1. Royal Botanical Gardens | Burlington 

While this venue may have the word garden in its name, there is so much more to experience here! There are gardens, of course, that provides the perfect backdrop for your warm spring or summer wedding. It doesn’t stop there, though, there are trails to explore which provide an especially beautiful venue for fall weddings or engagement pictures when the trees turn into a scene of rich reds, yellows and oranges. What’s even better is that these gardens always have flowers in bloom so your big day will always an absolutely stunning background when shooting here. 

The one downside to this location is that you do need to get a permit to photograph here. This venue does reserve Saturdays for weddings, in 3-hour timeslots so if you want to have your wedding pictures here (and Saturdays are the most popular day for weddings) you know you will have more time to get the pictures done you want. 

As a Burlington wedding photographer, I strongly recommend this location if you are looking for an extraordinary spot that’s reasonably priced.

 

the best time to take pictures: sunset & sunrises, for engagement photos, avoid weekends

photography permit: A permit is $67.80. Visit Royal Botanical Gardens website to find out more about available locations and to submit a permit request

 

 

2. Dundurn Castle

Is there anything more romantic than having your wedding or engagement pictures taken in a historical castle? In Hamilton, there is a beautiful 18,000 square-foot castle that took over 3 years to build, completed in 1835. This castle is owned by the City of Hamilton so the public can go and visit or take a tour through the building. 

The castle operates currently as a civic museum, but the green spaces outdoors is a favourite for local wedding pictures. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunset or sunrise during weekdays, mornings on the weekend

photography permit: the purchase of a $190 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time. You don’t need to buy a permit for engagement photos or wedding photos involving less than 10 people. No matter the size of the party for photography you will still need to book a time to shoot here.

 

 

3. McMaster University | Hamilton

Did you and your fiancé meet at McMaster while you were both students? Or maybe you both work here so the school holds a special place in your heart. McMaster University is an iconic landmark to the city of Hamilton, and its buildings are absolutely beautiful. This campus will provide you with an old, historic backdrop to your modern love story. Taking your wedding or engagement pictures on this campus is a great way to incorporate a special place into the pictures you’re going to be looking at for years. 

 

the best time to take pictures: weekend nights, while students are not present on the campus

photography permit: The purchase of a $109 permit is required for all outdoor photography. Visit McMaster University Website to submit a permit request

 

 

4. Bayfront Park | Hamilton

This park is located near downtown Hamilton, with access to the water’s edge of the harbour and natural areas of shrubs, trees and wildflowers. There are also many benches and picnic areas, along with an amphitheatre with natural grass. If you’re looking for natural and simple pictures, emphasizing you and your partner’s love of the outdoors this is definitely a fantastic location. Since it’s close to downtown, it’s easily accessible and you can mix natural pictures with industrial ones just by walking a few blocks. 

 

the best time to take pictures: early mornings

photography permit: you don’t need a permit to take pictures here

 

 

 

5. Paletta Mansion | Burlington

Located in Burlington, this mansion sits on 14 acres of lakefront property. Inside, there are 7 fireplaces throughout the 11,000 square-foot building. There is also a park right on the water that is gorgeous for outdoor pictures. This private, intimate location that is nestled in a big city will give you beautiful pictures you will cherish for years. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise and sunset, avoid weekends nights

photography permit: to book a photography permit for this location, you will need to visit the City of Burlington website

 

6. Princess Point Trail 

This trail has beautiful views of the bay and the surrounding area around Cootes Paradise. This location also allows dogs (on a leash) so if you wanted to include your four-legged best friend in your engagement pictures this would be a great place. The setting for this is very natural and casual so it would work well for couples who enjoy the outdoors and want a more relaxed feeling to their pictures.

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise or sunset, weekdays are less busy

photography permit: There isn’t a fee for shooting here and you don’t need a permit

 

 

7. Spencer Smith Park + Village Square | Burlington

This park is located on the waterfront of downtown Burlington and it has a spectacular view of the water. There are also a number of family activities, so if your engagement or wedding pictures are including kids, or maybe your family spends a lot of time at this park and it’s special to you, then this might be just the location for you. The extra-wide promenade here gives plenty of room for group pictures while still allowing for water in the background. 

