Toronto clarifies rules over photos in public parks

Published On February 10, 2015 | By HN Staff | News
A permit at the Humber Arboretum is required  for student, commercial, corporate or documentary films for commercial photo shoots.

A permit at the Humber Arboretum is required for student, commercial, corporate or documentary films for commercial photo shoots.

By Shai Williamson

Taking pictures in Humber’s arboretum and public parks in Toronto is allowed, Humber News learned on Tuesday.

City worker Richard Ubbens responded to an inquiry about a policy that says anyone “must receive permission from staff before filming” at a park.

“The policy does not prohibit photography in parks,” Ubbens told Humber News.

The policy prohibits commercial photography, he said.

Taking pictures of weddings, filming television shows or anything with some sort of commercial gain requires a permit, he said.

Public relations and event manager at the Humber Arboretum Taurean Linton said the bylaw applies to the Arboretum as well.

“If someone is caught without a required permit they may have to pay the regular fee plus an extra fee, or face automatic dismissal from the property,” said Linton.

The fee for taking wedding photos in the arboretum is $200.

Linton said officials at the arboretum aren’t as firm with enforcing the policy with students. 

“Technically they’re supposed to get a permit, but we don’t know if they’re aware,” he said. “We do recognize that they’re students, so we’re not that strict.”

The Arboretum’s website states having a film and photography permit.”

Second-year photography student at Humber College, Mahalia Flake, said that she knows about the policies put in place, and agrees that permits should be used in situations dealing with commercial gain, like weddings.

“Someone who’s trying to build a portfolio or just capture the view shouldn’t have to pay to do so,” she said. “The earth is ours and why profit from it?”

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