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View Full Version : Is Toronto Photographer friendly?



Dave Krueger
04-23-2013, 01:23 PM
I am planning a trip to Toronto in late May and am wondering if photography is welcome in that city. I posted about my trip in the "Geographic Location" forum and got some great feedback about places to go and things to see, but I'm still a little curious about whether Toronto has policies toward photography that I should know about in advance.

I've read a few interesting pieces I've found on the web that I find a little disconcerting.

http://publiccommons.ca/documents/147

http://npac.ca/forums/index.php?topic=4760.0

If they have policies that make it a requirement to avoid photography at public parks without approval of city staff, then what about photographing people on the street? Are the privacy laws different in Canada than in the U.S.? What if you're photographing a scene where children are playing? Are you assumed to be a pervert? Can they seize your equipment as is suggested by the second link?

I do not do any commercial photography, but that doesn't mean that I won't someday sell a fine art print of something I've photographed. If I carry professional looking equipment or use a tripod, will it be assumed that I am engaged in commercial work and be told to stop shooting?

I'm soliciting comment and advice in the Toronto forum just to reach a slightly larger audience of folks who are familiar with the reality of shooting in downtown Toronto as a practical matter.

HTF III
04-23-2013, 01:48 PM
Now that's what I call bureaucracy. Absurd. Just take your pictures. If we all went about our lives looking for ordinances to obey, we'd all be nothing more than a potted plant.

naeroscatu
04-23-2013, 02:17 PM
Come over, take your pictures, use your common sense and you will be fine. I never had a problem taking pictures in Toronto for the last 15 years and that includes street photography and some architecture in abandoned buildings.

Dave Krueger
04-23-2013, 02:42 PM
Thanks for the reassurances. I'm really looking forward to the trip, but I also think that people view photography differently now than they did years ago. I think it's seen as being more of an invasion of privacy and tripods are often seen as a liability.

My local art museum allows photography, but won't allow me to use my monopod because the rules don't permit tripods. I have been told to stop taking pictures in places like shopping malls even though virtually everyone now carries a camera in the form of a cell phone. I woman artist once practically attacked me for taking pictures at a public sidewalk art fair and once in downtown New York City I was ordered, presumably by a security guard, not to take pictures of one of the skyscrapers. No one has ever arrested me or seized my equipment, but I'm no longer certain that won't eventually happen. I wonder what kinds of stories we'd hear if APUG had a forum for discussing such experiences.

trojancast
04-23-2013, 03:12 PM
I agree and fear that it is getting harder and will get harder to photograph whatever we feel like, as in the past. I am of the opinion that we need to be a little stoic and mix some common-sense into what we are doing. With the ever growing terrorist threats we face today, taking photographs of things like trains, airports, and some public buildings may become more difficult. Of course, photographing children not your own seems to be a definite no-no these days. I have photographed all over the world and must say that North America is still the place with the least rules. You should not have any problem while in Toronto, in spite of some of the bad press it is a very photo friendly place. Generally you should have no worries in public places. On private property I would ask permission. Have a great trip.