A Photographic Guide to Prince of Wales Park

This small but hidden gem in the west end of the city not only offers a stellar view of the city skyline, but it also offers up an ice rink in the winter time.

In an effort to motivate more people to enjoy their natural surroundings, I’ve created a series of photographic guides to let people know what various parts of the lakeshore look like. These parks are some of my favourite locations to photograph the sunrise, but they can be equally beautiful during the day as well. The list of parks in my Photographic Guide series include:

This guide will take you through what I like to think is a hidden gem in the west end. Prince of Wales Park is a much smaller green space compared to the aforementioned parks, but it still packs a punch when you consider sunrise photography opportunities.

Heavy moss covered the rocky shoreline this morning.

Located at the end of Third Ave., south of Lakeshore Blvd in a residential neighbourhood of Etobicoke, this park is home to a public outdoor rink and some picnic tables that are scattered around the green space. With a direct view of the Toronto skyline and even a small rocky shoreline to get you right down to water-level, it’s a highly under-rated park as far as I’m concerned.

What I like most about this park is its proximity to the downtown core, yet it’s still easily accessible for those living in the west end.

Let’s take a look at the overall map and see all the points of interest for my sunrise photography.

The shoreline—albeit small—faces east so anywhere you go, you’ll have a clear view of the Toronto skyline. If you feel like incorporating the rocks as a foreground element, they are there waiting for you!

[1] Heavy moss covered the rocky shoreline this evening. This is in fact a sunset photo, but is here to illustrate that it was taken in the same spot as the leading photo, above.

Event though I’m standing in the same place for the photos taken above and below, the two evoke completely different moods largely because of my choice in lens. The wide angle lens used above creates a more spacious feel to the landscape while a telephoto lens below allows me to focus more on the city skyline while using the rocks as an interesting foreground element.

[1] Use different focal length to create different moods to your photos.

Looking in the other direction, towards southwest, an even steeper rocky shore emerges, but makes for a decent view [2].

[2] Looking along the southwest rocky shores of the park.

If I simply move further west along the shoreline, I get a sweeping view of the rocky shores that is a great leading line element [3].

[3] Moving further west along the rocky shores, we have a sweeping view of the shoreline.

And if I wanted just the horizon and water, I can look towards southeast and I will have just that [4]. In the winter, you can see the sun right in the middle of nowhere, rising all by itself. It’s actually a beautiful view. Wait for some birds to fly in front and you have yourself a fantastic moment of serenity.

[4] Birds fly in front of the rising sun.

But of course, if you prefer to include the rocks, you can do so too [4]. The rocks can be used as focal elements in practically any view around here.

[4] You can incorporate the rocks by shooting in any direction, really.

There is a chain-linked fence on one portion of the park to prevent tumbling down the steep rocky shore [5]. You can use this as a foreground element for added interest.

[5] Use existing elements like this chain-linked fence to create interesting focal elements.

The area also seems popular for swans and ducks as they spend their time here in the seclusion of the nearby bay. It’s a perfect place to perch yourself on top of the rocks with a telephoto lens, and take photos of them [6].

[6] This area is known for swans to enjoy themselves in.

If you position yourself just right, you’ll be able to frame the many birds here in the park with the Toronto skyline as the backdrop [7].

[7] Swans swim by with the CN Tower in the backdrop.

There are a few benches scattered around, while some of them having better views than others [8].

[8] One of the benches that overlooks the area.

The bench above has a great open view of the Toronto skyline while the bench below is placed right in front of trees for some reason [9].

[9] A bench that faces trees.

Beyond the bench above, we have an open green space that is used mostly for dog walkers and those out for their daily strolls. While not pictured here, beside the green space is a public rink that can be used [10].

[10] Part of the green space in the park.

You can use some of these trees as a framing element to frame the Toronto skyline, like I did below [11].

[11] Framing the skyline with leaves.

And going even further, use the tree seen above, to frame the CN Tower [11]. I used a telephoto lens to get the trees out of focus while leaving the skyline sharp during this one brilliantly-coloured sunrise.

[11] Using the tree to frame the CN Tower.

While this park may be small, it still offers a great place for photos depending on how you look at things. The challenge for me comes from having to take interesting photos in the most unlikely of places, so I enjoy seeking every angle possible in places like this.

If there’s something else you like about this park, let me know in the comments below.

Be on the lookout of my next guide, where I show you all the places that I like to photograph in. If you’d like to be notified of my next post, be sure to sign up for my newsletter.

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  1. Pingback: A Photographic Guide to Marie Curtis Park – Taku Kumabe Photography and Design

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