Turn your trip to Toronto into jam-packed days of discovery by enjoying some of these fun, cheap things to see and do.
Bond Place Hotel , close to Dundas Square.
Hotel Victoria Downtown, excellent location.
Super 8 Downtown Toronto, comfortable and value-packed.
Holiday Inn Express Toronto – Downtown, free hot breakfast bar.
If you have your heart set on seeing the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, the Toronto Zoo and Ontario Science Centre do them all on the cheap by getting yourself a Toronto CityPASS. This is an awesome thrifty thing to do—you’ll save over 40% on the combined, regular admission price for these five attractions. Whether you’re travelling alone, as a couple or as a family it’s hard to beat the value of the Toronto CityPASS. To learn more about what the Toronto CityPass has to offer, check out the short video below.
Another great way to save on local fun things to do in Toronto is to check Groupon, the money-saving website that features local discounts in 150 cities. Visit the Toronto Groupon page and you’ll find savings of anywhere from 40-90% on tours, boat cruises, theatre tickets, comedy clubs, activities, events, dinner spots and accommodations. The Groupon Toronto page is a smart place to check out when you’re first planning your trip and even when you’re in the middle of your Toronto visit because new deals get added weekly and even daily many times.
If you love design a wonderful, cheap thing to do in Toronto is to spend an afternoon at the Design Exchange, Canada’s only museum that’s focused entirely on design excellence. Explore and admire many design disciplines including furniture, architecture, interior and industrial design, digital design, graphics and fashion. The museum’s collection offers lots of cool stuff to see, including products, projects, themes and features on designers themselves. Plus, there are thought-provoking, rotating exhibitions and the space itself is an inspiration too. Admission is $15 for adults.
The MZTV Museum of Television is like a specialty channel dedicated to the evolution of the TV. Not only is this thing to do in Toronto, cheap–it’s fun too.Every where you look are funky televisions from days gone by. See veneered and bakelite sets, rare ones like the Baird Televisor—you may even spot your parents’ first boob tube! Some great memorabilia from TV shows gone by, too. Check out this museum for just $6 per adult.
For hockey nuts, no visit to Toronto is complete without heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Displays to see include over 30 NHL goalie masks, jerseys and equipment worn by the game’s stars, a replica of the Montreal Canadiens dressing room, the Stanley Cup and other trophies, interactive games and more. Adult admission for this fun, cheap thing to do is $17.50, $11 for kids 4-13.
Did you know that Toronto is home to its own medieval castle? Casa Loma is a unique cheap thing to check out in Toronto. Built in 1911, it took three years to construct and cost $3.5 million. Among the features of Casa Loma are grand halls, secret passageways, stairs to the tower tops, a wine cellar, stables, five acres of beautiful gardens and more. Naturally, it’s incredible opulence and architecture has made it a favourite location for the film industry. Movies such as as X-Men, Chicago, The Tuxedo, The Pacifier, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Warehouse 13, Twitches Too and Strange Brew have been shot here. Admission to see this place is around $20 for adults and $15 for kids, but if you purchase a Toronto CityPASS, admission is about half price.
On a beautiful, sunny day a fun, cheap thing to do in Toronto is to escape the downtown core by venturing to the City’s waterfront, hopping on a ferry andheading over to Centre Island. Rent a bike and explore the island. Prefer to paddle? You can rent a canoe or kayak too. Relax on the beach. Want to work on your overall tan? Make your way to Hanlan’s Point where you’ll find a clothing optional beach. Don’t forget your picnic, but if you do, there are concession stands and restaurants to satisfy your hunger. Access to the island is free, with your ticket on the ferry boat being a very reasonable $6.50 for adults, $4 for seniors/students (15-19 with a student card), $3 for children, while kids 2 years old and under ride for free.
Bring a blanket, some bug spray and a significant other and snuggle on the hillside as the Canadian Stage presents a production of Shakespeare in beautiful High Park. As dusk settles in the actors take the stage, presenting one of Shakespeare’s classics in a picturesque park setting under a canopy of stars. Entry to this cheap thing to do in Toronto is pay-what-you-can.
