October 8, 2020

By: Emilie Lapointe

For those who are into photography, you may be feeling a little uninspired during these times (I know I certainly was). But whether you’re into landscapes, architecture or portraits, there are many spots around Oakville that will satisfy any shutterbug.

The following spots make for a great Instagrammable moment:

Gairloch Gardens (1308 Lakeshore Road E)

I had to put this one on my list because it blew my mind when I visited. The term Gairloch is a Gaelic word that means “short lake,” which is fitting as the public garden features sweeping views of the lake. There is so much to explore and photograph on this property: trellises coiled with roses, fountains, ducks, a book sharing mailbox and the waves crashing against the rocky barrier. During my visit, I would flit from one floral section to another amazed at all the variety. This is a perfect local spot to spend an afternoon with your camera!

The Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens (1308 Lakeshore Road E)


Art credit: Elizabeth McIntosh "Show Up"

While you’re visiting the garden, make sure to plan ahead and reserve a visit to the Oakville Galleries property on the gardens. The gallery and it’s rotating art and exhibits are housed in a Tudor style home – it’s interior is simple and elegant featuring ornate crown mouldings and crisp white walls that really allow for the art pieces to take centre stage. The gallery is free and open to the public. Their current exhibit Show Up is full of colourful pieces from Canadian artist Elizabeth McIntosh and can be enjoyed until November 29th. Take some photos like that iconic scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off standing in front of an art piece and pondering!

Sixteen Mile Creek (Parking at 1033 Skyvalley Crescent)

Sixteen Mile Creek

Now that we’ve entered fall and the leaves are changing colour, a hike along Sixteen Mile Creek’s trails is an excellent local photo opportunity. Along the trail, you’ll be greeted by several kinds of birds, lower lookouts of the creek, locals fishing and painted rocks hidden all throughout. Not only is there the obvious beauty of the fall colours right before your eyes, but all these tiny details that make this trek a hot spot for photos.

Erchless Estate (8 Navy Street)

Oakville Museum

This 1.6-hectare historical lakefront estate was built in 1835 and was later restored and turned into what is now the Oakville Museum. The estate is incredibly charming with its landscaping and black exterior window shutters. The property is perfect for taking architectural shots and landscape shots, and acts as a gorgeous background for portraits. Check out more on the estate’s historical background and significance here: www.oakville.ca

The Gardens at Erchless Estate (8 Navy Street)

Just behind Erchless Estate, nestled between the estate and the docking harbour, there’s a seemingly innocuous cobbled path that leads down to the water lined with the most gorgeous and aromatic flowers. This is truly a hidden gem as the path is somewhat hidden and quite short, but it’s a perfect secret garden to capture some photos!

Lakeside Park (2 Navy Street)

Lakeside Park

Oakville is filled with many picturesque parks, there is no wrong choice when it comes to capturing photos. One of my favourites is Lakeside Park because of its view of the Toronto skyline in the distance. On a clear day you can see the CN Tower piercing through the sky. The park is large and a short walk from Downtown Oakville, which makes it a great spot to grab a lunch on-the-go before a photo session!

Lions Valley Park (2417 Fourth Line)

Lions Valley Park

Lions Valley Park was one of the first outdoor areas I explored and photographed in Oakville and it does not disappoint! There’s a large picnic pavilion, playground and several trails that follow along Sixteen Mile Creek. As you enter the park there’s a massive cement overpass that is a great photo opportunity to highlight that industrial/natural contrast. The park’s flora and fauna can be captured all around!

Bronte Creek Provincial Park (1219 Burloak Dr.)

Not only is Bronte Creek Provincial Park a great spot for a picnic, there is also so much to explore on the park grounds. The 6.4-square kilometer park is part of the Ontario Parks system and boasts hiking and biking trails, cross country skiing and a red barn that serves as a great autumnal-looking fixture in any photo background.

The Pink Wall (392 Kerr Street)

Take a walk, bike ride, or drive down Kerr Street and you can’t help but notice a pink wall on the side of a variety Store. The wall has a little Americana touched with an old school Coca-Cola advertisement, but there’s so much free pink space if you want a clean pop of color for a portrait. This is much like the famous pink wall in Los Angeles that people line up to get a photo in front of, but without the lines or hassle!

The Sail Stage (Bronte Rd. x Ontario St.)

This unique landmark is often used to host outdoor summer concerts, but it's also an amazing backdrop for stunning photos. Take in the vast landscape or keep it abstract with the swooping curves and parallel lines of this gorgeous installation.