Author | Photo Toronto Neighbourhoods Map by These Are Things

7 Ways to Maximize a Cheap Weekend on the Town

In Toronto, pretty much everything costs money. A night—or day—out on the town can definitely get pretty pricey in a short period of time. We’ve got you covered though: here are some awesome ways that you can get out on the town for cheap, and make the most out of your weekend in the big city.

1) Take Advantage of the TTC Day Pass

It may have risen a bit this year, but the TTC day pass is still very affordable on Saturdays and Sundays if you’re looking for an unlimited day of fun. Grab your best friend and split the pass (two adults can ride for $11.50), but be sure to get some bang for your buck and travel around!

2) Explore a New Neighbourhood

Sometimes this can be one of the best ways to spend your weekend! There are plenty of free and cheap activities in each of Toronto’s business improvement areas. Taste some of the best Greek food the city has to offer on The Danforth (try out Messini Authentic Gyros), or explore the Bazaar in Little India on Gerrard Street. Little Italy has some great cafes and Italian restaurants, like Vivoli, while Little Portugal is home to some cool stores and restaurants, like Bridge + Bardot. Sometimes just walking around exploring is entertainment enough!

3) Go for a Walk

Regardless of the season, a walk can be one of the most enjoyable—and free—activities, especially in a city where everything costs money. The Evergreen Brickworks has all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore, and High Park is beautiful when all the cherry blossoms are in bloom. The Scarborough Bluffs are a bit of a trek but a sight to see, and the trails near Woodbine Beach are great in the summer. Even wandering through Mount Pleasant cemetery is eerily beautiful (notable interments include Sir Frederick Banting, Alexander Muir, Timothy Eaton & William Lyon Mackenzie King).

4) Go on a Coffee Tour

If you’re yearning to go somewhere new, the great news is that a little research can lead you on an amazing trek through the city to areas you may have never explored. Diverge from your usual Starbucks run to check out some of the indie cafes in the city—some great options include White Squirrel Coffee Shop, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, Rooster Coffee and Dark Horse Espresso Bar. This is a great way to spend the afternoon exploring.

5) Check out a Comedy Show

There are very affordable comedy shows to go to, even on the weekends! Absolute Comedy near Yonge and Eglinton offers $15 tickets on Friday and Saturday nights, while Bloor & Ossington’s Comedy Bar offers $10 Saturday night tickets. Laughter is the best medicine, especially when it’s affordable!

6) Hunt for Treasure

Clothing treasure that is! Parkdale and West Queen West are two of the best areas to go vintage shopping for clothes in Toronto. Common Sort is no stranger to the occasional designer label, and Public Butter is a neighbourhood favourite for old camo jackets and funky sunglasses. Leslieville is also a great place to shop for antique pieces of furniture to add to your collection (Pied-a-Terre is run by a great husband and wife couple!) Sometimes a little retail therapy is all you need on the weekends!

7) Drink Cheap Martinis

Okay, so some of these specials take place on Thursday nights, but we can still count that as part of the weekend, right? Insomnia is by far one of the best places to go on Thursday night for $5 martinis, and is known to have an affordable late night snack menu. Eat My Martini on College Street also has $6 martinis every night of the week!

Taylor Stinson co-authors Toronto-based lifestyle blog,  The Girls on Bloor.

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