free events toronto

12 free things to do every week of the year in Toronto

Free things to do all year long in Toronto go beyond walks in a park and beautiful bike rides. They're like knowing about a secret underworld of events in the city. Every night of the week there's something to do that's absolutely free right under your nose. 

Here are my picks for free things to do by day of the week in Toronto.

MONDAY
 
Dance class at Steps Studio

Every Monday Steps Studio (at the corner of Yonge and Davenport) offers a free introductory Salsa class. Meet the teachers, see the studio, and try a Level 1 Salsa lesson before committing to signing up. No partner needed if you don't have one. Just bring your hips.

Shoeless Mondays

There's no cover on Mondays at the Horseshoe Tavern. Sometimes even Tuesdays are free, and the music is totally decent. Best thing to do before heading out is to check their official listings page (which is updated constantly), and if you like what you see/hear, head down and walk on in for a free concert downtown.

TUESDAY
 
Sweat for free at Lululemon

Almost every day of the week there's a yoga class, a bootcamp, a meditation session or full body work out for free inside the Attic at this sports boutique on Queen West. All levels are welcome to these classes, just make sure to pre-register to make sure you get in.

Canadian Opera Company free concert series

Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon (and some Wednesdays at 5:30p.m.), you can catch a free concert in one of the most stunning music venues in the country. Artists from around the world perform here in vocal, piano, jazz, dance, chamber and world music styles.

Catch a free film festival

Every Thursday at the Carlton Cinema there's a one-night film festival that showcases short films of every genre, all year long. Action, drama, animated films, you name it, just register in advance to secure your seat. 

WEDNESDAY  
 
The AGO

Every Wednesday night from 6-9 p.m. you can walk into the Art Gallery of Ontario gratis! Some tips to make sure you get in easily (it's often super busy) is to get there right at 6 p.m. and don't bring a backpack to avoid coat check. There's also the Free After Three program all week for people 14-25.

Aga Khan

On Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m. you can see the entire Aga Khan museum. Unlike some that only allow you to view permanent collections on free nights, Aga Khan generously gives free reign. It gets very during these hours so strollers aren't recommended.

FRIDAY
 
Take a free brewery Tour

Henderson Brewery in the Junction Triangle hosts free brewery tours (which include beer tastings) almost every Tuesday at 7 p.m., just be sure to check the events calendar and register beforehand. The Amsterdam Brewhouse also offers free tours and tastings Monday and Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and at various times Wednesday to Sunday.

Get inside the Design Exchange

Every last Friday of the month the Design Exchange opens its doors from noon to 1 p.m. and offers free, guided tours of the current exhibits and inside the building on Bay. It's a cool glimpse inside one of the city's top design institutions

SATURDAY
 
Power Tours at the Power Plant

Saturday's at 3 p.m. take a guided tour of the waterfront gallery's exhibits. You'll get to check out the latest goings on at the gallery with an in-house art expert. Exhibits at the Power Plant are typically free year round, and their opening bash is always open to everyone.

EVERYDAY
 
Toronto Reference Library talks

There are talks happening inside the Reference Library on any given night, and the quality is A+. I'm talking discussions with artists, authors, film screenings, workshops and more. Past guests include Romeo Dallaire and Mike Myers. Check out their lineup for some free fun any night of the week all year long.

Improve your improv

Monday to Thursdays after the mainstage show at 9:45 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at about 11:45 p.m. you can take an improv class with the pros at Second City. Times depend a bit on when the big show ends (these classes aren't listed on their website), but stick around after and learn how to be funnier from people who are actually funny, all year long. 

Lead photo by

Glenn Gannon


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