Toronto summer lovin’ is officially in full swing – the time is upon us to do ridiculously fun things. Things that are adventurous, spontaneous, rebellious, and saucy. Here are some fun and cheap ideas for taking advantage of Toronto summer in the best way ever: like a tourist. Round up a bike fleet, strap on your Birkenstocks and stock your backpack with tall cans. Don’t let the summer pass you by without going on some fun adventures.

Get up early and go to the antiques market at St. Lawrence Market  

This Sunday Antiques Market knocks any other antiques shopping experience in the city out of the water. Set in the city’s oldest neighborhood, the 120 vendor market is superior in quality and quantity. It’s an otherworldly experience. Set your alarm, throw on comfy shoes, and grab a stiff red eye. You’ll want to be an early bird at this one.

Paddle away from it all at the Harbourfront

Canoe trips: time consuming, sweaty, require vehicle and time off work. Paddle boats at the Harbourfront: $5 per person. Canoe rentals: $4. Let those gentle waves be your guide, Pocahontas.

Go on a weekend pop up shop window shopping tour

Nothing says transient like a novelty pop up shop. In the summer, some streets are crawling with them –   boutiques on Ossington and Dundas West, galleries in Kensington. It’s just a really fun way to shop and find unique stuff. What’s not to love about vintage clothes with a side of snow cones and temporary tattoos?

Rent Bixi bikes and conquer your lesser known hoods 

Take advantage of Bixi and go on a DIY hop on hop off tour of Toronto. Cruise around the beaches. Stop for ice cream. Storm the historic Distillery. Stop for a photo op. At the end of the day back, crash into satisfied exhaustion. There are 80 different docks in the city, and it’s only $5 for 24 hour access.  

Have a campfire dinner on an fire pit  

The legal status of outdoor fire pits in Toronto is iffy. But you can find public fire pits on the Island, Ashbridges Bay park, and Dufferin Grove. A dinner of s’mores is entirely acceptable during the dog days, we say. 

Chillax at a Beer Garden

For a festival-inspired alternative to a patio, check out one of the city’s ongoing beer gardens. Ever noticed people are so much more inclined to talk to each other at a beer garden? More banter with strangers = more fun. The Stop’s Beer Garden takes place every Sunday from 1 – 5 PM. Local brews, local eats, and all proceeds to go the Stop Community food center! For a next-level beer garden experience, Brewers Backyard at the Brickworks (August 12 and September 23) designed to make drinkers feel like they’re hanging out in (you may have guessed it), the brewer’s backyard. 

~ Kait Fowlie