Whether you went overboard on your summer vacation or have major holiday gift-giving plans, most of us could probably benefit from saving a little cash this fall.
But just because you’re giving your wallet a break doesn’t mean you’ve committed yourself to a few months of staying home and being bored out of your mind.
The fall is full of fun things to do that won’t break the bank. Here are 42 free Toronto events to hit the city this season.
What: Mix and mingle with the artsy set at a free party to celebrate the launch of The Power Plant’s Fall 2017 season, and be the first to experience exhibitions by Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck, Amalia Pica and Michael Landy.
When: September 28
Where: Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 231 Queen’s Quay West
What: Toronto’s free, all-night art event, Nuit Blanche, returns to take over the city with interactive art installations and no shortage of Instagram material.
When: Sunset September 30 to sunrise October 1
Where: Various venues
What: EDIT, is a 150,000-square-foot immersive experience that envisions a world transformed by remarkable design, innovation, and technology solutions. Step inside a world where crickets can combat global hunger, medical supplies are 3D-printed in outer space, drones deliver blood to remote communities, and shipping containers are the future of farming.
Where: Unilever Detergent Factory, 21 Don Roadway
When: Now until October 8
What: Kick off October by enjoying a guided nature tours and learn about various topics while catching a glimpse of the salmon running upstream. There will also be environmental displays, children’s activities, local food vendors, a farmer’s market and more.
Where: Morningside Park, 390 Morningside Avenue
When: October 1, 11 am to 4 pm
What: Every Sunday, speakers from the world of art and beyond offer their responses to the current exhibitions. To kick off the month, Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh will be stopping by the Power Plant to discuss the Amalia Pica exhibition ears to speak of.
Where: The Power Plant
When: October 1, 2 pm
What: Sure, you could pick up a pumpkin from the grocery store but what’s the fun in that? Spend an afternoon at one of Toronto’s many patches and hunt for the perfect pumpkin. While the pumpkin itself might not be free, there’ll be plenty of free activities to partake in like hayrides, corn mazes, and much more.
Where: Throughout the GTA
When: October 1 to 31
What: Come explore the diverse neighbourhoods of Toronto and learn about their history, architecture, and much more. These guided tours are perfect for both tourists and locals who want to learn a bit more about the city. Upcoming ROMwalks include Yorkville and Kensington.
Where: Yorkville and Kensington
When: October 1, 8, 15 & 22
What: Experience this incredible global exhibition presenting the best visual journalism of the past year. Here you’ll find the most compelling photos in stunning high-quality Canon prints.
Where: Brookfield Place, Allen Lambert Galleria, 181 Bay Street
When: October 3 to 24, 9 am to 6 pm
What: Mindfest is a free event that aims to raise awareness about mental health, highlight the support systems available to those who need them, and strives to erase mental health stigma.
Where: 7 Hart House Circle
When: October 4
What: Come out and celebrate witches, women and the arts in multiple venues and events held throughout the city celebrating the repeal of section 365. This year’s Witchfest North theme is ‘Out of the Broom Closet.’
Where: Venues throughout the city
When: October 5 to 31
What: Get into the Halloween spirit at this spooky haunted market featuring arts and crafts, collectibles, toys, DVDs, posters and much more.
Where: D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor Street West
When: October 6, 4 pm to 10 pm
What: The Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market has grown to become the city’s largest farmer’s market. Come and the wide variety of local and seasonal food from local farmers, food producers, and chefs.
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview
When: October 7, 8 am to 1 pm
What: Come have fun and celebrate Diwali with the city of Toronto. Enjoy delicious ethnic food, witness Indian culture and heritage, dance to Bollywood headliners, singers’ and enjoy traditional dance performances.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East
When: October 7, 12 pm to 7 pm
What: This is definitely not your grandma’s craft show. Come and check out this marketplace showcasing a wide variety of independent artists, designers, and crafters selling all things, different, interesting, macabre, and out of this world.
Where: Pia Bouman Ballet School, 6 Noble Street
When: October 8, 11 am to8 pm
What: Over 50 businesses will feature the works of local artists. Works will be displayed in storefront windows and establishments along Yonge Street between Lawrence Avenue and Yonge Boulevard. The public will then be invited to vote for the “People’s Choice Award” for Best Merchant Display.
Where: Along Yonge Street between Lawrence Avenue
When: October 12 to November 2
What: The eighth annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship (#WPEC2017) returns to Yonge-Dundas Square this month and will feature three poutine eating competitions, as well as FREE POUTINE on offer all day long, lumberjack plaid dress code, a tattoo parlor and barber shop, poutine photo booth, Gravy Pong tournaments, Food Trucks Fundraising Derby, and more.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: October 14, 10 am to 4 pm
What: Swash & Serif is an annual typography and lettering exhibition, showcasing beautiful work from Toronto and around the world.
Where: October 19, 8 pm to 11 pm
When: Northern Contemporary, 1266 Queen Street West
What: Get into the festive spirit by spending an afternoon learning how to decorate clay pots with Skulls for the Day of the Dead.
