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10 Fun and Free Things To Do When Visiting Toronto

10 Fun and Free Things To Do When Visiting Toronto

10 Fun and Free Things to do When Visiting Toronto

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Want to get the most out of Toronto while saving some money in the process?  Whether you are a tourist or a local, seeing some of Toronto’s main attractions don’t have to cost a small fortune.

Visiting the CN Tower ($48), Hockey Hall of Fame ($20), Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada ($33) or Casa Loma ($24) are some of Toronto’s main attractions, –  and can add up quickly.  But there is no need to worry.  Here is a list of 10 FREE things to do when you are visiting Toronto, that is not only fun but won’t leave you with a negative balance on your bank account.

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01.  

Allan Gardens

Have a leisurely stroll through Allan Gardens, one of the oldest parks in Toronto.  Don’t forget your camera.  Allan Gardens contains a conservatory (greenhouse), a playground and two fenced off-leash areas for dogs.  Explore rare tropical plants from all over the world the five greenhouses covering 16,000 square feet.

02.

The Historic Distillery District

Get lost in Toronto’s historic Distillery District.

Touted by National Geographic magazine as a “top pick” in Toronto.  It contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within North America’s largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture.

You won’t find any chains or franchises housed within this mostly pedestrian area.  The majority of the buildings are boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, jewellery stores and cafés, including the Mill Street Brewery.

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03.  

The Bata Shoe Museum

Whether you are a shoe lover, or just interested in quirky historic artefacts, head on over to the Bata Shoe Museum. It is the only museum in North America dedicated solely to the history of footwear.  

The museum collects, researches, preserves, and exhibits footwear from around the world. The extensive collection contains over 13,500 items from throughout history, as well as the present.

The cost of admission is usually $14.00, but FREE on Thursday evenings from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

04.

Kensington Market

 

A local and tourist favorite. Kensington Market is in the heart of Toronto, housed in one of the city’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods.

So come by for the afternoon, the evening or even longer. You won’t be disappointed!  You will find an eclectic mix of vintage clothing stores, grocers, restaurants and cafes.

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05.  

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

The Art Gallery of Ontario has a little something for everyone with over 80,000 works from the first century to the present day.

Its exhibits include the largest collection of Canadian art, with expanding works from the Renaissance, and Baroque eras.  You will find European, African and Oceanic Art on display, in addition to modern and contemporary pieces.

General Admission is $19.50, but it’s FREE Wednesday from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.

06.

Canadian Opera Company Free Concert Series

Enjoy an afternoon at the Canadian Opera Company.  The Free Concert Series is housed in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, one of Toronto’s most breathtaking and intimate spaces.

From late September to June, discover emerging, and established artists from around the world with live music in a variety of genres.

Concerts take place most Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and some Wednesdays at noon or 5:30 p.m.

Join the line early,  admission is on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited.

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Image Source: Neal Jennings from Toronto, ON, Canada – DSCN5247 

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Photo by larrywkoester

07.  

Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square is a unique focal point in the heart of downtown Toronto.  This public square is surrounded by other major Toronto landmarks, including Toronto Eaton Centre, Ryerson University, Ed Mirvish TheatreAtrium on Bay and the City-TV Building.   

This bustling intersection is one of the busiest in Canada and hosts music, film, and community events.  Best of all, they are almost all FREE.

At night, the square is continuously illuminated by large billboard screens, which has led to comparisons with   New York City’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.

08.

St. Lawrence Market

A favorite among locals and tourists alike, spend the day in what has been touted the world’s best food market according to National Geographic. 

With over 100 vendors, bakers, butchers and artisans to explore.  Try your luck at the Sunday antique market with rare finds and unique gems.

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Photo by codepo8

09.  

Harbourfront Centre

Spend the day at Harbourfront Centre, with year-round indoor and outdoor sprawling 10-acre waterfront.

It is a premier destination for cultural and art festivals with fun for the whole family.

10.

Edwards Gardens/Toronto Botanical Gardens

If you are in North Toronto, make sure to visit Edwards Gardens and Toronto Botanical Gardens.

The Toronto Botanical Gardens, coined “The little garden with big ideas”, is nearly four acres and features 17 themed “city-sized gardens”.  The site is adjacent to Edwards Gardens, a former estate garden featuring perennials, roses wildflowers, and an extensive rockery.

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Photo by denisbin 

What are some of your favorite free things to do in Toronto?  Which of these 10 free things to do in Toronto stands out to you?  Let me know in the comments below.

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