Polson Pier in a Polar Vortex by Helen Suk in Polson Pier, Toronto

This is Polson Pier, one of the most prized locations from which to shoot photos of the Toronto skyline. Most photographers and Instagrammers know of this area on the harbor, but visitors wouldn’t think or know to come here. In fact, it’s so desirable as a photographic location that some Torontonians will visit repeatedly at different hours of the day to capture the perfect image of the dramatic skyline and CN Tower at sunrise, sunset and the blue hour on a clear day. On this particular morning, I braved the -20 degree celsius (-4 degree fahrenheit) temperatures, precarious winds and icy conditions with friends to snap this shot with my iPhone. It reminds me that, even in a polar vortex, Toronto is still beautiful. I nearly gave my fingers frostbite and twisted my ankle, but it was worth it.

Name:Helen Suk

Freelance travel writer, photographer and blogger


Experiencing the world through people, places and food.

Tell us about Toronto:

Multiculturalism is a principle entrenched in our country’s constitution (a cultural mosaic as opposed to a melting pot) and there’s no other city in Canada that embodies it more than Toronto. It’s reflected in the rich medley of our imported cuisines: From my home, every type of ethnic food from Ethiopian to Cuban is just 20 minutes away. And diversity is celebrated at the many cultural festivals that take place throughout the year. It’s what gives our city its international flavor–and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A perfect day?

Sleeping in on a Sunday morning and indulging in eggs benny and coffee at one of the many top-notch brunch spots in the city. Then an afternoon of wandering the streets, parks and alleys to find undiscovered photographic hot spots.

What is the best thing about Polson Pier?

It offers the opportunity to capture photos of the city skyline that will make your friends jealous.

What is the worst?

Toronto is cold enough in the winter, but it’s freezing near the lake.

What would be surprising about Toronto to an outsider?

Half of those who live in Toronto are not Canadian-born. Staggering statistic, isn’t it?

If Toronto was a person or character who would it be?

Olivia Chow, a progressive, well-loved member of Parliament who just decided to throw her hat into the race for Toronto Mayor this year. If anyone can drive Rob Ford out of City Hall, it’s her.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Steve McCurry, Marcus Bleasdale and the late Timothy Findley.




Name:Helen Suk


Favorite place to eat:

Pizzeria Libretto

Favorite place to drink:

Balzac’s in the Distillery District.

Favorite shop:

Mountain Equipment Co-op

Local Tip:

For the best views of the city skyline, visit Polson Pier or Toronto Island.

Must Do: