Toronto Guides

Free Things To Do In Toronto

Your Guide For Free Things To Do In The City

Written by Jordan Carter

Whether you’re on a budget or are just looking for something fun to do in Toronto without spending any money, we have you covered. Toronto is a diverse city with plenty of things to do, and places to see.

The best thing about Toronto is that it can be explored alone, with your friends, explored on a date or even with your family! In this article, we’ll explore some of the city’s best things to do for free (minus the cost of transportation to get there). This way you can enjoy everything the city has to offer without breaking the bank


High Park

1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

High Park is Toronto’s go-to for anyone looking to enjoy a bit of nature without leaving the city. It’s a massive green space that offers everything from scenic hiking trails and picnic spots to a free zoo and playgrounds. Seriously, you can spend the whole day here and not get bored.

Come spring, the park becomes a hub of natural beauty with the cherry blossoms in full bloom, creating a stunning backdrop for leisurely walks. Regardless of the season, High Park is always buzzing with life, offering everything from summer Shakespeare in the Park performances to serene strolls along Grenadier Pond. The best thing about it? It’s completely free, making High Park an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy the outdoors without spending a dime.

One thing to note though is that parking can be pretty difficult to find at the park’s peak hours during the day on the weekend, so we actually recommend taking the TTC here and getting off at High Park Station.

 

AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario)

317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4

Next on our list is AGO, also known as the Art Gallery of Ontario. Every Wednesday evening, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) opens its doors for free, offering a unique opportunity to explore its extensive collection without the cost. From 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, visitors can immerse themselves in a diverse range of art, from stunning Indigenous works to contemporary pieces and classic European paintings. 

This initiative makes art accessible to all, encouraging everyone from art lovers to curious newcomers to engage with the creative world. It’s a perfect midweek break to experience the richness of Toronto’s art scene, proving culture and creativity in the city are available to everyone. This one is great if you’re looking for a creative last-minute date idea, or if you’re just looking for something to do after work with family or friends on a Wednesday night in Toronto.

Kensington Market

Neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario

Kensington Market is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood in Toronto that’s perfect for anyone who loves to explore on foot. This busy area is a treasure trove of unique shops, diverse eateries, and colorful street art, making it a fascinating place to spend a day without spending much money at all.

Strolling through the market, you’ll find everything from vintage clothing stores to international grocers, offering a glimpse into the city’s multicultural fabric. The market also hosts a variety of free events throughout the year, including outdoor music and art shows. Bellevue Square Park, located right in the heart of Kensington, is a great spot to relax, people-watch, or enjoy a picnic with food picked up from local vendors.

Every corner of Kensington Market invites you to dive deeper into Toronto’s diverse culture, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the city’s vibrant community spirit without breaking the bank.

Nathan Phillips Square

100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N1

Nathan Phillips Square is another great place to check out if you’re looking for something free to do in Toronto.  It’s home to the iconic Toronto sign, a must-see for visitors and a popular backdrop for photos. The square surrounds the impressive City Hall, an architectural marvel worth exploring, with its unique design and public spaces.

Stroll along it’s raised catwalks, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the energy of the city, with locals and tourists alike soaking up the beautiful scenery. The square is a prime spot for people-watching, giving you a real taste of Toronto’s diverse population. 

Throughout the year, Nathan Phillips Square hosts various free events and festivals, adding to its appeal as a gathering place where you can experience the city’s pulse firsthand. Whether you’re snapping a photo by the Toronto sign, admiring City Hall, or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, Nathan Phillips Square offers a slice of Toronto life that’s accessible to anyone and everyone.

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The Beaches Toronto

Neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario

Toronto’s beaches are another great escape within the city, offering sandy shores and a laid-back vibe against the backdrop of urban life. From the popular Woodbine Beach with its wide expanse of sand and bustling boardwalk to the more serene Balmy Beach, there’s a stretch of shoreline for every mood and preference.

Wandering along the beaches, you can indulge in sunbathing, swimming, or even join in on a game of beach volleyball at one of the many courts that are set up in the summer months. The Beaches area, especially along Queen Street East, is lined with charming cafes and shops, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll or a quick bite with a view of the lake. It’s also a fantastic spot for simply relaxing, as locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy the water and the warmth.

Whether you’re looking for a place to take your family, hang out with friends, or just take a peaceful walk by the water on the boardwalk, Toronto’s beaches offer a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of city life, all without costing a dime.

Yonge Dundas Square

1 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 2R8

Yonge-Dundas Square is Toronto’s very own Times Square, illuminated with lights, digital billboards, and non-stop action. Right in the heart of downtown, this place is always alive, whether it’s with street performers, bustling crowds, or free concerts and events happening on the regular.

It’s the ultimate spot for soaking in the city vibe, with endless options for shopping, dining, and entertainment all around. Plus, people-watching here is top-notch; you’ll see a mix of locals rushing about their day and tourists taking it all in. Yonge-Dundas Square is more than just a crossroads; it’s where Toronto’s energy and diversity are on full display, making it a cool place to hang out without spending a penny, plus it’s just a stone’s throw away from Toronto Metro University (TMU), which is another cool place to walk around and explore, even if you’re not a student!

Scarborough Bluffs

1 Brimley Rd. S, Bluffers Pk Rd, Scarborough, ON

scarborough bluffs

This one is a little bit of a ways outside of the Toronto core, but worth mentioning because it’s an amazing option for a place to explore for absolutely free. The Scarborough Bluffs stand as a stunning natural wonder on the eastern edge of Toronto, offering breathtaking views of Lake Ontario from atop towering cliffs. This scenic spot is perfect for nature lovers and photographers seeking a picturesque escape from the city’s urban sprawl.

Paths and lookout points along the Bluffs provide ample opportunity for leisurely walks or picnics with a view. Down at the base, the beaches offer a more intimate experience with the water, ideal for a quiet day of relaxation or exploration. The Bluffs are a testament to Toronto’s diverse landscape, showcasing the city’s unique blend of natural beauty alongside its urban heart. Whether you’re up for a day of adventure or just need a tranquil spot to unwind, the Scarborough Bluffs are a must-visit, easily accessible and entirely free.


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