21 FREE Toronto events worth checking out in March

Mar 1 2019, 5:28 am

Now that (slightly) 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.

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Toronto Light Fest

Toronto Light Festival 2019

What: For the third 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 3
Time: After sunset
Where: Distillery District
Price: Free

Winter at Ontario Place

What: Following last year’s successful inaugural winter program, Ontario Place will once again come alive this winter season. Running from now to March 17, the West Island of Ontario Place will be home to the Winter Light Exhibition, free public skating and community bonfires. This year, visitors can also look forward to a series of DJ nights at the iconic waterfront venue and a range of beloved films at Cinesphere.

When: Now until March 17
Time: 6 pm to 12 am
Where: 955 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Price: Free to attend

The 7

What: Come and check out The 7 this weekend, a new pop-up that features eight unique, picture-perfect rooms. The concept is to help Torontonians beat the winter blues with fun out-of-the-box and Instagrammable rooms full of colour, art and 3D visuals.

When: Open now until the end of winter
Time: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 9:30 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am to 9:30 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm
Where: Seventh floor Hudson’s Bay, 176 Yonge Street
Price: Free to the public

Skating at Harbourfront Centre

Skating rinks


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 2019

What: Winter Stations returns for its fifth year, welcoming international designers to bring public art installations to The Beaches. The installations, which run from February 18 until April 1, will be temporary structures that will be able to withstand our rigours winter weather.

When: Now until April 1
Time: All day
Where: Woodbine Beach, 1675 Lake Shore Blvd. East
Price: Admission is free

Myseum: Intersections

What: The 2019 exhibition, revisits and re-imagines the dominant narratives that shape our understanding of the city through a festival of collaborative exhibits and events. This exhibition will explore lost or hidden Toronto stories that have been paved over and forgotten, and how we can reclaim those histories.

When: March 1 to 31
Time: Varies by event
Where: Venues throughout the city
Admission: Free

March Really Really Free Market

Trinity Bellwoods Flea

Alex Polo/Shutterstock

What: You read the event name correctly, everything is free. No money. No swapping.
If you do bring items to share, bring them before 3 pm and make sure they are clean and in working condition. During the Market, there is a limit to the number of items you can take, which is one large shopping bag per person (two bags for families of three or more people).

When: March 2
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Campbell Park, 225 Campbell Avenue
Price: Everything is FREE

Flipside Donuts Grand Opening Celebration

What: Flipside Donuts recently opened in the Distillery District, and this weekend, they’re doing a free mini-donut giveaway to celebrate their Grand Opening. The first 100 customers to arrive at Flipside on Sunday morning will receive a bag of 10 mini CiNEs, the spot’s warm mini-donuts with a cinnamon sugar dusting.

When: March 2 and 3
Time: Saturday, 8 am to 9 pm; Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm
Where: 12 Case Goods Lane, Distillery District

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 t0 24
Time: Varies by event
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Price: Free to the public

Free Zero-Waste Coffee

The Garden green-inspired

Coffee in the garden/Shutterstock

What: Unboxed Market, Toronto’s first brick-and-mortar zero-waste shop, has officially opened at Dundas and Dovercourt. To celebrate the store’s grand opening in the ‘hood, they’re going to be offering free coffee throughout the morning on March 5. Just remember to BYOMug.

When: March 5
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Where: Unboxed Market – 1263 Dundas Street West
Price: Free

Water Docs: Water and the City

What: You can see seven short films on urban watersheds at Evergreen Brick Works this month. From Saint John to Milwaukee to San Francisco and others, these films share glimpses of the inspiring journeys of individuals and groups as they took very different actions to protect their water, often against substantial odds.

When: March 5
Time: 7 pm to 9:45 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Screenings are free

Tirgan Nowruz Festival

What: This three-day festival features theatre, dance, music, a traditional tea house, and plenty of delicious food in honour of Iranian culture.

When: March 8 to 10
Time: Friday, 6:30 pm to 1 am; Saturday, 10 am to 2 am; Sunday, 10 am to 8:15 pm
Where: Toronto Centre For The Arts, 5040 Yonge Street
Price: Free to attend

Free Macarons from Nadège

Free macarons

Nadege / Instagram

What: As International Women’s Day draws near, Nadège, the city’s beloved pastry and dessert destination, is gearing up to dish out FREE macarons all day long (or until supplies last).

When: March 8
Time: All day or until supplies last
Where: 780 Queen Street West, 1099 Yonge Street, The Path (Richmond-Adelaide Centre), 3401 Dufferin Street (Yorkdale Mall)
Price: Free

Women from Space Festival

What: This unique festival features four days of performances by the visionary women of Toronto’s creative music, improvisation and Jazz scenes.

When: March 8 to 11
Time: Times vary by day
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Free to attend

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 9
Time: Rally at 11 am, march at 1 pm
Where: Meet at the University of Toronto OISE Building (252 Bloor Street West)
Price: Free to participate and all are welcome

Sugar Shack TO

March food events

Sugar Shack / Instagram

What: Regardless of what’s going on with the weather right now, the return of Sugar Shack means that warmer days are on their way. Mark your calendars to celebrate impending warmth with maple taffy, ice skating, a winter marketplace, a specialty bar, and so much more.

When: March 9 and 10
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Sherbourne Common – 61 Dockside Drive
Price: Admission is free

Toronto’s 185th Anniversary

What: Come and celebrate the past, present and future of your favourite city, as Toronto turns 185 years old this March!

When: March 9 and 10
Time: 10 am to 9 pm
Nathan Phillips Square
Price: Free to attend

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

What: The St. Patrick’s Day parade is back for the 31st 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 10
Time: Starts at noon
Where: The parade will start at Bloor and St George, continue down Yonge and finish at Nathan Phillips Square
Price: Free to the public

Toronto Public Library Clearance Book Sale

book sale


What: The annual Friends of Toronto Public Library Clearance Book Sale is taking place at the Toronto Reference Library this March 14 and it’s bound to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to books. Items for sale include CDs, books, and DVDs, and are priced from just 10 cents to $1, with the highest pricing listed around $5 and the majority of materials priced at $1.

When: March 14
Time: 9:30 am to 8 pm
Where: Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon (second floor)
Price: Admission is free

Caribbean Street Food Festival

What: “Don’t worry. Eat happy.” It’ll be easy to do at this street food fest. Get ready to enjoy the honest, bold and fun flavours of Caribbean food mid-March. This event will serve the warmth we know you’ve been craving.

When: March 16
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Ralph Thornton Community Centre – 765 Queen Street East
Price: Free to attend

CineCuba 2019

What: CineCuba is happening this month, giving you a chance to see a number of Cuban films for free.

When: March 29 to 31
Time: Friday, 6:30 pm to 10:45 pm; Saturday, 4 pm to 9 pm; Sunday, 1:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: The Royal Cinema, 608 College Street
Price: All films are free

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