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Toronto Summer on a Dime

You don’t need to break the bank to have the ultimate summer. Thankfully, we live in a city that offers a ton of affordable, and sometimes free, things to do. Treat this as your summer bucket list!



Taste Summerlicious

For two weeks in July, Toronto foodies can enjoy three-course prix fixe meals at some of the city’s top restaurants for Summerlicious. There are over 220 restaurants participating, so get eating!
When: Now until July 24

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Have a boozy Backyard bash

Call up your pals and tell everyone to bring a bottle, pour it into a bucket, add some lemonade, and you have yourself a porch crawler party! Porch crawlers are super easy to make and taste surprisingly pretty good. Check out our list of 5 recipes you should try.

Feast at Taste of the Danforth

Attracting nearly 1.65 million guests annually, Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival. While admission is totally free, be sure to bring some cash to taste Toronto’s famous greek cuisine.
When: August 5-7

Greek Fries! Diner: @janice.xo Dine the Fine #TO_Finest

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Street Eats at Union Station Market

Also known as the Union Station Summer Market, Front Street Eats is a quaint summer market that features a selection of over 20 talented Toronto vendors. This event runs seven days a week for the whole summer, and offers everything from Chimney Cones to burritos and sushi.
When: Now until September 5

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Sip $2 Craft Beers

Calling all beer lovers! The Craft Beer Passport is like a scavenger hunt that allows you to try craft beer all over the city for only a toonie. The passport itself is $20 dollars to purchase and is valid until November, so you do the math. Check out the list of participating bars.
When: Now until November 30

The Ultimate Food Truck Stop

The Toronto Food Truck Festival is held at Woodbine Park this summer. Find all of your faveourite restaurants on wheels in one place. The best part? This festival is FREE to attend.
When: July 29-31

Cheap Toronto Eats

You don’t need to break the bank to eat great food in the city. There are a lot of great restaurants that serve an affordable menu, including the Local Pub Eatery, El Furniture Warehouse, 3 Speed, and tons more. Check out our list of Best Band for Your Buck Restaurants.



Catch a concert

Toronto comes alive with live music in the summer. Your best bet for cheap shows is to go and check out some up-and-coming talent. Not cheap enough? Indie Fridays at Yonge & Dundas Square and Nu Music Night hosted by our very own Bookie every Tuesday at the Horseshoe are totally free all summer long. Be sure to sign up to be an Indie88 Superfriend for weekly draws. Check out the full concert listings here.
When: All summer

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Day at the Races

Cheer on the ponies at Woodbine Racetrack this summer. Admission and parking are free, and the minimum bet is only 2 bucks.

Free Outdoor Movies

There are plenty of cinemas under the stars this summer, you just need to know where to look. Grab a blanket, some snacks and well-concealed beverage and you’re set.

Movies & Music & more at Open Roof Festival

Every Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday) until August 24, 99 Sudbury hosts Open Roof Festival – an outdoor cinema with vendors, ping pong tables, and pre-show musical entertainment. This is a non-profit event that packs a punch for $15.
When: Now until August 24

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Shakespeare in the Park

With a pay what you can attitude, Shakespeare in High Park is a fun and unique summer experience for Torontonians. The High Park Ampitheatre is open and provides an incredible view while you cozy up to the great outdoors.
When: Now until September 4

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The Beaches Jazz Fest

Held at Woodbine Park, The Beaches International Jazz Festival is one of few music fests that offer free admission!
When: Weekends until July 24

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Toronto’s Colourful Caribbean Carnival

The Caribbean Carnival a Toronto summer highlight. With stunning costumes, great music, and must-try cuisine, there is a whole lineup of attractions that won’t break the bank. You can experince this cultural event for the rest of the month but don’t miss the Grand Parade on July 30.
When: Now through August

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Be Awed at Buskerfest

In the city over Labour Day weekend? Check out Toronto’s Buskerfest and stop in your tracks at some amazing talent. This event is free and stacked with entertainment. You might even spot one of Toronto’s Best Street Performers.
When: September 2-5

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Let’s go to the EX

The CNE is a MUST for anyone on a budget this summer. You might be tempted to spend a little coin to win that giant stuffed monkey for your boo, but there is plenty to feast your eyes on without spending any extra cash. Plus, $1 bowls of spaghetti. General admission is $18, with discounted tickets after a certain time. we’ll keep you posted on some must-do things at the Ex this summer. Stay tuned.
When: August 19-September 5

