In terms of entertainment, cuisine, and career opportunities, Toronto is definitely one of the best cities to live in. And while there's no disputing that fact, it's unclear how many Torontonians are actually living, and how many are simply surviving from paycheque to paycheque.
Luckily, Toronto is so diverse that there's something for everyone, even the penniless. You just have to look in the right places. Here are 30 things to do in Toronto for free or for cheap ($5 or less).
1. View some beautiful plants and floral displays with your friend or S/O at Allan Gardens.
Admission and limited parking are free.
2. Listen to worldwide talent perform epic musical compositions at the Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.
Most free concerts occur at 12 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes on Wednesdays. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. The free series runs from September until late May.
3. Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario and take a look at their permanent collection of artwork.
Admission is free on Wednesday nights from 6 to 9 PM.
4. All exhibits and collections at the Aga Khan Museum are free to look at on Wednesday evenings.
Admission is free on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 PM.
5. Sit in at a live taping of Because News with Gavin Crawford.
Tickets are free. Please see website for more details.
6. Go skating at any of the public skating rinks in the city (winter).
Bring your skates and bundle up.
7. Pose for a picture (or two) in front of one of the amazing murals at Graffiti Alley.
Located at Rush Lane, just south of Queen Street.
8. Sit in at a criminal trial in one of the city's courthouses.
You can try the Superior Court of Justice at 361 University Avenue, in particular.
9. Get a good laugh at a comedy show at Chuckle Co.
Admission is only $5 on Wednesdays at 9:30 PM.
10. Play disc golf at the course set up in E.T. Seton Park.
Grab a frisbee, round up some friends, and play for free.
11. Check out some odd shoes at the Bata Shoe Museum.
Admission is pay-what-you-can on Thursdays from 5 to 8 PM, with a recommendation of $5.
12. Get inspired with The Art Bar Poetry Series.
The event is held at Free Times Cafe, 320 College Street. Admission is $5 at the door.
13. Bring your friends to one of the Gladstone Hotel's MANY free/cheap events.
There's so much going on here for $5 or for free: Music Bingo and Art Gallery Yoga on Wednesdays, live screenings of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 on Thursdays, Fameless Karaoke Nights on Fridays and Saturdays, and so much more.
14. Enjoy a good read at the Beaches Public Library.
You can also attend their free Adult Book Club on the first Thursday night of every month.
15. Peruse through the St. Lawrence Market.
You're bound to find something cool, delicious, and cheap!
16. See the art exhibits and recreational paths at Evergreen Brick Works.
The historic site is free to explore.
17. Go hiking at Rouge Park.
Hike through a selection of trails or take a stroll by the beach.
18. Get in a workout at Fred Hamilton Playground.
Located at 155 Roxton Road. Outdoor exercise equipment is available.
19. Try your luck at fishing at the Toronto Islands.
You can fish license-free May 11 – 12, 2019 (12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday), June 15 – 16, 2019 (12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday), June 29 – July 7, 2019 (12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday).
20. Catch a free flick under the stars.
This year, the Harbourfront Centre's Free Flicks Festival will be shown from July to September at its Sirius Stage on the shore of Lake Ontario.
21. Eat at one of these food places.
Meals are $5 or less!
22. Get lost in a book at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.
The library also holds a variety of book exhibitions you can check out.
23. Check out The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery for an awesome lineup of programs and events.
Admission is free all year round.
24. Go on one of these free Toronto tours presented by the Tour Guys.
Tours are free, but tips are greatly appreciated.
25. Play board games at Snakes and Lattes.
Cover is $5 and drinks aren't too expensive, either. Their decadent Nutella Latte is a must!
26. Take a leisurely stroll through Kensington Market.
There are a lot of hidden gems to discover.
27. Wander through the William Meany Maze.
It consists of 1,200 planted black cedars.
28. Watch a stage show in High Park.
The Canadian Stage puts on theatrical shows in High Park for a pay-what-you-can fee.
29. Go to a mainstage show at Alumnae Theatre.
Admission is pay-what-you-can during Sundays matinees.
30. If all else fails, play house at Ikea.
There's a huge selection of tasty meals under $5 to choose from.