27 FREE things to do in Toronto this October

Sep 27 2019, 11:53 am

October is a lot of fun, but between costumes and candy it can be hard on the wallet. Get your tricks and your treats for free this month at these great free events.

Lake Ontario Evening on Reptiles and Amphibians

What: Reptiles and amphibians are highly sensitive to changes in their environment as they depend on high quality habitat for their survival. Come out of your shell and learn about how turtles and frogs are faring under the urbanized conditions of the Toronto region, as well as the efforts underway to re-establish their populations.

When: Tuesday, October 1
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street W
Admission: Free

World Press Photo Exhibit

What: Head down and 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.

When: October 1 to 23
Time: 9 am to 9 pm
Where: Allen Lambert Galleria, 181 Bay Street
Admission: Free

The Audience Strikes Back

What: Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente – the co-heads of the Toronto International Film Festival appear as part of the RBC Disruptors series to speak to the power of audiences in crafting digital experiences.

When: Wednesday, October 2
Time: 9 am
Where: RBC WaterPark Place Auditorium, 88 Queens Quay W
Admission: Free, register online

Sigrún Pálsdóttir: History. A Mess.

What: Sigrún Pálsdóttir appears to discuss her novel, History. A Mess. about an Icelandic historian who creates a sensation when she “discovers” a lost woman artist and the mess that erupts when it turns out to be a mistake.

When: Wednesday, October 2
Time: 6 to 7 pm
Where: Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, 789 Yonge Street
Admission: Free

15th Annual Art Walk

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.

When: October 3 to 24
Time: Runs throughout the day
Where: Along Yonge Street between Lawrence Avenue
Admission: Free

Wax Candy Disco Party

What: Playing soulful, refreshing, and uplifting Disco all night. Listen to the selection from DJ Efsharp and Cyclist at this weekly dance event. Be prepared for disco standards you already know and some deep cuts that will probably surprise you.

When: October 4, 11, 18, and 25
Time: 10 pm to 2 am
Where: The Piston, 937 Bloor St W
Admission: Free

Nuit Blanche

What: For one sleepless night, experience Toronto transformed by hundreds of artists and nearly 90 art projects. This year’s program responds to one event-wide curatorial theme of Continuum. Nuit Blanche is back, transforming the city into a massive immersive art experience.

When: Saturday, October 5
Time: 7 pm to 7 am
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Admission: Free

Nuit Blanche at MaRS

What: In this beautiful Nuit Blanche event, MaRS opens its doors to show how entrepreneurs are transforming the world for the better, using innovation to combat today’s mounting threats to our environment. See an immersive, multimedia experience set in the soaring, cathedral-like MaRS atrium.

When: Saturday, October 5
Time: 7 pm to 7 am
Where: MaRS Discovery District, 661 University Avenue
Admission: Free

Evergreen Brickworks Saturday Market

Feed It Forward


What: The Evergreen Brick Works’ Saturday Farmers’ Market is the largest farmers’ market in Toronto. Come and enjoy good food from local farmers, food producers, and chefs.

When: October 5, 12, 19, and 26
Time: 8 am to 1 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview
Admission: Free

Toronto Arthouse Film Festival

What: The Toronto Arthouse Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing innovative and exciting work by risk-taking filmmakers from around the world. Aesthetically and thematically varied, these films mark the arrival of exciting new directing talents. See some of the best new independent and experimental films while screaming at the heavens “is this art?”

When: October 7 to 12
Time: 9 to 11 pm
Where: Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen Street E
Admission: Free, register online

J-Horror Double Bill: The Vampire Doll and Lake of Dracula

What: It’s a free double billing of two epically amazing Japanese genre films. Treat yourself to the gift of The Vampire Doll and Lake of Dracula. These movies share the same cast and crew and make up the first two features of Michio Yamamoto’s “Bloodthirsty Trilogy.” It’s October. Get weird.

When: Tuesday, October 8
Time: 8:30 pm
Where: Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave
Admission: Free, register online

What the Migrant Knows: A Long View of Climate Change

What: See the man Foreign Policy magazine named one of the most important global thinkers of the preceding decade as Amitav Ghosh is speaking on the subject of climate change. See the author discuss his experience and concerns related to the topic as part of his fellowship with the Jackman Humanities Institute.

When: Wednesday, October 9
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Where: Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave
Admission: Free

Blue Guerrilla: Building Earth-friendly Landscapes w/ Toronto Green Community

What: Blue Guerrilla is a series of hands-on training and urban exploration walks to help Torontonians understand and celebrate nature in the city by learning about water. In this class, participants will take part in the installation of a rain garden in the Bentway.

When: Thursday, October 10
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd
Admission: Free

Fake News: Truth, Trust, Disinformation and Misinformation in Journalism

What: Fake news has become an ever-increasing detriment to civil political discourse globally and particularly in North American society. Join a panel of experts to reflect on the challenges facing Canadians and propose some solutions on how people can be equipped to better evaluate the validity of what they read.

