below the dates. The sunrise gets later and later as the sun moves further away from the city.

Later in the season we will see the sun once again in the middle of the lake allowing us to appreciate the sun out in the open.


The month of September is evident with the summer heat quickly turning to cool breezes offering a respite from Toronto’s hot summer days. With wildflowers blooming all around our parks, there are no shortages of photographic opportunities wherever you are. The best part is the sun rises considerably later than in the summer months, giving us more chances to see the wonders of Mother Nature without having to wake up so early.

September 27, 2019 sunrise at Humber Bay Park East created a golden hue amongst the heavy vegetation along the shoreline, which is currently being reconstructed.

If you go at the right moment you may find dew forming on the wildflowers and vegetation in the park. These offer some great macro photo opportunities especially when they are cast with the warm glow of the sun.


October continues on with colourful sunrises and colourful wildflowers and vegetation within the park. The sun starts to creep out away from the city providing a different perspective than from September. Use this time to explore various vantage points and foreground elements to vary your photos.

October 31, 2020 sees some of the leaves falling on the ground with the remainder of them on the trees in all of their autumn glory.

I love this time of year as the air is crisp and fresh in the morning, the sun doesn’t rise so early, yet we are often the only ones enjoying the park at this time of the day. You can still catch the autumn colours on the trees, and have the sun cast its golden glow upon them at sunrise.


Once November comes upon us the majority of the leaves have fallen down and the weather becomes quite colder in the city. Some years we’ve even had snow falling and accumulating on the ground later this month.

Despite the lack of colour and sometimes drab atmosphere, Mother Nature often shows us her strength and rewards us with beautiful sunrises if you’re out there. The sun is well on its way away from the city and seen out in the middle of Lake Ontario giving you the chance to see its beautiful reflection on Lake Ontario.

November 8, 2020 the sun rose away from the city skyline, but still offered a golden glow to the vegetation by the shoreline. With the morning haze hovering above Lake Ontario it made for a picture-perfect opportunity.
November 26, 2019 The sun is well out in the middle of Lake Ontario but provides some great reflection photography as the surface of the water sparks with the rays of the sun shining on it.

The Toronto Sunrise Meetup

November is also the month Toronto switches from Daylight Savings Time to Easter Standard Time. On the last day of Daylight Savings Time, the sun rises at one of its latest times in the year. This is when I hold my annual Toronto Sunrise Meetup. I started the meetup in 2017 hoping to get out and photograph the sunrise with other like-minded individuals who were eager enough to get up that early. I invite everyone to come join us in the next Toronto Sunrise Meetup!

You can sign up for my mailing list by entering your email below, and you will be notified of my next Toronto Sunrise Meetup.


December in Toronto can either be the continuation of November, or we can get days with considerable snowfall. It may be unpredictable but at the same time offer some surprising photographic moments. The sun is now well away from the city in the middle of Lake Ontario which means you can time it right and photograph the Humber Bay Arch Bridge as the foreground.

December 6, 2020 Photographing pedestrians and cyclists are always fun to do. Around this time you can catch the sun rising behind them.

You can see below that it is well away from the city skyline. Because the sun rises so late now, I love going just a little earlier to catch the lights still on in the city. The glow of those lights creates a magical mood to the scenery.

December 20, 2018 you can see how far away the sun is now rising with respect to the city, as seen from Humber Bay Park West.

If you look, you’ll find other interesting foreground elements to shoot the sunrise with. Here’s a structure at Lakefront Promenade Park which I highlighted with the kaleidoscope of colours of one beautiful sunrise.

December 8, 2019 was an incredibly vibrant sunrise which I used to bring our attention to this structure at Lakefront Promenade Park.

This rounds out my sunrise series of posts by season. Be sure to check out the other seasons: Spring Sunrises in Toronto, Summer Sunrises in Toronto, and Winter Sunrises in Toronto! I hope you enjoyed this sunrise journey with me and that it may inspire you to seek out your own special moments at sunrise.

Have you photographed a fall sunrise before? Let me know what you like about it in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Fall sunrises in Toronto”

  1. Reuben Canagaratnam

    Just a note to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and information with a wider audience. Your aim to inspire others is welcoming. Keep up the great work and we do learn from you!

    1. Hi Reuben! Thanks so much for reading and letting me know! So glad to hear you enjoyed the blog and am very appreciative of you recognizing my efforts to inspire. Many thanks again!

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