We’ve entered a beautiful time of year here in Toronto, but we’d argue that what’s even prettier than blooming flowers and sunshine are those digits in your bank account on payday. And even though you’ve got bills to pay, that doesn’t mean you have to kiss those precious hard-earned dollars goodbye entirely. Not when there are so many free and cheap things to do in Toronto this May that are actually fun!
Here are 10 of the best free and low-cost activities and events around the city this month, so you can splurge on rooftop patio drinks.
Looking to spend some quality time with mum this Mother’s Day? Why not do some shopping and wine sipping while you’re at it? This FREE pop-up at the Kimpton St. George hotel will host a variety of beloved Toronto vendors, selling treats, jewelry, flowers, ceramics, beauty, skincare, sustainable sleepwear, and more. Come for the free glass of wine, stay for the shopping spree!
Where: 280 Bloor St West
When: May 8, 2022, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Toronto’s waterfront has released its jam-packed summer programming and kicking things off is Canada’s first and only FREE floating arts and culture festival running from May 20 to September 5. “Performances will bring together songwriters, musicians, and other artists from all walks of life to deliver art and culture into the daily lives of Torontonians,” the description says. We’re in for a good time!
Where: 585 Queens Quay West & 1 Queens Quay West
When: May 20-September 5, 2022
Torontonians will once again get rare access into some of the city’s most interesting sites this May as part of the FREE Doors Open Toronto event. With nearly 700 unique locations and over 2 million visits since the event began in 2000, this event is not to be missed if you love to explore the city.
Where: Various locations
When: May 27 — May 28, 2022
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The Toronto Flower Market returns to the city this spring after a couple of years of absence, brightening up our weekends. This is the city’s first outdoor market of its kind, and it celebrates and supports Ontario-grown flowers and plants while connecting growers and florists directly with the city. Shop for a bouquet or simply stop by to enjoy the fragrant and colourful blooms.
Where: 1001 Queen St West
When: Season launch May 7, 2022, 10 a.m.
Take a bite into the finest street eats around the GTA at this FREE spring food festival. This event is the first of many food festivals happening this year at Street Eats Market. Being Canada’s largest launchpad of its kind for emerging independent street food businesses, you could be among the first to taste the next big thing in Toronto street cuisine.
When: May 20—22, 2022
Where: 500 Progress Ave
Ribfest is back, baby! This month in Yonge-Dundas Square, you’ll get to chow down on “mouth-waterin’, finger-lickin’, belly-rubbin’, good BBQ.” Live bands will provide the soundtrack as you explore the festival, play classic carnival games and yard games, and most importantly, eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow. The best part? Admission is FREE!
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: May 20-22, 2022
We hope you’re hungry, Toronto! This May, a brand new Asian night market called Superfresh is taking over the Annex with 4,000 square feet of delicious eats, live entertainment, and special surprises.
Superfresh “will showcase Asian-led and owned businesses across the city combining food, drinks, live entertainment, a bodega and other planned secret events under one roof—making it the ultimate experience, no matter what time of day you decide to stop by,” the description says.
Where: 384 Bloor St W
When: Opening May 14, 2022
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Maple Leaf Square outside of Scotiabank Arena will transform into a massive tailgate party and game-viewing celebration during every playoff game, complete with entertainment, exclusive giveaways, live DJ shows, and special guests, as well as food and boozy beverage offerings. Admission is FREE but you’ll need to reserve your ticket online ahead of time, as capacity is limited this year.
Where: 15 York St
When: Leafs playoff games
Petty Cash is hosting a fiesta to kick off the warm weather. Their massive Cinco de Mayo party will include live music, $5 food features, margaritas, and good times all around. Eat, drink, and be merry without breaking the bank!
When: May 5 at 5 p.m.
Where: 487 Adelaide St West
After weeks of anticipation, High Park’s cherry blossoms are entering their full bloom. Sakura Steve predicts that around 75% of the blossoms will be open this Wednesday, May 4, just in time for the nicer weather. And if you can’t get enough of these gorgeous trees, there are plenty of other lesser-known and equally as beautiful parks with cherry blossoms around Toronto that are also worth visiting over the next couple of weeks.
Where: 1873 Bloor St West