Picture this: you wake up from a sound slumber, the birds outside chirp peacefully near your window, and the mid-morning sun hits your face softly… when you’re suddenly interrupted by a text from your friend.
“Hey! You up for doing something today?”
You smile–how sweet! “Of course,” you think to yourself, “we should do something amazing. Visit the CN Tower, watch a double feature, dine at a new restaurant…” You open your wallet to see what you’ve got for the day.
A single Tic-Tac, 25 cents, and a paperclip.
Well… maybe things won’t go exactly as planned. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! Here’s my foolproof list for having fun in T-Dot on a budget.
1. Peruse St. Lawrence Market.
St. Lawrence Market is known for its artisan grocers, where you can purchase fine cheese, meats, fruits, vegetables and more, all in one beautiful warehouse (I would go for the photo opportunties alone). One of my favourite stores has to be Kozlik’s mustard. The Dijon Classique is to die for!
2. Check out The Distillery Historic District.
Another one of my absolute favourite places to take pictures! The exposed brick, iron and hanging lights are incredibly romantic and artsy AF. If you have a chance, definitely check out the Christmas Market this December. It is absolutely magical! Plus… catch a performance from Ryerson’s own acapella team, Ryenamics (you’ll see me there)!
3. Get free passes to museums at the library.
On Saturday mornings, the Toronto Public Library offers free passes to museums and locations such as the Toronto Zoo, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Aga Khan Art Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, and my personal favourite, Black Creek Pioneer Village. These are just a few among the many passes offered by the Library, which are available to anyone with a valid library card on Saturday mornings (limited tickets available).
4. Go for a hike through the Evergreen Brickworks.
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s new ideas for the artsiest places in Toronto to take pictures! The Evergreen Brickworks in the Don Valley, particularly in the fall, is a site far too beautiful to miss. Bring your dog, your bike, and your grandmother along as you cruise down a walking trail surrounded by greenery and the sound of nature. You’d never believe it was right beside the Don Valley Parkway!
5. Check out events at the Harbourfront Centre.
I’ve attached a hyperlink here that connects you to the “What’s On” page on the Harbourfront website. Each week you can find films, art exhibits, and live music down by Lake Ontario off of Queen’s Quay. Additionally, the public skating rink is opening very soon for the winter season! ‘DJ Skate Nights’ are just as fun as they sound. Trust me.
6. Get back to your roots at Allen Gardens.
Feeling outdoorsy? Check out the Allen Gardens Conservatory. This 100+ year old greenhouse is home to various plants from across the globe, from common plants to cacti (and turtles… that’s my favourite part). It is open year-round to the public, and conveniently, lives right beside Ryerson!
7. Go cheer for the Blue Jays, for cheap!
Okay, if you’ve stayed reading this long–congratulations, you’ve received a life hack! I use an app called Gametime (not sponsored, I wish though) that allows users to purchase last-minute tickets to sports games. Baseball games are almost always the cheapest–I’ve sat in the 200 level front row for less than $10! Throw on the Jays apparel that’s sitting in your closet, and try to refrain from the $11 popcorn. We all know that’s the real killer.
That’s my budget guide to having fun in Toronto! I hope you have the chance to check out one of these amazing venues this weekend, or in the months to come. And if you get that text I was talking about earlier, and you decide to just roll over and pretend you didn’t see it… I won’t tell.
Thanks for reading!