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Toronto city skyline reflected in Lake Ontario on an overcast morning.

Cityscape Lights

30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100

The city lights looked vibrant as ever on this gloomy morning in Toronto. I drove out to the city's east end to get a view of it from afar, across the waters of Lake Ontario. It was nice to step out of the chaotic city atmosphere on this busy weekday morning.

In frame here is the downtown core of the vibrant and diverse urban jungle that is the city of Toronto. Behind the skyline of colours and lights is a massive town full of car traffic, hurrying pedestrians, and the constant megalopolitan buzz filling every bit of space in between. Which you hardly notice while you're picking up your coffee, racing to make it through the yellow light, or struggling to keep track of your peripherals while crossing the street to catch a bus. So when you find yourself standing on a pier across the lake, staring at the reflection of this not-so-distant reality, you're suddenly overwhelmed with tranquility, being outside of this cluttered and action packed place.

This may be my favourite spot for a wide-angle cityscape view. Close enough to the core that you can swim across and touch it (hypothetically) but far enough that the buzz of its forever bustling atmosphere is muted. The multi-coloured Lego blocks of condos, banks and hotels are in perfect arrangement from this angle. If you get out here early enough, you'll likely be alone; interrupted only by the sound of birds and a cool breeze over the water. Of course, there's a slight chance of this serenity being disrupted by noise of the adjacent boat dock, helicopter pad, or everlasting construction zone... But you get the point.

The water that morning was calm, the air super crisp. Wintertime is ideal for these shots - the cool air makes for the clearest view and the most vibrant colours. The slight ripples on the water were blurred by the half-minute exposure I set, leaving only some streaks on the lake surface, left by the occasional bird touching down.

The CN Tower was lit up in its traditional Canadian red and white that morning. Of course, it's able to take on pretty much any appearance it wants, as you may have seen in some of my other shots of it here. The top of the tower is another neat spot you can get out (up) to for some perspective and tranquility!

CN Tower lit up in Canadian red and white colours at sunrise in Toronto.

Top of the Tower

1 sec, f/8, ISO 100


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