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The Toronto International Film Festival draws film buffs and industry folk from around the globe, including Hollywood’s biggest stars. Escape the heat for 11 days of awesome, air-conditioned films. Catch some the year’s hottest flicks before they hit the theatre, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the elusive George Clooney.
When: September 8-18

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Free nights at the AGO

Running out of ideas for a Wednesday night? The Art Gallery of Ontario offers free admission on Wednesday nights from 6 to 9 pm. This is a great opportunity to escape the heat of the city and soak up some art.
When: All year

Performance artists (and they didn’t even know it)

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Youth Day Toronto

YD T.O is a free annual festival that focuses on celebrating the positive achievements of young people. Attracting over 35000 attendees, this event showcases music, art, dance, photography, fashion, and film created by Canada’s youth.
When: July 24



Hide out in a Laneway Crawl

The Laneway Crawl Series aims to change the way the city interacts with its back alleys and laneways—neglected spaces that carry untapped potential. The series of mini pop-up festivals feature events like mural painting on garage doors, art workshops, jam sessions, and pickup sports. The next three events will be hosted in Little Jamaica, Danforth, and Christie Pits.
When: July 16, August 28, September 25

Find someFurry friends

Like walking through the looking glass, turn one random corner in a Toronto park and you’ll end up running into goats and llamas. Riverdale Farm and High Park are two of Toronto’s most beloved parks, both with the added bonus of free petting zoos. Just be sure to pick a day without a heat warning (good luck).
When: All summer

Green out at the Botanical Gardens

Reconnect with nature by taking a walk through the Toronto Botanical Gardens. Visiting the garden is free but bring some pocket change for the shop and cafe. TBG also hosts many events throughout the summer including film screenings, concerts, workshops, and farmers’ markets.
When: All summer

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Take a Street Art Tour

Toronto is home to some seriously talented street artists, and taking a tour of it all costs nothing. Try checking out Graffiti Alley in The Fashion District (Queen Street West to Portland Street), Kensington Market, The Ossington Laneway, The Keele-Dundas Wall, and Canada Post’s Mailboxes to start.
When: all summer

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Free Self-Guided Discovery Walks

Discover Toronto on a self-guided tour of the city’s best discovery walks using a mobile app.

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See the Bluffs for yourself

You don’t have to venture far from the city to see natural wonders. Scarborough Bluffs is a breathtaking escarpment in Toronto’s east end that offers beautiful cliffside views of the lake that will make you forget where you are.

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Summer Evenings at Todmorden Mills

Every Thursday evening from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, enjoy a free walk-around of the Todmorden Mills, including the latest art show in the Papermill Gallery and the Wildflower Preserve. There are also board games and colouring, and admission is free.
When: Thursday evenings until August 25

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Flea Market Vibes

Toronto is stacked with markets, from the Junction to Leslieville to the Harbourfront. You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy yourself — keep your eyes peeled for free samples, live music, and nice scenery. Most flea markets run on weekends until the Fall, so find the one that’s closest to you and make a day out of it!

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Hit the pavement

You don’t need to pay for a gym membership to get fit! There are a few running clubs like Parkdale Roadrunners that offer a fun and unique opportunity to work out for free, make new friends, and gain steady encouragement from others. Westenders can meet the Parkdale Roadrunners at the Gladstone every Tuesday evening at 7:45 pm and Saturday morning at 8:45 am.
When: all summer

Get competitive on the Islands

The Toronto Islands offer a ton of free beach volleyball and disc golf courses, particularly on Ward’s Island. Making a day trip out of it: rent a canoe, pack a few sandwiches, paddle over to the islands, and have a mini tournament with some friends! Best part? It’s free!

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Cool Off in Pools and Splash Pads

The Toronto summer humidity is unavoidable. Luckily, Toronto is loaded with a ton of public outdoor pools,splash pads, and even water slides.

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Namaste in High Park

Looking to soak up that morning sunshine before the afternoon heat hits? Practice your downward dog with free yoga in High Park. From now until the end of the summer, enjoy morning yoga sessions every Sunday morning at 10am.
When: Sundays until September 25

(Main photo: misterjolly on Instagram)

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