Free things to do in Toronto

A trip to Ontario’s capital city doesn’t require a lavish travel budget – Toronto is filled with affordable ways to explore the history and culture of Canada’s largest city.

Save a little cash on your next trip north of the border by checking out these five free things to do in Toronto.

Take a guided tour

Let Tour Guys offer you an introduction to the city with their free walking tours of Toronto. The Heart of Toronto tour is a 90-minute look at landmarks like the Eaton Centre, City Hall, Nathan Philips Square and the Hudson Bay Company, and it’s offered in the summer months. Tour Guys also hosts a Waterfront Sunset Walk (available in spring 2014) focusing on Toronto’s shoreline along Lake Ontario.

Explore the Distillery District

While in downtown Toronto, step back in time for an hour or two with a trip to the historic Distillery District, where Victorian industrial buildings impress and brick-lined streets are open only to pedestrians. Beyond the architecture, the Distillery District is also home to art galleries and jewelry boutiques for an afternoon of eye candy.

Toronto's Distillery District

Toronto’s Distillery District

Enjoy a concert by the Canadian Opera Company

The Canadian Opera Company kicks off its Free Concert Series every September, and through June you can take in a free performance (including dance, jazz, vocal, piano and world music shows) at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Performances are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

Hang out at Yonge-Dundas Square

Whether you come to people watch, play in the fountains or take in one of the free concerts held in the plaza throughout the year, you won’t find it difficult to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere at Yonge-Dundas Square. A hotbed for free events, Yonge-Dundas Square often hosts outdoor film screenings, performances and concerts.

Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square

Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario

More than 80,000 pieces represent art from the first century all the way through to modern day at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Check out the museum’s permanent collection for free by dropping by on Wednesday nights, when admission fees are waived between 6 and 8 p.m.

Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario

(All images courtesy of Tourism Toronto)