How to Enjoy Toronto's Nightlife Without Breaking the Bank?
How to Enjoy Toronto's Nightlife Without Breaking the Bank?

How to Enjoy Toronto’s Nightlife Without Breaking the Bank?

Toronto offers a surfeit of entertainment options to those looking to explore its nightlife without breaking the bank. From bustling bars and breweries to bustling markets or simply taking a stroll by the magnificent Lake Ontario, there are several ways you can enjoy what the city has to offer without burning a hole in your pocket.

From museums to art galleries and interactive shows, there are plenty of affordable experiences in-store to have a fun evening. We have compiled a list of things you can do with friends and family without breaking the bank. So get started on planning the ultimate nightlife experience with the options below.

  • Discover the Hipster Kensington Market

Kensington Market is a bohemian neighborhood in Toronto that is a market consisting of boutique cafes, art galleries, and indie shops. You can find all kinds of vintage items here, from clothing to decor. Taking a stroll through this strip is like being in a painting – the street art covered roads with Victorian houses give a vibrant feel here. You can visit one of the specialty bakeries and cheese shops that are lined up throughout the market, explore trendy bars and cafes, or enjoy gastronomic experiences at the restaurants here that offer everything from casual to fine dining.

  • Watch Free Flicks at the Royals

Located at College Street, Royal Cinema is a unique space for concerts, live performances, private screenings, and corporate events. This classic theater has a nostalgic feel with a red screen curtain and velvet seats. The cinema hosts classic old movies once a month for movie buffs to relive their favorite flicks for free. Over the years, Royal Cinema has garnered a cult following with its friendly atmosphere that’s frequented by the locals. This means that the theater is always packed and you may have to wait in a queue for your seat. Catch a flick at the Royal Theater for free if you’re traveling solo or in a small group.

  • Feel the Summer Vibes at the Beaches

The Beaches is a summertime destination that attracts scores of locals and tourists. It’s a relaxed neighborhood where you can let go of the city’s bustle and explore sandy beaches and boardwalks. Situated by Lake Ontario, the Beaches is full of tourists soaking up the sun, children buzzing about ice cream trucks, and families strolling through indie shops, bakeries, bistros and bars. The Beaches is also renowned for hosting the Toronto Jazz Festival every year in July. If you’re in the city, this is a must visit event full of music and food vendors.

  • Relax Under the Moonlight at Toronto Islands

Toronto islands is a group of islands on Lake Ontario which is accessible via a ferry ride from the city’s lakeshore. There are three main islands where you can visit throughout the summers and relax. The most famous one is Hanlan Point, which is nude beach offering magnificent glimpses of Toronto’s skyline. The Center island is a family-friendly zone with a beach, children rides, a petting zoo, a restaurant, and a pond where you can rent rowboats. The last is the Ward’s island which attracts hippies and stoners who can be seen enjoying music, boating around lazily, or indulging themselves at a garden cafe. So pack the essentials and visit the islands for a nighttime picnic with the gang or just a quiet getaway.

  • Tour the Distillery District

Distillery District is a historic neighborhood in downtown Toronto. This pedestrian-only district comprises 19th-century Victorian style brick buildings, cobbled pathways, stores, and art galleries. Being in downtown Toronto, this neighborhood is easily accessible from every part of the city. You won’t find any franchise or chain outlets here, just a flurry of stores and art galleries unique to this neighborhood. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy opportunities here – from the iconic Gooderham & Worts logo and the love back installation of various sculptures and boutique stores.

  • Explore Late Night Delights at St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market has been the culinary focal point of the city for more than two centuries. During the day, this market is a gastronomic haven with a farmer’s market where fresh produce is sold, along with a plethora of food vendors. But once the sun goes down, St. Lawrence Market offers delightful experiences. On certain days, the merchants who live here host free food tasting events where you can sample delectable bites like bread, pastries, veggies, and more for free. The market is an ideal spot if you want to taste Toronto’s diverse gourmet offerings in a single neighborhood.

  • Gaze the Cosmos at Ontario Science Center

The Ontario Science Center is the world’s first interactive science museum where you can learn fascinating things, watch live demonstrations, and glimpse hundreds of interactive exhibits. The museum lets the public observe the night sky from their telescopes for free at night. On select evenings, you can gaze at the stars from powerful telescopes and witness the wonders of the cosmos. The event is completely free to attend for all age groups.

  • Stroll Through Toronto Waterfront 

Toronto Waterfront is a 46 km stretch from Etobicoke Creek to the Rouge River. The waterfront transforms into a serene spectacle at night where you can shop from fashion outlets and indulge in cheap eats. You can take a stroll through the boardwalk that lines up the lakeshore. Behold the picturesque wonder of the shimmering city lights reflecting on the water. It’s a popular hangout for couples and families who want to take a romantic stroll or enjoy the peaceful tranquility along the shores of Lake Ontario.

  • Get Creative at the Art Gallery of Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is amongst the most prominent art museums in North America with a collection of more than 90,000 paintings. Each month on the first Thursday, the museum hosts interactive evening sessions with access to all exhibits along with live music, art discussions and more – for free. Visitors get access to the complete gallery and witness the sheer diversity of art collections that range from classic European masterpieces to contemporary art and thousands of works by established and emerging Canadian artists. Mark your calendars and clear the schedule on the first Thursday of the month and revel in the dynamic artistic atmosphere and live music at AGO.

  • Party at Barcode Saturdays

Barcode Saturdays is a luxury nightclub that’s best known for hosting celebrity parties in Toronto. Since 2014, our debaucherous nightclub has been at the forefront of the nightlife scene in Toronto with Vegas-esque parties full of drinks and dance. Every Saturday, live hip-hop, Reggae, R&B, Trap, Latin, and Top 40 hits run the gamut here. Rigged with state-of-the-art sound systems, Barcode Saturdays offers an escape into a luxurious realm of high-end entertainment.

You can sign-up on the guestlist with cover charges of $15 for ladies and $20 for gents. If you’re looking for a more elevated experience, reserve a VIP area for a personal party and the best view of all the action going down. Hang by our bar and enjoy lip-smacking cocktails, premium liquors, house champagnes, and rare spirits with your gang.

The best bit: we offer complimentary cover and drinks for ladies on our guestlist who arrive before 11:30 PM. This means you and your besties can party for free and get sloshed before spending a penny at the bar.


Wrapping Up

Whether you want to bask in the moonlight, immerse in interactive events, take a peaceful walk by the lakeshore, or party off your socks, the after-dark charm of this city will not fail to amaze you. You can enjoy a memorable evening without spending a fortune in the City of Queens.