Living in the city can get expensive, and sometimes it can feel like just stepping out your door is going to cost you. You want to go out for a fun night but feel you can’t without spending at least 60 dollars. Well, the one great thing about being in a big city is that there is so much to offer, sometimes you just have to dig a little. Everything we listed here today will cost you 5 dollars or else to do, and there is a great range of fun things to do in. From looking at some cute animals, taking in amazing art, or just eating some good food, enjoying city life does not have to break the bank!
1. Located just a short walk from College station and in a great neighbourhood, Allen Gardens is a great first date destination or a nice family outing on the weekend. Allen Gardens is a botanical historical landmark in Toronto having been built in 1910. There are six permanent green houses hosting a large selection of exotic plants and flowers year round. Best part is it’s totally free to enjoy some banana trees and some really cool cacti.
2. Toronto’s High Park Zoo is located in, you guessed it High Park. Easy to find since it is located at the subway station of the same name, this is a little treasure in the city for any animal and nature lover. It is home to bison, sheep, emu, llamas, and the infamous capybaras. The capybaras living there dominated Toronto headlines when they escaped in the summer of ’16. Thankfully they were found and now they have actually welcomed three capy babies! The zoo is totally free, and you can get a nice hike in.
3. The Dime is located at 539 Queen Street West and is a great bar-restaurant. If you are looking for some yummy food in a hip place this is it! All the dishes on menu are 5 dollars!
4. If you didn’t think shoes were cool before, you will after visiting Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum. The museum spans across 4,500 years of footwear history. Not just fashion, but the function too. You can see everything from the styles Ancient Egyptians wore to Chinese foot bound shoes. Every Thursday night admission between 5-8 pm is pay what you can. The museum is located at 327 Bloor street West.
5. This activity is weather dependent, but on a nice day it is one of the best things to do in the city! Grab some friends and go down to Sugar Beach to soak up some sun. It’s not a long walk from Union station but you can almost forget you are downtown Toronto. There is comfy beach chairs and sand, what could be better?
6. Chuckle Co is a comedy club that’s offers 5 dollar shows every Wednesday featuring local Toronto stand up comics. If cheap comedy isn’t enough to sway you, on their website they make the claim that ‘ ALL WE KNOW HOW TO DO IS PUT ON SICK SHOWS AND PARTY, OK?’ Located at 945 Bloor street west.
7. Located near Trinity Bellwoods, The Lakeview is a hip restaurant that has the perfect deal for your weekend hangover. Every Saturday & Sunday they have 3 dollar mimosas till 5 o’clock. One part of their menu that is pricier but worth mentioning is that they offer 24/7 brunch.
8. This may come as a surprise, but there is a fully functioning farm in the heart of the city of Toronto. Riverdale farm is located near Cabbagetown, the city run farm gives you an escape from city life by walking around it’s scenic 7.5 acres. Say hello to some farm animals and look at some veggie patches. It’s good for the soul and totally free.
9. The Art Gallery Of Ontario which is a short walk from St. Patrick station has a night of free admission every Wednesday from 6 to 8:30. They have various exhibits on throughout the year to compliment their permanent collection.
10. Another weather dependent activity that you can do for free in Toronto is skating in the winter! Just go to any of the municipally run skating rinks. There are gorgeous ones in the city, two of the most being Nathan Phillips Square and the one at the Harbourfront that looks out onto the lake.
11. The Harbourfront also offers free movies in the summer! The Harbourfront Center puts on free movies at night from July to August. Ranging from current popular movies to lesser known ones, it’s a great way to spend a summer night by the lake and a great cheap date idea.
12. The Alumnae Theatre Company has made an old firehall into it’s stage. It has put on plays since its inception in 1918 by a group of women with a shared dream. Every Sunday their matinee showing is pay what you can. Take a look at their site and see what plays they have going on now!
13. Finally, one of the best things you can do in the city for absolutely free is just walk! There are so many gorgeous pockets in Toronto including Chinatown, St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market, and graffiti alley. Okay maybe it will cost you like 4 dollars if you decide to splurge on a coffee or tea to enjoy whilst you stroll this gorgeous city, but it’s totally worth it.