date ideas toronto

10 great date ideas in Toronto when you don't want to spend a lot of money

Date ideas in Toronto that are relatively cheap, or—even better—totally free, are affordable substitutes for a session of Netflix and chill. You don't have to spend money to make great memories. 

Here are some great date ideas in Toronto when you don't want to spend a lot of money. 

Get your face printed on bubble tea

If you're special other is always complaining that you don't have enough pictures together, take them to Answer Tea in Chinatown. You can get a photo of the both of you printed on a cheese foam boba for an extra 50 cents. Embrace the cheesy memories.

Take a stroll through Allan Gardens Conservatory

This dazzling oasis by Sherbourne and Carlton is a prime location for quality time. Open year-round, you can explore all the lush plant life this greenhouse has to offer for free. After your stroll, post up on one of the benches for more intimate one-on-one time with your boo. 

Ogle dogs at Black Lab Brewing 

The price of a prickly pear sour pint: $6.50; the joy of seeing a bunch of dogs sniff each other's butts: priceless. You can bring your date and your dog (if you have one) to this canine-friendly Leslieville brewery, though you two won't be faulted for mooching some puppy love off someone else's good boy. 

Hit up a board game bar or cafe

Toronto has no shortage of board game spots offering games like Monopoly, Jenga and Settlers of Catan. Some of them have cheap fees for unlimited playing, while others just cost the price of a drink to hang out for the night.

Go to an arcade games bar

Arcade bars have withstood the test of time as one of the best date night options. Toronto has a number of great arcade games bars that let you throw down on NBA Jam and Mario Kart for cheap. Pixels and Pints on the Danforth is just $5 cover, and they even make bubble tea. 

Stroll through Pacific Mall

This iconic Chinese indoor mall is the closest thing you'll get to walking the streets of Hong Kong—in Markham. Gorge on cheap Asian snacks and spend the day perusing the cool heritage section on the upper floor or the cheap counterfeit DVDs downstairs.

Visit a free art gallery

There's countless galleries in the city that will let a pair of art lovers peruse for free. Independent galleries like Nicholas Metevier, Black Cat Showroom and Clint Roenish are always free. And if you happen to go out on a Wednesday night, the AGO and the Aga Khan are all free. The Bata Shoe Museum is PWYC on Thursdays evenings.

Wander a merchant's market

There's no better way to gauge someone's tastes and eccentricities than seeing them at a flea market, of which there are plenty in Toronto. Also recommended: the Downsview Park Merchant's Market, which also has a food court with some of the tastiest cheap eats in the city. 

Chill at Toronto's secret observation deck

Chester Hill Lookout is Toronto's version of a small town hilltop car park. The giant astrology wheel marks the perfect place to park your car (cue make out sessions) if you drive, or just walk over to this gem off Broadview in warmer weather for romantic vistas of the DVP. 

Visit the zoo

While the official Toronto Zoo might be home to cute baby zebras, the smaller scale one at High Park is always totally free. Plus, if things go well you can make your way to the nearby Grenadier Cafe for two hot chocolates that will only set you back five bucks.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasqeuz of Black Lab


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