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Winter, Events

25 FREE Toronto events in January

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Ainsley Smith Dec 30, 2016 5:03 am 4,802

Start the new year with some extra dough in your pocket.

Our roundup of the best FREE events taking place in January 2017 should get you excited to see what this city has on offer without having to spend a cent.

From outdoor art exhibits to pants-free subway rides, movie screenings and skating parties, here are the top 25 free January events to check out in Toronto.

Sunday Scene: Nurielle Stern

What: Toronto-based artist Nurielle Stern will discuss Maria Loboda’s exhibition Some weep, some blow flutes.

When: January 2, 2 pm
Where: The Power Plant

Kids & Their Grown-ups Ukulele Club

What: Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the ukulele? Well, now’s your chance! Bring a ukulele and come and learn some beginner songs.

When: January 5, 7 to 7:45 pm
Where: Parliament Street Library, 269 Gerrard East

DJ Skate Night

What: Rally up the troops, DJ Skate Night is back! Spend the evening skating to the hottest tracks, while DJs spin house, funk, soul, reggae and more

When: January 7, 8 pm
Where: Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay West

John Kissick and Landon Mackenzie Art Exhibition

What: Come and explore the creative works of John Kissick – Burning of the Houses Of Cool Man, Yeah and Landon Mackenzie – Mirror (Square) and Blue Web.

When: January 7, 100 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Katzman Contemporary, 86 Miller Street

No Pants Subway Ride

What: For all of you free spirits in the 6ix, this is an event you won’t want to miss. The No Pants Subway Ride is a celebration of silliness that is an annual global event that was started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002.

When: January 8, 3 pm to 2 am
Where: All TTC lines

Free Yogathon

What: Get ready to get your sweat on, as there’s a free yogathon taking place at Prosserman JCC Goldie Fitness Centre. There’ll also be a number of prizes to be won including yoga mats and one month memberships to the centre.

When: January 8, 10 am to 12:30 pm
Where:  Prosserman JCC, 4588 Bathurst Street

The Big Lebowski

What: Louis Cifer Brew Works will be hosting a free screening of the 1998 Coen brothers classic Blockbuster hit starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Julianne Moore.

When: January 8, 6 pm
Where: Louis Cifer Brew Works 417 Danforth

Hot Docs Japanese Movies

What: Toronto’s Hot Docs is back with its annual event, which will feature three films about families that come together in unexpected ways. Make sure to arrive early, doors open 30 minutes before showtime.

When: January 8, 3:15 to 5 pm
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West

All About Doulas

What: Baby on the way? Come and join other expectant parents who are interested in learning more about doula care. You’ll be able to ask plenty of questions and get lots of tips and advice. Space is limited so pre-register.

Women’s Health Forum

What: This one-day forum that will bring together researchers, patients, clinicians, and policymakers to talk about key issues in women’s sexual and reproductive health and explore implications for health and health care.

When: January 10, 8 am to 5:15 pm
Where: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue

What: Looking to go on a vacation? Or perhaps, you’re just interested in learning about Chile and Argentina’s Patagonia region. Head to Merit Travel, where you can learn about the stunning landscapes and famous hiking trails in Chile and Argentina.

When: January 11, 630 pm to 8 pm
Where: Merit Travel 408 King West

Luminosity by Meghan Thomas

What: Artist Meghan Thomas combines her background training as a makeup artist and body painter and transforms it into fine art paintings using airbrush and fluorescent paints which glow under UV light. Her canvases contain cultural imagery and are inspired by photographs and popular song lyrics.

When: January 14, 12 pm to 5 pm
Where: Urban Gallery, 400 Queen Street East

DJ Skate Nights: La Rumba Buena

What: La Rumba Buena is a night dedicated to classic Latin sounds inspired by the salsateca in Cali, Havana and New York. No frills, pure vibes, and a non-stop dance floor open to anyone who catches the rhythm.

When: January 14, 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay West

Brian Cober Live

What: Interested in strumming a few cords? Or maybe you just want to listen to some new tunes. Either way, head to Grossman’s Tavern for the Open Blues Jam.

When: January 15, 10 pm
Where: Grossman’s Tavern, 379 Spadina St.

Toronto Design Offsite Festival

What: The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (To Do) is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events throughout the city. The festival is geared at taking design out of the studio and into the city – bringing people together to celebrate design in Canada.

When: January 16 to 22, all day
Where: Venues throughout the city

Who You Are Matters!

What: Interested in learning more about yourself? Head to CareerCycles for a professional and personal discovery workshop. Here you’ll be able to chat and play a game with like-minded individuals to learn all about you.

When: January 18, 61:5 pm
Where: CareerCycles, 873 Broadview, unit 201

Ryerson Image Centre Winter 2017 Season

What: The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) and Black Artist’s Networks Dialogue (BAND) are teaming up this winter to present a season of exhibitions exploring historical and ongoing struggles for justice between people of colour and police forces representing the state.

When: January 18 to April 9, all day
Where: Ryerson Image Centre and other locations

Organic Farmers’ Market

What: Was your New Year’s resolution to eat better? Then head to the Organic Farmers’ Market at one of Toronto’s most beautiful gardens. Here you’ll be able to choose the freshest, healthiest foods, and meet plenty of organic vendors.

When: January 19, 1 pm
Where: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave East

Love Design Party

What: Come Up To My Room returns for the 14th year in a row to pack all four floors of the Gladstone Hotel with site-specific, immersive art and design installations over four days.

When: January 19 to 22, 10 pm to 2 am
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

Wild Winter Wonderland

What: Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks will be hosting an afternoon dedicated to winter, family fun. There’ll be everything from workshops and cooking demonstrations to special guest chefs and vendors.

When: January 21, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue

Nature Connection

What: This is another great way to keep up those healthy New Year’s resolutions. Downsview Park staff will take attendees on a free indoor and outdoor Park program based on nature-themed topics to get them exploring the natural world.

When: January 22, 2 pm to 4 pm
Where: Downsview Park, 70 Canuck Ave

HyWire Writing Workshop

What: Looking to improve your writing this winter? HyWire features a series of guided interactive writing sessions hosted by the Co-organizers of The Burlington Slam Project; Award-Winning Poets Dan Murray and Tomy Bewick.

When: January 26, 7 to 830 pm
Where: Burlington Public Library

Toronto Light Fest

What: Now that the Distillery District’s iconic Christmas Market has come to an end, the streets will be transformed into a huge open-air gallery, lighting up the long winter nights with works from Canadian and International light artists.

When: January 27 to March 19
Where: Distillery District, Mill Street

Winter 2017 Opening Party

What: Kick off the Power Plant’s 2017 season, by being the first to experience exhibitions by Jonathas de Andrade, Maria Hupfield and Kapwani Kiwanga, with the second iteration of the Fleck Clerestory Commission Project by Latifa Echakhch still on view.

When: January 27, 8pm to 11 pm
Where: Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West

Winter Season Show

What: Come in from the cold this winter and visit the Winter Season Show. Attendees can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and visit the unique exhibitors bringing a variety of arts and crafts to get through the winter.

When: January 29, 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Thornhill Community Centre, 7755 Bayview Avenue


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Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is always on the hunt for her next avocado toast.

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