Cheap Things To Do In Toronto

20 Cheap Things To Do In Toronto 2023

Have you ever wondered how to explore the bustling city of Toronto without breaking the bank?

Well, get ready, because we are about to embark on a budget-friendly adventure through the vibrant streets and diverse neighbourhoods of this captivating metropolis.

In this guide, I’ll unveil a curated list of “20 Cheap Things To Do in Toronto,” revealing the city’s best-kept secrets for those seeking unforgettable experiences on a shoestring budget.

From art to nature, from culture to relaxation, Toronto has a multitude of wallet-friendly options that promise both enrichment and excitement.

20 Cheap Things To Do In Toronto

1. Explore Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are a chain of small islands located just off the downtown core. They offer a peaceful escape from the city with beautiful beaches, walking trails, and stunning views of the Toronto skyline.

Tips: Purchase your ferry tickets online in advance to save time and potentially get better rates. Weekday mornings tend to be less crowded than weekends. Bring your own food, drinks, and a picnic blanket to enjoy a budget-friendly day by the water.

2. Stroll through High Park

High Park is one of Toronto’s largest and most famous parks, featuring lush greenery, hiking trails, and even a small zoo. The park is especially popular in the spring when its cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Tips: Check the High Park website or social media for updates on the cherry blossom bloom times, as they can change due to weather conditions. Arrive early in the morning to find parking and enjoy a peaceful stroll.

3. Visit Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley is a vibrant laneway filled with colorful street art, murals, and urban creativity. It’s a hotspot for both local and visiting artists to showcase their work.

Tips: Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the unique artwork. Remember to be respectful and not touch or deface any of the art. Take your time to explore the entire alley and discover hidden gems.

4. Experience Kensington Market

Explanation: Kensington Market is a diverse and eclectic neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, vintage shops, and international food options.

Tips: Visit on a pedestrian Sunday, which occurs on the last Sunday of the month during warmer months. During this time, the streets are closed to vehicles, and the market comes alive with street performances, live music, and local vendors.

5. Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library is a network of libraries throughout the city that offer more than just books. Many branches have study spaces, free Wi-Fi, and even host events and workshops.

Tips: Check the library’s website for events, workshops, and lectures that might interest you. Take advantage of the quiet and comfortable spaces to read, work, or study.

6. Free Art Galleries

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) offers free admission on Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm, allowing visitors to explore a wide range of art collections without a cost.

Tips: Arrive early to avoid long lines. Consider taking a guided tour or using an audio guide to enhance your art appreciation experience.

7. Distillery District

The Distillery District is a historic area known for its cobblestone streets, art galleries, shops, and restaurants. While some galleries and shops might have fees, exploring the district itself is free.

Tips: Wander through the district’s narrow streets to appreciate the preserved architecture. If you decide to visit galleries or shops, consider making a purchase to support local artists and businesses.

8. Harbourfront Centre:

: The Harbourfront Centre hosts various free events, concerts, and festivals along the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s a cultural hub that offers a glimpse into Toronto’s diverse arts scene.

Tips: Check the Harbourfront Centre’s website for their event calendar. Arrive early to secure a good spot for outdoor concerts and performances.

9. Trinity Bellwoods Park:

Trinity Bellwoods Park is a popular urban park known for its large open spaces, perfect for picnics, sports, and relaxing outdoors.

Tips: Bring a blanket, snacks, and maybe even a frisbee or a soccer ball. The park’s central location makes it a great spot to people-watch and enjoy the local atmosphere.

10. Free Walking Tours

Several organizations in Toronto offer free walking tours that provide insights into the city’s history, architecture, and culture.

Tips: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a water bottle, and dress according to the weather. Most tours are about 1-2 hours long and cover a specific area or theme.

11. Riverdale Farm

Riverdale Farm is a free urban farm in the heart of the city, offering a glimpse into rural life with farm animals and gardens.