Once in a while, everyone could use a good, cheap laugh. If you’re visiting Toronto, you can satisfy your sense of humour and your desire to save a few bucks at the same time. Stand up comedy, sketch comedy, improv, amateur nights—you’ll find a variety of affordable comedy to see, happening across the city, on almost any given night. For example, every other Saturday night the Korean Cowboy–a Korean Fusion bar and restaurant–hosts Cowboy Comedy. Enjoy a night of laughs featuring six comics, including a professional headliner. The cost is very affordable–it’s just a $10 cover charge to get in, and if you use the promo code “FUNNY” your ticket will be half price! How’s that for cheap laughs?! You can also order food and drinks while enjoying the show.
Even when you’re visiting a city for the first time, sometimes you just want to kick back and relax at a movie. Luckily for you that’s one of the cheap things to do in Toronto. For roughly half the price of a regularly priced flick, you can see a new-release movie at the Rainbow Cinema on Front Street downtown. If you’re in the mood for something a little more adventuresome, the TIFF Bell Lightbox shows experimental films on their free screen.
In the mood for something fun, cheap and different to do in Toronto? Then you’ll love the Snakes & Lattes Board Game Café. Pay your $5 cover charge, order something to drink (they start at around $2) and pick a board game from the over 2,300 games that line the shelves. Play an old favourite or ask one of the wait staff to suggest something new. Either way you’re in for a fun couple hours.
A fun area of Toronto to check out is “midtown”. The intersection of Yonge & Eglinton is the heart of the midtown neighbourhood. Getting there is simple–just hop on the Yonge subway line and head north to the Eglinton stop.
Once you surface you’ll find Yonge & Eglinton is a bustling hub with retail, restaurants, movie theatres and shops. Do a walk about and explore, and when you’re ready for a break consider taking in a movie at the Famous Players Canada Square Cinema, located above the Yonge & Eglinton subway.
One of the original multiplexes in Toronto, the Famous Players Canada Square Cinema is a little tired inside but what makes this theatre unique is that not only will you find the latest blockbuster playing but also small release gems that, in most cases, aren’t playing at any other movie theatre in the city!
After your movie is over, treat yourself to tacos at La Carnita. The atmosphere here is hip and urban. There is no mariachi music playing over the speakers, that’s for sure. Just like the atmosphere, the tacos they serve up at La Carnita are cool and imaginative. They’re flavourful too. Ask the waitress for her recommends and be sure to try more than one type of taco–your taste buds will thank you. Oh, and order the Mexican street corn as a starter, you’ll be glad you did.
Now, you could order churros for dessert at La Carnita but what we recommend, is trekking next door to Sweet Jesus, home of extreme soft ice cream. How extreme? To give you a taste some of their decadent delights have names like “Bangin’ Brownie”, “Hella Nutella”, and “Cookies Cookies Cookies & Cream”. Now let’s be straight up–the prices at Sweet Jesus are definitely not “thrifty” but if you’ve been a cost-conscious thrifty tourist all day this is a great place to splurge and treat yourself.
If you’re visiting Toronto between the months of November and March, one of the fun and cheap things to do is to lace them up and go for a pleasure skate under the arches of a Toronto icon–Nathan Phillips Square. In the wintertime the Square’s reflecting pool is frozen, becoming a giant skating rink in the centre of the city. Rent a pair of skates and step onto the ice for free. Prefer gliding across the ice to the sound of the latest beats? Hit the ice at DJ Skate Nights at the Harbourfront Centre where you can skate overlooking Lake Ontario and groove to the sounds spun by the some of the City’s hottest DJs. Admission to the ice is free and skates can be rented for a nominal fee.
Be thrifty and practical! This information was accurate when published, but can change without notice. We recommend you confirm all details with the provider in question before planning your excursion.