Having lived in London and spent time in many of the World’s largest cities, I can honestly say that I have found nowhere as accessible as Toronto for quality cheap or next to nothing entertainment.
This list is by no means exhaustive and I will add as I learn more.
Knock yourself Out!
Theatre & Comedy
National Theatre of the World – look out for NTOW’s Baram and Sniekus who practice their particular brand of improvised comedy all over Toronto but can often be found on Friday evenings at the John Candy Theatre (Second City training theatre) on Peter Street – Pwyc
Shakespeare in the Ruff puts on amazing Shakespeare adaptations every summer in Withrow Park
Same goes for Canadian Stage’s High Park Shakespeare Productions running June 26 through to September 1.
Jazz & Blues
The following primarily operate on a tip- jar payment system so essentially pwyc
The Rex Hotel
The Winchester Kitchen
The Monarch Pub at the Eaton Chelsea pub has music – jazz and blues every night. No cover
See website for details
Want to play a board game, do a jigsaw, play pinball on a vintage machine, draw something?
Unlike many of other “Board Game cafes” 3030 does not charge a cover for you to exercise your creativity – help yourself on first-come first-serve basis. Just buy a drink or two and your evening’s entertainment is sorted for the price of that drink
For $7 return take a Ferry over to Toronto Islands.
Ward and Algonquin Island for boardwalk cute cottage community and gardens, Hanlan’s Point for beaches and shady dappled trails. Centre Island for Amusement Park/Bike hire, pier, busy kid friendly beaches etc.
TIP: The best way to avoid the enormous queues in the summer and if there are a few of you likely to be visiting the Islands a couple of times a year. Buy a string of 10 tickets for $63 and march straight through the lines and onto the ferry.
Summerlicious and Winterlicious foodie events ensure that the most cash strapped amongst us can enjoy a slap-up meal in a host of Toronto’s more high-end restaurant.
lunch is best value with a fixed price
menu for generally $25 for 2/3 courses and dinner more expensive at $35/$40.
Visit the AGO for free on Wednesday evenings after 5pm
Visit the ROM at a reduced price on Friday nights after 4pm
If you live in town and you love Aquariums then the most cost effective way of visiting again and again is to buy an annual membership for $100
Whilst this is hardly “shoestring ” speak; when you consider that the cost of an individual ticket is almost $40 – you do the math…..
Subscribe to their newsletter too as they frequently have deals for students…
Hart House offers free tours of their eclectic art collection – check website
Go for an Art Gallery crawl along Tecumseth Street or Queen Street West – many gallery owners are happy to show interested parties around the work they are profiling in their spaces.
Last but not least sign up for Groupon, Buytopia, Yipit and Travel zoo to get huge discounts and deals on local restaurants , museums and experiences ( and of course products)
Over and Out