We’ve rounded up some fun and free things to do in Toronto any time of year to help make your next trip to Canada’s largest city more affordable and memorable! Check them out below.
Free Things to Do in Toronto Year-Round
Go on an “urban hike” at Evergreen Brick Works
Located along the Don River Valley in Toronto, Evergreen Brick Works is a revitalized industrial area that’s focused on creating a green space within an urban design for the public to explore. Evergreen Brick Works is housed in a former brick factory that attracts guests to explore free things to do in Toronto on a weekend including the Saturday Farmers Market, hiking trails, or skating at the rink in the winter.
Learn about the horticulture in Allan Gardens
Allan Gardens, one of Toronto’s oldest parks, is open to the year-round, 7 days a week. This free Toronto attraction includes six greenhouses on-site, showcasing a range of lush tropical plants to displays of arid cacti and succulents. And good news if you’re travelling with pets! Along with the botanical gardens, guests can enjoy the nearby playground and two fenced-in areas where your dog can run around off-leash. For a cheap transportation option, Allan Gardens is easily accessible on the TTC.
Go to a Toronto museum on a free evening
Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Aga Khan Museum on Wednesday evenings when admission is free to the permanent collections. The Art Gallery of Ontario has also introduced a one-year pilot program with free admission for guests 25 years and under.
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery is often high on the list of free things to do in Toronto because admission is always free for visitors.
Enjoy a free concert from the Canadian Opera Company
The Canadian Opera Company is the largest opera company in Canada. From late September to May, guests can enjoy a free performance at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Concerts range from vocal, piano, jazz, dance, chamber and world music.
Go skating at Nathan Phillips Square
Located in front of Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square is one of the most popular areas for tourists, and skating at the Nathan Phillips Square rink is one of the top free things to do in Toronto during winter. You can bring your own ice skates or rent some ($10 for 2 hours). The rink area is alive with music and lights in the evening, and this attraction is also the location of the Toronto Sign, a great backdrop for your Toronto vacation pictures!
Wander through the decorated back streets of Toronto in Graffiti Alley
You can find Toronto’s Graffiti Alley (also known as ‘Rush Lane’) in the Fashion District of downtown Toronto. Not your typical Toronto bucket list experience, you can explore over a kilometre of various street art pieces all for free (and of course, take some ‘gram pics along the way). These narrow streets have an impressive collection of Toronto graffiti art featuring some of TO’s top street artists like Uber500, Skam, and Spud, among many others. If you’re in the mood for even more street art, make sure to get yourself to Kensington Market.
See the animals at Riverdale Farm
Travel back in time to this historic ground that tells the story of life in Toronto in the 1800s. A great option if you’re looking for free things to do in Toronto with kids, Riverdale Farm is open all year long and is free for visitors. It’s also home what was Toronto’s first zoo, Riverdale Zoo, where guest can see the old structures and the zookeeper’s residence. There are plenty of great restaurants in the area, so come hungry!
Free Things to Do in Toronto in Summer
Play baseball at Christie Pits Park
Christie Pits Park is a fun and free park in Toronto’s west-end, right beside the Christie subway station on the TTC along Line 2. In addition to having three baseball diamonds that are free to use, there’s also several other sports courts, an ice rink, splash pad, and pool areas and a children’s playground. The sides of Christie Pits Park are ideal for tobogganing, so get your sled, bring your friends and family, and head here for some winter fun.
Soak up the sun at a beach along Lake Ontario
You don’t need to fly south this summer to enjoy a day on a sandy beach. Soak up the sun at one of the many beaches along Lake Ontario. From the man-made ultra-chic Cherry Beach to the popular Woodbine Beach in the east end or Sunnyside Beach in the west, there is a waterfront space that is perfect for every sun seeker.
Watch a film at an open-air film festival
See a film under the stars at an open-air film festival or catch some live improv downtown; Toronto is filled with outdoor entertainment during the summer months! Every summer there seems to be more and more film showings popping up, giving you an option to watch an outdoor movie almost every day of the week. From the Christie Pits Film Festival on Sunday night to the Yonge-Dundas Square Cinema with a live improv set from Second City Tuesdays; you’re bound to find something playing outdoors this summer and a great activity to add to your list of free things to do in Toronto.