Here we report the photophysical and sensing properties of the aqueous solution of meso-tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin toluene sulfonate (TMPP) for simultaneous detection of toxic metal ions in an aqueous medium by using different physiochemical methods such as UV-vis absorption, steady state and time resolved fluorescence, stopped flow, and cyclic voltammetry. The steady-state absorption and fluorescence spectra in organic solvents (EtOH, DMSO, DMF, MeOH and ACN) showed the formation of monomer form (λ = 426 nm and λ = 654 and 715 nm). In THF and water, different spectral features were recorded suggested the formation of aggregated forms in both solvents. The formation of aggregated form in water was confirmed by recording the remarkable fluorescence quenching of the singlet excited TMPP with increasing the concentrations of TMPP. In cationic micelles (CTAB), both the absorption and fluorescence spectra were significantly decreased with increasing the concentrations of CTAB with a break at CMC value at 6.0 × 10 M. In an anionic micelle (SDS), the CMC value was found to be 1.0 × 10 M. Upon interacting with different metal ions, the absorption and fluorescence spectra of TMPP showed different features depending on the metal ions. While the optical studies of TMPP showed no significant interaction in the presence of Mn, Co, Ba, and Ni, TMPP showed that it can function as a single optical chemical sensor for the toxic metal ions in water, particularly Hg, Pb, Cu, and Cd ions.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.