21 FREE Toronto events worth checking out this February

Jan 31 2019, 5:12 am

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

Because in a city like Toronto, you don’t need to break the bank in order to have some serious fun.

From free outdoor art exhibits and markets to fun screenings and foodie events, we’ve got almost a month’s worth of free events to check out.

Ice Breakers



What: Now in its third 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 24
Time: All day
Where: Queens Quay from Harbourfront Centre to the Toronto Music Garden
Price: Free to the public

Toronto Light Fest

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

Free Butter Chicken Roti

free roti

Butter Chicken Roti / Instagram

What: There’s a new roti spot opening up on Queen East, and that means free roti for everyone! Well, almost everyone. There will be free Roti for Butter Chicken Roti’s first 100 guests on February 1 and 2, and all guests that come in throughout the weekend will be treated to a free samosa.

When: February 1 and 2
Time: From noon
Where: 1610 Queen Street East
Price: Free

Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair

What: Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and in case you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your special someone, chances are you’ll be able to find it at this craft fair at the Gladstone Hotel. This free, one-of-a-kind sexy fair brings together local artists and crafters just in time for V-Day.

When: February 2
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West
Price: Admission is free

January Really Really Free Market

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

Ways to Wellness

What: Self-taught cook, food photographer and coffee enthusiast, Ronny Joseph of Primal Gourmet, will be leading cooking demonstrations and sharing small bites at this free event at Yorkdale Mall.

When: February 2
Time: 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Where: Williams Sonoma Yorkdale – 3401 Dufferin Street
Price: No cost to attend

Après Skate Saturdays

free skating

The Bentway

What: If you’re in the mood for ice skating, head to the Bentway where skaters over 19 can enjoy complimentary samples of Kahlúa with coffee or hot chocolate on Saturday evenings from 5 pm to 9 pm. Après Skate Saturdays run every Saturday until February 16.

When: February 2, 9 and 16
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Complimentary samples, but skate rentals are available on-site for $10

DJ Skate Nights

What: You can sharpen your skates and skills at Toronto’s number one outdoor winter party. Each weekend you can expect a different DJ who will be spinning the hottest tracks. The best part? This skating party is totally free.

When: February 2 and 9
Time: 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Skating is free

The Official Budweiser Super Bowl Viewing Party

What: Get your jerseys ready! REBEL, Budweiser and the NFL present Toronto’s Official Budweiser Super Bowl Viewing Party. Get ready for live entertainment, the half-time show, games and a chance to WIN a trip to the winning city.

When: February 3
Time: 2 pm to 11 pm
Where: Rebel, 11 Polson Street
Price: Free

Chinese New Year Count Down at Pacific Mall

Head to the largest indoor Chinese mall in North America to start the Chinese New Year celebrations! Entertainment starts at 10 pm and leads to the countdown at midnight for the arrival of the Year of the Pig. Celebrations at Pacific Mall continue until February 9.

When: February 4
Time: 10 pm
Where: Pacific Mall, 7600 Kennedy Road
Price: No cost to attend

Evergreen’s Winter Wednesdays

Evergreen Winter Market

What: Make the most of this chilly evening at Evergreen’s Winter Wednesdays. You can skate under the stars on the picturesque outdoor skating rink, grab a hot chocolate (or something stronger), and cozy up around the fire with some snacks from the food trucks.

When: February 6, 13 and 20
Time: 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
Price: Skating is free, skate rentals are $5

Free Skate Night at the Bentway

What: Winter is here and that means ice skating. On Thursday nights, the Bentway is hosting a free skate night, with free skate rentals courtesy of Billy Bishop Airport. There will also be free drop-in skating lessons courtesy of The West Toronto Skating Club.

When: February 7 and 14
Time: Free skate rentals, 5 pm to 9 pm; free skating lessons, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Free to attend


What: You can enjoy an afternoon of music by  exhibiting artists Carson Teal and Xuan Ye, and performers Korea Town Acid and Oscar Chiu performed within the landscape of Soft Refraction.

When: February 9
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm
Where: Xpace Cultural Centre, 303 Lansdowne Avenue, #Unit 2
Price: Free to attend

Icefest 2019

What: Toronto’s historic Yorkville neighbourhood will be transformed into a showcase of delicate, stunning ice sculptures using over 70,000 lbs of crystal clear ice over February 9 and 10. This year’s theme is Hollywood North, turning Yorkville into a magical display of magnificent sculptures inspired by the success of the film industry in Toronto and Yorkville.

When: February 9 and 10
Time: All day
Where: Cumberland Street and Bellair Street
Price: No admission cost

Find Your Valentine at Coffee Oysters Champagne

Coffee Oysters Champagne

What: The new hotspot is throwing its very first “Find Your Valentine” party! Picture the perfect setting – illusive and intimate – sipping champagne and dining on gourmet plates with surprises around every corner. Visit the champagne cellar for an evening of unexpected events planned to entertain and spark conversation.

When: February 13
Time: Arrive by 7 pm
Where: COC – 214 King Street West
Price: No cost to get in, but pay for what you order

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 a Young Creators Showcase, which is a showcase of student shorts.

When: February 15 to 17
Time: 11 am to 11 pm
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Price: Free

Lunar New Year: The Year of the Pig

You can celebrate the Year of the Pig as you learn how an Italian painter became one of the most beloved artists for three emperors in the Qing Dynasty and contributed to the Chinese paintings today. Visitors can also get hands-on and make their own Pig Hero paper lantern, then take a money bath and hit the “gong” for good fortune.

When: February 16
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street
Price: Free

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: February 18 to April 1
Time: All day
Where: Woodbine Beach, 1675 Lake Shore Blvd. East
Price: Admission

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Free Oscars Screening

oscars 2019


What: The Bloor Street cinema is rolling out the red carpet on Oscar night. Dress casual or go glam for the red carpet screened live from 6:30 pm followed by a live feed of the awards show.

When: February 24
Time:  6:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: 506 Bloor Street West, Toronto,
Price: Free

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

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