Where: S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park
When: October 19, 4 pm to 5 pm
What: Canada’s largest festival of zines and underground culture returns to the Art Gallery of Ontario this fall. Check out hundreds and zine, book, and comic creators and well as talks and workshops.
Where: AGO, 317 Dundas Street West
When: October 21, 1 pm to 7 pm
What: An exhibition of original art inspired by classic horror of the silver screen. An opening reception will be held on October 26 and the exhibition and pop-up shop will be open daily thereafter until November 1st.
Where: Black Cat Artspace, 2186 Dundas Street West
When: October 26, 7 pm to 11 pm
What: Get into the Halloween spirit by participating in the 4th annual Halloween Walk & Fundraiser in support of first responders. This free day of fun will feature entertainment, refreshments, and excitement.
Where: The Armoury, 70 Birmingham Street
Where: October 28
What: If you’re looking to get into the spirit of Halloween, put on your spookiest costume and check out this creepy carnival that’s fun for all ages. Dress to impress as there will be a costume contest, as well as live music, carnival games, a scavenger hunt, a haunted maze, Halloween crafts and much more.
Where: Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens
When: October 28
What: The 14th season of Pedestrian Sundays brings back one awesome way to spend your Sundays this summer. Performers, musicians, artists, and shopping, basically an awesome Sunday Funday. This marks the final Pedestrian Sunday of the year, so it’s an event you won’t want to miss.
Where: Kensington Market
When: October 29, 12 pm to 7 pm
What: Calling all Toronto music lovers: You’re invited to enjoy a night of incredible music at an open jam session. Plus, if you’re feeling brave, you can go on stage a song or two.
Where: Grossman’s Tavern, 379 Spadina
When: October 30, sign up begins at 8:30 pm and music starts at 9:30 pm
What: Come and enjoy this very spooky edition of The Bunz Flea Market. This is still the same unique market featuring local artisans who will be accepting both trades and cash in exchange for their goods or services, PLUS a giant open trading area, but this time with a little bit of haunting in the air.
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
When: October 31, 8 pm to 12 am
What: This Halloween, Church Street will turn into the largest outdoor Halloween party. Each year, thousands of people put on the most creative and outrageous costumes and join the outdoor street party. Bars and restaurants participate in this unique experience with costume contests and Halloween night events.
Where: Church and Wellesley
When: October 31, 6 pm to 11 pm
What: The infamous Pumpkin Parade returns to Sorauren Park, with close to 2000 jack-o-lanterns that survived Halloween Night pumpkin smashers on display.
When: November 1
Where: Sorauren Park, 289 Sorauren Avenue
What: The last Junction Farmers Market of the season takes place on November 4. As usual, the event features a talking point-filled roster of farmers, food producers and wineries.
When: November 4
Where: Junction Train Platform, 2960 Dundas Street West
What: Celebrate the sounds, flavours and colours of Latin American culture with a day of festivities at Evergreen Brick Works.
When: November 5
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
What: Get inspired to make greener choices in your home and your community as this fair highlights innovative new green initiatives, new ideas and tips.
When: November 5
Where: Artscape at Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street
What: The annual Remembrance Day ceremony at Old City Hall is always a moving affair, filled with notable key speakers.
When: November 11
Where: Old City Hall, 60 Queen Street West
What: While it costs $6 on the weekends, the Instagram-worthy Toronto Christmas Market offers free admission throughout the week.
When: November 16 to December 23
Where: Distillery District, 55 Mill Street
What: The second annual Toronto Indie Horror Fest returns to showcase indie horror films from around the world, featuring eight feature films and eight shorts.
When: November 8 to 11
Where: D-Beastro, 1292 Bloor Street West
What: Regent Park Film Festival is Toronto’s only free community film festival. It showcases local and international independent films relevant to people from all walks of life, with a focus on inviting those of us from low income and public housing communities
When: November 15 to 18
Where: 585 Dundas Street East
What: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the annual tree-lighting, festivity-filled ceremony at Yonge-Dundas Square. Guests can expect a light show and no shortage of performances.
When: November 18
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East
What: If you’re in the market to browse some art, the Don Valley Art Club presents an exhibition, show and sale of recent works by members in the Papermill Gallery at Todmorden Mills.
When: November 18
Where: Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Road
What: This annual Toronto tradition features the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas Tree, live musical performances, a spectacular fireworks show and skating parties on the iconic outdoor rink.
When: November 25
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
What: Offering an affordable day out with the nieces and nephews, Toronto’s iconic Santa Claus parade returns in all of its intricate and colourful float-filled glory.
When: November 19
What: As one of the largest free film festivals in the country, this festival screens award-winning films from EU countries.
When: November 9 to 23
Where: The Royal Cinema, 608 College Street
What: Get into the holiday spirit Scandinavian style at this two-day celebration. Here, you’ll find carolers, folk dancing, craft making, eating, drinking and being merry.
When: November 25 and 26
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
What: On the last Friday of each month, the Design Exchange offers a free, hour-long guided tour of their collection and special exhibitions.
When: November 24
Where: Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street
What: Offering both a workout and good, old-fashioned Canadian fun, many of the City’s skating rinks open for business on November 26.
When: November 26
Where: Various locations