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18 FREE Toronto events worth checking out in February

Ainsley Smith Jan 30, 2018 1:49 pm 1,381

If saving money was one of your resolutions this year, we’ve got you covered.

You don’t need to break the bank in order to have some serious fun in the city this month.

From free outdoor art exhibits to concerts and markets, we’ve got your entire month planned out.

Without further adieu, here are 22 free Toronto events to enjoy this February.

Ice Breakers

What: Now in its second year, temporary winter art exhibit Ice Breakers is returning to Toronto’s waterfront. Organized by Winter Stations and The Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA), Ice Breakers will provide the city with five temporary wintertime art installations that are 100% free to the public.

When: Now until February 25
Where: Queens Quay from Harbourfront Centre to the Toronto Music Garden

Light Up the Beach

What: Now in its 10th year, Light Up the Beach features more than 80,000 twinkling Christmas lights along the Toronto Beaches boardwalk to support The Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. The light display is truly a sight to see and a winter tradition that every Torontonian should enjoy.

When: Now until mid-February
Where: At the foot of Leuty Avenue, The Beach

Toronto Light Fest

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

When: Now until March 4
Where: Distillery District

Winter at Ontario Place

What: Ontario Place has welcomed a new free event: Winter at Ontario Place. The new festival features various winter-themed activities including the Winter Light Exhibition, skating on the new synthetic skating rink and film screenings at the newly re-opened Cinesphere.

When: Now until March 18
Where: Ontario Place

Bentway Skate Trail

What: This winter, the highly anticipated Bentway Skate Trail located under the Gardiner Expressway will officially open to the public and will host a series of special events all winter long. Events and activities include free Monday night skate rentals, Friday night skate parties, and Ice Breaking Workshops.

When: Now until mid-March
Where: The path runs from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street

Skating at Harbourfront Centre

What: When the weather starts to drop, it means it’s officially time to go skating. And it just so happens that the city’s most scenic rink has its doors open for the winter season. 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
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West 

Ubuntu Drum and Dance Theatre

What: Live in the Library celebrates Black History Month. Come and enjoy an exciting performance of Caribbean and African rhythm and dance, performed by the kids of Toronto’s own Ubuntu ensemble.

When: February 2, 7 pm to 8 pm
Where: Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen Street West

Richmond Hill Winter Carnival

What: Come and enjoy the 50th annual Richmond Hill Winter Carnival the first weekend of the month. This weekend of fun features a great lineup of fun and entertainment organized by local volunteers.

When: February 2 to 4
Where: Mill Pond, near the corner of Mill Street and Trench Street

DJ Skate Nights: Soca On Ice

What: Calling all soca lovers – the doctor is in! Dr. Jay de Soca Prince will be taking over the Natrel Rink this month as he spins soca rink-side for the hottest winter party in town.

When: February 3, 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay West

Derek Gripper in Concert

What: As part of the Sunday Interludes Concert Series, you can enjoy a free performance from Derek Gripper on the first Sunday of the month. For over 10 years, Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa’s most extraordinary works.

When: February 4, 2 pm
Where: Mazzoleni Concert Hall in Ihnatowycz Hall, 273 Bloor Street West

DJ Skate Nights: MANIFESTO

What: MANIFESTO is one of Canada’s biggest celebrations of hip hop culture and is a multi-disciplinary, world-class organization with a positive social and economic impact. On February 10, MANIFESTO will be taking over DJ Skate Night.

When: February 10, 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay West

TIFF Next Wave Film Festival

What: The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival features FREE movies, amazing guests and Q&A sessions, industry workshops and panels, and the 24-Hour Film Challenge.

When: February 16 to 18
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West

The Leslieville Flea Winter Edition

What: This February, come and enjoy this curated market selling vintage, salvaged, up-cycled goods, furniture, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods.

When: February 18, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Inside the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District

Family Day at Fort York

What: This Family Day, bring your family to explore the history of Toronto and Fort York. Visit the Fort’s historic kitchen and sample some baking from the hearth, enjoy hot chocolate, the roaring fire, and plenty of activities for the little ones.

When: February 19, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd

Family Day 2018

What: Family Day is the perfect opportunity to get out and experience something new together. The City of Toronto will be hosting a number of free family-friendly events and activities on February 19 at several community centres around the city.

When: February 19
Where: Venues throughout the city

Family Day at Evergreen Brick Works

What: This year, you’re invited to spend Family Day at Evergreen Brick Works. Celebrate indoors with Brewer’s Backyard, enjoy outdoor activities in the Children’s Garden, or grab a bite to eat from tasty food vendors with your loved ones. Admission is FREE!

When: February 19, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue

Vaughn Celebrates Winterfest

What: The City of Vaughan will hold its 29th annual Vaughan Celebrates Winterfest this month. Come and enjoy plenty of FREE family fun entertainment and activities including outdoor stage shows, an Official Welcome by the Mayor and Members of Council, as well as midway rides and inflatables, face painting, arts and crafts, a photo booth, horse-drawn wagon rides, a free pancake breakfast, and so much more.

When: February 20, 10 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Vellore Village Community Centre, 1 Villa Royale Avenue

Icefest 2018

What: Toronto’s historic Yorkville neighbourhood will be transformed into a showcase of delicate, stunning ice sculptures using over 20,000 lbs of crystal clear ice this February. The main event is, of course, the  Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition, which will be taking over the east side of the Village of Yorkville Park.

When: February 24 & 25 2018
Where: Cumberland Street and Bellair Street

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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