free toronto

The top 10 free things to do in Toronto this spring

Free things to do this spring in Toronto aren't limited to strolling through street festivals and imagining you're tasting the items that are trailing their delicious scents into your impoverished nostrils. Not all require you to strip naked, either.

Aside from the freebies, no cover concerts, and second-hand highs below, Earth Day will bring free, environmentally minded events, the art show scene is booming, and as spring becomes summer, Luminato and Pride will include free programming as well.

Here are my picks for the top free things to do in Toronto this spring.

Pillow Fight at City Hall (April 4)
While Rob Ford was in power, the Nathan Phillips Square version of this mass pillow fight seemed suspiciously light hearted considering the foolishness going on inside. This year, may the feathers fly on happier times.

Record Store Day (April 18)
While it's become increasingly controversial over the years, RDS does, in theory, help get non-crate diggers out buying vinyl: and it always means a smattering of free live in-store concerts around the city. So far Sonic Boom has announced Comet Control, Mimico, Harrison, Anamai, and Carl Didur.

420 (April 20)
If combustibles are your thing and arson seems like a bummer, the 420 rally will go down as usual at Yonge & Dundas. Not to ruin the posi vibes of the event, but always be wary of freebies from strangers, friends.

Free Comic Book Day (May 2)
Yes, it's a thing: unlike RDS, on Free Comic Book Day the releases themselves are free to take. Many shops will have in-store events too, including Dr.Comics. (For more free events for comic fans, hit up Pope Hats #4's launch at The Central and TCAF).

Music City Town Hall Meeting (April 25, The Garrison)
If you're at all embedded in the city's music scene, you've likely been curious all this "Music City" and Austin alliance stuff. April's public Music City Town Hall Meeting will let you not only hear more, but help shape the fledgling initiative. City officials including music sector development officer Mike Tanner will be in attendance.

Contact Festival (May)
Beginning on May 1 and covering more or less the whole month of May (depending on the gallery), Contact Photography Festival is the largest photography in the world, which is pretty impressive even if only a fraction of it will interest most. Galleries great and small participate, with the opening at MOCCA as a highlight every year.

TCAF 2015 (May 9 - 10)
The The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is back at the Reference Library on the second weekend of May. While it's best to bring cash for the treasures, you can wander the stalls to find inspiration from the world of illustrated wonders, and meet and collect autographs from a huge array of Canadian and international indie heroes.

Doors Open (May 23)
You know the deal: Toronto's historical buildings will open the doors to the public. Ready your neck for looking up, and don't forget to bring a DSLR or you'll feel left out.

NXNE (June 17-21)
NXNE are back doin' what they do - bringing the Pitchfork blog roll to Toronto stages - including the usual free big headliner shows at Yonge-Dundas Square. This year it's been cut to two evenings, and while the lineups are pretty whatever, they're free.

Naked Bike Ride (June 13)
Not as hardcore or maybe hardcore in a different way when compared to the Icycle Bike Race, the World Naked Bike Ride is officially positioned as a protest against oil dependency, but the event also fosters positive body image. If you want more bicycle weirdness, there's also the annual Bike Rave and Tweed Ride.

What did I miss? Add more free spring events to the comments.


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