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13 Best Free Things To Do In Toronto

free things to do in Toronto
Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

While planning a budgeted holiday trip, everyone wants to know about the exciting free things to do at any place. Some of the free things to do in Toronto will be seen in this article.

Even if you are not planning, you would love to go to Toronto after reading this article. Or, if you are a resident there, you can easily enjoy these free things to do in Toronto whenever you wish to.

What’s Special About Toronto

Toronto, the vibrant city is situated at the side of Lake Ontario and is the capital city of Ontario. The city is a huge trading center in Canada. People love to visit this city to experience the amazing skyline, beautiful islands, and epic views of several landmarks.

Toronto is a multicultural city and has something to offer to everyone. For nature lovers, there are many fascinating beaches and parks. There are several art galleries, theatres, and museums for art lovers. For food lovers, Toronto is packed with the most authentic restaurants in Canada. And for fun lovers, there are numerous bars, nightclubs, sports centers, and amusement parks.

Out of these things, there are many free things to do in Toronto that one should know about.

Free Things To Do In Toronto

Do not forget to do these free things when you are in Toronto. You are surely going to remember them for your entire life.

1. Toronto Botanical Gardens

Photo by Jeffrey Eisen on Unsplash

Experiencing the natural beauty at Toronto Botanical Garden is one of the best free things to do in Toronto. The Gardens are always open, and entry to them is free.

Comprising 17 beautifully themed gardens, this spot has its beauty and importance. This is a perfect spot to take your kids and engage with them to know and learn more about the gardens and get a detailed insight into plant life.

The colourful planted beds, grass swaths, and trees spread all around create a pleasant atmosphere. The garden is also attached to the Edwards Garden. There is also a cafe to have snacks, coffee, or icecreams. Overall, it’s a great idea to visit the Toronto Botanical Garden free of cost. Also, a

Location: 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M3C 1P2

2. Nathan Phillips Square

Another amazing attraction is Nathan Phillips Square, an urban plaza in downtown Toronto opposite City Hall, where you can have a good time without paying for it.

Yes, the iconic Toronto sign makes people crazy for a selfie. It looks very attractive at night with bright lights and fountains. Post your live video or selfie clicked with the big, colourful Toronto sign there immediately on social media and tell everyone that you are in Toronto.

In winter,r you must not forget to enjoy ice skating inside. Several events and free concerts are also organized there throughout the year. Several events and free concerts are also organized there throughout the year.

Location: 100 Queen St. West, Toronto, M5H 2N1

3. The Magnificent Museums

Toronto is a large city with several magnificent museums; entry to many of them is free.

Royal Ontario Museum

This place is one of the best to visit with numerous galleries set on the five floors, including unbelievable exhibits of dinosaurs, mummies, space, science, and history. You can learn more about the arts, culture, and history of Canada and other parts of the world in a very entertaining way. You will get all this in the museum free of cost.

Location: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, M5S 2C6

Gibson House Museum

Gibson House Museum is also allowing free entry. This is a historic house museum depicting the Gibson family’s story. Designed in Rennaissance style, it looks fascinating with beautiful architecture and decor.

It is very well-furnished and maintained with private rooms, a music room, a library, etc.

Location: 137 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116

Aga Khan Museum

Though there is ticket entry at Aga Khan Museum, they also offer free entry on Wednesdays and other occasions. This museum is an example of Islamic and Iranian historic arts and architecture.

Several exhibits showcasing many cultural objects, sculptures, and art galleries define Muslim culture.

Location: 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario M3C 1K1

Apart from these museums, some more museums that add to our list of free things to do in Toronto. These are the Art Gallery of Ontario, Spadina Museum, Market Gallery, Mackenzie House, Scarborough Museum, Fort York National Historic Site, and a few more which allow free admission.

4. The Stunning Beaches

Photo by Jeffrey Eisen on Unsplash

If you are willing to relax under nature, have special moments with your partner, or want to have lots of fun playing with your kids, visiting Toronto beaches could be among the best free things to do in Toronto.

Spend your best time with your family and friends without paying for it. Some of the most beautiful beaches you that must try are

Woodbine Beach

Woodbine is a Blue Flag-certified flag and a perfect spot to visit in the summer. Its beautiful, curvy coastline, incredible scenery, and clean water attract visitors. Its huge sandy area has many volleyball courts. Also, there is a boardwalk and a cycling pad.

It provides all the amenities like changerooms, accessible washrooms, bottle-filling stations, showers, and a free parking area.

Location: 1675 Lake Shore Blvd East, Toronto, Ontario M4L 3W6

Gibraltar Point Beach

Gibraltar Point Beach is a lovely beach on the Toronto islands with immensely beautiful surroundings. With very soft sand, this beach is quite good for walking. Enjoy birdwatching and some peaceful moments on this beach.