Tips: Check the farm’s website for feeding times and special events. It’s a great educational experience for families and animal lovers.

12. Chinatown and Little Italy

Toronto’s Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhoods are known for their cultural diversity, unique shops, and affordable food options.

Tips: Sample a variety of ethnic foods from street vendors and local restaurants. Visit during a street festival to immerse yourself in the neighborhood’s lively atmosphere.

13. Hike in the Don Valley

The Don Valley is a green space with hiking trails and natural areas, providing a peaceful escape from the urban environment.

Tips: Research trail maps and difficulty levels before choosing a trail. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, bring water, and be aware of wildlife in the area.

14. Free Outdoor Movies

Various locations in Toronto host free outdoor movie screenings during the summer months, allowing you to enjoy classic films under the stars.

Tips: Bring a blanket or folding chairs, some snacks, and arrive early to secure a good spot. Check local event listings for movie schedules.

15. Casa Loma Gardens

While the full admission to Casa Loma might be pricey, you can access the beautiful gardens for a smaller fee. The gardens offer a picturesque backdrop for photos.

Tips: Consider visiting during the summer months when the gardens are in full bloom. The views of the castle from the gardens are also quite stunning.

16. Free Festivals

Toronto hosts a variety of free festivals throughout the year, celebrating different cultures, arts, and music genres.

Tips: Research festival dates and themes in advance. Arrive early to enjoy performances, exhibitions, and local food vendors.

17. Explore Markets:

St. Lawrence Market and other markets in Toronto offer a diverse range of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and unique products.

Tips: Visit St. Lawrence Market early in the morning for the best selection of fresh goods. Engage with local vendors to learn about their products and stories.

18. Yorkville Village Park

Yorkville is an upscale neighbourhood, and its village park offers a serene oasis amid the bustling city.

Tips: Take a leisurely stroll through the park, and then explore the surrounding area, known for its luxury shopping and charming streets.

19. Ripley’s Aquarium Discounted Hours

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada offers discounted admission during their “Sharks After Dark” evenings, providing an opportunity to explore the aquarium at a reduced price.

Tips: Check the aquarium’s website for the specific dates and times of “Sharks After Dark.” Arriving during these hours not only offers you a budget-friendly experience but also allows you to see the aquatic life in a different light with the dimmed lighting.

20. Explore Queen Street West

Queen Street West is a trendy and diverse area known for its fashion boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and unique shops.

Tips: Take your time to stroll along the street, window-shop, and enjoy the local atmosphere. Stop by independent shops to find unique clothing, accessories, and art pieces. Consider grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat at one of the cafes along the way.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Travel In Downtown Toronto?

The cheapest way to travel in downtown Toronto is by using the city’s public transportation system, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission).

You can take advantage of streetcars, subways, and buses, all of which offer affordable fares for getting around the city. Consider getting a PRESTO card for discounted fares and convenience.

If you plan to travel frequently in a day, the TTC Day Pass provides unlimited travel. Additionally, cycling, walking, and ride-sharing services are other cost-effective options for exploring downtown Toronto.

Opt for off-peak travel to save on fares and enjoy a less crowded experience. Remember to check the TTC’s website for up-to-date fare information and route details.

Is The Metro In Toronto Free?

No. The metro (subway) in Toronto is not free. It requires a fare to use. The cost of riding the subway in Toronto varies depending on factors such as age, type of fare payment (PRESTO card, tokens, etc.), and whether you’re travelling within a single zone or across multiple zones.

Final Words

As we finish our exploration of “20 Cheap Things To Do in Toronto,” it’s clear that this city has lots of affordable and exciting things to offer.

We have wandered around lively neighbourhoods, dived into art and culture, and enjoyed peaceful moments in its parks and gardens.

From the cool Graffiti Alley to the calm Toronto Islands, Toronto shows that fun adventures don’t have to cost a lot. So, whether you live here or you’re just visiting on a budget, Toronto has so much to do that won’t cost a ton of money.

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