Polson Pier is a great alternative to the islands to shoot the Toronto skyline. While not as easily accessible by transit, you can park nearby and get a great view of the skyline.
If you go in the evening, as I did that day, you will get the sun setting behind the city. It’s also a good spot for sunrise, especially in winter.
It can be a busy spot, so I’d recommend getting there early and finding your spot. Beware of the wood boardwalk, it shakes easily when people walk on it 🙂
In terms of composition, I think the main dilemma is whether to include the pier in the foreground. Clearly, I went that way for both my shots! I also decided to use longer exposures to smooth out the water and put the focus on the city.
If you’re in Toronto, this is a good spot to hang out in the evening 🙂