When you enter Village Square in the heart of downtown Burlington you feel like you transported yourself to one of the European streets. It was designed in the tradition of a turn-of-the-century town square, Village Square unites historic architecture with modern lifestyle elements.

 

the best time to take pictures: early mornings

photography permit: For both the park and Village Square, you will need to obtain a permit to photograph but it is easy to submit this request on the website for the City of Burlington and Village Square.

 

 

8. Collective Arts Brewing | Hamilton

If you and your fiancé enjoy the industrial look of your pictures, this brewery might just be the best location for your wedding or engagement pictures. The building of this brewery has amazing, breathtaking murals on the outside that provide amazing backgrounds for your pictures – especially all of the colours against the stark white and black of traditional wedding attire. 

 

the best time to take pictures: contact Collective Arts Brewing to find out when will be the best time

photography permit: you don’t need a permit to shoot outside, but you need to schedule a tour if you want to take pictures inside the brewery

 

 

9. Liuna Station 

Whether it’s the Italian marble floors, the gorgeous walls of oak panelling or the Versace draperies this location will definitely make your heart skip a beat. The revitalization of this property has left no detail untouched, and it is now an architectural masterpiece that is a testament to the experience of rail travel from years ago.

The outside of this venue is just as stunning as the inside, and your pictures here will definitely have a unique fell. 

 

the best time to take pictures: early mornings, evenings

photography permit: you will need to contact the property to determine if you can photograph here. You don’t necessarily need a permit, but you will need to confirm if there’s another event happening

 

 

10. Hamilton Beach

The harbour signalling point in Hamilton gives an especially gorgeous venue for pictures at sunset. The boulevard gives plenty of space for walking and getting pictures with the water in the background. There is also a trail along Hamilton Beach that goes right along the edge of Lake Ontario. This trail is flat so it makes it very accessible and easy to arrange photoshoots on. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any day of the week. In the summertime avoid weekends, as there are many people spending time on the beach

photography permit:  you don’t need a permit to do your pictures here

 

 

11. Shaver and Tiffany Falls

Why taking pictures at one fall, if you can visit two? Shaver and Tiffany are 20 minutes hike apart, so you can take both pictures at the falls and the Bruce Trail. If you are not that much into hiking, both have limited parking spots.   

 

the best time to take pictures: weekday mornings

photography permit:  you need a permit, which is only approved on weekdays

 

 

12. Gage Park | Hamilton

Gage Park is a multi-functional park located within the City of Hamilton. It has been home to many concerts and even a public ice rink in the winter. There is also a beautiful gazebo that is perfect for intimate and relaxed pictures in a natural setting. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any weekday. For weekends, make sure there are no events happening at the time of your photo session

photography permit:  You will need a permit to do a photography session in this park, and you will need to secure a permit from the City of Hamilton

 

 

13. Ancaster Mill | Ancaster

Right outside of the Ancaster Mill is a stunning waterfall where a bridge runs over a small pool of water bringing you into the mill itself. The grounds here also have beautiful greenery and pathways to walk so you have so many options for taking pictures. Inside the mill, where weddings are hosted, gives an intimate feel to any pictures taken. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any weekday. For weekends, make sure there are no events happening at the time of your photo session

photography permit:  You will need to contact Ancaster Mill to get a permit to take your pictures and potentially book a time for your session, depending on if another event is happening here

 

 

14. Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum: Captain Cootest Trail

This is one of my favourite trails in the area. If you are into hiking and nature, you will definitely love it. The trail is a diverse sanctuary with 10 breathtaking lookouts, many creek crossings and horticulture collections. You will meet there birds eating out of your hand, white-tailed deers, chipmunks and snakes. There are some hills, ups and downs, so comfortable shoes are a must. 

 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset on weekdays, early mornings on weekends

photography permit:  Visit Royal Botanical Gardens website to find out more about available locations and to submit a permit request

 

 

15. Whitehern Historic House and Garden

the best time to take pictures: weekdays, early mornings on the weekend’s

photography permit:  The purchase of a $200 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time.