Through my lens: Ali Inay’s Montréal

Lynn Habel

Can you fall in love with a city? We see it happen all the time. People come to visit or study and are charmed by the people and dynamism of Montréal. That’s exactly what happened to photographer and Instagrammer, Ali Inay.

Ali is a Montréal photographer and avid coffee lover best known on Instagram as @inayali by his almost 85,000 loyal followers. He also founded @MtlCafeCrawl to celebrate the beautiful independent coffee shops in Montréal and to support local businesses. This attracted the attention of other coffee shop lovers, creating a community that has now posted over 80,000 photos tagged #MtlCafeCrawl.


Born in Turkey, Ali came to Montréal in 2011 to study, first completing a degree in engineering, then a master’s degree in economics. As a student, he fell for the city and started applying his talent for photography to showcase the architecture and everyday life in the Plateau, Mile End, Little Italy, Saint-Henri and downtown – wherever the hottest new coffee shops popped up.

He also has an unquenchable thirst for travel and his talent as a photographer and content creator caught the attention of a number of major destinations; he has done numerous projects with Tourism Thailand, Destination Canada, Destination BC and, of course, Tourisme Montréal. He was also approached to create content for other international brands such as Google, Toyota, BMW and KitchenAid.


But he always comes back to his first love: the streets and coffee shops of Montréal and the people who bring them to life. In his takeover of Tourisme Montréal’s Instagram account, Ali is going to take us exploring his favourite places and hidden gems to show us, through his lens, the city that stole his heart and that he calls home.

Lynn Habel

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