A Local’s Guide:
The 10 Best Cheap Things to do in Toronto
The heart beat of a nation, the city of Toronto embodies the very best that Canada has to offer. Toronto’s diverse population and youthful hustle has this city buzzing and at the top of “world’s best city” lists year after year.
That being said, it can be a little expensive to experience a world-class city if you don’t know where to go and what to do. This is the perfect list to get you off the beaten path and into the mix. Here’s 10 cheap yet awesome things to do in Toronto on a shoestring budget.
Hang out at the Harbourfront (Free)
No trip to Toronto would be complete without a stroll down to the waterfront. Built on the banks of Lake Ontario, the city stretches out with park space, art installations, music venues, bars and restaurants. Grab a seat on the park bench by the docks and watch life go by. Perhaps the best place to get a glimpse of what metropolitan life in North America’s most dynamic city is like.
Let’s Play Ball! Upper deck for the Blue Jays ($10-$20)
Toronto is a city that loves it’s sports teams, and the Toronto Blue Jays are no exception. The team is in the very fibers of the city, and since winning the world series back to back in the nineties has fielded several competitive squads. Take in the game from the cheap seats in the sun with a beer and hot dog in hand. If you love sports, then you’ll love the skills on display. If you love a good time, you’ll love energy of the crowd and the lively ambiance. DJ’s spinning tunes, fan friendly contests and of course, the seventh inning stretch sing along.
Explore Toronto’s History in the Distillery District (Free)
The Distillery District is an excellent place to spend the day. The pedestrian friendly zone is catered to window shopping and sun soaked patio lunches. Indie stories line the cobblestone streets and red brick buildings. Previously a large whiskey distillery, today the district is home to countless events, eateries and Toronto’s best Christmas Markets.
Step up your Instagram game up with the iconic Godderham Building (Free)
When it comes to architecture, the Godderham Building is one that stands apart from the rest. Mere blocks from the financial district, the flatiron of the north is a historic 19th century building anchoring the east end. Behind the building are parks and fountains, ideal for sitting down with a coffee and people watching.
Take it Easy in Trinity Bellwoods Park (Free)
Trinity Bellwoods is the jewel of Queen West. Toronto locals flock to the park to chill and hang out when the weather is nice. Playing frisbee, throwing around a ball, playing tennis or watching a beer league baseball game. You’re sure to see the coolest of the cool in the park celebrating birthdays, catching some rays, and getting a buzz on a warm summer day.
Ride the Rocket ($3.25/adult)
It may be crowded, and at times hot and behind schedule, but its also the cheapest way to get around. Locals can’t stand it, but the necessity is undeniable. Ride the street car to get from east to west on King and Queen or take the Subway along the Bloor and Yonyge lines. As a tourist, it’ll get you everywhere you need to be on the cheap.
Check out Toronto’s Street Artists in Graffiti Alley (Free)
Just south of Queen West before King Street is Graffiti Alley. Adjacent to the fashion district, Toronto’s graffiti artists create murals of immense creativity and colour. Snap some photos of the street art in a short detour to lunch or when shopping further west.
Get on Island Time on the Toronto Islands ($7.50/adult)
It may not be the Caribbean, but Toronto has got islands. Beaches and island vibes of a different kind. Jump on the ferry and hang out on the island all day. Cool off in Lake Ontario and soak up the sunshine while overlooking the expansive Toronto cityscape.
Windowshop on the coolest street in Canada, Queen West (Free)
Canada’s coolest street is the home of media, arts and entertainment, fashion and cuisine. Walk at your own pace and check out the legendary Much Music studios, boutique shops and high end stores. Check out indy stores and up and coming brands in the hustle capital of Toronto. This is where Toronto energy truly comes to life.
Go Bargain hunting in Toronto’s Hippie Haven, Kensington Market (Cheap)
Last but certainly not least is perhaps Toronto’s most well known neighbourhood. Swing by for pedestrian Sundays when street traffic is restricted and you can browse casually on foot. Cafes, thrift shops, surplus stores, bars and restaurants are in high concentration with live music and street performers. You can spend an entire day here soaking up the energy and hippy vibes within this modern metropolis.