The best things in life are free, and lucky for you, there are a ton of them around Toronto this October. There are all kinds of events in the city with free or cheap admission this month, so you can save your money for a cool vintage treasure or a delicious treat. From vegan food to mac n’ cheese to fall events and art exhibits, there are many great ways to enjoy the city without breaking the bank this month.

Here are 7 of the best free and cheap things to do around Toronto this October!


An adorable fall market is happening in the charming Distillery District this month. The festival is free to attend, but you’ll want to bring your shopping bags and your appetite! There are so many goodies for sale, including Gooderham & Worts Butter Scotch tarts, fresh seasonal pies, floral bouquets for your apartment, and pumpkin treats for your furry friend. You can also pose for pictures in front of the pumpkins, hay bundles, and fall foliage displays.

Where: 9 Trinity St
When: October 23rd — October 24th, 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.


The fastest-growing vegan festival in North America is coming to Toronto with over 100 vendors from around the continent. From L.A., Chicago, Austin, and New York, the festival will make its way to Garrison Common, where you’ll get to feast and party it up plant-based style. The massive lineup of vendors is enough to make your mouth start watering. Plus, tickets start at just $10!

Where: 100 Garrison Rd
When: October 16th, 11 a.m. — 7 p.m.


A brand new interactive public art installation has arrived at The Bentway. The exhibit is happening in a secret room located beneath the Gardiner Expressway at Exhibition Place which has never before been accessed by the public. The installation uses an array of 3,000 lights to create a landscape of upside-down mountains and valleys suspended from the ceiling. Already sounds cool right? Well, get this — the piece moves in tandem with your heartbeat. Admission is $5 or PWYC, so it’s a cheap thrill you’re sure to enjoy.

Where: 250 Fort York Blvd
When: October 2nd — October 31st

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The title pretty much says it all. Come hungry and get ready to feast on all the mac n’ cheese you can handle at this free festival. Whether you’d prefer to eat it in a bun or with a fork, you’ll be gobbling up every last bite of this comfort food staple. There will be tons of vendors to try, so prepare for a cheesy feast unlike any other.

Where: 520 Progress Ave
When: October 23rd — October 24th


This outdoor patio oasis in the heart of downtown is now open for the second year in a row, complete with fall foliage, pumpkins, and hay bales to make you feel tucked away from the busy city.  In addition to picking and painting your own pumpkin, you can warm up by an open fire, lounge on the hay bale sofa, go pumpkin bowling, and so much more. Plus, you’ll get to indulge in some delicious wood-fired eats and a variety of autumn-inspired cocktails. No tickets are required unless you’re doing pumpkin painting or a wine tasting, and the menu items range from $5 to $20.

Where: 621 Richmond St
When: October 1st — October 31st, 2021


If there’s nothing you love more than vintage shopping and fall fairs, why not experience the best of both worlds at this free market? This first-ever market at Riverside Common Park will host several events throughout the fall and into the holidays. The grand opening will be held in mid-October with a huge selection of vintage, antique collectibles, vintage fashion, handcrafted art, and more. You’ll also get to enjoy art pop-ups and live music while you’re there.

Where: 657 Queen St E
When: October 17th, 2021


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Calling all potheads! No, not that kind. An indoor plant sale series is happening in Toronto this October and you’ll get to stock up on succulents, tropical plants, and cacti galore. There will be a unique choice of plants to choose from, plus experts on-site who can give you tips and tricks on how to choose the right ones for your space. Be Leaf Plant Store has several sales coming up this month and you can get the details on their website.

Where: Various locations
When: Weekends throughout October