15 Toronto Summer Date Ideas – Budget Friendly

spellbound travels toronto summer date ideas budget friendly

Looking for budget-friendly date ideas for the summer? I’ve got you covered! Now that we can finally rule out park dates or walk dates as the only option, I’ve found some unique, fun and cheap Toronto summer date ideas. So without further adieu, let’s get into it!

1. Guess Where Trips

When I first heard about Guess Where Trips, I was surprised more people hadn’t been doing it already. Planning a date is the worst, especially if you’re running out of ideas! That’s where Guess Where Trips steps in. They essentially set you up with different destinations to go on a road trip depending on the trip length and activities you’re interested in. They take to different locations within the GTA and further that you’d never find otherwise and you discover each destination as you go!

Price: $55 + food, drinks etc during the trip

2. Chinatown/Kensington Market tour

When’s the last time you were in Chinatown or Kensington Market? There are endless possibilities when it comes to dates in this part of the city. If I was planning a date in the area, this is what it would look like:

  • Grab coffee or tea at new Australian cafe called Found Coffee (324 College St). It’s aesthetically pleasing and their coffee is great!
  • Explore some of the markets in Chinatown – Grab fruits for a picnic from the outdoor market stands or some veggies and dumpling wrapers to make your own dumplings for dinner.
  • Hit up the thrift stores – Kensington Market is riddled with thrift stores. You can’t miss em! Walk along Augusta Ave and you’ll find about 5-10 and other streets nearby have shops as well.
  • Enjoy the city views from the Kensington Market parking garage! Use the stairs at the parking garage off Andrew St. to get to the rooftop where the ‘Kensignton’ sign is. From there, you can see the entire city, including the CN Tower.

Price: Dependent on what you purchase!

3. Picnic at Riverdale Park

I know by now most people are over picnics but it can still be a lot of fun. Sadly, there aren’t many great spots to watch the sunset in Toronto in the summer but Riverdale Park never fails to disappoint. Choose a nice and sunny night to head over for a late picnic and watch the sky light up! If you’re not great at figuring out the food and drinks for a picnic, there are heaps of businesses that will do the work for you.

PicSnic, Picnicsinthe6ix, Luxury Picnics, Picnic City and Toronto Picnic Party all offer different packages to choose from!

Price: Starting at $20

4. Island Beach Day

Everyone loves a good beach day, right? While the mainland of Toronto is seriously lacking in nice beaches, the Islands are where it’s at! Ward’s Island is a great spot or you can find small secluded beaches all around the Islands. Bring your bike on the ferry, ride around until you find a great spot and stay till sunset.

Price: $8.50 return ferry ticket PP + food & drinks on the island

5. Ice Cream

You can never go wrong with an ice cream date. Not to mention, there have been SO many new ice cream shops popping up downtown! Here are some spots I’ve tried and plan on trying throughout the rest of the summer:

  • On Third Thought – Vegan ice cream with boozy options – 5 Markham St (Right off Queen W)
  • Bunners – Vegan soft serve, along with other baked goods – 244 Augusta Ave (Kensington Market)
  • Scooped by Demetres – Quality ice cream close to the water – 113 Fort York Blvd (Cityplace)
  • Lick It Gelato – Tons of options, including ice cream for dogs! – 250 Queens Quay W
  • Touti Cafe – Lots of vegan and regular options and great portion size – 550 Queens Quay W

Price: $10 – $25 total

6. Paddle boarding

If you’re after an active date, paddle boarding will be right up your alley! Grab a board from Paddle Toronto or other paddle board providers for a few hours out on Lake Ontario. Most will bring you to the Island where you have 2 hours on the boards and you can either chill at the island afterwards or head back to the city!

Price: $50 PP

7. Biking

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t love biking but it can make for a fun date when you’re looking for something new! Bike along lakeshore over to the beaches, take the Don Valley bike trail to Evergreen Birck Works or make your way to Casa Loma for the day. The options are endless so it had to make the Toronto summer date ideas list!

If you don’t have a bike, you can take the city bikes for a small fee.

Price: FREE or $7 PP for a day bike rental

8. Enjoy the summer markets

Toronto is home to many outdoor markets when summer rolls around. The Underpass Park Farmers Market takes place every Thursday from 4:30-7pm and the Leslieville Flea Market is around on weekends at varying locations. There are many other markets but one that caught my eye while wandering down the streets of Toronto was the World Food Market on 355 Yonge Street! It has heaps of vendors selling street food and the best part is that it’s open 7 days a week from 11:30am to 11:00pm.

Price: Dependent on what you purchase!

9. Outdoor Movie/Drive-In

My Toronto summer date ideas list wouldn’t be complete without outdoor movies! There are so many places to choose from when it comes to movies in the park, drive-ins and more. Here are a few places you can check out:

Price: Up to $30

10. Boat Comedy Show / Music on the River

Looking to impress someone? Bring your date along for a comedy show or music on the river! They take place every Friday night until October 15th right on the Humber River.

Price: Starting at $70 PP

11. Hippie Market

If you love the idea of thrifting but hate sifting through all of the crummy options, the Hippie Market is perfect! You and your date can choose new outfits for each other from the wide range of vintage vendors. It takes place on different days most weekends in the summer (follow their IG for updates).

Price: Dependent on what you purchase!

12. Broadview Hotel

While grabbing dinner out can be a fun date, it’s always better with a view! The Broadview Hotel is known for it’s patio with unreal city views, perfect for sunset drinks or a late bite to eat. Make sure to grab reservations because this spot gets busy!

Price: Dependent on what you purchase! (~$15-$28 per main & ~$15-$18 per cocktail)

13. Tommy Thompson for sunset

I’m not sure if you’ve caught on by now but I LOVE a good sunset! Head over to Tommy Thompson Park/Leslie Street Spit for one of the best places to catch a sunset in Toronto. There’s even a tiny lighthouse at the end of the path!

Price: FREE

14. Explore a few speakeasies

Have you been to any speakeasies in Toronto? I had to add it to my list of Toronto summer date ideas now that indoor dining is reopening! Although a regular bar can be fun, having to give a password or find a hidden entrance sounds like a lot more fun to me. Here are some places you can try out:

  • Gift Shop at Ossington – Find it behind a barber’s shop on Ossington!
  • The Cloak – Advertised as a speakeasy-esque bar, it’s underneath the Marben restaurant on Wellington.
  • Escobar – Located right on King but hidden within Baro, you’ll need ot provide the daily changing password or be invited in!

Price: Dependent on what you purchase!

15. Try a new workout class

Always wanted to try boxing? Or maybe couples yoga? Use ClassPass to try a new workout class near you! You purchase a certain number of credits and each class will differ depending on the type of workout you choose to do.

Price: Dependent on the workout class!

Where will you take your next date?

With heaps of Toronto summer date ideas at your fingertips, there are no excuses when it comes to planning a fun and adventurous date! The best part is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a great time. So which one will you try first? I’m headed out on a Guess Where Trips in August with my roommate to celebrate our friendiversary!

I’ll be back next week with another blog but in the meantime, follow my adventures on Instagram and TikTok.

Cheers,

Amy xx

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