Sick of park picnics? As things start to slowly open back up in Toronto, you may be wondering what you can do this summer. Most importantly – what can you do that will cost you next to nothing? Below you’ll find a list of 7 cheap things to do in Toronto (some of which are completely free for good measure). Let’s jump in!
Find a new thrift store in Toronto
Cost: Dependent on what you buy
No window shopping here! Stores are opening up again, making it the perfect time to go to a new thrift store or hit up your faves. You don’t have to feel bad about a day of shopping when you can walk away with 20 items for $100. Not only will you find yourself a new wardrobe for cheap but you’ll also be making a sustainable shopping choice!
Here are a few thrift stores to try in Toronto:
- Kensington Market – If you live right in the heart of the city, Kensington Market is the best spot to thrift. Courage My Love, Exile Shoneys Clothing and Bungalow are a few of many places to check out.
- Orfus Market – This spot is filled with hidden gems and at $3.99/lb, you’re sure to walk away with a big bag of clothes!
- Black Market – With a $10 price tag on each item, you can’t go wrong.
- Value Village – A classic pick that never fails me. Try the Queen St E or Bloor St locations!
Explore the best beaches in Toronto
Cost: Free or parking fees
With the humidity already reaching new heights, you’re going to want to find yourself a beach to lounge by this summer! Here are the best that I’ve found in Toronto so far …
- Sunnyside Beach – Head over to the west end of Toronto and you’ll come across Sunnyside Beach. It’s right along the bike path, has a relaxed vibe and is definitely one of the nicest Toronto beaches.
- Sugar Beach – Sugar Beach is a picture-perfect manmade beach with pink umbrellas. It’s next to the Redpath Sugar factory and in the industrial part of the city.
- West Island Beach (Ontario Place) – This small beach on the west side of Ontario Place is pebbly but a nice spot to hangout for a few hours if you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Bluffer’s Park Beach – I’m just going to say it – this beach is about as good as it gets when it comes to Toronto beaches. The sand is less dirt-like than what you’ll find at the others and there’s plenty of space to enjoy a fun beach day! You can also explore the Bluffs nearby when you’re done with the beach.
- Kew-Balmy Beach – Just a little past Woodbine Beach, you’ll stumble upon this less crowded with a cute lifeguard stand.
- Cherry Beach – The beach is fairly small but it’s great for a chill afternoon and there are soccer fields nearby! It’s also a lively spot on weekends.
- Toronto Islands – Centre Island, Hanlan’s Point and Wards Island all have beaches. There are a few main beaches but you’ll also stumble upon a few small hidden ones if you’re up for an adventure.
Hit the flea markets
Cost: Dependent on what you purchase
Market season is upon us! You can find a range of different markets scattered throughout the city during the summer. The Leslieville Flea Market is making a comeback this summer with a location on Queen St E and Front and Bathurst! If you’re more in it for the fresh produce, there are many farmer’s markets to choose from. Try Trinity Bellwoods, Leslieville, East York, Evergreen Brick Works, Nathan Phillips Square, David Peacaut Square and more each week.
Go for a hike
Cost: Free or parking fees
When it comes to cheap things to do in Toronto, you can never go wrong with a hike. There is no shortage of hiking trails in the city and around the outskirts. If you’re looking for someplace new, why not check out Rouge National Urban Park? It’s just outside of Scarborough and about a 30 minute drive from the city!
Try a new outdoor fitness class in Toronto
If you’re like me and want to try a new fitness class but don’t really want to spend $300/month, I’ve got great news! There are a few different group workout classes and running groups that are 100% free to join. Here are some you should try out:
- United Boxing Club – This boxing club has been putting on free peaceful workout protests over the past year. The take usually hosts cardio-based boxing classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running groups and dance workouts on Fridays and Sundays. Check out their Instagram for the location each week!
- PartFitTO – The city has created a free outdoor group workout program. Classes start on June 21st and you can find more details on their website.
- Meetup – Meetup is an amazing website with sooooo many free fitness groups. If you don’t find anything there, you can always try Facebook groups!
Bike someplace new
Cost: Free or city bike fee
With heaps of bike paths and trails to explore, you can practically go in any direction and see where you end up. There’s also ActiveTO each weekend where major roads are closed along the water for people to bike, run, skateboard, rollerblade and more! If you don’t have a bike, you can always rent the city bikes.
Try a new coffee or ice cream shop
Cost: ~$5 – $10
Of all the cheap things to do in Toronto this summer, you’ve got to try some of the new ice cream shops! On Third Thought is a vegan gelato shop that serves boozy and non-alcoholic options right on Queen St W. I’m also dying to try Bunner’s Bake Shop‘s oat milk soft serve in Kensington Market.
Are you ready to get out there?
Don’t waste away the summer. Try one or more of these cheap things to do in Toronto and see all that the city has to offer – even on a tight budget!
Follow my Instagram and TikTok for daily budget travel updates and I’ll be back next week.