Location: 425 Lakeshore Avenue, Toronto

Cherry Beach

Cherry beach is a gem among the Toronto beaches. The place is famous for boarding, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and other water activities. The beach looks beautiful, with picnic tables and BBQ facilities, surrounded by greenery.

You would love to watch the kiteboarding and surfing there free of cost. Dogs are also allowed there.

Location: 275 Unwin Avenue, Toronto, M5H 2N2

Sugar Beach

Sugar beach is a gem among Toronto beaches. Chill in its scenic beauty with your partner or family. You will find colourful umbrellas and wooden benches everywhere on the beach for people to relax.

Several events are also organized there. Enjoy people-watching or sunbathing on a sunny day on the beach.

Location: 11 Dockside Drive, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1B6

5. Markets

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Another of the most interesting free things to do in Toronto explores the Toronto markets. It costs nothing to explore the markets. You don’t have to pay unless you buy something. If you have enough time, you must stroll around these popular markets in Toronto.

Toronto Christmas Market

If you are supposed to be in Toronto in winter, you must experience the bright and beautiful Toronto Christmas market in the Distillery District. If you want free fun there, you should go only on weekdays. On weekends you will have to buy entry tickets.

The market looks attractive at night with lots of colourful lights and decorations. There are various shops for gifts, food, cookies, bakeries, and cards. Several live shows are held there to entertain visitors.

You will also spot the amazing flower show and the Santa Clause parade organized in the market.

Location: 373 Front St. East, Toronto, M5A 1G4

Kensington Market

Visit Kensington market and get the Bohemian vibes all over. Visitors come to this market for its vintage clothing shops and international foods. The market contains several shops, independent stores, bars, cafes, and restaurants.

This is Toronto’s most vibrant market and symbolizes the multiculturism of the city.

Location: Kensington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5t 2K2

Lawrence Market

St, Lawrence Market is also free to explore and enjoy people-watching. This market is well known for specialty food shops and historical influence. There are around 120 vendors.

This is amazing, and you would love to hang out with your family or friends.

Location: 92-95 Front Street East, Toronto, M5E 1C4

6. Canadian Opera Company

One of the best things Toronto is to enjoy a free performance offered by the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, the largest producer of outstanding operas in Canada.

Enjoy its lunchtime free concert series. It offers free concerts and live performances at Four Seasons Centre. Some music events are also organized there that are completely free. This is where you can witness a wide range of talent in one place, including top singers and A-class artists.

7. Parks In Toronto

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If you are a nature lover, you must have a pleasant time in Toronto’s charismatic parks for free. Some of the best parks you can try are

High Park

High Park is the best and largest park in Toronto. This beautiful green space allows you to plan a picnic with your family on holiday.

The park provides sports facilities, playgrounds, a zoo, gardens, and swimming. It also provides a facility for parking and a separate space for dogs.

Entry to the High Park Zoo is completely free. You will find several unique species of birds and animals there, including llamas, bison, emu, and peacock. Enjoy its multiple hiking trails and natural beauty.

It is a perfect spot for kids to have fun playing tennis, basketball, and many sports. This huge park is easily accessible and a delight for all its visitors.

Location: 1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M6P

Toronto Island Park

Another free park in Toronto is Toronto Island Park which consists of four main islands. The fascinating views of the Toronto skyline and landscapes from this park are amazing.

There is a little fairground for kids to play and many amusements ride in the park. Sit and relax on the park bench and enjoy people-watching or birdwatching in this wonderful park, all for free. You can also have fun while boating on the beach.

Location: 9 Queens Quay West Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2H3

Trillium Park

Trillium Park is another park in Toronto that gives you all the fun and excitement for free. It is a government-owned park with trails and landscapes. Beaches and beautiful views of the surroundings.

You can enjoy the lovely scenery, wildlife, greenery, sunset, or sunrise. There are picnic tables, benches, and chairs for people to relax. Several interesting events are also held there, including Cinesphere, musical shows, and much more. A perfect spot for families or couples to spend some leisure time.

Location: 955 Lake Shore Blvd West, Toronto, M6K 3B9

8. Distillery District

Photo by Renuka Wenger on Unsplash

Take a free walking tour to the Distillery District and learn more about the culture and history of Canada. There are many things for you to entertain all along the pedestrian way in the district situated in downtown Toronto.

This amazing place attracts everyone from foodies to shopaholics. Various restaurants, cafes, bakeries, grocery stores, local shops, vintage clothing shops, and other attractions exist. Even if you don’t want to spend money, you can enjoy walking and strolling the market or exploring its interesting shops.

And if this is not enough, the Distillery District has several events and cultural and art performances at different times of the year.

9. Queen Street West

Photo by Sean Thoman on Unsplash

One of the most interesting free things to do in Toronto is to explore the dynamic Queen Street West, in the heart of Toronto.

