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20 FREE Toronto events to check out this May

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Ainsley Smith Apr 28, 2017 1:34 am 5,323

Whoever said that the best things in life are free, couldn’t have been more correct.

Seriously.

If you’re looking to save some dough this May, you better check out our curated list of all the free Toronto events taking place in the city this month.

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

What: The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival kicks off this year at the Ryerson Image Centre. Throughout the month of May, CONTACT takes over the city with more than 200 exhibitions and events.

When: Now until May 31
Where: Various locations throughout the city

Lansdowne BrewHaHa

What: Come and enjoy a laughter-filled evening,  that includes stand-up, improv and sketch comedy in the west end.

When: May 2, 9 pm to 10:30 pm
Where: Lansdowne Brewery, 303 Lansdowne

Fashion Your Future

What: Calling all fashionistas, fashion fans aged 20 – 29 can get qualified for a $3000 grant and free fashion entrepreneurship training where they can start their own accessory business at this must-attend FREE event.

When: May 2, 5:30 to 6:30
Where: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West

Free Yoga Classes

What: Toronto’s Sony Centre will be hosting FREE weekly yoga sessions! Spend your lunch hour stretching, twisting, breathing and add some calm to your day.

When: May 2, 9, 23, 30, 12 pm to 1 pm
Where: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Star Wars Day Toronto

What: Star Wars fans rejoice! May 4, also known as Star Wars Day, will see celebrations taking place at Toronto’s Hard Rock Cafe downtown. This is the one day of the year that it’s socially acceptable to rock your storm trooper, Yoda, or Princess Leia gear all day long. Admission is FREE with a charity donation, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Canada. There will be a costume contest and a trivia game show with over $500 worth of prizes.

When: May 4 at 6 pm
Where: 279 Yonge Street

TOJam: Toronto Game Jam

What: Calling all gamers! Toronto Game Jam is a FREE, annual, open-to-the-public event where the craziest game makers in the world gather for a 3-day game making binge.

When:  May 5 to 7
Where: GBC Library Learning Commons, 341 King East

Jane’s Walk

What: Jane’s Walk is an annual festival of free, community-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. Explore your city, share stories about your community and connect with your neighbours on any of the hundreds of Jane’s Walks taking place across the GTA

When: May 5 to 7
Where: Various locations throughout the city

Pampered Pooches T.O.

What: This is a FREE fun-filled event for you and your dog(s) that dog lovers definitely don’t want to miss. With 45 vendors, this one-day event features food, fashion, pet health, grooming and so much more. This one-stop-pooch-shop offers a unique shopping and infotainment market geared for the urban dog lover.

When: May 6, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Liberty Village

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market

What: The Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market is back to support and increase the city’s access to fresh, local, sustainable, naturally grown and certified organic agriculture. Spend the afternoon learning about the different local suppliers and where and how your produce comes from.

When: May 9, 3 pm to 7 pm
Where: Dundas and Shaw, northwest end of the park

Free Pixilation Animation Classes

What: Have you ever wanted to learn about the world of pixilation animation, but never knew where to start? Torontonians of all skill level are invited to learn the basics of pixilation, which is a fun stop motion technique where live actors are used as subjects for an animated film. Each week will include an introduction/tutorial, demonstration, and a unique challenge for participants to create their own short story using themselves as the main prop for the animation.

When: May 9, 16, 23, 30, 530 pm to 630 pm
Where: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

See also

Spring Into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival & Market

What: The 5th Annual Spring Into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival is back with the largest free outdoor event, attracting thousands of local and neighbouring visitors to the heart of Parkdale Village. Be a part of this vibrant event and help support the arts, community, culture, diversity and shopping local.

When: May 13, 12 pm to 6 pm
Where: Parkdale Village

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

What: With over 400 cartoonists from more than 20 countries, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival celebrates the very best in comics, graphic novels, bandes dessinées, and manga. Prepare yourself for non-stop readings, launches, and art events culminating in a massive, FREE two-day exhibition at Toronto Reference Library.

When: May 13 to 14
Where: Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

What: This celebration will officially welcome and celebrate the city’s newcomers. Featuring a “Newcomer Fair”, offering settlement services providers through booths and displays and one-on-one interactions, cultural entertainment, and a citizenship ceremony with speeches by all levels of government.
When: May 15, 1130 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square

Artfest Toronto

What: Artfest Toronto celebrates painting, photography, sculpture, fine craft, live music and more from Canada’s top artists. Set throughout the cobblestone lanes of the Distillery Historic District in downtown Toronto.

When: May 20 to 22, 11 am to 6 pm
Where:
 Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street

Waterfront Artisan Market

What: Back for its second year, the Waterfront Artisan Market will make Toronto’s waterfront come alive every Saturday from May 20 until October at HTO Park. Here you’ll get to explore a curated mix of 75 artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers. Admission is free.

When: May 20, 11 am to 8 pm
Where: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West

International Museum Day

What: Since 1977, Museums around the world have been celebrating International Museum Day on May 18.  Enjoy FREE admission to the museum all day long.

When: May 18
Where: 14732, Woodbine Ave

The Leslieville Farmers’ Market

What: The Leslieville Farmers’ Market is back for its second year, and will host two dozen vendors selling a range of vegetables, meat, dairy and prepared food. On some weekends the market features live music and family-friendly activities including a Kids Corner, DIY projects for all ages, and a cookbook swap.

When: May 18 to 21, 9 am to 2 pm (Every Sunday)
Where: Jonathan Ashbridge Park

Rib Fest & BBQ Bash

What: May is BBQ month and what better way to celebrate your favourite way to cook food than with a massive BBQ at the heart of downtown Toronto for FREE? Come out and celebrate the launch of Toronto’s newest annual summer kick off!

When: May 21, 1030 am to 10 pm
Where: Yonge and Dundas Square

Doors Open

What: The 18th annual Doors Open Toronto returns to Toronto, offering free and rare access to 150 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.

When: May 27 to 28
Where: Various locations throughout the city

Toronto Bike to Work Day

What: As part of Bike Month, Bike to Work Day invites all Torontonians to leave their car keys at home and bike to work instead. Downtown participants can converge at Yonge and Charles and ride to Nathan Phillips Square for a free breakfast.

When: May 29, 7:30 am
Where: 
Various starting points throughout the city


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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 the best avocado toast.

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