Toronto on a Budget: 15 Fantastic Free Things to Do in the City

SanjanaAnanya Sreen
Sanjana Ananya Sreen Things to Do
16 Min Read
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Toronto is a city of more than 6 million people, with more than 140 lingual populations and diverse dialects, meaning it has multiple cultures and is known to be one of the world’s cosmopolitan cities.

It is also a spot to do a bunch of stuff for fun, and you can find many free things to do in Toronto.

Here are 15 things to do or 15 places to be for a free and fun experience in Toronto. These include Canadian art places, stunning buildings, coffee shops, and activities like biking around Portland Street.

1. 15 Free & Fun Things to Do in Toronto

1.1. Walking Around Cherry Beach

Toronto’s hectic lifestyle can take a toll on your life, which is when Cherry Beach comes to the rescue.

Cherry Beach can offer you a beautiful and serene place to be and walk around, sit, or enjoy a picnic lunch.

Washrooms and rooms for changing are also available at the beach, and on a weekday, you won’t find a crowd around.

So, if you are visiting Toronto for a trip, walking around Cherry Beach on a busy day is a must.

1.2. Visiting Downtown Toronto – Kensington Market

Downtown Toronto is part of the old Toronto district. You can find numerous things to do here for free, like gazing at art galleries, food shops, or boutique shops.

Exploring Kensington Market will give you a view of so many Victorian houses. While wandering in the streets of Kensington Market, you can also have some coffee or anything else to drink in the coffee shops around the Market.

It is a very short walk from Chinatown to Kensington Market. The market offers you a varied kind of environment, including hole-in-the-wall bars, galleries, little cafe shops, and record stores.

Heritage Minutes: Kensington Market

You must visit Towering Gardiner Expressway, under which the citizens of Bentley have turned the place into a local, open art gallery kind of a place.

The Bentley area is always open, so you can visit anytime you feel like it. Several things like community events and concerts are also available to enjoy without spending money.

1.4. Saint Lawrence MarketBring Your Camera

On the Saint Lawrence Market, you can take tons of views, memories, and one hell of an experience and inspiration, safe in your camera.

This market has been under construction since 1803, so you may feel the history around the market. This is both an indoor and outdoor market.

You can also buy some pieces of art to take back with you or not if you are planning on a tight-budget trip.

For all the foodies, it also has food stalls, restaurants, and classic stalls selling Canadian souvenirs like bottles of Maple syrup. So beware that it will be hard to resist the delicious food in the market.

St. Lawrence Market - Toronto, Canada
From DepositPhotos

1.5. Spend a Day at Harbourfront Center

While the winter is kind of silent around Toronto, Harbourfront comes into play during summer. The Harbourfront locals celebrate art, food, and more on warm days.

You can take a ferry and explore the islands around you more. Lake Ontario has around 100 islands people residing, you can explore that area as well.

You can also treat yourself to an evening at the Toronto Harbour Lighthouse. The place will provide you with an amazing scenario of Toronto City, and the Lighthouse itself would be an incredible place with a great view, too.

1.6. Explore High Park on a Low Budget

High Park has everything from a park to a lake to a lighthouse; High Park is one incredible place to be in a short time and on a low budget.

It is right outside Downtown, so you can plan to visit the park after walking downtown. The high park has activities to keep you busy for a whole day. Parks and nature don’t add to the extra cost as well.

Fence and trees along a walkway at High Park, in Toronto
From DepositPhotos

One thing to experience in the parks or gardens of Toronto is those cherry blossoms. That time of the year gives you an extraordinary feeling of being grateful to be alive.

You can explore gardens and have a picnic area to enjoy your day for free.

At the High Park Zoo, there are both paid and free shows to attend. You can opt for a free trip and go to High Park Amphitheatre for free.

1.7. Click a Picture with The Toronto Sign

Talking of free things, you can’t be charged for clicking your selfies or pictures. Visit Nathan Phillips Square, near the City Hall of Toronto, and have a must-captured moment at the Toronto sign.

If you visit Toronto and don’t click here, you didn’t come to Toronto.

If you are an ice baby, an Ice skating rink is also available in winter. The area is quite warm and conveniently located, so if you feel hungry, you can eat and take a break.

Toronto sign board
From DepositPhotos

1.8. Gift Your Eyes, Graffiti Alley

The Graffiti Alley, again, is also very conveniently located around downtown, making it easy for you to spend your day there.

Street Art Gallery of Ontario has room for every street art fanatic. If you consider yourself one, don’t miss out on graffiti art for free!

Give your eyes and Instagram some Graffiti glam they deserve. Buy yourself some time, and click pictures here as well.

1.9. Don’t Disappoint Your Ears

You have gifted your eyes with the art of a lifetime, but it is time for your ears to be treated. Toronto is a big music city with a rich music environment; with it comes free music for people to enjoy.

Music fanatics can find their way to the Canadian opera company‘s organized opera concert series at Richard Bradshaw Theatre on Wednesday evenings.

You can also go to Music Garden, a spot for the free jazz concert experience.

Toronto Music Garden Blossoms Relaxing City Garden Walk Piano Music

1.10. Meet People

Make connections while you are traveling. Visit a meet-up spot and meet people with similar interests. Share the trip deets of all the free things to be done and gain more in response.

You can also meet people at the bar or a restaurant. Join them for outings or other plans outside. Making connections will help you in the longer term as well.

