7 Best Free Things To Do If This Is Your First Summer In Toronto, According To Locals
Newcomers to the city will be pleased to know that despite Toronto being named Canada’s most expensive city, there are still ways to save money at the 6ix.
Narcity recently asked their readers on Instagram for some free activities they would recommend for people spending their first summer in Toronto, and the locals had some great suggestions.
From a picnic in a park where you can watch an epic sunset to perusing Canadian art in a gallery, there are plenty of cheap, fun things to do in Toronto that new visitors could explore.
So if you want to explore the city but are on a tight budget, here are seven things to do in Toronto that cost absolutely nothing.
Visit the harbor front
Location: North end of Lake Ontario, between Bathurst St. and York St., in Toronto
Why you should go: This is a hotspot for tourists and locals alike who are in the city center looking for some atmosphere by the lake.
It has a nice walkway for pedestrians to stroll along the lake, as well as a bike path for cyclists.
Check out Riverdale Park
Location: 550 Broadview Ave., Toronto, ON
Why you should go: If you’re looking for a sunset photo of the city skyline for the gram, Riverdale Park East is the place to go in the summer.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and have a picnic with your friends at a park that offers spectacular views of Toronto.
Take a stroll through Kensington Market
Location: North of Chinatown, see here for directions
Why you should go: Not only is Kensington Market filled with diverse restaurants, food markets and vintage clothing stores, but it also has colorful and vibrant storefronts and street corners that might catch your eye.
Stroll through the high park
Location: 1873 Bloor St., W., Toronto, ON
Why you should go: From picnic areas to nature trails, this green gem is a place for city-goers to unwind from social media and remote work.
Known for its beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, this park is packed with countless other attractions such as flower gardens, a fishing pond, a children’s playground, and even outdoor sports fields.
Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario
When: Wednesday evening, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
Location: 317 Dundas St., W., Toronto, ON
Why you should go: Explore the work of Canadian and international artists alike on Wednesday nights at AGO, where entry to the gallery is free.
Visitors between the ages of 14 and 25 can also purchase an annual pass that grants them “unlimited access” to the AGO exhibitions for a year.
Tour the distillery district
Location: 55 Mill St., Toronto, ON
Why you should go: New visitors to the city can take a tour of the Distillery District, which is covered in various art installations and filled with shops and galleries.
A place of contemporary design and Victorian industrial architecture, this 13-acre district is a popular place for arts, entertainment and culture.
Paddle at different beaches in Toronto
Why you should go: You’ll need to grab your own kayak or canoe to do this activity, but paddling on some Toronto beaches is completely free!
Surrounding the 6ix are a number of “launch” areas for people to practice paddling. So if you have a friend who can lend you a board to paddle with, why not take advantage of that this summer?
Before you set off, check out our responsible travel guide to help you be informed, safe, smart and most importantly, respectful on your adventure.