When there is a season change, conveniently so does my hair, wardrobe, makeup and pretty much how and where I spend my money. It's not hard to get caught up in all the tangible change, resulting in a minor dent in your wallet. You want to treat yo self, but you feel like you shouldn't treat yo self. But then that defeats the whole purpose of treat yo self. Do you see the dilemma here?
Luckily, Toronto is a booming place filled with surprises (under $35 surprises to be precise), so you and your BFF's won't have to worry about missing out on some much-needed bonding time this fall. Whether it's eating out, attending workout classes, drinking fishbowls or AYCE brunch, you'll want to consider taking a peek at these super cool options. Step awaaaaay from the Netflix.
Here are some great 'treat yo self' ideas for under $35 around Toronto:
I fell in love with this Spanish tapas restaurant the first time I went. Specifically, I fell in love with their sangria. Hands down - best sangria I have tasted in Toronto. Their Blanca sangria is topped with blueberries and fresh peaches and the sweetness of the peach juice is so truly good that I can't stop drinking it. It's a good thing that they have half price pitchers on Tuesdays. In fact, they have drink specials EVERY day of the week! Check it out here.
This cute Queen St. spot is open every day of the week and if you take a gander at their Instagram page, you'll probably fall in love with all the types of cacti and adorable succulents they sell. For me, it took approximately 4.7 seconds to google "how to build a succulent terranium."
At Dynasty, they sell so many cute plants ranging between $5-$12 and they're all different sizes between 1 inch to 4 inches. All you have to do is bring your own vessel (you can find glass vessels at Canadian Tire, Walmart or Dollarama for super cheap) and whatever accessories you want to fit into the bowl. If you already have soil, bring it with you and their friendly staff will help you properly pot the plants. If you don't have cactus soil, they sell it by the bag (1 gallon for $18) in store! They also sell a range of cute accessories at their store for you to include in your terranium. For a small-medium sized terranium, it shouldn't be more than $35.
Heard of Cibo Wine Bar? Yep. Known for boozy banter and delicious wines. On Sundays, they have this adorable little brunch special with ALL YOU CAN EAT freshly made pasta, omelettes, pastries, waffles, pizza and fresh salads. They also have a giant parmesan cheese wheel. The best part - it costs only $35 for a giant snazzy dining room filled with delicious food stations. Bottles of prosecco and rosé are also half off!
If you and your BBF's are chocolate fiends, this is the perfect spot for you. Hot chocolate + fall weather? I'm in- say no more. This dessert house is the perfect spot to indulge and feed that sweet tooth, since Cacao 70 has been around for a number of prestigious years. I always feel unusually classy whenever I walk in, considering their menu ranges from $7-$20.
If you live in the city, you'll know how hard it is to find a good nail salon that offers quality pedicures for under $35. Most places in Markham or in the suburbs outside of Toronto offer a mani + pedi for $30! I've gone to many places downtown and this salon beside the Eaton Centre (Nails For You - 109 Dundas St. W) is not only the cheapest, but it actually offers decent pedi's. For only $25 CASH, you get a full pedicure with everything you want done.
Cafe Bora, a popular chain restaurant in Korea, is finally coming to downtown Toronto. Cafe Bora has locations spread in Korea, Thailand and even LA-- and Toronto's location has opened in luxurious Yorkville, at Yorkville Ave. Imagine: you with your purple-hued desserts, snapping a IG pics while sitting on top of the infamous Yorkville Rock. The best part - their beautiful desserts range from only $5-$10.
Some people forget that food at Warehouse restaurants are only $5. For tacos and wings and maybe a kale caesar, you really can't complain over $5. There are several spots in Toronto scattered across interesting Toronto neighbourhoods, so you'll never run out of stores to window shop before or after grabbing a meal here. Plus, the vibe at all Warehouse restaurants is pretty brazen so it makes for a casual and affordable bar snack.
I just started doing this - you get 2 weeks free and it includes 30 credits (about 5-6 workout classes). You just have to sign up online (Facebook embedding makes it so easy nowadays) and you get to attend awesome fitness classes for free! A class at Bolo is a great place to start!
After the 2 weeks, your membership will AUTOMATICALLY renew to $65 a month (same idea as Apple Music & Spotify), so if you don't want to pay the membership, be sure to cancel your plan. If you cancel the same day as your subscription, the cancellation is effective immediately. Time to get that sexy bod you've been dreaming about!
Sometimes massages don't always cost $150 per hour. There are sooooo many places in Toronto's Chinatown that offer foot massages for $30. I'm a huge fan of foot massages even though I'm a bit ticklish... wearing heels will certainly ruin your feet but I can't help myself they are too beautiful. If you're on your feet all day, at the gym a lot or only have $500 worth of massage therapy with your work insurance per year, you'll probably benefit from this.
Zhen Zhen offers 30-minute foot massages for $25 and Bamboo Garden Health Centre does it for $30. You'll obviously have to have lower expectations because this isn't like, the salon Kim Kardashian is frequenting. It is, nonetheless a good spot to relax after a tough workday.
If you don't own a bike in Toronto, a day pass with Bike Share is only $7! You get 24-hour access to unlimited 30-minute rides. Once you go over 30 minutes, you will be charged $4 for every extra 30 minutes of trip time. To avoid these charges, simply dock the bike up before your 30 minutes is up and unlock another to continue riding! This is a very cost-effective way to get around the city, plus it gets you and all your friends exercising and enjoying the outdoors!
This is a more relaxed activity option but for $8 entrance fee, you can't really complain! Plus, they have hilarious game options like What The Meme, Cards Against Humanity and much more. Snakes & Lattes is a super fun and casual spot for larger groups.
This spot at Polson Pier lets you go for an exciting ride on go-karts for $3 per lap, or $27 for 30 minutes (you can do 17 laps in 20 minutes). They have a promotion going on right now called their fall weekday bonus, if you buy the Manager's Special (20 minutes for $27) they will give you 10 more minutes for free! Time to put your helmet on!
Who also loves brunch? At Toronto's beloved Starving Artist, you can get most menu items for under $15. There's the odd $17 dollar menu item for things like smoked salmon, but you can virtually eat for twenty bucks including taxes and tips at this brunch spot. My favourite brunch meal is the Blueberry & Ice Cream Waffles with fresh blueberries, ice cream, butterscotch and fresh whipped cream. Drool. Oh, and it's only $7.
I absolutely love flower markets. I love keeping fresh flowers in my apartment because there's just something about that grey and street-style Toronto vibe that somehow creeps into your home. What better way to freshen the condo with a bouquet of flowers?
The Toronto Flower Market supports Ontario grown flowers & plants and connects florists and growers within the busy city. This outdoor flower market has amazing steals and beautiful blooms and it's your last chance to see them before the harsh Canadian weather hits. The market season runs monthly from May through October, and October 6th and 20th are the last days to visit this year!