This is a popular historic area and a hub of the latest trends and technologies combined with cultural backgrounds. It costs nothing to explore its markets’ busy streets and learn more about its fashion trends and interests.

Queen Street West allows visitors to window shop at several boutiques and gift shops. Numerous restaurants and cafe shops offer the best foods and drinks. Also, there are many vintage shops, fashion showrooms with high-profile brands, local vendors, shops, galleries, and many other attractions.

Witness the vibrant nightlife at Queens Street. This is undoubtedly among the liveliest destinations in the neighbourhoods of Toronto. You can also enjoy several entertainment shows or live musical performances.

Location: Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario

10. Graffiti Alley

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Experiencing the beauty of art at Graffiti Alley is also among the best free things to do in Toronto. And if you love street art, you are at the right place.

You will see the amazing works from various artists done all over the walls. Street art is allowed there, and Graffiti Alley is the place that gives several street artists a platform to display their art.

It is not much long area to cover, hardly takes 10 to 15 minutes to walk down. The Alley displays several portraits of vibrant colours, including animals, cartoons, and different strange figures that always draw your attention.

Location: South of Queens Street, Toronto.

11. Evergreen Brick Works

Evergreen Bricks Works is a huge hub developed by transforming some heritage buildings into multicultural and advanced public places. It is a famous spot that has attracted millions of visitors from all over the years around.

You not only experience the various artworks, natural beauty, and relaxing space, but it also allows you to demonstrate daily life issues and their solutions.

One more attraction is the Saturday Farmers Market. It is considered to be the biggest farmers’ market in Toronto. It provides a large variety of local and seasonal food the local food producers. The market is open throughout the year.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy some of the outdoor activities there. Try skating in one of the best rinks of Toronto at Evergreen Brick Works or reach the top of the Lookout path to get the top view of the CN tower and the city’s skyline. Have fun while cycling and hiking in its natural environment.

There is a beautiful nature park, trails, public markets, a children’s garden, and lots more to explore. You can also participate in several events, conferences, and debates and learn new things and ideas about city life, business, education, and the government.

Evergreen Brick Works is a unique place that offers fun, knowledge, and entertainment.

Location: 550 Bayview Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto

12. Lavishing Malls

To relax in a cool and vibrant atmosphere, you must visit some of the best malls in Toronto. Entry to the malls is free; you can relax and hang on there for as much time as possible while exploring the showrooms and checking out the latest trends.

Toronto Eaton Centre

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Toronto Eaton Centre is a beautifully designed and one of the largest malls in Toronto. Apart from over 240 stores, there is lots of space in the mall for people to sit and relax. The mall has air conditioning, lighting, and ventilation facilities.

The Eaton Centre has many stores for food, grocery, clothing, shoes, accessories, books, household items, fashion for men and women and a kid’s section.

You will also spot many famous designers’ collections there and the latest fashion trends. The mall also has some nice restaurants if you wish to eat or drink.

Location: 250 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2H1

Fairview Mall

Fairview mall is another big mall in Toronto that you can enter for free. Though inside the mall, you will have to buy things for money, it’s unnecessary every time you go to a mall to purchase something.

You can go to the mall with your friends and chit-chat with them in its relaxing and chilled atmosphere. Or you can explore the stores to know the new trends and enjoy. You can also take benefit of discounts in the off-season.

Fairview is one of the biggest shopping malls in Toronto, with more than 180 stores of local and branded products. You can have some great at mall restaurants or fast-food centers.

Location: 1800 Sheppard Ave. East, Toronto, M2J 5A7

13. Wonderful Hiking Trails

Photo by Jeffrey Eisen on Unsplash

Toronto has numerous hiking trails free for hiking lovers. The amazing trails and hikes serve you with natural beauty, mesmerizing views, beautiful landscapes, and peaceful surroundings.

Rouge National Urban Park

Rouge National Urban Park is a beautiful destination for hikers, with about 19 hiking trails to offer. Entry to the park is free.

Some of its best trails are the Mast trails, Orchard trails, Vista trails, Rouge valley Creek trails, and others. All the courses are well-maintained and provide a good spot for walking, birdwatching, and hiking.

Location: Zoo Road, Toronto, Ontario, M1B 5W8

Kay Gardener Beltline Trail

The trial is one of the best trails in Toronto. Enjoy a pleasant walk or go cycling under the shady trees. Running through midtown Toronto, this place very popular among hiking lovers. As it is a bit challenging in summer and winter, it is quite normal to walk through it.

Overall, the Beltline trail gives you an adventurous and memorable experience.

Location: Allen Road to Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto

Conclusion

Have the most wonderful and budgeted holidays in Toronto. The list can go on, but here we have shortlisted the best spots you must visit in Toronto that are completely free.

Written by Pragya Chakrapani

Freelance content writer and copywriter.

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