Many people scoff at the thought of using “vacation” and “budget” in the same sentence, and if you include the word “Toronto,” they might actually walk away. Although, vacationing on a budget, even in Toronto, is always a possibility.
It may seem tough to find spring bargains on eats, accommodations and activities in Toronto at first, but there’s no doubt it can be done. And if you follow these simple tips, you’re likely to call your spring vacation of 2015 the best one yet.
Find the Free Activities
Avoid getting sticker shock from attending expensive shows or concerts, and opt for Toronto’s cheap, and often free, alternatives. Use the warmer spring temperatures to your advantage and get outside for some free sightseeing. The Distillery Historic District is an ideal place to spend hours admiring the area’s Victorian Industrial architecture, window shopping and dining on the pedestrian-only streets.
Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre is another place to enjoy indoor and outdoor activities completely free of charge. This non-profit organization offers tons of free cultural activities to the public, and it’s the perfect place to take a stroll along the boardwalk or in one of the many parks. If it’s too chilly outside, venture inside to see a number of free exhibits, lectures or shows.
Whether you’re at the St. Lawrence Market, Yorkville, Yonge-Dundas Square or Chinatown, there’s always plenty of free sightseeing and culture to be found in the city.
Think Outside the Box on Accommodations
Costly downtown Toronto hotels are abundant, but you don’t have to shell out your life savings on a chain or boutique hotel if you don’t want to. Consider renting a private property to cut your accommodations and meals costs. Rental sites like Kijiji can be helpful for finding properties that will accommodate more people than a hotel room and even provide a kitchen, so you can save big by avoiding costly restaurant meals.
Dine Like You Live There
Testing out some tasty local eats is one of the best parts of vacationing, so there’s no doubt you want to reserve some of your budget for meals out on the town in Hogtown. Although, tasting the local fare doesn’t mean you have to dine at the fanciest restaurants in town. Eating like a local and finding the best deals on the tastiest grub can help you save big without taking away from your Toronto experience.
California Sandwiches is one of those places that the locals frequent, and you’ll be able to tell by the line out the door when you arrive. It’s worth waiting in line for their gourmet sausage, eggplant or veal sandwiches that go for right around $5 a pop.
There’s no way you can go wrong when looking for an affordable, delicious and gigantic meal in Toronto’s Chinatown. Try King’s Noodle, Mother’s Dumplings or the 24-hour Pho Pasteur for cheap eats you’ll want to eat again the next day.