People at the Harbourfront in Toronto. Right: Someone at the AGO.

People at the Harbourfront in Toronto. Right: Someone at the AGO.

Newcomers to the city will be happy to know that, even though Toronto was named the most expensive city in Canada, there are still ways to save money in the 6ix.

Narcity recently asked its readers on Instagram about some free activities they'd recommend for people who are spending their first summer in Toronto, and the locals had some great suggestions.

From having a picnic at a park where you can see an epic sunset to checking out Canadian art at a gallery, there's a bunch of cheap, fun things to do in Toronto that new visitors could get into.

So if you're down to explore the city but you're on a tight budget, here are seven Toronto activity ideas that cost absolutely nothing.

Visit the Harbourfront 

Location: North end of Lake Ontario, between Bathurst St. and York St., in Toronto

Why You Should Go: This is a hotspot for both tourists and locals alike who are in the downtown core looking for some lakeside vibes.

It's got a nice walkway for pedestrians to have a stroll by the lake, as well as a bike path for cyclists.

More Info

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 be during the summer.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and have a picnic with your friends at a park that's got a spectacular view of Toronto.

More Info

Take a walk through Kensington Market

Location: North of Chinatown, see here for directions

Why You Should Go: Not only is the Kensington Market filled with various restaurants, food markets, and vintage apparel shops, but it has colourful and vibrant storefronts and street corners that could really catch your eye.

More Info

Stroll through 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 where city-goers can relax from social media and remote work.

Known for its beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring, this park is filled with tons of other attractions like flower gardens, a pond for fishing, a children's playground, and even outdoor sports fields.

More Info

Go to the Art Gallery of Ontario

When: Wednesday nights, 6 p.m to 9 p.m

Location: 317 Dundas St., W., Toronto, ON

Why You Should Go: Explore the work of both Canadian and international artists alike on Wednesday nights at the AGO, where admission to the gallery is free.

Visitors between the ages of 14 - 25 can also sign up for an annual pass that will give them "unlimited access" to AGO exhibitions for a year.

More Info

Tour the Distillery District

Location: 55 Mill St., Toronto, ON

Why You Should Go: Covered in various art installations and filled with shops and galleries, new visitors to the city can take a tour through the Distillery District.

A place made with modern designs and Victorian industrial architecture, this 13-acre district is a popular spot for everything arts, entertainment, and culture.

More Info

Paddle at various Toronto beaches

Location: Various

Why You Should Go: You'll have to nab your own kayak or canoe to do this activity, but paddling at some beaches around Toronto is totally free of charge!

There are a bunch of "launch" areas around the 6ix where people can do some paddle sports, so if you have a friend who can lend you a board to paddle on, why not take advantage of that this summer?

More Info

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

More from Narcity

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.