When: Thursday, October 10
Time: 7 to 10 pm
Where: A100, Glendon College, 2275 Bayview Ave
Admission: Free, register online

Toronto Pumpkinfest

Toronto Pumpkin Fest / Facebook

What: If you’re looking for something fun to do Thanksgiving weekend, head to the Toronto Pumpkinfest for some seasonal good times. Experience this family event over three days with great food, vendors, entertainment, and loads of pumpkins. Guests are welcomed to enjoy all things autumn.

When: October 12 to 14
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Drive
Admission: Free

Toronto Flower Market

What: There will be 18 incredible vendor stalls on display to visit and admire, each selling an assortment of seasonal showstoppers including tulips, daffodils, gerbera, orchids, hyacinths, muscari, lilacs, and more. Plus there will also be an array of dahlia tubers, seedlings, garden planters, handmade pots and indoor plants also for sale.

When: Saturday, October 12
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: CAMH, 1001 Queen Street West
Admission: Free

Die Hard Dracula

What: It’s almost Halloween, and that means Handlebar has dug up the worst genre film they could find. Get ready for Die Hard Dracula because it is a lot. It’s the tale of an American student who loses his girlfriend in a tragic waterskiing accident, who then travels to a village in Eastern Europe where he meets her doppelganger, and also Count Dracula. Enjoy something so bad it’s good while having a few brews.

When: Sunday, October 13
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave
Admission: Free

Sustainable South Africa

What: The South African High Commission in Canada together with Wines of South Africa is cordially inviting you to attend a wine tasting. Come and explore the more than 350 years of heritage and discover a breadth of wines made with sustainability in mind.

When: Tuesday, October 15
Time: 4 pm to 10 pm
Where: Steam Whistle Brewery, 255 Bremner Blvd
Admission: Free

The Beaverton Season 3 Live Tapings

What: See how the fake-news sausage is made, as The Beaverton is filming and in need of an audience. Not only will you get the first look at the week’s episode and witness the behind-the-scenes antics of anchors Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas, but the show also starts with stand-up comedian Andrew Chapman and be giving away cool Beaverton swag.

When: Wednesday, October 16
Time: 6:45 pm
Where: CTV studios, 9 Channel Nine Court
Admission: Free

POZitivity: Slay Stigma Canadian Drag Tour

What: The Slay Stigma Canadian Tour with Trinity K. Bone’t from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 is part of a national HIV anti-stigma campaign called Pozitivity! The Show will feature several local drag performers, Canadian HIV and activist Randy Davis from The Gilbert Centre. Come join us for a fun evening of drag and support a good cause.

When: Friday, October 18
Time: 7 to 10 pm
Where: El Convento Rico, 750 College Street
Admission: Free

Toronto audiofest 2019

What: The Toronto audiofest brings together over 300 brands of the best audio and video equipment from around the world. You can hear, touch and compare it in over 100 demo rooms ranging from 240 to 2400 sq. ft. on nine floors. It is the place to come if you’re considering acquiring a complete system or only a new piece of equipment.

When: October 18 to 20
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: The Westin Toronto Airport, 950 Dixon Road
Admission: Free to attend, register online

Canadian Pizza Summit



What: This is the only trade show in Canada dedicated to everyone’s favourite art form: pizza making. Whether someone is a pizzeria owner or employee, or are looking to get into the industry, this show is perfect for all kinds of people. (Or for anyone who just really likes pizza).

When: October 21
Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: 672 Dupont Street
Price: Admission is free

6ix Screams International Horror Film Festival

What: Toronto wants to get scared — “and not the kind of fear the Leafs feel when they find out they’re playing Boston in the playoffs.” Head to the 6ix Screams International Horror Film Festival for some Halloween-themed fun as they screen several spooky, scary, and thrilling short films from around the world!

When: Monday, October 21
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: The Burroughes Building, 639 Queen St West
Admission: Free, register online

Ontario College Information Fair 2019

What: Get in the know with a series of information sessions that will help you get familiar with applying to college. In the past, sessions have included the following topics like How to pay for collegeHow to Apply for College, Credit Transfer in Ontario Post-Secondary and more. Everything is in one place at this fair, including 26 colleges.

When: October 23 to 24
Time: Wednesday, 5 to 9 pm; Thursday, 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd
Admission: Free

The 20th Annual NIGHT OF DREAD

What: At this family-friendly, community event, Torontonians are invited to call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears through parade and pageantry, music and masquerade, dance, and a devilishly good party. See fire spinners, live bands, and Death Dancers while taking part in a parade and celebration unlike any other.

When: Saturday, October 26
Time: 4:30 to 9 pm
Where: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin St
Admission: Free, pay what you can

Punk Rock Flea Market Toronto

What: PRFMTO (try saying that three times fast) is back for another year and will be showing off the most rad selection of curated vendors, fave tunes, new buds, cold brews, and (always) good times.

When: Sunday, October 27
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor Street West
Admission: Free

Halloween On Church Street

What: Watch as Toronto’s Gay Village transforms into the city’s most wicked street party on Halloween night. The street closes to traffic and becomes a pedestrian-only boulevard.  Get ready for wave after wave of Halloween-dressed revellers. Organizers expect thousands of people filling up six blocks along Church Street (Wood Street to Gloucester Street).

When: Tuesday, October 31
Time: 6:30 pm to 2 am
Where: The Village, 65 Wellesley Street East
Admission: Free

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