The best photos of 2021

From Truth and Reconciliation to artists to watch and live performances, our photographers pick the year's best photos


Nick Lachance

An evening vigil remembers the victims of Canada’s Residential schools system in Toronto, July 1, 2021.

Nick Lachance

Nicole Clark stands on her Jeep to photograph the Massey Hall sign as it is turned on for the first time since 2018 on Wednesday November 24, 2021.

Nick Lachance

Toronto artist Luna Li in NOW’s Yorkville offices for our cover shoot.

Samuel Engelking

Timothy Yanick Hunter, the AGO’s artist-in-residence, worked on bringing his COVID project, the digital exhibition True And Functional, into the museum in 2021.

Samuel Engelking

Iconic record shop PlayDeRecord brings back the music during the pandemic.

Samuel Engelking

Moss Park encampment lays bare Toronto’s shelter crisis.

Samuel Engelking

Food justice advocate Cheyenne Sundance, shown here as part of our Black Futures Month cover, helped sow new seeds in the land sovereignty movement.

Samuel Engelking

Grape Crush owner Nancy Chen was part of the city’s new bottle shop trend.

Samuel Engelking

Tiny Mile’s Geoffrey robots change the game for gig workers.

Samuel Engelking

The pandemic made us more socially connected online but pulled us further apart in 2021.

Samuel Engelking

Avleen Kaur was an artist to watch in 2021. Her first solo exhibition opened at Cry Baby Gallery in March.

Samuel Engelking

Sex online went viral in 2021 with OnlyFans.

Samuel Engelking

Catherine Hernandez’s book helped usher in Scarborough’s creative renaissance in 2021.

Samuel Engelking

Anonymous artist Renaissance turned the streets of Toronto into a gallery during the pandemic.

Nick Lachance.

After officially being canceled, an unofficial Halloween street party broke out on Church.

Nick Lachance.

Gordon Lightfoot reopened Massey Hall with a performance on November 26, 2021.

Nick Lachance

Fan Expo 2021 was a more than usual masked affair.

Nick Lachance

The Beaches performed the inaugural show on the Lemmon Stage at the newly-reopened El Mocambo in November.

Nick Lachance

Zombies come out swinging during the 2021 Zombie Wrestling match.

Nick Lachance.

Twelve thousand Canadian flags mark Remembrance Day outside the Manulife office on Bloor, November 11, 2021.

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