1.11. Attend Events

Schedule your Toronto plan in the times of spring and summer. This duration includes free concerts, events, and more around Toronto.

In Toronto’s High Park, you can attend and experience Shakespeare plays by a Canadian Stage Company company. You can attend it for free.

The Seaton Village, located downtown, is decorated to be a place of open music festivity. This unique music event happens every year in June, only for one day.

1.12. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum in 4K - Full Tour - Toronto Ontario Canada

The Royal Ontario Museum presents art, nature, and culture across the ages and worldwide.

The museum covers everything from ancient Egypt to dinosaurs. It also has a section that showcases the era of dinosaurs and the beginning of the time.

Even though the museum charges on normal days, on every third Tuesday of every month you can visit the place for free.

This event is named the Third Tuesday Night Free. But you will still need to book tickets for the place.

You should also visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada since Hockey is a religion for all Canadians.

It is a must-visit place even if you are not a hockey fanatic; you can get to learn about the sport and all the most significant players.

1.13. Biking for Some Body Movement

You have already walked around Toronto for free; let’s go biking for free. Toronto also has great infrastructure for it.

Along with experiencing different Toronto city halls, Toronto islands, Toronto museums, and Toronto botanical gardens, you will get a chance to experience the Toronto neighborhood.

There are a lot of beautiful trails around the areas of Queen Street East and a waterfront trail at Humber Bay. Explore the city on wheels.

1.14. Explore the Toronto Botanical Garden

A virtual guided tour of the Toronto Botanical Gardens

One spot for all age groups has to be the Botanical Gardens. It has free entry to the grounds and gardens.

The garden provides an impressive display of 17 themed gardens spread over 4 acres of land, which has also been rewarded. It takes approximately 2-3 hours to cover this 4-acre land.

The Botanical Garden has been designed to educate and inspire the audience. There are both indoor and outdoor learning experiences regarding the plantations.

The Toronto Botanical Garden is known as The Little Garden with Big Ideas. The place has an organic Saturday farmers’ market, garden tours, an intensive library, and nature day camps.

The Western Family Library that this place is home to is Canada’s biggest library on its lands. The library has been designed to depict themes like plant species, urban agriculture, landscape design, etc.

The collection library contains reference materials, historical books, magazines, journals, and rare books.

You might find DVDs as well. Anyone can visit the library, but only a few, like library members, have the right to borrow books or other materials from the library.

1.15. Go Back in History at The Distillery District

Distillery District, Toronto, Canada
From DepositPhotos

Talking about the neighborhoods, the Distillery District is also among one of the best areas in Toronto. The place is surrounded by cafes, galleries, coffee houses, and restaurants after being renovated.

While the restaurants and cafes will surely charge money, you can roam around this historical district for free!

The Distillery District is a distinct neighborhood with around 40 heritage buildings.

What makes the district an unusual place is that it goes back in time. The distillery historic district welcomes you with astounding architectural beauty and brings exciting entertainment sources, top restaurants, and amazing coffee shops to the table.

The place also once became a place for film producers to work. The area was never empty; it was always used for something else.

It was finally the time that, after being a place for film production, investment was made for it to become the most beautiful place it is today.

This neighborhood is a preserved history, and as soon as it was renovated and opened again, it instantly became one of the most beloved places in the city.

In December, the place also gives set to the Toronto Christmas Market. This is an incredible neighborhood for the outdoors, eateries, and more.

2. Some Must-Visit Places in Toronto

Toronto can give you one big experience by including paid and free things.

2.1. The Four Seasons Centre

Toronto also has a masterpiece called Four Seasons Centre, a theatre for performing arts. The theatre has been open since 2006 and presents opera and ballet performances with the best quality walls.

2.2. Aga Khan Museum

On the grounds of Toronto stands an artistic building representing the art collection of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, representing art collectibles from the history of Muslim civilization to the present day; the building is known as the Aga Khan Museum.

Aga Khan Museum has classrooms, reference libraries, restaurants, galleries, and an Auditorium. It is home to 1000 objects, an all-time collection including rare and extraordinary masterpieces of varied materials and styles belonging to different durations of humankind’s existence.

2.3. Eaton Center

Well, there is also a place where you can only spend if you want to: Eaton Center! Eaton Center is a shopping mall in Toronto that welcomes tourists daily.

Shopping may not be among the free things, but you can always go window shopping, and you can also purchase anything you like; it depends on you.

[4K] 🇨🇦 Toronto Eaton Centre Full Walk | Shopping Mall Walking Tour | Downtown Toronto Canada

2.4. Riverdale Farm

If you have already been to gardens and parks but haven’t gotten enough of nature, you can visit Riverdale Farm. It is a working farm where you can get proper exposure to farm life, like raising goats, sheep, chickens, cows, and more.

Various flowers and herbs are also present, along with wood-based areas and ponds.

3. Toronto on A Budget

Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, has a lot of places where you can save money and learn about the city’s history.

From the natural beauty of High Park to the Distillery District’s historical treasures, Toronto invites locals and visitors to enjoy its diverse offerings without reaching for their wallets.

You can do anything and everything in a budget-friendly trip to Toronto. Even if you are a city resident, you can use all the above free and fun activities in Toronto points to experience and explore the city more and elevate weekend fun.

Last Updated on by Ananya Sreen

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