It may cost you a pretty penny to live here, but you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time in Toronto. In fact, there are so many free things to do all around town, you could stay busy all month long and hardly spend a dime. That way, you can save your hard-earned cash for boozy brunch with the squad.
If you’re bored of walks in the park and trips to the beach, here are 16 free and cheap thrills that’ll actually get you excited to explore Toronto this September.
FREE BURGERS FROM AUNTY LUCY’S
Starting on Saturday, September 4th, Aunty Lucy’s food truck will be stationed at Trailhead Place giving out their brand new “never-before-tasted” burger, featuring a special secret ingredient! The freebies will be up for grabs through Labour Day, so you’ve got a few days to make your way down and get it. If you want a side dish with your burger, try their delicious Ghanian fried plantains.
Where: Trailhead Place, Ontario Place Blvd, and Remembrance Dr
When: Saturday, September 4th — Monday, September 6th, 12 p.m. — 7 p.m., or while quantities last
PARTY 4 PAWS PET FAIR
This FREE event in the Trinity Bellwoods Park Dog Bowl is all about the furry friends in our lives. Bring your pet along for all kinds of attractions and activities, including a photo booth and other goodies they’re sure to love. You’ll also get to meet animal rescue heroes and pets up for adoption. Maybe you’ll even fall in love and give one of these animals their fur-ever home.
Where: 790 Queen St W
When: Saturday, September 25th
GO ON AN APPLE PICKING DATE
Nothing says “hello fall” like a trip to the apple orchard, and there are so many great apple picking spots and around Toronto. Make your way to the iconic Fill up on Gala and Cortland apples at Chudleigh’s in Halton Hills, and go for a cute tractor ride while you’re at it. Or if you’re looking for someplace extra scenic, Albion Orchards in Caledon was recently rated one of the best in Canada.
Where: Various locations
UNMASKING THE PANDEMIC EXHIBIT
Check out this complimentary exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum this month and reflect back on our pandemic experience in a unique way. The exhibit is called Unmasking the Pandemic: From Personal Protection to Personal Expression — it showcases 60 original facemasks, each with its own backstory and symbols that reflect the struggles we’ve all experienced in some way, both together and apart.
Where: 100 Queens Park
When: Opens September 18th, 2021
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VEG FOOD FEST
This vegan food fest is popping up for one day only at Steam Whistle Brewery’s Locomotive Hall right in the heart of downtown, and admission is completely FREE! This plant-based extravaganza has taken place in the city for 37 years, and it’s always a good time. You’ll get to enjoy live programming and entertainment while you stuff your face with plant-based comfort food.
Where: 255 Bremner Blvd
When: Saturday, September 11th, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
LE BURGER WEEK TORONTO
Canada’s biggest burger event of all time, Le Burger Week is back and they’ve released a list of all the restaurants participating in the event so far. From local bars to cafes, Toronto is in for a very special TWO weeks of some wildly tasty creations in celebration of the festival’s 10th anniversary and we are in for a real treat.
Where: Various locations
When: Wednesday, September, 1st – 14th
TEQUILA & TURNTABLE TUESDAY
Going up on a Tuesday? Count us in! Boogie with a cocktail in hand as a live DJ spins the night away at this FREE event. We hope you love tequila because that’s what this event is all about. If you’re hungry, you can order the Snack Attack for $35, which comes with a variety of tasty bites and gelato of your choosing.
Where: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St
When: Every Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
LULULEMON RUN CLUB
If you’ve been missing your running group to help you stay motivated, we’re here to tell you that you’re finally getting your jogging buddies back. Meet up with other runners every Tuesday evening at the Scotiabank Pond for an hour-long run through Downsview Park, organized by Lululemon Yorkdale. If you’re nowhere close to a marathon runner, don’t sweat it — this event has options that are just right for your level. It’s FREE to attend, but you’ll need to register in advance!
Where: 57 Carl Hall Rd
When: Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
With FREE movies every Thursday through Sunday, four giant murals to check out, and a series of food events and concerts, Vaughan’s ArtWalk Drive-In is something you definitely won’t want to miss. Activities and events will be taking place until September 10th, so you’ve got plenty of time to check them out. Plus, there are some great screenings to see this month, including Inception, The Sandlot, Bohemian Rhapsody and so many more.
When: Until September 30th
Where: 101 Edgeley Blvd
BREWS + CHEWS
Take your dog on the ultimate adventure at this FREE pooch-friendly patio party! Stop on by every Wednesday this month for a doggone good time, featuring live music, happy hour specials, as well as treats and surprises for your furry BFF.
Where: Belgian Moon Brewery, 28 Bathurst St
When: Every Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
KENSINGTON MARKET ART FAIR
Hit up this famously lively and eccentric neighbourhood and explore the creations of many local artists who work in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, painting, textile, photography, and more. This event is FREE to attend and it’s a great way to support our city’s artists.
Where: 77 Nassau St
When: Sunday, September 26th
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THE LESLIEVILLE FLEA MARKET
Hunt for vintage, salvaged, handcrafted goods, and other cool finds at this FREE flea market! Come away with some unique pieces for your fall wardrobe or antiques for your apartment, all for great prices. Plus, you can cruise around the other pop-up shops, food vendors, and outdoor spaces at Stackt Market while you’re there.
Where: 28 Bathurst St
When: Saturday, September 25th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
VISIT RIVERDALE FARM
Stroll among the charming barns and cottages at the historic Riverdale Farm, and pay a visit to the horses, cows, pigs, ducks, goats, and sheep that call it home. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported from the city to the quaint countryside. Visiting is free, but there are many ways you can help support this special place.
Where: 201 Winchester St
When: Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HIT UP CANADA’S LARGEST INFLATAPARK
Clown around at Toronto’s massive destination for bouncy and boozy fun. The Bubble is an inflatable entertainment complex featuring a 10,000 sq ft “inflatapark” with giant slides, climbing walls, a two-lane obstacle course, laser tag, and arcade games. You can sit down for some snacks and beverages at the bar and restaurant when you’re done.
Where: 65 Orfus Rd
Cost: $22 per person
Admission to this unique museum in the heart of the city is FREE for everyone until Labour Day, but if you can’t make it before then, regular prices are just $15 per adult and $9 per student with a valid school ID. There’s so much to see and do at The Gardiner Museum, and you’ll want to indulge in some smash burgers and house-made donuts on the gorgeous Clay Restaurant patio once you’re done.
Where: 111 Queens Park
When: Hours vary
Celebrating 15 years of art, music, community, and culture, this festival is returning at the CityView Drive-In grounds this month. Admission is just $17.32 each and the event is 19+. The event will be headlined by Canadian rhythm and blues signer Savanna Ré and rapper Notifi, and opened by Charmaine and Jahkoy.
Where: 20 Polson St
When: Saturday, September 11th
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