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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Toronto’s long-time nickname, Hogtown, gives it a bit of a bad rep. There’s nothing piggly about this city! From vibrant Kensington Market to the historic houses in the Distillery District… a visit to Canada’s premiere city won’t even cost you a penny!

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That last statement isn’t entirely true. Of course you’ll need to scout out the cheap flights to Toronto if you’re on a budget but once you arrive, there is plenty to see and do here that’s completely free. From opera to performing arts, shoe museums and great contemporary Canadian art, Toronto has something for everyone.

Toronto’s Museums

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Vivienne Westbood

Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum sounds a bit unusual but it shouldn’t be missed. With a collection of over 10,000 pairs of shoes (heaven!), you’ll see everything from achingly small Chinese foot-binding shoes to sandals from ancient Egypt and even some pairs worn by celebs like Elton John, Marilyn Monroe and even a pair of Napoleon’s socks.

  • Free entry every Thursday 5:00-8:00pm

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is the place to find the best of what’s going on in the Canadian art world. You’ll find some provocative pieces from both Canadian and international artists here and you’re sure to ask yourself “Is this art?” at least once during your visit. Admission is always free.

AGO

If you visit just one museum while you’re here, the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) is a good contender. The building was redesigned by Frank Gehry and inside you’ll find 40,000+ works of art, the largest collection of Canadian art in the world. The Group of Seven room and the Henry Moore Sculpture Collection are absolute “must-sees” while you’re here.

  • Free entry every Wednesday 6:00-8:30pm

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COC

Canadian Opera Company hosts free shows from September to June at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon. There are also some shows on Wednesdays at 5:30. Tickets are free but on a first come, first served basis so best arrive early to get a seat. For the latest free concert listings, visit COC.ca.

Going Green

highpark

High Park is 400 acres large and the biggest park within city limits. The gardens, fishing pond, hiking trails, fields, zoo and playgrounds make it a popular place when the sun is shining. Roll up your picnic blanket and spend a day enjoying a breath of fresh air in the city.

Finally, the Beaches. Toronto’s has some great natural landscapes and the city’s Blue Flag beaches are some of the best on Lake Ontario and in all of Canada. Bluffer’s Park and Hanlan’s Point are two of the most popular beaches in summer.

[see]It’s all happening at the zoo[/see]

Have you visited Toronto already? What was your favourite site/attraction/museum or think to do there?

Toronto’s not the only city with plenty of things to do and see for free! Venice, Miami, Prague… and more free cities on the Traveller’s Blog!

Imgs: the collective index, sodapop, mark.watmough / Flickr cc. and batashoemuseum.com

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