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10 free things to do in Toronto this winter

The top free things to do in Toronto this winter will keep you outdoors and entertained, but inside and happy as well. The city is super excited about the new Ice Breaker outdoor art show, which will transform bleak areas into places of hope and creativity. There's also the No Pants Subway Ride if you need a laugh.

  • Free events you don't want to miss
    About the Event
    • December 31
      Join thousands of festive folks in the centre of the city for Toronto's biggest skating and dance party, complete with fireworks and all kinds of live entertainment. The fun begins around 8 p.m. with DJs, performers, hot chocolate everywhere and of course a countdown to 2017 just before midnight.
      Nathan Phillips Square
    • January 3-6
      The Festival of New Formats is a comedy testing ground for Toronto sketch, improv and stand-up artits. It's where some of Comedy Bar's best recurring shows got their start and it runs for a full week. All shows are free and usually start around 8 p.m.
      Comedy Bar
    • January 8
      It's now become a thing of legends, but it's real and it's still hilariously fun. "Pants are just a fancy word for leg jail," according to organizers and this year is the 15th anniversary.
    • January 16
      This is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events. There are a bunch of exhibition and parties, so check out the official website for the full and fascinating lineup.
      Church of the Holy Trinity
    • January 18 - April 9
      The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) and Black Artist's Networks Dialogue (BAND) team up to present "a season of exhibitions exploring historical and ongoing struggles for justice between people of colour and police forces representing the state." No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel from February 2 to 26 is a major highlight.
      Ryerson Image Centre and other locations
    • February 4
      DJ Skate Nights at Harbourfront Centre have become a winter party staple. Grab some boozy hot chocolate by the rink at Boxcar Social after you hit the ice.
      Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre
    • January 21 - February 26
      Ice Breakers is a month-long public art exhibition in collaboration with the folks who bring you Winter Stations that will showcase five wintertime art installations at different public locations on Queens Quay, from Yonge Street to Bathurst. The outdoor art show runs until February 26.
      Various locations along Queens Quay
    • February 20 - March 27
      Winter Stations is back for its third year, and once again, it is inviting Torontonians to get outside to explore the city’s winter waterfront landscapes. This year, the public art exhibition will welcome six new lifeguard stands to Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches in Toronto’s east end, situated south of Queen Street East and between Woodbine and Victoria Park. Your Instagram account will...
      The Beach
    Lead photo by

    Lori Whelan at Winter Stations

Lead photo by

Lori Whelan at Winter Stations

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