While it may be ranked as one of the best cities in the world, Toronto is home to a mass of high-end shops, top restaurants, and luxury indulgences constantly tempting visitors and citizens alike into overspending. It’s heaven if you have money to spend, but not ideal if you’re on a tight budget. However one of the things people love about Toronto is the city’s diversity – it offers something for everyone, and that includes the penniless. Luckily there are plenty of free or very cheap ways to enjoy the city, and you may even find that you have a more authentic experience. Whether you’re on a budget or not, these ten cheap or free activities are worth checking out.
1. Galleries and Museums
You’ll find plenty of galleries and museums, of which many are free or pay-what-you-can at certain times. Check out the Art Gallery of Ontario free of charge between 6-8: 30 pm on Wednesdays. Admission to the Contemporary Museum of Canadian arts is pay-what-you-can every day, while the Bata Shoe Museum and Textile Museum of Canada both offer pay-what-you-can entry at specific times.
Toronto is home to two unique markets which are both worth visiting. Of course, shopping will cost you money, but it’s free to look around and try to score some free samples! St Lawrence market offers one of the top culinary shopping experiences in the world, showcasing the diversity of Toronto. Kensington market consists of vintage shops, quirky restaurants, and multicultural food stores.
3. Green Spaces
Toronto offers a plethora of parks, the biggest being High Park where you can enjoy a lake, plenty of walking trails and even a small zoo. The city also has plenty of trails suitable for hiking or cycling.
4. Evergreen Brick Works
Previously a derelict industrial site, Evergreen Brick Works now hosts community workshops and events, as well as art exhibitions and a weekly farmers market.
5. Distillery Historic District
A unique, pedestrian-only village boasting the vastest and best-preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture, this neighborhood is not to be missed. You’ll find one-of-a-kind stores and galleries, not a chain in site. Many people choose to explore the area by Segway!
During the summer months, the beach is a hive of activity. Visitors enjoy swimming, playing volleyball, taking a stroll up the boardwalk and sunbathing. Alternatively, spend just a few dollars to take the ferry over to Toronto’s islands to explore further.
7. Free Movies and Concerts
When the weather is pleasant, several venues around the city host free outdoor movie screenings. Public spaces also offer free concerts and festivals throughout summer.
8. Public Skating Rinks
In summer Toronto has beaches; in winter it has public skating rinks! Wrap up warm, strap on your ice skates and get going.
9. Comedy on a budget
Courtesy of Chuckle Co, you can now enjoy a comedy show for just $5 on Wednesday evenings.
10. Harbourfront Centre
The Toronto Harbourfront Centre allows the public to enjoy a range of cultural activities, free of charge!