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24 FREE Toronto events worth checking out in March

Ainsley Smith Mar 01, 2018 9:25 am 1,693

Now that warmer weather is finally on the way, you have no more excuses for staying inside this winter.

There are so many inexpensive and free events happening in the city this month, you won’t want to stay indoors!

From art installations to foodie events, we’ve rounded up the best happenings taking place throughout the city that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to attend.

Toronto Light Fest


Toronto Light Fest

What: For the second year in a row, the historic Distillery District is home to the Toronto Light Fest. Designed to entertain and inspire, the free-to-attend festival features curated light installations and illuminated sculptures created by a number of local and international artists.

When: Now until March 4
Where: Distillery District

Brendan George Ko: Moemoeā

What: Escape the cold and warm up as you take in Moemoeā, a solo exhibition by Canadian artist Brendan George Ko. Moemoeā explores the re-emergence of the Polynesian voyaging canoe in contemporary Hawaii through photographs and videos.

When: Now until March 10
Where: CONTACT Gallery, 80 Spadina Ave #205

Winter at Ontario Place

What: New this year, Winter at Ontario Place is a family-friendly event features various winter-themed activities including the Winter Light Exhibition, skating on the new synthetic skating rink and film screenings at the recently re-opened Cinesphere.

When: Now until March 18, 5 am to 12 am
Where: Ontario Place

Skating at Harbourfront Centre

What: When the temperature starts to drop, it’s officially time to go skating. The Natrel Rink is complete with heated indoor change rooms and its own rink-side bar and grill for those interested in getting a snack post-skate. The best part? Skating at the Harbourfront rink is totally free. 

When: Now until the end of March (weather permitting)
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West 

winter stations


Winter Stations

What: Winter Stations returns for its fourth year, welcoming international designers to bring public art installations to Toronto’s beaches. Winners had to follow Winter Stations 2018 theme, RIOT: violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings; a large or varied display.

The result has been some of the most interesting and beautiful public art in the city.

When: Now until April 1
Where: The Toronto Beaches


What: CONVENIENCE is an exhibit fronting as a quasi-convenience store. Featuring the work of Heidi Cho, Meera Sethi, Manny Trinh, Michael Veneracion, Xiaojing Yan, and Shellie Zhang, it explores the stereotypes associated with Asian immigrant life.

When: March 1 to 15
Where: 187 Augusta, 187 Augusta Avenue

Leslieville Cheese Market Pop-Up

What: The brewery hosts this fellow east-side fave for an afternoon featuring beers and cheesy menu items like grilled cheese, cheese and charcuterie boards, and more. Admission is FREE!

When: March 2, 4 pm to 9 pm
Where: Left Field Brewery, 36 Wagstaff Drive

Toronto Storytelling Festival

What: Founded in 1979, the Toronto Storytelling Festival has grown to be one of the largest celebrations of the arts of voice and story. Visitors can enjoy concerts, live story readings, and workshops.

When: March 2 to 4; 19 to 25
Where: Various venues throughout the city

International Women's Day Toronto

Shawn Goldberg

International Women’s Day Toronto

What: A march and rally are planned for the upcoming International Women’s Day, giving Torontonians the opportunity to march in solidarity with women across the globe.

When: March 3, 11 am
Where: Meet at the University of Toronto OISE Building (252 Bloor Street West)

Toronto’s Birthday

What: Come and celebrate the past, present and future of your favourite city, as Toronto turns 184 years old this March!

When: March 3 and 4, 12 pm to 8 pm; March 5 and 6, 5 pm to 10 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West

Big News Breakfast Pop-Up

What: Beers and breakfast could be best friends! Head to the Left Field Brewery on the first Sunday in March to enjoy the Big News Breakfast pop-up. Admission is free!

When: March 4, 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Left Field Brewery, 36 Wagstaff Drive

Oscars Viewing Party

What: Come watch Hollywood’s biggest night of the year, and learn who’s walking away with Best Actor and Actress, along with every other highly anticipated category.

When: March 4, 7:30 pm to 11 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Free March Events

Al Gore/Shutterstock

Al Gore at Ryerson: Taking Leadership on the Climate Crisis

What: The Ryerson Leadership Lab hosts former US Vice-President Al Gore and Premier Kathleen Wynne for a free public discussion on leadership and the climate crisis.

When: March 8, 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Mattamy Athletic Centre, 50 Carlton Street

When The Pig Came Home Pop-Up

What: Popping up at the Left Field Brewery on Toronto’s east side this March, peameal, Sloppy Foe, and smoked meat sandwiches from this Junction-area delicatessen. Admission is free!

When: March 9, 4 pm to 9 pm
Where: Left Field Brewery, 36 Wagstaff Drive

Un-histories: art and the unconcluded

What: The 2018 Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories Graduate Student Conference at OCAD University is back! This event is open to all and will feature keynote speeches in addition presentations, exhibits, and more.

When: March 9 & 10
Where: OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street

Sugar Shack TO

What: Taking place the first weekend of March Break, this all-ages event celebrates the “end of winter with two sugar shacks serving up fresh maple taffy, ice activities, winter marketplace, specialty bar, live music and much more!”

When: March 10 and 11, 2018, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Sugar Beach, 11 Dockside Drive

Free march events

Toronto St.Patrick’s Day Parade/Sutterstock

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

What: The St. Patrick’s Day parade is back for the 30th year and will celebrate Irish culture, history and heritage. The parade is recognized as the largest Irish themed event in Toronto and is fun for all ages.

When: March 11, 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: The parade will start at Bloor and St George, continue down Yonge and finish at Nathan Phillips Square

Jamaican Feast

What: In this edition of 86’d Mondays, Galaxy Caribbean dishes out oxtail and goat, along with rum cocktails, at this Caribbean feast sponsored by Appleton Estates Jamaican Rum. Admission is free.

When: March 12, 8 pm
Where: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West

Free Evening Yoga

What: Each Tuesday in March, you can unwind at the end of your day with an hour of stretching, twisting, and breathing. All levels are welcome, just bringing your own mat.

When: March 13, 20 & 27, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Sony Centre for Performing Arts, 1 Front East

Backyard Beekeeping Workshop

What: Bees and beers! This class, designed for beginner beekeepers, covers what’s needed to set up a hive and produce your own urban honey. Admission is free and honey tasting is included.

When: March 14, 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Left Field Brewery, 36 Wagstaff Drive


The Drake Hotel/Flickr

Absolut Wasted: A Sustainable Cocktail Party

What: Complimentary cocktails paired with h’or d’oeuvres are the main draw at this edition of 86’d Mondays. A movement that aspires to reduce food waste from Toronto restaurants. Admission is free.

When: March 19, 8 pm
Where: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West

50 Years of Rock Photography

What: Robert Knight is celebrating his 50th Anniversary, which coincides with the release of a new book – Rock Gods: Fifty Years Of Rock Photography, available January 16 on Insight Editions.

When: March 22, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Liss Gallery, 112 Cumberland Street

DISCO 5000

What: Bring your bodacious bodies and move to your favorite brand of Secret Society musical stylings while surrounded by the vibrant and sexy workout threads of the 80s! This is a BYOB event.

When: March 24, 10 pm to 8 am
Where: 209 Geary Avenue

Preserved Fish Battle

What: Lox & SchmearDaiLoLe Select, and more competitors, showcase their smoked, canned, and pickled sustainable seafood, courtesy of SeaCore and sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council.

When: March 26, 8 pm
Where: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West

See also

Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is passionate about avocado toast, aesthetics, and avocado toast aesthetics. Story idea? E-mail me at [email protected]

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